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Post your bios!

Laurel Harris:

I am in the English Ph.D. program at the Graduate Center, and I have just completed my dissertation exploring the impact of sound cinema on literary narrative in the interwar period (1920-1941). I am particularly interested in intersections between film and literature including, but not limited to, theories of adaptation.

I am also a Writing Fellow at York College, and I taught developmental writing and first-year composition at Kingsborough Community College and Brooklyn College for several years before becoming a Fellow. My interests in writing studies include how to use writing centers to integrate writing across the institution (an ongoing project at York) and effectively teaching multilingual learners in the disciplines. I am also looking into what is lost and what is gained in multimedia compositions in comparison to the American academic essay as well as how multimedia composition might help multilingual learners and developmental students construct more sophisticated ideas than they might be able to with the academic essay. Finally, I am curious about how technology might enable better connections across disciplinary divides as much as across geographic and institutional divides. On the pedagogical end of this, I am interested in learning communities and the potential of technology in promoting their success.

Jennifer Jacobs:

I am working towards my Master of Fine Arts at Hunter College in New York. I joined this program in 2009 after completing my bachelors of fine arts in Digital Art at the University of Oregon in 2007. I also am an adjunct professor for the Film and Media department teaching new media theory. I use a wide variety of mediums and techniques in my projects, including, computing and programming, performance, animation and illustration.

As an artist, a researcher, and an educator, I make a conscious effort to balance a practical understanding of forms of new media with a broader attempt to understand the social and individual change that occurs as we become increasingly connected to and through technology. As a researcher, I focus on examining the effects of quantification and networked spaces on our self-perception and ways of thinking. As an artist, I try to leverage my experience in digital and interactive technologies in a way that pulls from my public-interventionist background. My goal is to produces work that highlights the relationships between the individual and new technology and challenges the disproportionate control of these forms of interaction. As an educator, my goal is to inform my students of emerging and significant aspects of new media culture and provide them with the tools and confidence to engage these spaces as active creators rather than as passive consumers. I make an effort to engage the public through digital technology in a way that not only encourages participation, but relays ideas that facilitate active and informed use of new media and new technology.

Chad Cygan:

I am working towards my Doctor of Musical Arts at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Before beginning my degree here I got my masters degree in music from The Juilliard School and my bachelors degree of music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When I am not studying for school I teach full-time in a school for children with special needs called the John A. Coleman School, in Chelsea. When not doing any of the above activities I sing professionally and occasionally go to the gym in preparation for a marathon or half-marathon. Seriously.

I don’t eat potatoes.

A teacher first, I now focus on integrating technology into performance both as an artist and an instructor. When I join City College as a GTF in the fall I hope to continue my exploration of using performance skills to teach. As a performer I specialize in lyric tenor repertoire and primarily use technology for recordings and media packages. I sing professionally in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. As an instructor my immediate interest in technology, as it applies to pedagogical practice , is to create multi-sensory applications which enable students with multiple disabilities to accomplish their academic goals and to express themselves through art.

Outside of my professional endeavors I review wine on a freelance basis, write poetry with my wife and am creating an extensive collection of recipes of my own design. I have composed one opera and 24 songs for voice and piano.

Jack (Frank) Powers

I’d been using computers daily in my work in newspapers, typography and printing since high school in 1972. Shortly after IBM  introduced its Personal Computer in the summer of 1981, I figured something big was happening. I quit my job and started a research and consulting firm to study media, technology, business and society. I’ve built complex systems, given over 1,200 tech talks, run conferences big and small on five continents, written five books (one important, one profitable, the rest forgotten) and helped thousands of creative people approach the Digital Age.

In the mid-1980s, I joined the Graphics Industry Advisory Commission of volunteers working with the New York City Board of Education supporting vocational education — nowadays called Career & Technical Education (CTE). We advise on curriculum, mentor teachers, run competitions, raise scholarship money and try to keep the programs  relevant and up to date for about 60,000 CTE students.

One day about 20 years in I figured out that over 2.6 million kids had failed to graduate high school on my watch. I stepped up my volunteer work with other advisory groups, panels and commissions until about eighteen months ago they made me chairman of the city’s Advisory Council for Career & Technical Education. We do great work — all pro bono — but I’m out of my element: I don’t know the lingo, the backstage gossip or the unspoken rules. I applied to CUNY’s Urban Education PhD program, but they knocked me down to the minors, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS).

There’s nothing more important to society than education. There’s nothing more powerful than information and communications technology. There’s nothing more tragically screwed up than the U.S. school system.  I wish I knew more about how to fix things. Plus I still have my day job.

Noah Heller

I’m a second year student in the Urban Education program.   My interest in the ITP program stems from my experience as a high school math and physics teacher.  Early in my career I had a revelation when playing for the first, and only time, Grand Theft Auto.  “No wonder students don’t care to pay attention to math,” I thought.  “This is amazing!”  Nonetheless, for the last 8 years I’ve been working at the New York Harbor School, trying my best to give math a good chance of being embraced by students who have many, potentially more relevant concerns and diversions in their lives.  Digital gaming is one medium where I can imagine students really engaging in a deep way as mathematical problem solvers, and it’s this idea, helped along by James Gee’s “What Videogames Can Teach Us…” book that sparked my interest in the ITP program.

In addition to working at Harbor, I teach graduate courses in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hunter.  When I’m not in a school, which these days is almost never, I like to be outdoors.

9 Responses

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  1. Joost Burgers says

    Hi All,

    I’m Joost (pronounced like toast with a y). I’m in the English program and am currently around the halfway marker of my dissertation. I got into DH after the first DHI meeting last September. After going to that meeting I realized that I’d been doing DH humanities things in my classroom for some time, and have decided to “catch up” with the field as much as possible. Looking forward to the class and using my nerdy comp. sci. background for something other than fixing my friends’ computers.

  2. Erin Garrow says

    Hi Fellow Core II-ers,

    I’m a first-year PhD candidate in the GC’s English Program who works on modern and postmodern novels, particularly in the Irish tradition. Last term, I also got a bee in my bonnet about posthumanism, and the relationship between law and literature, so we’ll see if anything becomes of those interests, too.

    I’ll be teaching at John Jay in the Fall and hope to bring to my first literature courses a meaningful dose of technology. In the meantime, I look forward to a semester with you all.

  3. Caroline Erb-Medina says

    Hi everyone,

    I am an ABD student in Sociology. Right now I am working on my dissertation, which is a study of how Barack Obama was constructed into a cultural icon during the 2008 presidential election. Broadly, I am interested in cultural studies. More specifically, my dissertation has allowed me to explore the fields of new/media, mass culture, visual studies, gender, and race.

    Much of my time is spent as a Writing Fellow in Hunter College’s Film & Media department. This allows me to think critically about pedagogy and to have a place to share and try out new ideas.

    I am nearing the end of my time as a WF, so I am creating a blog to house all of the work I have done. This will be my side project during the semester, and I am hoping to get some feedback from people in the class.

    I am also finishing up an APA tutorial as part of my responsibilities as a Writing Fellow. It should be online by midterms, and I’ll be more than happy to share it with the class.

    Personally, I see technology as being inextricably bound to the classroom. I took computer class in school when I was in Kindergarten, used e-mail in high school, went to college with Facebook, and went on to use Youtube, blogging, digital photography, and iMovie as tools for learning when I worked as an adjunct teaching sociology.

  4. Jared Simard says

    Hi Everyone,

    I am in the PhD Program in Classics at the Graduate Center. My scholarly interests include Latin poetry, poetics, personification, reception studies, and instructional technology and pedagogy as it relates to Classics. Previously, I received my BA in Classics and History from the University of Pittsburgh, Phi Beta Kappa.

    During my time at CUNY I have taught a wide range of courses at Hunter College including Roman Civilization, Classical Mythology and The Greek and Latin Roots of English. I have also served on several program committees and co-chaired previous Classics Graduate Student conferences. I also currently serve as an At-Large Steering Committee member of the Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) and sit on Graduate Council’s Library and Structure Committees.

  5. Belinda Amoako says

    This is Belinda Amoako and I am currently a Level II student in the Graduate Center’s Urban Education Program. I have been a NYCDOE educator for many years as a teacher, mathematics coach, and currently an administrator in District 75. I have additionally worked with adult learners in preparing them to take the CUNY/ACT assessment and preparing pre-service teachers for the New York City Teaching Fellows Program.

    My academic goals include working with a team of scholars and educators in developing culturally responsive mathematics curriculum to support students with (dis) abilities and educators. My research interest focuses on students’ usage of photography to capture cultural artifacts and document cultural experiences that can then be utilized as instructional tools in the classroom.

  6. Amanda Licastro says

    Hello everyone,

    Most of you know me by now, but I am in my first year of the PhD program in English with a focus on composition/rhetoric and 18th century literature. I have a masters in English from DePaul in Chicago, and I did my undergrad at Loyola in Baltimore. I spent the last three years teaching college level English in northeastern Pennsylvania, and now teach at BMCC.

    I am going to shamelessly suggest you all check out my blog here on the Commons:
    I would love your feedback.

    I am really looking forward to working with all of you.

  7. Christopher Stein says

    You should all be editors now (except one person who I will email). So have at it.

  8. Joseph Ugoretz says

    It’s working–but in order to edit it (and post your bio) you’ll need to be added as an editor. Stand by!

  9. Jared Simard says

    Is this section of the site working?

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