The MCC Assistant Professor received the "Best Industry Newcomer" award for the presentation of her digital mapping project, "Surfacing," at the SubOptic 2013—a conference dedicated to the undersea cable industry and international telecommunications. Presenting the award was Wayne Nielsen, owner of SubTel Forum, Alice Shelton, Technical Area Marketing Manager for Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, and Richard Elliot, Managing Director of the Apollo submarine cable system.
"Surfacing" is a digital map of submarine cables that is being built using web technologies. In it, the user becomes a signal and is challenged to traverse an undersea network. On the way, they learn about the infrastructure that carries almost all transoceanic internet traffic, and the challenges companies face in constructing and maintaining cable systems. The project is designed to generate awareness about the criticality of undersea cables as well as to intervene in existing approaches to mapping in the digital humanities.