2015 MCC Student Award Winners

The Department of Media, Culture, and Communication is happy to announce the winners of its undergraduate and graduate departmental awards. To feature this talented group, we updated the classic Proust Questionnaire and collected their candid responses. 

Song Chong, PhD | Outstanding Teacher Award
What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Roland Barthe
What news source could you not live without? The BBC
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Bell Hooks
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.photographs.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pen and paper
"I procrastinate by reading books completely unrelated to my field of study."
"My dream job would be a full time professor!"
"The subject of memory and photography incites my curiosity the most." 
"My best day at NYU was when I walked out of my successful dissertation defense!"
"Living in NYC is the best of times, the worst of times."
"My MCC degree is going to help me 
think critically about visual economies."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was the theory of visuality."
Jacob Gaboury, PhD | Distinguished Dissertation Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? My archive in Utah was by far my biggest reading, and produced countless -aha- moments in the months I spent there.
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? I would say Michel Foucault. I'd want to know what he thought of our contemporary digital culture, of computation, and queer studies as it has grown since his death in 1984.
What news source could you not live without? Twitter
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Scholarly crushes seem silly. Ideal colleague maybe? Dream collaborator? Academic role model? There are too many to list!
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? facebook.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Laptop, though mostly because I OCR everything to make it text-searchable for future reference.
"I procrastinate by using the internet! Doesn't everyone?"
"My dream job would be I've wanted to be a professor for almost fifteen years, and that's the job I now have." 
"The subject of media theory incites my curiosity the most. I realize that is silly, but it's true. I find our weird non-discipline endlessly fascinating, and it's fascinating to watch it change and grow." 
"My best day at NYU was when I defended my dissertation? Honestly my best day was when I got into the PhD program, since it was the start of everything else."
"Living in NYC is complicated."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was it's been years since I took a class, I don't know that I can say! On the whole it was much more cumulative: getting to know faculty, finding my research area, understanding the field. These are all bigger than any single cool thing."

Amy Gillman, BS | MCC Academic Achievement Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? It's so hard to pick just one, but on the top of the list are Lies My Teacher Told Me & the Cellist of Sarajevo
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Howard Zinn
What news source could you not live without? My yahoo news feed: a healthy mix of serious breaking news and the latest in pop culture and the juicy celebrity gossip I pretend not to love.
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Film scholar and author Brent Toplin
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? Imaginationcreations.com: my unofficial production company in high school when I had the time of my life making marvelously amateur short films. 
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Laptop. Microsoft Word's notebook format. Being able to organize my notes with those colorful tabs makes the perfectionist in me smile.
"I procrastinate by browsing my collections of film scores to find music that pertains to whatever essay I'm writing and meticulously cleaning my desk because I'm convinced both help me think better."
"My dream job would be working in educational media, ie: The History Channel, Discovery Communications or PBS."
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Emerging new forms of entertainment media: the documentary/reality TV hybrid and popular docudramas like The Bible.
"My best day at NYU was when a professor told me that he was so impressed by my work in his class that he wished I would one day be a teacher."
"Living in NYC is a whirlwind love/hate relationship."
"My MCC degree is going to help me explore a wide-ranging variety of career possibilities."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was the multi-layered, ever changing tropes of depicting "otherness" are literally inescapable in all forms of media."

Joshua Goldfond, MA | Academic Achievement Award in Interaction and Social Processes
What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra & Simulation
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Michel Foucault, to hear his assessment of how Western society has progressed in its "Panopticonism" since his death. It would be an illuminating and depressing conversation. 
What news source could you not live without? I usually compile long articles I find online into the 'Instapaper' app, and then read them when I can.
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? This answer is a bit of a cheat, but probably Jorge Luis Borges. His ability to synthesize Western literary/cultural history with issues of modernity, simulacra and surrealism mesh nicely with many of MCC's readings.
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.google.google, for when ICANN inevitably expands the number of domain letters, then for a very brief while enjoy massive traffic for whatever nonsense I devise. 
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Still in a notebook.
"I procrastinate by using the Internet, computer games, books, the phone, music. Most forms of sound, light, heat, etc."
"My dream job would be something fast-paced, fun, creative, progressive, and gratifying to the ego (in a socially responsible way, of course)."
"The subject of the future, and how to make it a good one, incites my curiosity the most." 
"My best day at NYU was presenting my Professional Writing assignment and/or the first time going out for pizza with the people who were to become my circle of friends."
"Living in NYC ages the body but keeps the mind sharp."
"My MCC degree is going to help me open up new opportunities, or at the very least continue to expand my understanding of the world."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was that, intentional or not, almost all media imagery carries a deeper narrative about society that we unconsciously digest. Use media wisely."
Madhurim Gupta, MA | Steinhardt Samuel Eshborn Service Award; Academic Achievement Award in Technology and Society/Global and Transcultural Communication

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Before MCC: Iravati Karve's Yuganta; At MCC: Butler's Gender Trouble
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Marx & Freud...together!
What news source could you not live without? Economist
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? (Not really academic, but...) Gabriel Garcia Marquez
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? survivedglobalwarming.not.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper?  Pen & paper
"I procrastinate by listening to music. Currently streaming Red Barat & Heinrichs-Hirtenfellner
"My dream job would be developing creative strategies for tech companies that lead to equitable & sustainable development."
"The subject of values being always-already built into technology incites my curiosity the most."  
"My best day at NYU was when I discovered the awesomeness of Bobst!"
"Living in NYC is, to borrow from Berlant, *Cruel Optimism*"
"My MCC degree is going to help me pursue BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was phantom ringing in LeBoff; boredom & distraction in Rethinking Reading; neo-cannibalism in Globalization...

Jen Heuson, PhD | Distinguished Dissertation Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Steven Connor's Edison's Teeth: Touching Hearing
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Rebecca Solnit
What news source could you not live without? New York Times Op-Docs
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Hent de Vries
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? smallgauge.org
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pencil and paper
"I procrastinate by watching trending videos on HuluPlus."
"My dream job would be a professor at Evergreen State College during the day and a sci-fi novelist at night."
"The subject stone tape theory incites my curiosity the most."  
"My best day at NYU was drinking Stumptown in Washington Square right after successfully defending my dissertation."
"Living in NYC is exhausting and exhilarating."
"My MCC degree is going to help me pursue an academic career while making theoretically-inspired experimental films."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was that great critical cultural theory requires paranoia (see Eve Sedgwick)."

Aziza Ingram, BS | Outstanding Service to the Department Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Patrick Califia's Manliness
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Thurgood Marshall
What news source could you not live without? Human Rights Watch
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Bryan Stevenson (NYU Law)
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? IamZee.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pen and paper
"I procrastinate by sleeping."
"My dream job would be Supreme Court Justice."
"The subject Philosophy of Happiness incites my curiosity the most." 
"My best day at NYU was when I learned I met the new requirement to pass a core class."
"Living in NYC is difficult but worth the struggle."
"My MCC degree is going to help me understand how to use the Media to my advantage."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was the art of Persuasion is not always used for evil."

Tilottama Karlekar, PhD | Distinguished Dissertation Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? More like a series of aha moments. Most recently, Ariella Azoulay's The Civil Contract of Photography helped tie together some critical ideas for my dissertation.
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Can I call a conference? For some reason, Walter Benjamin is top of mind.
What news source could you not live without? Try to not rely on any one, but I have to say I start my day with nytimes.com
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Changeable depending on what I'm thinking about.
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? Hmm. Don't know, really.
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Usually pencil/paper, but iPad a close second these days.
"I procrastinate by social networking while pretending that it's research."
"My dream job would be writer, scholar, teacher, traveler."
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Impossible to narrow down to just one!
"My best day at NYU was when I defended my dissertation."
"Living in NYC is energizing and inspiring."
"My MCC degree is going to help me find a good job doing the things that I enjoy doing most."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was would be impossible to sum up succinctly here."

Rachel Kuo, MA | Steinhardt E. George Payne Memorial Prize; Outstanding Service to the Department Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Creole Indigeneity by Shona Jackson in thinking through race, indigeneity, racism, and colonialism
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Audre Lorde or Stuart Hall
What news source could you not live without? Colorlines.com
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Lisa Nakamura
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? I wish I could continue the dream that is antioppressivebabyanimals.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Laptop
"I procrastinate by looking at puppies on adoption sites, searching for the perfect gif, and catching up on work emails."
"My dream job would be Professor. In an alternate universe, writing scripts for animal documentaries or those terrible SyFy movies that pair unlikely creatures together."
"The subject feminist technologies incites my curiosity the most."
"My best day at NYU was when participating in the A/P/A Institute's Scholar Slam. Also discovering Saigon Shack."
"Living in NYC is complicated."
"My MCC degree is going to help me think more critically about the role of tech and media in social movements."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was starting to learn how to map race online and define racialized web space."

Jimin Lee, MA | Distinguished Thesis Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Giorgio Agamben's The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government, in Religion and Media class.
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Dead: Michel Foucault. Alive: Giorgio Agamben
What news source could you not live without? 'Multiple' news sources
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.facebook.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Two color pens (Pilot: Hi-Tec-C) and paper
"The subject of the dialectic of people and things/events incites my curiosity the most."
"Living in NYC is what I strive to achieve everyday!"
"My dream job would be in a place that values freedom of thinking and creating."
"My best day at NYU was when I first facilitated one of the undergraduate seminars as a teaching assistant."
"My MCC degree is going to help me pay closer attention to my surroundings and see the layers of complexity."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was about myself, that I get excited in every class."

Lana Lin, PhD | Distinguished Dissertation Award

If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? All of the above
"I procrastinate by doing surveys like this."
"My dream job would be one that allows me to be myself and challenges me at the same time."
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Too many to name.
"Living in NYC is what keeps me vital."
"My MCC degree is going to help me live my ideals of thinking and acting creatively, critically, and ethically."

 

Jesse Lindsey, MA | Distinguished Thesis Award; Academic Achievement Award in Visual Culture & Cultural Studies

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? The Culture Industry by Horkheimer and Adorno. It made me feel self-consciously conservative, which made me both angry and depressed.
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Marshall McLuhan
What news source could you not live without? I know it makes me a millennial cliche, but it's The Daily Show with John Stewart, and I'm going to have to learn to live without it very soon.
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? R. Murray Schafer, who gave us the study of soundscapes.
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.sounds.com. It's simple and beautiful, and probably hasn't been available since the 90s.
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? A laptop in class. I'm a devotee to Evernote. I also have 400 moleskines for working through ideas, and I only write in pencil.
"I procrastinate by reading lots and lots of comic books. I also make up songs."
"My dream job would be any job that would allow me to write. More specifically, I'd really like to be a university professor. I'd settle for blogger, though. Or Rock Star."
"The subject Sound Studies incites my curiosity the most."  
"My best day at NYU was when I got to lecture to 200 undergrads. It was gratifying to share some of what I've learned here."
"Living in NYC is loud! Re: my interest in sound studies."
"My MCC degree is going to help me finally get a job!"
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was that there is no consensus on what media even is, and that the unseen media that escape our working definitions are likely those that are most crucially impressed upon our experience."

Liang Pan, MA | Academic Achievement Award in Persuasion and Politics/Global and Transcultural Communication

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Neil Postman
What news source could you not live without? I digest news from multiple sources, different nations, and in different languages.
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Michel Foucault
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.foxnews.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Laptop and pencil/paper
"I procrastinate by social media binge."
"My dream job would be to be a college professor."
"The subject Dark Energy & Dark Matter in Astrophysics incites my curiosity the most." 
"My best day at NYU was when I completed my MA thesis."
"Living in NYC is fulfilling and stressful."
"My MCC degree is going to help me observe the tangled relations between media, technology and society with a critical eye."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was the Medium is the Massage!"

Divya Ram, MA | Outstanding Service to the Department Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Langdon Winner - Do Artifacts Have Politics?
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Martin Heidegger (maybe I can finally truly understand 'The Question Concerning Technology')
What news source could you not live without? Google News
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Neil Postman
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.gopsych.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pencil/Paper
"I procrastinate by re-watching episodes of Community and Brooklyn Nine-Nine!"
"My dream job would be something that makes me happy and makes a difference. Hopefully I'll know what that is one of these days."
"The subject film and media criticism incites my curiosity the most." 
"My best day at NYU was when I turned in my Professional Research and Writing final paper."
"Living in NYC is like a dream where you run into your idols, like Wes Anderson, TWICE!"
"My MCC degree is going to help me think critically, dig deep, and never take anything for granted."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was everything we discussed in the Media Criticism course!"

Melissa Sakow, MA | Academic Achievement Award in Visual Culture & Cultural Studies

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Grace Lee Boggs' The Next American Revolution
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? C. S. Lewis
What news source could you not live without? NPR
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Wittgenstein
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? moxie.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Laptop
"I procrastinate by browsing interior design sites."
"My dream job would be director of a nonprofit."
"The subject of faith incites my curiosity the most." 
"My best day at NYU was when I got to help lead a class in drawing their ideas of democracy.
"Living in NYC is tasty."
"My MCC degree is going to help me work for an organization that values creativity and democracy as much as I do."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was that anarchy isn't nonsense."

Atena Sheibani-Nejad, BS | Outstanding Service to the Department Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Frantz Fanon
What news source could you not live without? Al Jazeera
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Edward Said
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.netflix.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pencil and paper
"I procrastinate by investigating 'Game of Thrones' fan theories, listening to top chart hits from the early 2000s and cleaning. Simultaneously."
"My dream job would be to fulfill my childhood dream of being a novelist."
"The subject feminism in the Middle East incites my curiosity the most."  
"My best day at NYU was when I turned in my thesis."
"Living in NYC is several cups of black coffee throughout the day and loving every drop."
"My MCC degree is going to help me appreciate, discuss and contribute to the changing social, political and technological climate of our time."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was how to critically analyze all the media that I consume, especially the news."

Stella Yu, MA | Scholarship in Memory of Barbara Rose Haum

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire, for my research on Socially Engaged Art
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Barbara Rose Haum
What news source could you not live without? The Internet
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Pierre Bourdieu
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? havenofear.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Evernote on my laptop, iPad, phone
"My dream job would be one that I need to be creative every day."
"The subject media and social changes incites my curiosity the most."  
"I procrastinate by daydreaming."
"My best day at NYU was when I first met everyone at the orientation and I was so excited about all the adventures I could have in the next two years."
"Living in NYC is adventurous."
"My MCC degree is going to help me to become a better media professional."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was how the metaphysical theories can actually have an influence on the physical world."