Student Award Winners 2016

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.

Hessa Al-Mohannadi, MA | Outstanding Service to the Department Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Everything I read in MCC Core. My background wasn't in media studies so reading the MCC Core readings really clicked for me. 
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Michel Foucault
What news source could you not live without? Google Alerts!
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Don't think I have a specific one in mind but anyone who is passionate and excited by what they are teaching/researching 
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Identity politics and globalization 
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? For practical reasons I would go with my name. I wish I had more of a creative answer but I can't think of anything else!
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? I found that taking notes on my laptop is the easiest way to stay organized and reduce wastage 
"I procrastinate by cleaning my apartment, doing house chores, and watching netflix."
"My dream job would be a professor!"
"My best day at NYU was probably my first day at orientation or graduation day."
"Living in NYC is a learning experience."
"My MCC degree is going to help me with my PhD and hopefully finding a job in the future."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was my whole study abroad experience in London."

John Bautista, BS | Outstanding Service to the Department Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Erving Goffman
What news source could you not live without? Too many... Twitter helps consolidate them!
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Michel Foucault
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Intersectional feminism
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.beyonce.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pencil and paper all the way.
"I procrastinate by cooking."
"My dream job would be a talent agent."
"My best day at NYU was when I gave my first tour of NYU. I remember my excitement when I visited, so it was great to pass it on."
"Living in NYC is delicious."
"My MCC degree is going to help me promote diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was the history and development of disability rights and activism. Shout-out to Professor Mara Mills!"

Sahil Bhattad, MA | Academic Achievement Award: Interaction and Social Processes; Persuasion and Politics; Scholarship in Memory of Barbara Rose Haum

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Professor Allen Feldman's Formation of Violence and Image-Music-Text by Roland Barthes. These two books, together, helped me make sense of some of my most poignant life experiences. 
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Antonio Gramsci and Stuart Hall. I'd also like to meet Lydia Davis to chat about her short stories.
What news source could you not live without? I save articles from various sources in an app called Pocket and read them later. But I do rely on The Hindu a lot. 
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Arundhati Roy. Always.  
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Art & Politics
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.yugpath.com—That's the name of the organization that my friends and I started. It's available, I just need to buy it.  
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Laptop/Ipad (Notability app) in class, but I need paper and pen to make all kinds of flowcharts while writing papers. 
"I procrastinate by listening to Indian classical music. I always end up reading about the artist, writing about the piece of music, and sharing it with friends."
"My dream job would be working with classical musicians and dancers to revamp the traditional literature of these forms to address contemporary political issues."
"My best day at NYU was when I discovered the "Ask NYU Libraries" feature. These faceless magicians are some of the most incredible heroes at NYU."
"Living in NYC is often incredibly difficult and demoralizing. But, in rare moments, it is also exceptionally beautiful."
"My MCC degree is going to help me think critically, identify art and politics in everyday life, and engage with the society in meaningful ways."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was why we all look so terrible in our photo IDs. According to Professor Nicholas Mirzoeff, it is because 'that's how the State sees us.'"

Lucy Drummond, MA | Academic Achievement Award: Persuasion and Politics; Global and Transcultural Communication
What reading produced the biggest aha moment? The Printing Revolution by Elizabeth Eisenstein and the entire syllabus for Professor Nicole Starosielski's Digital Media & Materiality seminar. Especially the chapter Kernel: Code in Time and Space in Adrian Mackenzie's Cutting Code: Software and Sociality.   
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Walter Benjamin
What news source could you not live without? The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Bertrand Russell and Naomi Klein
What subject incites your curiosity the most? How people create meaning with the tools they are given in their daily lives.
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? anyurl.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Paper!!!! Typing doesn’t allow things to sink in to your critical thinking repertoire as much.
"I procrastinate by reading classical novels."
"My dream job would be making books by Walden Pond (writing and stitching them)."
"My best day at NYU was when Nicole Starosielski said she would be my thesis advisor. She was walking very quickly, and I ran after her to be sure she had heard what I was asking."
"Living in NYC is just like home! (I am from 18th street and 3rd.)"
"My MCC degree is going to help me innovate/participate in anything. Media is involved in every aspect of our lives, so it's a great opening for a variety of disciplines."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was that wireless really just means the wires are hidden."
Zachary Loeb, MA | Academic Achievement Award: Technology and Society; Distinguished Thesis Award
What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor by Rob Nixon. This book does a fantastic (and jarring) job of laying out the long term environmental and ethical consequences that flow from technological societies. 
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Lewis Mumford, Simone Weil, Hannah Arendt, Gunther Anders, Jacques Ellul and too many others to name. Don't make me pick!
What news source could you not live without? I think I'd be much happier if I went without any news sources. That being said: Democracy Now! and Economic Update.
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? That's a rather personal question.
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Attempts by humans to readjust themselves in order to survive in the human built world. 
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.luddite.com "No general but Ludd means the poor any good."
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? I used to take notes by Morse code, but a professor objected to the incessant tapping, so now I use a pen and a notebook.
"I procrastinate by writing science fiction, re-arranging my books, playing the accordion (the more I practice the worse I get!), and working full time."
"My dream job would be when I was a child I used to tell people that my dream job was to be a Rabbi on a pirate ship, if that opportunity presented itself I think I’d still take it. Failing that, I imagine that being the captain of a Federation starship would be an interesting adventure, until I get assimilated by the Borg, that is."
"My best day at NYU was when a paper I had written in the Media and the Environment course was accepted for presentation at SHOT’s annual conference. Though being a TA in the department has been an, ongoing, awesome experience!"
"Living in NYC is overrated."
"My MCC degree is going to help me to incorporate discussions of media into my broader research examining the critique of technology and resistance to technological change."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was that resistance is not futile. It just feels like it is."
Amy Lu, BS | Outstanding Service to the Department Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Zygmunt Bauman's theories on postmodern consumerism, armchair activism, and political inequality
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Roméo Dallaire
What news source could you not live without? TechCrunch, Fast Company, The New York Times, The New Yorker
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Professor Colm O'Shea who continuously challenged me to dig deeper into my views of the world, and how to pen those thoughts onto paper
What subject incites your curiosity the most? The emotion-driven relationship between brand and consumer
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.techcrunch.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pencil and paper always!
"I procrastinate by reading wikipedia spoilers, cleaning, reading my kindle, playing video games, and watching Friends....this is a lot."
"My dream job would be working in consumer insights and strategy at a tech company whose mission statement, values, and impact goals align with mine."
"My best day at NYU was when I got to attend Advertising Week as part of my Disney internship and hear from some of the most talented professionals in the tech industry."
"Living in NYC is exciting, exhausting, challenging, motivating, and sprinting to make it onto the N/R train."
"My MCC degree is going to help me think critically, be curious, and consistently analyze the always changing relationship between society and the media/technology landscape."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was Fashion and Power—Linking Bauman's theories with fashion politics in our consumerist society and present day political strategies."

Magdalena Sabat, PhD | Distinguished Dissertation Award
What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Edward Said's Orientalism
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Clifford Geertz
What news source could you not live without? Local news, I love the construction of everyday drama and the animal stories
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Debra Satz
What subject incites your curiosity the most? space/astronauts/Star Trek NG/sci-fi
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.omgcatsinspace.com (You made me think of trying to buy it!)
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? pencil/ paper
"I procrastinate by cleaning/daydreaming/thinking about zombie apocalypse."
"My dream job would be a 17th century pirate ship captain!" 
"My best day at NYU was when I met my cohort."
"Living in NYC is like going to the dentist, until you’re in the chair you don’t know if you’re a ok doing great or need a root canal!"
"My MCC degree is going to help me 
engage with the media, culture, and communication community in Toronto."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was 'The dream of communication stops short of all the hard stuff. Sending clear messages might not make for better relations; we might like each other less the more we understood about one another.'" (John Durham Peters)
Rebeca Herrero Saenz, MA | Distinguished Thesis Award
What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Tricks of the Trade by Howard Becker
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Jane Addams
What news source could you not live without? Publico.es and eldiario.es, to keep up with what happens back home
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Howard Becker
What subject incites your curiosity the most? The social and cultural dimensions of mental health
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.cats.com, because I am a crazy cat lady
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? pen and paper
"I procrastinate by watching DIY YouTube tutorials and sometimes putting them in practice."
"My dream job would be a full-time professor." 
"My best day at NYU was when I turned in my thesis. Accomplishment feels good."
"Living in NYC is unpredictable (and expensive)."
"My MCC degree is going to help me
get into a Ph.D. program!"
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was the many ways in which artifacts have politics."
Luke Stark, PhD | Outstanding Teacher Award
What reading produced the biggest aha moment? To be entirely honest, Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death (read while in line to see a Star Wars prequel). I thought, "I have to figure out where this guy teaches..."
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Susan Leigh Starr (a genius of STS/infrastructure studies, now sadly deceased)
What news source could you not live without? Talking Points Memo
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Eden Medina. Or Arlie Russell Hochschild. Or Elizabeth Wilson. Or...
What subject incites your curiosity the most? History
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.stark.org
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? iPad (my writing's illegible even to me)
"I procrastinate by rearranging my book shelves and sorting my PDFs."
"My dream job would be a Las Vegas lounge singer. Or, you know, the whole academic career thing..." 
"My best day at NYU was when I went on a field trip to a museum on the Upper East side as a TA, and in doing so met my future fiance."
"Living in NYC is better than going back to Party City, but probably more expensive."
"My MCC degree is going to help me 
self-diagnose, and give medical advice on airplanes. Or, you know, the whole academic career thing..."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was that the people I go to school with are the smartest people I know."
Audrey Turner, MA | Academic Achievement Award: Interaction and Social Processes; Visual Culture

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Lacan's Mirror Stage
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? 
Susan Sontag
What news source could you not live without?
The New Yorker
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? 
I promise I'm not trying to be a teacher's pet, but my thesis advisor Marita Sturken.
What subject incites your curiosity the most?
Dark Tourism
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? mediastudies.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pencil and paper
"I procrastinate by Pinterest! Though my studies always creep in...Recently procrastination led me to browsing a stranger's Pinterest and sandwiched between "Hair" and "Nails" was a board dedicated to "9/11"...Not sure what to make of it..."
"My dream job would be working as a professor."
"My best day at NYU was when I read all of the positive comments from the students in my recitation. It was very rewarding to hear that I was a helpful TA to them."
"Living in NYC is more fun than I expected."
"My MCC degree is going to help me become a Professor one day!"
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was that activism can be so many different things, not just participating in a 'traditional' protest. Reading is activism, walking is activism, and so on. I learned this in several of Nick Mirzoeff's classes, and it still feels like a really exciting and liberating fact /possibility to me."

John Watson, MA | Outstanding Service to the Department Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Langdon Winner's "Do Artifacts Have Politics?" is one that I keep returning to. 
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Stuart Hall
What news source could you not live without? The New York Times is cliche. But, The New York Times. 
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Jane McGonigal
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Drawing connections between (dis)ability and video games
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.theotherjohnwatson.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Always pen and paper 
"I procrastinate by adding things to my cart on Amazon and then deleting them from my cart."
"My dream job would be working with a highly-skilled team of dogs and dolphins on important issues."
"My best day at NYU was when I began receiving emails that referred to me as "Professor Watson." 
"Living in NYC is different every day."
"My MCC degree is going to help me think critically about digital design challenges and instill a mission for accessibility throughout my career."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was how to conduct my body during a political sit-in."

Kelli Wheatley, BS | Academic Achievement Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Adorno and Horkheimer's "The Culture Industries." I didn't even have a solid grasp of what capitalism meant when I came to NYU, so this piece was a huge eye-opener when it comes to how the capitalist system and entertainment production are so intricately linked. 
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Judith Butler! I'd love to hear her perspective on the effectuality of the current "feminist wave" and how she thinks we're doing as a culture on breaking down gender stereotypes. 
What news source could you not live without? CNN. Boring, yes, but it tells me what I need to know! 
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Michel Foucault. From authors to panopticons to biopower, his work has come up in almost every class I've taken and it is always so fascinating! Plus he's French.
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Higher education. I hope to get my Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs.
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.thebrowneyedschoolgirl.com 
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pencil and paper! And definitely pencil, not pen. 
"I procrastinate by Napping...a girl's gotta sleep!"
"My dream job would be an Admissions Counselor at a top-tier university."
"My best day at NYU was when I gave my first tour of the campus as an Admissions Ambassador. I've never been so proud to bleed violet and to share my love for the school with prospective students!"
"Living in NYC is stimulating, exciting, enthralling, ever-evolving and life-changing."
"My MCC degree is going to help me apply the various communication skills I have studied to bettering my presence as a professional, and use my media-analyzing skills to be a critical consumer of mass media content."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was about French media and culture in my Global Media Seminar in Paris. It is so different than ours, and really helped me navigate the city while I was studying there."

Carlin Wing, PhD | Distinguished Dissertation Award

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Margaret Cavendish
What news source could you not live without? Public Radio 
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Douglas Adams
What subject incites your curiosity the most? Gravity
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? cakeisgr8.com 
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Notebook/pen to laptop to pen/paper printouts back to laptop back to notebook...
"I procrastinate by staring at walls."
"My dream job would be a deep sea diver."
"My best day at NYU was when Kouross brought me a birthday cupcake."
"Living in NYC is something good."
"My MCC degree is going to help me connect the dots."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was that in the 19th century blocks of ice were harvested from ponds around the Boston area and shipped to Hawaii (thanks Hi'ilei Hobart for teaching me about how we come to have tastes for cool temperatures)."

Grace Xia, MA | Academic Achievement Award: Global and Transcultural Communication

What reading produced the biggest aha moment? Foucault's The History of Sexuality
If you could meet any scholar, dead or alive, who would it be? Michel Foucault
What news source could you not live without? BBC Global News
Who is your biggest scholarly crush? Judith Butler
What subject incites your curiosity the most? China's gender and family issues
If you could buy any URL, what would the address be? www.respectwomen.com
Note taking: laptop, iPad, or pencil/paper? Pencil and paper
"I procrastinate by perfectionism tendencies."
"Living in NYC is enjoying and getting used to something unexpected."
"My dream job would be teaching in a higher educational institution in mainland China."
"My best day at NYU was when my teammates and I worked out an activism project entitled 'Depression Impression.'"
"My MCC degree is going to help me be a more interesting person."
"The coolest thing I learned in an MCC class was being aware that there exists a variety of world views and respecting different lifestyles from mine."