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Departmental Awards | Media, Culture, and Communication

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The Department of Media, Culture, and Communication is pleased to announce the recipients of its departmental awards — recognizing students from the Class of 2022 for their exceptional academic work and service across degree programs.

Here they share some of their most memorable encounters (readings, coursework), experiences (global study, student clubs, aha! moments), and accomplishments from their time at NYU.

Not pictured: Lamia Baldadi, Barbara Haum Memorial Scholarship; Ria Citrin, MA Academic Achievement Award; Ananya Gouthi, MA Academic Achievement Award & Outstanding Service to the Department Award; Elizabeth Safaryn, Outstanding Honors Thesis Award

headshot of Demi Ayeye

If you want to be represented truthfully, as a complicated, nuanced, and diverse group, then you must do the work to represent yourself. To skillfully resist the dominant narrative and present an alternate (more accurate truth). This was my aha! moment in figuring out how I want to approach representing myself and people like me to the world.

Demi Ayeye, Steinhardt Convocation Speaker
headshot of Maame Attakora

The class Crime, Violence and Media with Professor Aurora Wallace in Paris was a favorite. We visited local police stations, watched film noirs to better understand the nuances behind the portrayal of crime and violence in the media, and got blessed with choosing our own final research topic.

Maame Attakora, Outstanding Service to the Department
headshot of Angela Arias-Zapata

My favorite MCC seminars were Black Feminist Thought and Labor, Technology, and Capitalism. In both cases I enjoyed how dynamic our seminar discussions were. I felt challenged by the discipline and analytic skills of my peers, which made me work more in turn.

Angela Arias-Zapata, MCC Dissertation Distinction
headshot of Evelyn Beltrani

As a transfer student from a community college, I am proud of how much I have grown throughout my college experience. The person I was freshman year would never have been able to confidently achieve and create as much as I have, and I have NYU's guidance and push for independence to thank for that.

Evelyn Beltrani, MCC Academic Achievement Award
headshot of Meghan Bevan

I did not anticipate how much I would love leading class discussions and learning from my students. I am proud of the fact that I get to work with them, get to know their diverse points of view, and teach them how to become better students and writers. 

Meghan Bevan, MCC Academic Achievement Award
headshot of Alex Capria

My absolute favorite reading that I encountered from this program was Natasha Schüll's Addiction by Design. It really transforms the way you view technology as something that's fundamentally changing the way people behave and interact with each other and the world.

Alex Capria, MCC Academic Achievement Award
headshot of Megan Feng

A favorite course was Professor Xi Lin's Media in China at NYU Shanghai. It was really fun to learn political communication theory and conduct interdisciplinary research for our essays in the context of my hometown.

Megan Feng, Global Media Scholar Recognition Award
headshot of Evon Gao

The global media seminar classes I took in Paris, Shanghai, and New York provided a completely different angle to observe life and culture.

Evon Gao, Global Media Scholar Recognition Award
headshot of William Gonzales

My proudest moment was having the opportunity to present a paper at the New York State Communication Association this past autumn.

William Gonzales, Outstanding Service to the Department
headshot of Yoav Halperin

Paula Chakravartty's course about Digital Politics introduced me to the topics and debates that informed my dissertation.

Yoav Halperin, Outstanding Teaching Award
picture of Adelaide Han outside with trees

In Professor Cat Schmitz’s Critical Making course, I experienced physical computing for the first time in my life. From lighting up a LED to curating a critical prototype about gaming accessibility, I savored the sense of accomplishment of learning through making.

Adelaide Han, Outstanding Service to the MCC Media Lab
Headshot of Zikang He

A favorite class was Systems Thinking taught by Professor Angela Wu. It offered new ways of thinking about the world around us.

Zikang He, MCC Distinction in the Professional Writing Seminar
picture of student Grace Lim

My proudest accomplishment as an NYU student is when I presented my MCC Honors Thesis about the ‘Zemmix’, a 1985 Korean Video Game Console, in front of department faculty members, professors, fellow honors students, and my family (through zoom, all the way from the other side of the world during a weird time of the day for them!). The presentation day was not only a celebration, but personally a way for me to convey to everyone the efforts I took, the experiences, and learning progress I overcame to reach that achievement.

Grace Lim, Outstanding Honors Thesis Award
picture of Kira Liu at the Brooklyn Bridge

My favorite NYU class was Consciousness, an intro to philosophy class taught by Professor Ned Block. This is the class that prompted me to pursue a double major in philosophy, and it was the best decision.

Kira (Yuxin) Liu, Global Media Scholar Recognition Award
headshot of Malu Mirones

After my last class for Innovations in Marketing, me and a few other students from the course stayed behind in the Zoom to talk with Professor Hashim and hear about her experiences working as a creative director and professor. Even though it was online, this moment is something I will always cherish because it made online education feel so real and present, even if I was in an entirely different country at the time. It made me long for a physical classroom and an interaction with the professor and the other students who stayed behind, but, as I sat on my kitchen counter at home, I felt a deep sense of appreciation for the opportunities I still had regardless of the pandemic. 

Malu Mirones, MCC Academic Achievement Award
headshot of Nichaka Phumee

My favorite class was Topics in Digital Media: Algorithmic Cultures by Professor Angela Wu.... After graduation, I will work as a reporter and producer at Radio Thailand, in the Government Public Relations Department.

Nichaka Phumee, MCC Academic Achievement Award
picture of Connor Silverstein wearing a red shirt

One of my proudest moments was becoming a Peer Mentor. It was a tough job, especially since my section was at 8 AM, entirely online, and half of my mentees were taking it from Shanghai. However, I worked my hardest to make our New Student Seminar engaging, educational, and fun, with one-on-one meetings, my own creative ideas for our seminars, and events for my mentees outside of our class time. I am proud of myself for applying for the position and putting in the work to make this experience a great one for them, as well as for myself.

Connor Silverstein, Outstanding Service to the Department
picture of Ariel with the brooklyn bridge behind

As the former VP of Events and Productions for NYU's CommClub during a time of adapting to the current climate, I was able to make genuine connections through a time of isolation. Now as the current President, I've been able to hone my delegation skills. It's been an amazing experience.

Ariel Shoulman, Outstanding Service to the Department
picture of Kaitlyn Stewart

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin produced the biggest aha! moment for me.... In our modern age of 'copies' being easy to create and share via cameras and social media, this reading brings new meaning to how art is valued. 

Kaitlyn Stewart, Outstanding Service to the Department
picture of Dan Wiley wearing a dark blazer and glasses

Looking back, my favorites courses were the required classes because they sustained an opportunity to be in regular critical conversation with my cohort — brilliant scholars, all — despite our disparate interests and divergent directions. Invaluable.

Dan Wiley, MCC Dissertation Distinction
Leilei Xu in front of water and tall buildings

I took several coding classes during my time at NYU which empowered me to express ideas in more creative and powerful ways.

Leilei Xu, Outstanding Service to the Department
Ada Yang holding an iced coffee

My proudest accomplishment is studying at 3 amazing global NYU campuses. I especially loved my experience in Prague, although it ended early due to Covid.

Ada Yang, Global Media Scholar Recognition Award

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