Announcing Our 2021 Undergraduate Research Fellows

30 Jan, 2021

Announcing Our 2021 Undergraduate Research Fellows

Each year, the Berkeley Center for New Media pairs undergraduates with a graduate student mentor, offering them the chance to complete real, graduate level research while at Cal. We are thrilled to announce this year's Fellows.

Choyang Ponsar

Choyang is an Interdisciplinary Studies major, interested in the intersection between design, new media technologies, and creative coding. In addition to being a recipient of BCNM's 2021 Undergraduate Certificate program, Choyang has worked at The HUB as a newspaper section editor, where she regularly designed the entire layout of the section and ensured the credibility and quality of all articles. As a product design fellow at the UC Berkeley Institute for Engineering Leadership, she assists clients in using biodiversity conservation+technology to develop solutions addressing the significant issues that marginalized communities face.

Choyang will be working with Tory Jeffay on The Forensic Imaginary, a project that investigates the role of photography and film as tools of evidence within policing and the law. From police body cameras to facial recognition algorithims, new media technologies have emerged as producers of evidence utilized by both law practicioners and the public. This project examines the signifiance of the camera and other contemporary mediums of visual evidence in mediating negotiations of power, knowledge, and visibility in the current day.

Choyang will help build and manage an archive of newspaper research on police departments' decades-long held desires to produce a "motion picture rogues' gallery".

Riley Lenane

Riley Lenane is a second-year undergraduate purusing the Society and the Environment major. She has been an intern at Immunocologie, a sustainable skincare company since Fall 2020, and will be applying the knowledge and skills she has developed druing this internship.

Riley will work closely with Lindsey Ogle on Lifestyle Influencers.This project researches influencers, hashtags, and trends in the wellness and self-care space on social media. Such work includes identifying start-ups and entrepreneurs on social media, data mining and cataloging existing media related to wellness or self, coordinating research interviews with workers in media, and potentially helping to develop or co-author a paper on the findings. Lyndsey hopes that through this development of an ethical and multi-modal research practice, Riley will be aided in her future academic endeavours and professional work within the realm of sustainable design.

Riley will help Lyndsey conduct online ethnographic resesearch on the performance of lifestyle influencers promoting "self-care" and "wellness" in social media.

Jessie Mindel

Jessie is purusing Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. As a product design consultant at Berkeley Innovation and a TA for Berkeley's Web Design DeCal, Jessie has a passion for building solutions that help people connect more deeply with themselves, others, and the world around them through new, unlikely modes of creative interaction.

Her interest in the intersection between engineering, design, art, and new media greatly aligns with Molly Nicholas's research on tools that address the educational gaps that have occurred as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, Molly's work identified unique strategies and techniques for managing process and documentation used by expert practicioners across disciplines such as violin making, tapestry weaving, and performance. This year, Jessie will help in enhancing the Kaleidoscope project - a tool for remote collaboration designed to enable visual foraging and inform conversations between intructors and students about their own metcognitive creative processes. Specifically, she will continue to be involved in the design and development of Kaleidoscope, plan and assist with workshops and interviews with students, instructors, and expert praciticioners, and synthesize and aggregate insights from collected data.

Ultimately, Jessie will participate in making Kaleidoscope a multidimensional tool for fostering rich collaborations through the preservation of creative history.

Jahara Cayablab

Jahara is an Integrative Biology Major. Jahara has previously worked at dNaga as an admin support and chaperone. There, she interviewed dancers with Parkinson's Disease and transcribed them to be added to a published book on Parkinson's Disease.

Jahara will work with Haripriya Sathyanarayanan on Immersive Virtual Environments. Jahara will work on data collection and analysis to help understand the experiences and needs of children within the inpatient department of a children's hospital as it relates to the built environment and patient spaces. These (now online!) interviews will take place in partnership with the Oakland Benioff children's hospital. Jahara might also be able to help Haripriya pilot an experimental study and VR proof of concept by integrating the immersive experience with biosensor data and the analytics platform, using Unity3D and scripting.