Congratulating our 2021 Graduates

21 May, 2021

Congratulating our 2021 Graduates

Congratulations to our Spring 2021 BCNM graduates! We are sad to say farewell to these amazing graduate students who have played crucial roles within BCNM life. But we’re so proud of their accomplishments here at Cal and can’t wait to see all the incredible scholarly work they produce in the future.

Designated Emphasis

Miyoko Conley

Miyoko Conley is graduating with a PhD in Performance Studies and a Designated Emphasis in New Media. Her research focuses on transnational audience engagement with Asian popular culture, particularly in anime and K-pop media and theatre ecologies. More broadly, she writes about the intersections of theatre and popular culture, and examines how media phenomena impact traditional theatre spaces, as well as theatricality in online spaces. At BCNM, Miyoko received the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award in 2021. She has also received grants to present widely at national theatre and media conferences, and has been published in Transformative Works and Cultures and a forthcoming collection on video games and Asia. Miyoko is also an award-winning playwright and performer, and at Berkeley served as co-director for the New Play Reading Series, which supports new works by playwrights from around the country.

Lashon Daley

Lashon Daley is graduating with her PhD in Performance Studies and Designated Emphasis in New Media. Beginning fall 2021, Lashon will be the assistant professor of Black Children's Literature at San Diego State University. Her dissertation, Black Girl Lit: The Coming of (R)age Performances in Contemporary U.S. Black Girlhood Narratives, 1989-2019, charts how literature, film, television, and social media has helped shape our cultural understanding of what it means to be young, Black, and female in the U.S. Lashon is the 2021 Peter Lyman Graduate Fellow in new media. In 2020, she won the Emily Chamberlain Cook Prize In Poetry. In 2018, she won the Mark Goodson Prize for Distinguished Artistic Talent. She is also a 2015 UC Berkeley Chancellor Fellow and a 2014 Callaloo Poetry Fellow. As a scholar, dancer, storyteller, and choreographer, Lashon thrives on bridging communities together through movement and storytelling. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College (2008) and an MA in Folklore (2015) from UC Berkeley. Her children’s book, Mr. Okra Sells Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, was released in February 2016.

Nicholaus Gutierrez

Nicholaus Gutierrez is graduating with a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and a Designated Emphasis in New Media. In Fall 2020, he will join Wellesley University as an Assistant Professor. Nick’s research focuses on the history of virtual reality, showing the shift from metaphysical fantasies to new forms of creative practice that came from economizing hardware and software elements. In 2018, Nick was awarded the prestigious Lyman Fellowship. He has taught a slate of new media courses at Berkeley, including his popular “Is Technology Evil?” for which he won an Outstanding GSI award. Nick served on the Berkeley Center for New Media’s Executive Committee for three years and was a co-convenor of the New Media Working Group.

Peter Humphrey

Peter Humphrey is receiving a Ph.D. in Music and Designated Emphasis in new media with a thesis on the history of electroacoustics. Peter’s dissertation looks at the role and development of sound technologies in the Hollywood movie industry. In particular, he explores how a movie recording paradigm shaped the way music was produced for recordings. Each chapter follows a case study; the Capitol Records Tower recording studios, the mixing console, and an electronic synthesizer called the Trautonium. Peter also freelances as a musician and producer.

Lyndsey Ogle

Lyndsey Ogle is graduating with a Ph.D. in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, and a Designated Emphasis in New Media. Lyndsey’s research seeks to understand what it means to redefine a public space in the digital age through positioning the field of curation in conversation with developing technologies. She investigates forms of public participation and cultural critique that occur online and on-site, particularly that which draws together members of disparate fields and social groups and challenges the hegemonic structure of art discourse. Her essay, “Confused Cats and Postfeminist Performance“ was published in #Identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation (Michigan University Press, 2019). At BCNM, Lyndsey has served as the Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium Graduate liaison and an undergraduate research mentor,

Certificate in New Media

Yue (Abby) Gao

Abby Yue Gao is a designer and entrepreneur interested in the intersection of architecture, new media, and technology. Born and raised in China, she finished her B.Arch at Tianjin University in China before starting her M.Arch at UC Berkeley. During her adventure here, she gradually found her interest in human-centered design and was fortunate to join BCNM to develop her design capabilities further.

She is passionate to bring new opportunities to existing solutions based on observations and insights. During the pandemic, she is exploring launching a startup with a group of Berkeley graduate students, called Nimble Spaces. Last year they helped a local restaurant in Oakland transform their parking spaces into an outdoor dining and micro-mobility hub, attracting more customers for their pandemic recovery. Combining her background in architecture and enthusiasm for design innovation, she aims to create delightful experiences that can make a difference in people's everyday life.

Emily Gui

Emily Gui (pronounced "Guy") is a mixed media artist and experimental printmaker who will be graduating from the Art Practice department this spring with a certificate in New Media. Moving between installation, sculpture, photography and print, her work often pushes the boundaries of techniques by layering and combining materials and processes. Her recent work focuses on well-used or forgotten functional objects and materials as a lens to consider consumption and explore the tangled relationships between people and the built world. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the US, including the International Print Center of New York, The University of Texas, Wayfarers Gallery, ArtBridge, Incline Gallery, Rojas + Rubensteen, Artists' Television Access, NIAD, The Kala Gallery, and Cuesta College. Emily has been an artist-in-residence at Kala Arts Institute since 2015 where she teaches printmaking. She received her B.A. in Studio Arts from Bard College in 2012. As a graduate student, she was awarded the Eisner Prize for Creative Excellence and the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor award by the Art Practice department as well as a Fellowship from BCNM.

Yue Hu

Trista is a designer who enjoys research and prototyping. She frames the process of design as an effort to achieve best solutions for an equation under various constraints or factors. Attracted by continuous opportunity for rapid iteration and collecting qualitative & quantitative analysis, she switched from landscape architecture to user experience design. Previous projects include user experience design for games at NetEase Games, user design for a carpooling program at Berkeley, and product design for a virtual reality tool. Trista is graduating with a Masters in Landscape Architecture and a Certificate in New Media, focusing on user interface design.

Michelle Hwang

Michelle Hwang graduates with a Masters in Information Management and Systems and a Certificate in New Media. Michelle brings her interdisciplinary skill set developed through her background in cognitive science and psychology to solve complex business challenges and empower end users in their daily life. Past projects include improving the appointment scheduling process for the California DMV’s mobile website and designing a customizable mobile app homescreen for activists and human rights defenders to document events in repressive environments. She has worked as a product designer at Amplitude and Arize AI.

Esther Jan

Esther is receiving her Masters in Information Management and Systems and a Certificate in New Media. Prior to joining Berkeley, Esther worked as an architectural designer in multi-disciplinary studios and as a freelance designer for companies including AirBnB Taiwan and FLUX Inc. Esther leverages this past experience in designing physical spaces to the digital world. Projects include an app to make photography more inclusive, a sustainable lightscape pavilion that draws people closer, an interactive art work Here / There, as well as augmented reality experiences.

Janet Le

Janet is graduating from UC Berkeley with a Master's degree in City Planning and a certificate in New Media. Her goal is to advocate for the integration of media into the process of comprehensive planning in order to preserve and promote cultural histories in public spaces, using design as a tool to foster social and environmental justice within these spaces. Janet is an accomplished artist and has showcased her work at Art Share, Gallery Azul, South Bay Contemporary, First Frame, MONSTRA Festival, and The Poetry Foundation, among others. While working for the City of Emeryville, Janet brought animation and virtual reality techniques to community development work.

Philippe Li

Philippe Li is graduating with a Masters in Landscape Architecture and a Certificate in New Media with a focus on user design. In addition to designing mobile applications, past projects include user experience research and the design of a dashboard visualizing data to reveal information about California’s child welfare system and collaborating with Volvo to design and build a server showcasing data with the aim of making road usage safer. “Thank you everyone for helping me and supporting me! I've had my best time at Berkeley. Also special thanks to Berkeley Center for New Media for providing me a chance to explore something I'm really interested in. Here I finally found what I really want to do in my life. I will continue to work hard on my dreams! Go Bears!”

Tina Piracci

Tina completed the Master of Science in Architecture program while obtaining her Certificate in New Media. During her tenure at UC Berkeley, she explored clay 3D printing applications for developing nations in the form of ceramic water filters and clay cookstoves. She also runs a small studio in West Berkeley where she has her individual art practice as well as participates in the artist collective OVERGROWN. After graduation, she plans to continue her ceramic 3D printed water filter research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to further develop water filter techniques in partnership with Potters for Peace.

Janaki Vivrekar

Janaki Vivrekar is a BCNM Graduate Certificate Recipient graduating with a Masters in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. As a member of the Hybrid Ecologies Lab, she focused on studying human-computer interaction and new media, with research interests in critical design, embodied interaction, social media interventions, creativity support tools, education, and accessibility. Throughout her engagement with BCNM, Janaki has taken new media courses focused on locative media, critical making, interface aesthetics, the history and theory of new media, human-computer interaction, and transforming technologies in STEM and Silicon Valley. As a graduate student, Janaki built and studied the effects of physical social media interventions to help users understand, articulate, and change how they value social media experiences. Previously, Janaki earned undergraduate degrees in computer science and applied mathematics at UC Berkeley, along with the BCNM Undergraduate Certificate in New Media, the Berkeley Certificate in Design Innovation, the Sutardja Certificate In Entrepreneurship and Technology, and the Human-Centered Design Course Thread. In 2021, Janaki will be a lecturer for CS 160 (User Interface Design and Development) at UC Berkeley then begin her career as a software engineer.

Yifeng Wang

Yifeng is receiving a Masters in Architecture and Certificate in New Media. His research focuses on the interaction across virtual and physical environments with consideration of their aesthetic novelties and social impacts. During his study, he interned as a product designer at a startup, Forust, and won several UX design competitions including 1st prize at Ford Future Mobility. With his entrepreneurial ambition, he has turned one of his winning competitions into a startup, Nimble Spaces Inc, that designs flexible urban space as a product to help people safely use outdoor space during the Covid-19 period.

Bowen Wei

Bowen Wei graduates with a Masters of Information Management and Systems and Certificate in New Media, focusing on interaction design and the design of emerging technologies. Bowen previously worked at Electronic Arts, Apple, Sea Group, and Deutsche Bank. Projects include collaborating with Children’s Hospital Oakland to research and design indoor exercise games for kids using virtual reality technologies to make exercise appealing during quarantine, and leading the redesign of the RingCentral analytics portal. Bowen has also served as a GSI for Design Methodologies at Berkeley.

Shengjie Wu

Shengjie Wu is graduating with a Masters in Landscape Architecture and a Certificate in New Media. Previously, Shengjie used new media to access big data sets for building analysis. “It has been a great time to take the new media courses during my graduate study. The topics covered by these courses are very diverse and inspiring. Some of them introduced a much larger context of new media to me. They also make me think about the roles that the new media platforms are playing in different fields of society, such as science, art, and politics. As a design student, these courses have inspired me a lot and provided me with lots of information and ideas on how to present my design appropriately and on new media platforms.”