Announcing Our Spring 2022 DE & Certificate Cohort

23 Mar, 2022

Announcing Our Spring 2022 DE & Certificate Cohort

Secondary Gaze, by Jiaxuan Ren.

We are thrilled to welcome this Spring's graduate cohort – an amazing group of interdisciplinary scholars from Education, Comparative Literature, Landscape Architecture, Art Practice, Information Management & Systems, Architecture, and Design!

Designated Emphasis

Weiying Li is a Ph.D. candidate in Education, specializing in Technology and Digital Media, interested in designing culturally responsive pedagogy with educational technologies. As a user experience researcher on learning technologies in China, Weiying’s projects have ranged from augmented reality (AR) apps to online classrooms. Previously, they designed visual guidance to facilitate learning in mini AR programs embedded in the Baidu app as well as experiments to examine the effect of different styles of visual instructions on learning performance among students aged nine to twelve years old. Weiying has also designed culturally responsive pedagogies with local teachers in rural China using Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE), an online platform for designing, developing, and implementing science inquiry units.

Megan Everett is pursuing a Ph.D. in Education, seeking to analyze the impact of technology, digital tools, and social media in educational spaces. Meg has taken courses in the History and Theory of New Media, Social Psychology of Informational Technologies, and Digital Tools for Creativity and Learning, expanding their understanding of the history and potentiality of technologies in serving pedagogy while interrogating its impact as it is increasingly enfolded into the fabric of our lives in and outside of the classroom. Drawing from theoretical frameworks afforded by New Media scholars in conjunction with researchers in the field of Education, Megan aims to deconstruct assumptions about how we, as students and teachers, not only come to learn with the assistance of New Media, but also relate to our devices and to one another in our increasingly networked society and especially through online participatory cultures.

Gladys Rivas is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature. Primarily trained as a scholar in the areas of Spanish and Russian literature, Gladys focuses on contemporary Latin American artistic responses to the spectral legacy of the Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde. Gladys’ work looks at how certain performances artistically and politically instrumentalize technology in different socialist spaces at vastly different post-revolutionary moments, exploring questions of technology as performance, and the creation of collectivity and engaged citizenship that such performance makes possible.


Ziyuan (Rita) Ling is a Masters in Landscape Architecture candidate, studying user experience and interface design. Ziyuan has interned in several technology companies, working as a designer and has taken a suite of new media courses while at BCNM.

Gareen Puglia is a Masters candidate in Information Management and Systems. Gareen worked at an NPR affiliate music station in Austin, TX, producing short “Song of the Day” segments and has been an associate producer for a True Crime podcast and a story producer for a service journalism team. Gareen seeks to support storytelling through data and analytics and wants to dissect how to leverage the use of digital platforms to make data collection and Terms and Conditions more transparent.

Jiaxuan Ren is a designer and artist pursuing a Masters in Design. Jiaxuan leverages technical engineering skills with unique artistic perspectives. Jiaxuan has extensive experience in product design, interaction design, and HCI applications and is looking to apply her knowledge from academia into executing emerging technology projects (AR, VR, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain), and creating products, including tangible wearables and digital visualizations. Jiaxuan’s artworks have been exhibited in Beijing and Shanghai.

Calvin Lee is a Masters candidate in the Information Management and Systems program of the School of Information, with an emphasis on user experience and user interface design. Prior to joining Berkeley, his experience was in visual design for web marketing. Calvin has worked for major US companies, including, where he produced product renderings, and LinkedIn, where he designed inclusive workspaces. Calvin has taken a range of new media courses and has also served as a GSI for DESINV 21: Visual Communication and Sketching. Calvin is now interning at IBM as a senior designer on their client engineering team.

Al Oliva is a Masters of Architecture student, interested in the politics of resolution, the transience of copy, and the binaries of bitmapping. Previously, Al has been a project coordinator and curator for art initiatives. Al has also exhibited their work at DCAC, the Anacosta Community Museum, Facebook Headquarters, among others.

Irma Barbosa is an MFA candidate in the Department of Art Practice interested in video and installation. Irma has exhibited their work across the globe. Irma’s current artistic project includes investigating the history of birria through interviews and digital media. Through photography, experimental video, sculpture, performance, and installation Irma plans to explore the animal-human interdependent connection, culinary colonial history, and more.