Congratulating Our Spring 2022 Graduates

17 May, 2022

Congratulating Our Spring 2022 Graduates

Congratulations to our Spring 2022 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

Juliana Friend

Juliana Friend is graduating with a PhD in Anthropology with a Designated Emphasis in New Media. In summer 2022, she will join UCSF’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS) as a postdoctoral fellow. At IHPS, she plans to research digital health and health equity. Her previous research engaged with sexually stigmatized communities in Senegal to envision alternative, more equitable approaches to digital privacy and digital health. Juliana also co-founded the collaborative ethnographic archive with support from BCNM, and she is part of the Alternative Digital Futures Project at the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC). She is a 2020 recipient of the prestigious Newcombe Fellowship from the Institute for Citizens and Scholars among other grants and fellowships. Juliana looks forward to staying connected to the BCNM community as an alumnus.

Justin Berner

Justin Berner is graduating with a PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures and a Designated Emphasis in New Media. Beginning in Fall 2022, Justin will be a Global Perspective on Society Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU Shanghai. His dissertation, “Humans at the End of the World: Reimagining the Limits of the Human in Contemporary Spain” examines the posthuman within the context of contemporary Spain, looking at how a variety of cultural objects (literature, film, and digital literature) express this concept from digital and environmental perspectives. For the past two years, Justin has served on the BCNM’s Executive Committee and has been the co-chair of the New Media Working Group. During his time at Berkeley, Justin published an article in the electronic book review and co-curated, with fellow BCNM graduate student Julia Irwin, the art exhibition Refamiliarization at Platform Artspace.

Kaitlin Forcier

Kaitlin Clifton Forcier is graduating with a PhD in Film and Media, with a Designated Emphasis in New Media. She researches and teaches on the history and theory of screen media, with a focus on the intersections of computation, popular media, and film and video art. Her dissertation, “The Infinite Image: Digital Media’s Boundless Aesthetic” analyzes iteration and endlessness in digital media, from the 1960s to today, examining how the centrality of this aesthetic underpins the culture of twenty-first century platform capitalism, as it came to be perceived as not only an endless, frictionless flow, but one characterized by exponential growth. She has served as the graduate student representative to the Executive Committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media, co-organizer of the Townsend New Media Working Group, and graduate liaison for the Berkeley Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium.. Her research has been published in Media-N and Afterimage, and her work has been supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Berkeley Center for New Media, the Berkeley Center for International Studies, and the UC Berkeley Graduate Division.

Maija Hynninen

Maija Hynninen is graduating with her Ph.D. in Music Composition and Designated Emphasis in New Media. Maija’s research focuses on the aspects of computer aided composition with emphasis in orchestration. During her studies at UC Berkeley she has been an active member of Center for New Music and Audio Technologies, where she has worked as a composer of electro-acoustic music as well as a researcher. She combines in her work design, DIY electronics and light components. The courses offered by the Berkeley Center for New Media as well as workspaces at Sutardja Dai Hall and Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation were essential for her work. In 2021 Maija received the Ladd Prix by the Department of Music to finish her dissertation in Paris, where she has had the chance to be in residency at Cité International des Arts and at IRCAM. In 2019 she released her debut album Dawn Breaks (2019) with Ravello Records. Her compositions have been performed mostly in Europe and in the US. Latest bigger premieres being with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the SFCMP in 2021. She won the Nicola de Lorenzo Prize in 2018 and 2019 as well as the Eisner Prize for Highest Achievement in Creative Arts in 2019. Maija continues her career as a freelance composer with the support by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

Malika Imhotep

Ra/Malika Imhotep is graduating with a Ph.D in African Diaspora Studies and a Designated Emphasis in New Media. For the 2022-2023 AY, they were awarded the UC Presidents Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Ni'Ja Whitson in the Department of Dance: Critical Dance Studies Program at UC Riverside. They will concurrently be affiliated with Tulane University in New Orleans as a Visiting Scholar at the Newcomb Institute. Their dissertation "Indelibly Marked: Queer Articulations of Black femininity, Vernacular Aesthetics and the Performance of Labor in the Dirty South " tends to the ways Black feminine figures in contemporary art, performance, & popular culture unsettle the relationship between Black femininity and labor. During their tenure at UC Berkeley, they cultivated and participated in several community-accountable projects including The Empowering Women of Color Conference, The Church of Black feminist Thought (co-convened with Miyuki Baker), and The Black Aesthetic curatorial collective. On April 12, 2022, their debut poetry collection, gossypiin, was published by Red Hen Press. They are excited about resting into, dreaming up, organizing, and facilitating more liberatory projects in this next phase of their creative-intellectual life.

Molly Nicholas

Molly Jane Nicholas is graduating with a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Designated Emphasis in New Media. Her research identifies ‘performance’ as an understanding of the way people present themselves (as performers) to others (an audience) and investigates this in technologically-mediated environments. Specifically, she seeks to identify, categorize, and expand existing notions of “performance” as it is operationalized within the world of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), and articulate the ways in which core HCI concerns — including identity, agency, immersion, self-presentation, social interaction — can shape and be shaped by an understanding of performance. Molly Jane won the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award in 2022. She is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a Snap Research Fellow, and has won over 10 awards for writing outstanding reviews.

Nour El Rayes

Nour El Rayes is graduating with a PhD in Ethnomusicology and a Designated Emphasis in New Media. Nour will be joining the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins as an Assistant Professor of Musicology this Fall. Her dissertation, "Other Futures: Promises of the Alternative in Lebanese Popular Music," examines how musicians’ sound, performances, and discourses are construed as alternative—and what, exactly, they are alternative to. More than a generic designation, the dissertation argues that the “alternative” constitutes a site of social coherence in which sound articulates situated experiences of the present in order to construct, disrupt, and animate modalities of representing and imagining futures for Lebanon and its people. More broadly, she writes about the cultural politics of popular music, and examines how pop music creates material and ideological spaces of optimistic futurity. Nour's work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Berkeley Center for Middle East Studies.

Sarah Sterman

Sarah Sterman is graduating with her Ph.D. in Computer Science and a Designated Emphasis in New Media. Her research focuses on designing and studying creativity support tools, specifically how they shape process and lifelong engagement in creative domains. Her work addresses education, creative writing, digital fabrication, and version control systems for analog and digital practices. During her PhD, Sarah initiated the HCI Reading Group for undergraduates, mentored BCNM undergraduates in research, and received the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award.

Tory Jeffay

Tory Jeffay is graduating with a PhD in Film & Media and a Designated Emphasis in New Media. Starting in fall 2022, she will join the Dartmouth Society of Fellows as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research examines the emergence of photography and film as tools of evidence within the American criminal justice system and asks how this use of the camera has shaped our imagination of photographic media’s broader epistemological claims into the digital era. Her article, “‘Flat-Out’ Formalism: Strong Island as Trans-of-Color Critique,” won the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Queer and Trans Caucus’s Chris Holmlund Graduate Student Essay Prize and was published in the New Review of Film and Television Studies in 2021. At BCNM, Tory mentored with three different undergraduate research assistants and received conference and summer research funding to advance and share her work.


Deanna Gelosi

Deanna is graduating with a Masters in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Her studies are at the intersection of art, science, and technology and were inspired by her work at the Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio in San Francisco. During her Master's degree, she created new tools and technologies for supporting creativity and self-expression. Her research was recognized by ACM IDC which received Best Paper 2021. Deanna is grateful for the opportunity to be both an engineering graduate student and researcher as well as a practitioner, designer, and educator over the last two challenging years.

Edgar Fabián Frías

Edgar Fabián Frías is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and licensed psychotherapist who will be graduating with an MFA from the Art Practice Department this Spring with a certificate in New Media. Edgar works in installation, photography, video art, sound, sculpture, printed textiles, GIFs, performance, social practice, and community organizing, among other forms. Frías is Wixárika and their family is from Mexico, though they have lived in the United States for most of their life. Their art addresses historical legacies and acts of resistance, resiliency, and radical imagination within the context of Indigenous Futurism, spirituality, play, pedagogy, animism, and queer aesthetics. They have exhibited in galleries throughout the US, including the Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, Vincent Price Art Museum, Oregon Contemporary, MOCA Jacksonville, and Southern Exposure. Edgar has been an artist-in-residence at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship from 2019 to 2021, as well as through the Department of Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles from 2017 to 2018. They received their BA in art and psychology from UC Riverside and hold an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Portland State University. As a graduate student they were awarded the Cadogan Award, were nominated as an Arts Ambassador by the San Francisco Arts Commission, received the Sayavong Award from the Art Practice Department, were a part of the LGBTQ+ Fellowship Cluster at UC Berkeley, and received a Fellowship from BCNM.

Jaclyn Tobia

Jaclyn Tobia is graduating with a Masters in Landscape Architecture and a Certificate in New Media. During her studies, she served as the Graduate Liaison for BCNM's Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium and had the great honor of attending and writing about many inspiring lectures with world renowned artists and scholars. Research projects during her master's program included visualizing wildfire risk factors and mitigation strategies with map making and design interventions, and writing on how scientific climate models could become more impactful if academic researchers collaborated with media artists to create more engaging and legible messaging and visuals. Jaclyn is excited to use her interdisciplinary and collaborative approach, which was greatly supported by course work and faculty at BCNM, to the field of Landscape Architecture, design and art disciplines, and beyond.

Jiaxuan Ren

Jiaxuan completed UC Berkeley’s Master of Design program while obtaining her Certificate in New Media. A designer and artist with a focus on wearable and fashion expression, Jiaxuan leverages her technical engineering skills with unique artistic perspectives to build products, experiences, and art practices. Throughout her time in academia, she is always looked to apply her knowledge into executing emerging technology projects, such as XR and tangible interfaces. The main media of her artworks is “the body”, from tangible interactive wearable devices “Gaze through the second sex”, to interactive digital fashion collection “Emoshion” and “EnergyFlow”, which have been exhibited in Beijing, Shanghai, and Boston. Recently, she received the Moonshot Award at the MIT XR Hackathon, alongside a scholarship from AR House. After graduation, she plans to further explore the digital representation of her own art practice.

Jingyi Chen

Maria Francisca Romero Pezoa

Fran is graduating with a Master of Public Affairs and a Certificate in New Media. She is a Chilean Sociologist and Social Science Bachelor, with postgraduates in sustainability, transformative mediation, and prevention of socio-environmental conflicts. She is passionate about finding ways to merge media and sustainability. She led methodology designs and participatory processes for the construction of sustainable national energy public policies with indigenous communities in her home country, and she has a parallel career as a Film and TV journalist, interviewer, and podcaster. During her time at UC Berkeley, the Master and the New Media Certificate inspired her to merge sociology and media journalism to research audiences' patterns and promote storytelling of marginalized communities. She is interested in finding a path to create a more inclusive entertainment industry, breaking the minority gap, and researching the social impact of media on society and audiences' behaviors. also, in creating more equalitarian channels for storytelling.

Yuyao Jin

Yuyao Jin aims to design interfaces between humans and the world, particularly as the internet functions increasingly as a space and place. At Berkeley, Yuyao has taken several new media courses in digital design and undertaken internships to enhance their understanding of the field.

Xincun Du

Xincun is a landscape designer who has always been curious about the world. From Economy to Landscape and New media, she believes the intersection of disciplines may lead to amazing ideas. Previous projects include research about fandom and piracy, the interface of the Plant Growing App, and product design for a virtual reality tool. Xincun is graduating with a Master's in Landscape Architecture and a Certificate in New Media in Berkeley.