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It’s a new academic session at Emerson College and the Media Design 2021–2022 cohort has been busy settling into the new post-pandemic academic routines here at our Engagement Lab. This year, we have students coming from all over the world joining us.
Xufan Hu, originally from China, is a media designer and a filmmaker. He just graduated from American University and is excited to be bringing his creativity to our Media Design program. Amy Zhang, our second cohort student, is a writer, producer, and artist. She worked at the documentary theater company Ping Chong + Company for two years, before producing for Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. Over the pandemic, she started a series of writing workshops for Asian American writers, as well as created civic engagement tools for immigrant populations in NYC. The next cohort student, Jiatao Cui, comes from Xi’an, China. Jiatao also comes from a film background and is excited to apply his skill with visual storytelling to civic media. Fatimah Yesuf, joined us from Lagos, Nigeria. Fatimah’s undergraduate degree was in Mass Communication at the University of Lagos. Fatimah’s love for design brings her to Emerson as she would like to cultivate skills towards a career in Product Design. Originally from China, Sharry Li graduated from Boston University with a dual degree in Economics and Finance. Seeking to explore the truth about emerging media, she applied to the Media Design program at Emerson College. Sharry has been dancing for most of her life and is interested in using Virtual Reality to visualize dance experiences. Aaron Stier-Cohen, our last student of the 2021–2022 cohort, was born and raised just outside Boston. Aaron comes to us from the University of Pittsburgh with a background in journalism, pedagogy, and communication. We are super excited to see what this diverse group will bring to the table throughout this semester and beyond.
As our students begin stepping foot into the world of Media Design, many of their curiosities about the world have been revealed. In the Civic Media seminar class, students have been participating in group discussions to figure out methods and strategies to recreate and build civic engagement within our ever-changing technological society. On the other hand, the Media Design Studio I class has allowed our students to express their passion and beliefs through a variety of different media. Recently, they have been eagerly working on their first video production assignment. The third class for this semester is the Participatory Design Methods class, where students have been able to understand the tools and techniques required for researchers and designers to create an engaging product development stage. Soon, our 2021–2022 cohort will be introduced to their thesis partners, whom they will be working with for the remainder of the school year. We hope that our students will not only be able to learn more but also be challenged by the upcoming assignments and projects that examine Civic Media closely.