Ph.D candidates Mariam Asad and Tom Jenkins from the Digital Media Program were shortlisted for Foley Scholarship for their transformative work in computing. The GVU Center’s Graduate Awards Program, recognises top doctoral and master’s students at Georgia Tech in computing-centered research, it includes 12 men and women who are leading groundbreaking work in space travel, wearable computing, robotics, online communities, and much more.
Mariam Asad was selected as a Foley Scholar, her advisor is Chris Le Dantec and her work poses an important question: “What would digital tools look like if designed for the values and goals of social justice communities?” Instead of using the likes of Facebook, Asad’s digital advocacy toolkit accommodates different kinds of social relationships and advances the causes of Atlanta communities doing work on systemic social issues. Asad has extensively studied various movements in the city, including Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, which focuses on more equitable and sustainable housing and lending practices, and Rise Up Georgia, a racial and economic justice group committed to empowering communities to be more politically engaged.
Tom Jenkins placed as a Scholarship Finalist, his advisor is Carl DiSalvo and his worked in focused on designing devices for the Internet of Things (think smart coffee makers and refrigerators) for cohousing communities, which include some shared amenities and responsibilities among neighbors. Jenkins says that how the IoT plays out in unusual or non-standard domestic contexts lets him explore and examine assumptions that are being built in to technology standards and provides a vantage point for critical reflection. Cohousing communities offer a different way of thinking about civic life. Building connected technologies to support the strong values that exist there may help create stronger communities from the bottom-up across cities and countries.
We are extremely proud and excited to have Mariam and Tom’s work being featured as part of the Foley Scholarship Award! Keep up the good work!