Where are you from?
I’m originally from New Glarus, Wisconsin, but have bounced around a lot between Ireland, the UK, and most recently New York before coming to Atlanta.
What is your educational and/or professional background?
I have a BA in Communication/Digital Media (UW-Whitewater) and a MA in Sonic Arts from SARC (Queen’s University Belfast). I’ve worked in different capacities in the music technology field, including 5 years as an audio engineer at a recording studio in Madison, WI and one year as Music Technology Specialist at The Juilliard School in New York.
Describe your interests in the DM field.
I’m interested in working with sound and image, particularly in performative contexts. I collaborate with a lot of musicians, dancers, and other artists to create multimodal work, and personally I strive to craft tools and systems that enable live visual performance capabilities.
What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on so far?
It’s been great to be a part of the TuneTable team in the ADAM lab and see how that’s developed over time. I’m excited to see it at MODA soon, and get some kids engaged with it. I also enjoyed the project that came out of Dr. Magerko’s computing class, which brought together my interests in physical crafting and digital art.
Why did you choose Digital Media at Georgia Tech?
Georgia Tech ultimately offered me the best balance of rigor and creative autonomy. I wanted to be challenged academically and have opportunities to participate in good research, but I also wanted to be able to pursue my own personal practice and fold that into my PhD experience. The staff and faculty here have been really supportive of my independent interests while still pushing me to expand and deepen my understanding of what research and academia are.
What are your ambitions after finishing the Digital Media program?
I’d like to continue striking a balance between research and personal practice, whether that’s at an educational institution or private sector.
Why would you recommend the DM program to others?
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all PhD program. Everyone needs to decide for themselves what they want out of their experience, and I might not recommend Georgia Tech to everyone. That being said, my experience here has been great, and out of all the programs I considered I found it to be a solid fit for me. The faculty is diverse, and are great about both challenging and supporting students—even when the students’ interests aren’t identical to theirs (as is my case). Atlanta is a cool city, and the facilities on campus are top-notch. The other students here are doing really cool work, and have created a really unique support system among themselves, which I think is really undervalued at many institutions. If that sounds like something that aligns with your priorities, then Georgia Tech might be a great option for you.