I am an Assistant Professor in the Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design program at Teachers College, Columbia University.
My research examines participatory practices of collective creativity, as mediated by digital technologies. Although my work is rooted in communication and media studies, I take an interdisciplinary approach to studying digital participation. Accordingly, my research so far includes explorations of participatory practices across a variety of domains: I have published, for instance, on participatory online art, participatory learning, participatory innovation, and participatory research methods. Investigating participatory practices across these socio-cultural spheres, my main interest lies in the stakes of participation. Therefore, agency and empowerment – be it social, creative, civic or educational empowerment – represent core aspects of my engagement with participatory cultures.
A proud Romanian from the city of Timisoara, I graduated summa cum laudae from Middlebury College, with Highest Honors in Film and Media Culture. My belief in the importance of media literacy, coupled with the joy I find in teaching, has led me to become deeply involved in the field of education, teaching filmmaking and social justice curricula to children in the Dominican Republic, Romania, Uruguay and India. Before starting my academic career, I worked as the field coordinator of The Modern Story digital storytelling program, a grassroots project aiming to bridge the digital divide by introducing media literacy and filmmaking workshops in government schools in India. I completed my PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, where my mentor was the wonderful Henry Jenkins.