When I was 15 years old I checked out a book from a public library for the first time - the Kearney Branch Public Library in Springfield, Missouri. Well, it wasn't the first time I checked out a book, but it was the first time I had done so without my parents driving me to the library. I was in a Steinbeck phase at the time, so I borrowed "Cannery Row" and "The Moon Is Down".
I borrowed these novels from the library because my family was going on a trip to Mississippi to see my grandparents for Christmas and I needed something to do. This was 1995, before the internet and smartphones were ubiquitous. I was a voracious reader in high school and college anyway, all I wanted to read were novels, novels, novels.
Twenty years later, I'm a librarian in New York. It seems like a natural fit for me, and I look back at checking out those books fondly. Even though the Kearney Branch Library has since shut down, I'll always remember it.
Evans Asamoah is currently a senior at Belmont Preparatory Academy. He will be attending SUNY Potsdam this fall. He plans to study biology and eventually enroll in dental school. At EdLab, he works with the Digitization Queue team to archive Teachers College’s historical documents to enhance research opportunities for members of the community. He currently plays club soccer for South Bronx United and plans to play in college as well.
My current music player has two billion transistors, but my
first music player had just six. It was an early transistor radio that I
received as a gift at seven years old and it became an important part of my
young life. I know that it had six transistors because the number was etched on
the nameplate at a time when the number of transistors was a selling point and
a focus of competition among my friends, some of whom, alas, had seven
These early transistor radios were revolutionary in their
day because they transformed the radio from a family experience organized
around a large radio in a family room into a pocket size personal experience
carried around and turned on at will with music playing through a small speaker
or an even smaller single earphone on a very thin wire. These were just fine
for the crackling AM signals that...
Alvaro Ortiz-Vazquez is a Research Associate where he is developing research tools in R for the Quuppa system.
Alvaro is originally from Mexico City and graduated from Columbia University in 2016 with a bachelors degree in Computer Science and Mathematics with a concentration in astronomy. He is very interested by topics in astronomy and astrophysics including space travel, cosmology, and simulations. In his work, Alvaro seeks to combine the skills of computer programming and mathematics with a complex scientific application. When not programming in Java or studying about active galactic nuclei, Alvaro is very passionate about working around issues of social justice and education. Alvaro also been involved in several after-school tutoring programs since high school and with organizations such as America Reads.
Alvaro is also passionate about increasing representation of underserved and underrepresented youth in STEM fields. He has worked in mentorship programs a...
Win is a Library Services Associate at EdLab. His interests include Design, Creativity, and Magical Realism. When Win isn't thinking about simple solutions for complex systems, he can be found daydreaming, or working on a new watercolor painting. Hello.
Samuel Fordjour is a freshman at SUNY Alfred State. After recently graduating from Newvisions For Advanced Math & Science II in 2016, he will pursue radiology in college. At Edlab Teachers College in Columbia University, Samuel is currently an employee working for the summer hoping to achieve and acquire new skill sets for college and future career. Samuel enjoys playing soccer and percussion. During his spare time Samuel enjoys playing video games especially fifa.
A native Vermonter, Jackie headed to the Great White North to pursue a B.A. in English with a focus on drama/theatre as well as world religions and hispanic studies at McGill University. After completing an Advanced CTESOL training (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in San Francisco she soon landed in Queens to begin her four year relationship with the YMCA of Greater New York. Here she played a variety of roles including teaching workforce prep, citizenship skills, and various levels of English to immigrant adults through the New Americans Welcome Center and working as an after school program site coordinator, journalism instructor, teen advisor, and counselor for middle schoolers at the Beacon Center. Today, she functions as a producer for the video team and is in the last thesis semester of her Master of Arts in Media Studies at The New School. Outside the classroom, Jackie has worked on the production team for various clients including the United Wa...
Lingxiao graduated with Master Degree in Computer Science in December, 2013 and became a QA Engineer at Jibe in May, 2014. She was mostly doing testing work which build test frameworks for developers at Jibe. During those 8 months' working experience, she feels like that she is much more eager and capable to be a developer who can build excited apps. Lingxiao joins EdLab as a Software Engineer in January, 2015. She is super excited with the position which will help her to grow fast and learn more as a developer.
JOHN C. HUME. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in performing arts, John moved to Boston Massachusetts where he worked at both the Rotch Library for Architecture and Urban Planning and the Barker Engineering Library at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2004 he moved to New York where he decide to pursue his dream of working in professional theater. Since then he has held numerous positions at The Barrow Street Theatre and Classic Stage Company (where he is currently the General Manager). In the summer of 2014, John returned to his first love, the libraries, and he is thrilled to be part of the services team at The Teachers College Library.
As a performer John has appeared in numerous stage productions including: Vera, or The Nihilists (Prince Paul Maraloffski), The Bacchae (Tiresias) and Oscar Wilde’s Salome (Herodias) all with Femme Fatale Theater. He’s also known to New York audiences for his high-octane cabaret shows which have been pr...
Do you know how sometimes the universe puts exactly the right person at exactly the right time in your path? I love those stories. I love watching New Yorkers give directions, they will tell tourists 5 times how to get somewhere, and watch them to make sure they are on the right path. And you never know how a person is going to affect you.
My first job out of college was with a graphics company. They mainly...
Xiaoting is passionate about creating technical solutions for education, embedding cognitive psychology theoretical frameworks and data-driven design into digital instruction and product development.
She has developed an educational app for pre-K kids to learn English through an audio book and an app to help Chinese international students learn about high schools and colleges in the U.S.
She is an Ed.D. student in Cognitive Science with a concentration in Learning Analytics at Teachers College Columbia University. Her research interests are cross-cultural education and international education big data mining. She obtained her B.S in neuroscience and biochemistry from SUNY Binghamton University.
In her leisure time, Xiaoting enjoys going to Hack-athons, experimenting with her Raspberry Pi, writing, and cooking.
Sushmita Saha is a graduate of Columbia University Film Program. Her short film Bakri (The Goat) screened at film festivals around the world (Germany, New Delhi, Busan and Iran) and won the IFP audience choice award at Columbia University film festival, 2016. Sushmita teaches filmmaking to elementary school students at the East Village Community School and has served as a mentor at film programs like FOCUS Young Artists' Lab and World Economic Forum Arts Workshop.
Brian is an Innovation Fellow at EdLab, where he manages stories about how technology is changing the way we learn. Whether brainstorming with a creative team, nitpicking copy edits, or getting lost in analytics, he relishes the process of creating and sharing thoughtful pieces on what we're learning about our digital selves.
Andrew Visser is a Welsh born writer-director based in New York and London. He is a Royal Television Society award nominee, and his films have screened at festivals around the world, winning numerous prizes and accolades. As a university lecturer he teaches at one of the longest established film schools in the UK. He has a first class BA in Film and Video from the Surrey Institute of Art & Design and an MFA in Film from Columbia University's School of the Arts.
“Are you sure we don’t have any secret passageways?” I asked my parents for the hundredth time. When I was young, I spent whole afternoons scouring my house for hidden doorways or hollow walls shielding undiscovered passageways. Wouldn’t it be so cool, I thought, to find a secret space that only I knew about? Wouldn’t it be cool to find an artifact, a journal from a girl my age who lived a hundred years before I was even born? I wanted desperately to discover secrets long forgotten. But I never found a journal like this. Instead, I started writing my own so that one day I could hide it somewhere and a little girl a hundred years later would find it and feel special. I’ve kept a journal ever since.
A degree in Anthropology gave me the desire to explore other cultures
outside my own. My post graduate life was mostly been spent abroad,
working and traveling for six years in Asia and the Middle East. Within those six years, I
taught for five of them and I came to realize that video is often
transcendent of language and culture. Video production within my classroom was consistently an intensely creative and productive process
that I and my students always looked forward to. I took those experiences to develop into my Masters thesis at Teachers College and graduated in 2011. Currently, I am at EdLab producing educationally themed videos with an
amazing group of people.
Iyob Gebremariam is a Software Engineer at EdLab. Originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he holds a BS in Computer Science from Yale University and worked as a software engineer in finance and advertising before joining EdLab. Iyob is interested in web technologies, particularly in educational tech, that foster conversation among people from various walks of life. He spends perhaps too much of his free time watching English football (soccer).
Originally from West Haven, Connecticut, Cinthia Fabian is now a senior at Columbia College majoring in Medicine, Literature, and Society. She delights in traveling to (and disorienting herself in) new cities, a passion that has led her to intern with nonprofit organizations ranging from the YWCA of the City of New York to Mumbai Mobile Creches in Mumbai, India to International Medical Corps in Los Angeles, California. As an Assistant Community Manager for EdLab, she is eager to explore the heretofore unfamiliar 5th floor of Russell Hall and to draw upon her previous communications experience to help strengthen the EdLab community.
Alseny is part of the DigiQ team at EdLab. As part of his duties, he is responsible for fulfilling all patron requests through Docdel. Additionally, he works on archiving over 100+ years of Teachers College material to enhance research opportunities for members of the community. He played club soccer at South Bronx United where he captained his team during his last two seasons. He believes that soccer has played a massive role in his progress so far. He's a big fan of a professional soccer player named Francisco Alarcon, who he admires as his idol. Alseny is currently a rising sophomore at Saint Lawrence University. He aspires to study computer science and business.
As an eager, early-career filmmaker, Brian served on the crew of several ill-fated independent film projects during his one-year tenure in Los Angeles. His work on one of those films ended at gunpoint in a dilapidated motel office in Las Vegas.
That story begins in LA when Brian, a recent college graduate, lands a job through a connection with the friend of a college professor in a small film studio. Like many LA-based film studios, this one aspires to more than the strai...
I moved to Brooklyn, New York two years ago after graduating from Berklee College of Music, where I studied drum set performance and music business.
I've wanted to work at a library again ever since my experience working for the Berklee Library and Media Center. I love reading, playing and seeing music (of course), biking, cooking, and am always interested in acquiring new skills and hobbies. I'm here helping library patrons by day and out playing shows at night.
Samba Doukhansy is a recent graduate of Crotona International High School and will be attending Keuka College next fall. He is currently undecided about a major but is leaning towards computer science. At EdLab, he works with the Digitization Queue team to archive Teachers College’s historical documents to enhance opportunities for staff, students, and faculty research. A big soccer fan, he captained his high school’s boys’ varsity soccer team and plays club for South Bronx United.
Daniel Agboba is currently a student at Bronx Community College (BCC) where he is focusing on business administration. He eventually plans to obtain an MBA and work in finance. Daniel was born in Lagos, Nigeria and immigrated to the US several years ago. At EdLab, he is part of the Digitization Queue team, where he works on archiving historical documents to enhance research opportunities for members of the community. Daniel plays travel soccer for South Bronx United. He volunteers as a referee for children’s soccer on weekends and listens to music in his spare time.
Kim Kefgen leads the services team and education program at the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College. Before coming to TC, she was the Director of the Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence at Columbia Business School where she worked on teaching and curriculum development, and led the initiative for effective and appropriate adoption of new technologies for successful teaching. She also worked in New York as a professional theater producer, director and stage manager for over fifteen years, and is a proud mother of a rising fourth grader. As a parent, she is currently a part of her daughter's School Leadership Team and a former PA Executive Board member.
Ms. Kefgen holds a BFA in Theatre from Otterbein College, an M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
She is an enthusiastic participant in our times.
Ryan flown from Taiwan and joined EdLab's Development & Research team in 2015 and is excited to be working with a bunch of creative geniuses. He believes helping others is the fastest way to educate people, which can be done through technologies.
Hui Soo Chae is Director of Research and Development for the EdLab and the Gottesman Libraries. In that capacity he leads the software development, product development, consulting, publishing and collections initiatives. Dr. Chae has led the development of a number of learning applications, including the Vialogues (www.vialogues.com) video discussion tool. His publishing initiatives have included development of the mobile publishing platform for the New Learning Times (www.newlearningtimes.com).
He has also pioneered an accelerated model to speed the delivery of educational consulting services to diverse clients, including HBO, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Peterson Foundation, and the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation. These engagements have resulted in widely regarded online curriculum resource collections in areas as diverse as democracy (Teaching the Levees) and fiscal responsibility (Understanding Fiscal Responsibility).
Alexandra is a member of the Library Services team at EdLab. She received her undergraduate degree at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, combining sociology with media and communications to study identity theory and personal media consumption. Her research interests include personal identity, group identity, and how fan spaces from media affect who we are and how we see ourselves.
from Kunming (the Spring City), China, Zhou works cross-functionally at the
development and research teams at the EdLab. With an Ed.D. in Instructional
Technology and Media from Teachers College, Zhou’s rich experiences encompass
educational technology, instructional design, teacher professional development, software engineering, learning
analytics, and educational games.
has led the development and/or research of numerous projects at the EdLab
including EdLab Supersearch, Vialogues, New Learning Times, TC Route Finder,
Pressible, YoungArts Master Class, etc. His multidisciplinary interests inc...
I used to make architectural models. It is a small but essential industry that is devoted entirely to making people who cannot read technical drawings understand what the building they depict looks like. I made tiny versions of office buildings, commercial spaces and landscapes. For some reason it is much easier for someone to accept a very small building on a table and project all of their hopes and intentions onto it, than a two-dimensional technical drawing.
My job was not so much to make the most realistic version of a miniature office tower, it was to connect a person to a future reality so that they could make decisions, and for some reason everyone seemed to understand models.
What I found was that those Ah Ha! moments were very satisfying to create. Anyone who’s ever tried to explain a concept knows the distress of being met with glazed or frustrated expressions and, hopefully, the spark o...
Adrian joined the Library Services team in Fall 2015. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Columbia University, where he specialized in German Philosophy. He is originally from South Texas, is interested in education and adores the San Antonio Spurs. Some of his favorite authors include Kant, Dostoyevsky and Mario Puzo.
When I was a child, my beloved Uncle Victor spun nostalgic tales of growing up in rural Italy. His seemingly endless days of carefree youth were spent under a rich canopy of trees, sleeping in its cool shade while tending sheep. He splashed in his local canal on a home-made tube and misbehaved with his brother Carlo, my father. I was a timid boy with immigrant parents in a provincial town with a short horizon that improbably felt even smaller. Victor's yarns of yesteryear were intricately woven, equal parts childhood revelry and wistful yearnings. He made me long for a sweet past that wasn’t my own, kind people I had never met, epic journeys I would never go on.
Our intimate talks grew longer as I grew older. However, Victor’s stories never broached one difficult topic. Why did he never return to his boyhood home? Home, my first feature length documentary film, explores the tension between my need for self-discovery a...
Ziyin Feng is a Software Engineer at EdLab. He graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology major in Computer Science. He is focusing on front end. At this moment, he is working on Edlab Website.
He is very interested in front end technology and enjoy keeping learning in that field. He likes to make friends. He loves cooking! Don't hesitate Just turn to him and ask for home-made lunch and see what you will get!
He enjoys the time in Edlab and will continue to contribute his effort to make Edlab a even better place.
Ola is a Services Associate at the Gottesman Libraries. She has a master's in clinical psychology from the Teachers College and a BA from NYU. Ola enjoys reading, traveling, potatoes, film, and climbing to new heights.
Usa was born in Thailand. She lived and was educated in Bangkok. After her graduation from Srinakarinwirot University in 1976, she started her first career as a teacher of English at Vajiravudh College in Bangkok. Following this, she earned a Master’s degree in Higher and Adult Continuing Education in 1982 from Teachers College, Columbia University. Usa worked for Mahidol University in Bangkok as an Academic Affairs Officer before she returned to Teachers College and began working full-time at TC Library in 1988. Her responsibilities at TC library included supervising part-time employees at the Circulation & Reference Services and managing Reserve materials for faculty. Her interest and willingness to learn the new things has inspired her to earn two more Master’s degrees while working full-time at Teachers College. The areas of interest and specializations from these two graduate programs are International Educational Development with specialization in TESOL, and Communica...
Lauren is a science and tech journalist by day and a Gottesman Library Services Associate by night. She likes to talk about a lot of things, but mostly covers how technology affects our health, behavior, education and culture. She recently attended NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and received a Master's degree in journalism. For fun, she collects comic books and browses digital library archives.
Rosa is a visual designer intern in EdLab. She is passionate about problem-solving and building innovation user experience. She is highly interested in UI design, creative coding, and product development.
Kevin Camacho is currently in his first year at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). He wants to eventually pursue a degree in graphic design. At EdLab, Kevin works with the DigiQ team in a host of capacities. He fulfills requests from library patrons via DocDel and is working with the team on digitizing all of Teachers College's historical archives. Outside of EdLab, he plays competitive soccer for South Bronx United.
Derrick Cordova is a senior at Kingsbridge International High School. He will be attending the College of Mount Saint Vincent this Fall where he plans to study nursing. Derrick works as a member of the DigiQ team at EdLab. He is currently working on digitizing Teachers College's historical records to enhance research opportunities for members of the community. He plays competitive soccer for South Bronx United.
Srujan is a Software Developer at EdLab, and simultaneously is also an MPA candidate at SIPA, Columbia University. Srujan's interests in EdLab are acting as a bridge between designers and code. He loves finding out about and learning new technology that would perfectly suit the problems at hand.
Prior to EdLab and SIPA, Srujan worked at the Reserve Bank of India as a Policy Researcher and Data Analyst, at a Financial Technology firm as a Quant Developer, and at an Education Technology startup as the Technology Lead. Besides technology, his interests are broad, including Economic Policy, Governance, Public Finance and Development.
Srujan graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2012, with a Bachelors in Technology. He lived in Hyderabad and Mumbai, India prior to moving to New York.
Sabarish is an avid user experience + interaction engineer. He has a Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan, School of Information (Ann Arbor, MI) and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University (Bangalore, India).
Sabarish has a unique mix of user experience and interaction design skills along with extensive software development experience. He has worked on a diverse set of technologies, including web, mobile, tablet, PC, smart cars, wearables and internet of things, across various domains, including healthcare, education and consumer electronics.
He joined Edlab at Teachers College after a two year stint at Empirical, a UX research and design agency in Portland, OR, where he did interaction design, prototyping and web development. Before Empirical, Sabarish interned for New York University, University of Michigan and Dell.
Seungkyun (SK) is a user experience + industrial designer on the Design team, who is particularly curious about where the digital and the physical meet. She received her BFA in Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design, where she fell in love with making things and studying people. She recently completed her MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design, and developed a passion for exploring the intersection of people, design and technology.
Seungkyun grew up in six different countries including Korea, Japan, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Jamaica, and the United States. She also briefly lived in South Africa prior to coming to New York for grad school. She enjoys learning about different cultures, and that is probably where her passion for studying people comes from.
Lorraine LaPrade can best be described as a “Jack(ie) of all trades.” She is a newby librarian, performance artist, and self-defense instructor. She holds a M.S. in Library Science from Long Island University, CW Post, and a M.A. in Women’s Studies from Claremont Graduate University.
Joann is fond of wild ideas and making them happen. She is a product manager at EdLab where she's held court for nearly 10 years. A graduate of Teachers College's Counseling Psychology program, her pursuit to understand human behavior guides her approach to product development and helps her gain deeper insights when observing and interviewing users. While she currently resides in the world of user research, Joann's first foray into research was no laughing matter. She was part of a humor research lab, where she studied the dimensions of offensive and conforming humor. And yes, she does know many, many, many terrible jokes. Just ask.
When not promoting EdLab's wide array of learning applications and services to the greater education community, Joann can be found leading design events, creating online learning experiences, and, most importantly, organizing EdLab karaoke parties.
Xiang is a member of the research team at the EdLab. His interests lie mainly in mathematical and statistical modeling of psychological and educational problems. More specifically, Xiang's current research is in Bayesian statistics, measurement theory, educational statistics, machine learning/data mining techniques, and combinatorial algorithms. He believes that quantitative research can make a significant impact on development of educational technology.
Xiang received his undergraduate degree from Maryville College(TN) in mathematics and computer science. He is currently pursing Ph.D. in Psychometrics at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining the EdLab, Xiang was at The University of Virginia. His previous research experience include Item Response Theory, Generalizability Theory, and Computer Adaptive Testing.
Francisco Mendoza is working on completing his Associate's Degree. He plans to complete his bachelors in criminal justice and work for one of the law enforcement agencies. At EdLab, he is working with the Digitization Queue (DigiQ) team to digitize Teachers College's historical archives. A New York City resident his entire life, he enjoys playing soccer in his spare time.
Antonia has worked at EdLab as a Services Associate since 2013. She taught Special Education after college, and received her MSIS at UT Austin in 2011. She has published educational outreach resources for NCWIT, and co-edited a compilation of case studies and essays entitled Library Services to Indigenous Populations for IFLA.
She is currently getting her doctorate in clinical psychology at Adelphi University, and drumming in a Samba-reggae marching band.
Christopher Gu is the Director of Administrative Solutions for the Gottesman Libraries and EdLab at Teachers College. In this role, he provides innovative leadership and strategic direction for essential services to the directors and staff of the library in the areas of budget and financial management, facilities operations and building safety, and human resources and talent development.
Prior to working at Teachers College, Christopher was an Adjunct Instructor at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies, where he taught a graduate course in Financial Management. He has also worked for several years in higher education administration and broadcast journalism. Christopher completed his M.B.A. at the NYU Stern School of Business, where he focused his studies on Organizational Management. He also holds a B.A. in Journalism from the NYU College of Arts and Science.
In the great expansion of a single life we’ve seen Veronica Black take on many collaborative challenges. As a young rebel she defied standards to encourage colleagues and neighboring community members to rally against harsh muddy sandbox mandates. Though she was condemned to never make mud in the sandbox, this didn’t mean that she couldn’t orchestrate others in a “Bring a Single Cup of Water” drive to create mud in the sandbox. As a motivational leader at a young age, Ms. Black showed that when obstacles stand in her way she calls upon her unwavering creativity to push her commu...
Allen is Senior Librarian, Library Services. He provides in-class library information sessions, research consultation, and email and in-person reference service, and he's involved in developing research guides specific to the College's departments and programs for the library's website and the Learning at the Library blog. He has a BA and an MA in English literature from Cornell University, and an MS in library service from Columbia University. He is interested in promoting and supporting research mastery (a few steps beyond "information literacy"), and he finds contributing to library users' fluency in the use of rich resources very gratifying.