MST Times

Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Newsletter

MST Student Spotlight: Emily Bailin, Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design

By • Jan 6th, 2015 • Category: Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design
Emily Bailin, CMLTD Student

Photo Credit: Emily Bailin, CMLTD Student

Emily Bailin is a fourth year doctoral student in the Communication, Media, and Learning Design Technologies (CMLTD) program. She was born and raised in New York City.

Emily received her B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Dickinson College in 2007 and earned her M.Ed. in Education, Culture and Society from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. She spent the following year as a pre-doctoral research fellow at Temple University working at the Media Education Lab under Dr. Renee Hobbs, a leading scholar in the media literacy field.

“It was a pivotal year for me. I was applying to doctoral programs while gaining experience in designing qualitative research studies, running professional development programming, grant writing, and data analysis. It was a whirlwind, but helped me to lay a foundation for who I wanted to be as a scholar.”

Emily has also been a member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education since 2010 and earlier this year was asked to serve as an inaugural member of NAMLE’s Student Leadership Council, the role of which is to grow the organization’s visibility, membership, and professional development opportunities.

Emily’s academic interests include new literacies, multimodality, youth media production, digital storytelling, and pedagogies related to cultural relevance, social justice and hip-hop. Emily identifies as an anti-racist educator. Through engaging in her own on-going identity work and sharing her experiences with others, she hopes to provide a different set of entry points through which to engage in difficult conversations about race and privilege. Most recently, she has been exploring narrative inquiry methods and thinking about how multimodal storytelling practices can be used to engage pre-service and current educators in identity work. “Sharing personal stories can be a vulnerable and intense experience and while young people are often asked to share their stories, teachers rarely engage in the processes themselves.”

She has a background in media literacy education, with a specific focus on the role that mass media and popular culture play in the shaping of adolescents’ identities. She works with young people and educators on how to think more critically about and deconstruct media images and messages in order to recognize how socially constructed concepts like race, class, and gender are reinforced and perpetuated in mainstream popular content and subsequently how we can talk back to the media by creating our own media texts. Two years ago, Emily had the opportunity to teach a media arts elective for 5th and 6th grade students at KIPP S.T.A.R. Charter School on 123rd St.

“I was able to design my own curriculum, which evolved over the course of the year in response to students’ interests and the ideas and issues that emerged in class discussions and activities. As somewhat of a novice educator, this was one of the most challenging but ultimately rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. I’m a better person, better scholar, and better educator because of what I learned about myself through teaching and more importantly what my students taught me.”

Last year, Emily took a position through TC’s Office of School-Community Partnerships to facilitate a digital storytelling after school program at Frederick Douglass Academy II, one of the extended learning opportunity (ELO) programs offered through the Harlem Ivy school-university partnership. “It was my first time working with high school students and it was an incredible experience. We engaged with a variety of texts and platforms (from music videos, documentaries, reality television, to spoken word poetry, collaging, photography and film, and writing) to explore our own identities, what messages we receive from others and society about who we ‘should’ be, who we are, and who we want to be.” In May, students screened their digital stories at the end-of-the-year showcase held in Cowin auditorium. “It was a powerful afternoon and I was humbled and honored to have worked with an incredible group of young people throughout the year.”

In the spring of 2014, Emily served as a co-instructor with Dr. Olga Hubard, a professor in the Art & Art History Department at Teachers College, for her course, “Exploring Cultural Diversity: Implications for Art Education.” The course is designed to support pre-service teachers in becoming more critical, caring, and aware human beings who grow into culturally responsive and socially just educators.

“I was not only given opportunities to contribute my expertise on social identity work, hip-hop pedagogy, multimodality, digital media, and media literacy when revising the syllabus and planning class sessions, but was also invited to co-teach classes and facilitate discussions throughout the semester. It was such a rich experience.”

In May, Emily and Dr. Hubard were awarded one of the Dean’s Fellowships for Teaching and Diversity for the 2014-2015 academic year, which will allow them to co-teach the course again next spring. Emily is currently working on her pilot study and hopes to use the course as a site in which to explore how pre-service teachers reflect on and engage with aspects of their identities through writing and art-making.

You can find Emily on Twitter @emilybailin, read her blog at, and watch her recent TEDx talk, “The Power and Potential of Digital Storytelling,” here:


Tagged as: -->

Comments are closed.