[ISEA2022] Institutional Presentation: Hira Roberts, Tracey L. Moore & Tim Mclaughlin — A Path To Constructing A Diverse Future in Digital Media Arts

Institutional Presentation Statement 

CCCB Auditorium, June 13th Session: Futures and speculations

Keywords: Underrepresented, diversity, digital-art, future, STEAM

This project aims to understand identity/cultural impact amongst middle-school minority students who wish to pursue digital-art and visual-computing related careers. It stems from an ongoing effort to understand the impact of near-peer mentoring and identity based user-generated content on the motivations of middle-school minority students to pursue college education.

Underrepresented minorities (URMs) interested in digital art and visual computing as career paths face unique challenges that can redirect their futures away from design. These challenges can be social, economic, or cultural and have historically led to a lack of diversity in the digital arts industry. Our institutions aim to get a better understanding of these challenges. We then hope to design solutions from the resulting research to create a pipeline that diversifies the future of art and technology. Our goal is to build roadmaps for URM middle-school students who wish to pursue art and technology in Higher Education and help overcome challenges that can hinder their ambitions.

This project stems from an ongoing collaborative research project between the Digital Media Arts Program at Prairie View A&M University and the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University with industry guidance from Gearbox Software and funding from the Simons Foudation’s Science Sandbox. The project’s primary focus is increasing enrollment in high school courses that lead to students being college ready, with a long-term goal on career readiness for digital world building, game development and other visual computing disciplines, for this project. This project aims to understand and build tools to address cultural and socio-economic barriers faced by minority students that wish to pursue the combination of art and technology as a career choice. The research data gathered from this study will be used to improve curricula and address issues that cause friction in pursuing digital art and visual computing careers.

  • Hira Roberts is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media Arts at PVAMU (Prairie View A&M University), USA. She has developed the courses for interactive media and game development offered at her institution. She has an undergraduate degree in Architecture and a graduate degree in digital art. She has a variety of skills ranging from 3D modeling, procedural world building, video game development, interactive installations, mixed reality and immersive art. Her projects incorporate emerging technologies combined with installations, projections, and virtual worlds along with traditional forms of art. Thematically, her work questions the transglobal binary expectations of women and questions the impact and influence of culture immigrant women in the United States. https://hiratroberts.com
  • Tracey L. Moore is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media Arts at PVAMU ((Prairie View A&M University), USA. She has a Bachelor of Art in Advertising Art and a Master of Fine Art in Studio art with a Concentration in Graphic Communications. Her research interests include merging graphic design and ethnographic principles for historic preservation. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracey-moore-aa713994
  • Tim Mclaughlin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University, USA, and has experience in the visual effects industry. His research interests include the use of 3D computer graphics in design, entertainment, and education. https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=fIFirNMAAAAJ&hl=en