July 26th 2018
Building on my work with the smartphone-focused fieldwork course at Vassar College this past spring, this summer I designed and taught a two-week intensive digital literacy/smartphone summer camp called D-LIT. To read all about our day-by-day adventures, check out our camp blog!
The Poughkeepsie Journal ended up doing a piece on D-LIT.
I’m quoted regarding the camp’s digital literacy objectives:
“…only 3 percent of the average teen’s digital screen time is spent creating: writing, coding, or making digital art or music, according to Common Sense Media. Most of the time is devoted to watching, listening or reading, playing games and web browsing, or using social media. ‘That’s a very small percentage of a huge amount of time,’ said Mary Ellen Iatropoulos, director of experience at Art Effect. The camp seeks to change that for the middle schoolers.
The hope, Iatropoulos said, is students will ‘get over the initial hurdle of not knowing where to go or what apps to use … and in their free time, dive deeper’ into a smartphone’s creative possibilities.”
March 26 2018
REMIX NYC Newsletter
Following an exciting and inspiring few days of attending the REMIX NYC conference with co-workers, I was delighted to see the organizers include a tweet of mine in their capstone newsletter. Glad to be of service, REMIX NYC! Thanks to Wave Farm (formerly free103point9) and NYSCA for sponsoring us!
February 28 2018
Professional Development for Millbrook Central School District Teachers
December 14 2017
Holiday Helping Hands Grant covered by Poughkeepsie Journal
I am quoted speaking about the winter holiday celebration my organization held for teens and their families. In a nutshell…
“The private party for students will be held after Christmas, and it will feature a student art display and screenings of student videos and films. In addition, 40 students will go home with a gift related to their interest.
“One student, for example, is getting a sketchbook and pencils, while another is getting a flash drive to store their digital work,” Iatropoulos said.
The goal of the gifts is to allow these students to continue pursuing their passions at home, said Melissa Clark, director of community impact at United Way.”
July 16 2017
Cameo in Ms. Mojo Video
I’m not sure how this footage from the 2012 Vancouver Slayage Conference ended up in this video listicle, but check out my cameo at 3:30.
April 13 2017
The Spark Media Project youth-produced film Santa Woman was selected as a finalist in The America I Am youth film fest from the Tribeca Film Festival!
The Poughkeepsie Journal covered the story here. They quote me regarding this tremendous achievement for the youth and for Spark Media Project (screencap below).
January 11th 2017
I found this review of the book I co-edited (Joss Whedon and Race: Critical Essays) and it’s gratifying beyond my wildest writerly dreams.
“Television isn’t just entertainment. It’s a mirror of our cultural attitudes. What we don’t show on television is, in some ways, even more important than what we do. The sort of analysis presented in Joss Whedon and Race is absolutely vital in understanding how even people with the best of intentions are helping to perpetuate a system designed to uphold white supremacy.”
August 14th, 2016
The F.R.A.M.E. program’s partnership with Scenic Hudson resulted in an incredible professional film that’s covered here.
“Called Poughkeepsie, Connected, the nine-minute film follows two teenagers (Christopher Bird and Constantine Jackson) as they walk southward along the riverfront, from Walkway Over the Hudson through Upper Landing, Waryas and Kaal Rock parks. In addition to exploring these existing assets, the youth learn about the need to provide better links between them and the downtown.”
July 14th, 2016
Northhampton University (UK) covers the 7th Biennial Slayage Conference On the Whedonverses (it briefly mentions the paper I presented with Dr. Lorna Jowett).
April 13th 2016
I was invited to La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA to give a plenary address as well as give a guest lecture to an undergraduate seminar.
Spark Media Project received an award commending the organization for its institutional inclusivity. We’re proud to work with a very diverse group of people and we celebrate our neuro-divergent team members!
June 19th, 2015
I had the chance to design a series of Shakespeare residencies in 12th grade ELA classes revolving around adapting the bard’s plays into stop-motion animation shorts.
Recognition from SUNY New Paltz
One of my many job responsibilities is managing our internship program, and during the spring 2015 semester, the Health and Human Services Department at SUNY New Paltz recognized my work in developing and shaping their undergraduates’ internship experiences.
January 24th, 2015
Hudson Valley News Network covered the ribbon-cutting even officially celebrating the switchover from Children’s Media Project to Spark Media Project. And I got to hold the oversized scissors!
November 21st, 2014
In collaboration with the Beacon Indie Film Festival, I taught a “weekend whirlwind” filmmaking intensive workshop at the Howland Library in Beacon that caught the attention of Hudson Valley News Network. The fabulous Donna Reyer brings you the story…
Read the write-up and watch the video here. To hear me wax pedagogical over digital media and 21st-Century learning trends, skip to 1:19.
October 1st, 2014
Hudson Valley News Network produced this video about Spark Media Project’s 2014 Reel Expressions International Youth Film Festival (I’m onstage at the Bardavon at 3:30). On a side note, it’s odd and unsettling to think of Spark now under its old name, Children’s Media Project. Feels wrong.
June 22nd, 2014
I delivered a talk entitled “It’s About Power: Critical Race Theory Across The Whedonverses” as a featured plenary address at the 6th biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses. The below is the journal’s coverage of my speech.
February 26th, 2014
Panel Review in Miscellany News
Vassar’s Miscellany News provided the following writeup of a panel in which I participated, “Diversity In Nerd Culture,”at NonCon 2014.
December 10th, 2013
” . . . thank you for taking the time to come and speak with my Juvenile Delinquency class this semester. It was a perfect presentation to what we have studied about youth, their struggles, and community efforts to support them. It was particularly relevant as I found myself frequently referring back to your program and its components throughout the rest of the semester. It is a good example of many areas that we study and students always remember lessons that include a hands-on learning experience. So I am very grateful to you for coming and hope that I might call upon you again next Fall [semester] when I teach the course again.”
— Donna Chaffee, LCSW, Professor/Concentration in Human Services, Department of Sociology, SUNY New Paltz
December 4th, 2013
” . . . we would like to thank you for your participation in the 5th Annual Youth Forum for High School Students. We appreciate the time you spent with the Forum attendees. They really enjoyed the activity on stop-motion animation. You gave the attendees the ability to critique advertising messages and images that could cause stress and you raised their awareness of misleading messages and images that could cause stress and you raised their awareness of misleading messages that often appear in advertisements.
Once again, thank you for the time and energy you gave to share your knowledge and services with Dutchess County’s youth.”
— June Ellen Notaro, Director of Division of Youth Services / Noah Merritt, Executive Director of Educational Programs, Dutchess B.O.C.E.S., after a hands-on workshop for over 100 youth on November 20th 2013.
August 7th 2013
In which I am quoted regarding the benefits the Vassar Community Fellows Program bring to Children’s Media Project and to Poughkeepsie nonprofits in general.
March 2nd 2013
Times Daily News (Florence, AL):
March 1st, 2013
Country Wisdom News (Kerhonkson, NY)
Continue reading here:
February 27, 2013
“Mary Ellen has an uncanny ability to dive into the most complex, controversial areas of human identity and cultural construction, and to guide adolescents through lessons that lead to self-discovery and profound insights about how our minds are influenced by media messages and dominant cultural symbols. A passionate educator, she makes this information immediate and relevant to their lives by incorporating pop culture analysis (such as “The Rue Snafu”—the ignorant public response to the film The Hunger Games) and stretching their minds to take a second look at cultural constructions that can be taken for granted and internalized. While many shy away from tackling these issues of stereotype and prejudice in the classroom, Mary Ellen’s professional presentation, extensive knowledge base, and compassionate demeanor make the experience of venturing into these sometimes rough waters not only a feasible task, but also an immensely rewarding learning experience. Students and educators alike will benefit from Mary Ellen’s work, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with her on such meaningful learning.”
– Beck Rourke-Mooney, 8th grade ELA teacher, Poughkeepsie Day School, after guest lecture and workshop on stereotypes and media
Breaking the Silence (WHVW 950 AM)
Guest Appearance on AM radio show, in which I speak about popular culture’s tendency to trivialize domestic violence and its impact on everyday behavior.
Hudson River Valley Institute Newsletter
Excerpt from review of 2010 Teaching the Hudson Valley conference: “Mary Ellen Iatropoulos gave a great presentation on how to integrate video editing, literature, and the environment into a single lesson.”
READITNOW Interview 2008 (PDF)