Recipients announced for BCNM Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Research Grants

UC’s Berkeley Center for New Media announces the recipients of the 2010 Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Research Grants. William Brown III, Irene Chien, Caitlin Marshall, and Reginold Royston each received an award of $1,000 to support their graduate research in new media with an interdisciplinary methodology. The grantees are a diverse group of graduate students whose research range from public health to videogames.

William Brown III (Dr.P.H. School of Public Health) explores how social media technologies
can be used to promote youth sexual health and HIV/STI prevention.

Irene Chien (Ph.D. Film Studies, D.E. New Media) researches connections between
technological and racial coding in videogames.

Caitlin Marshall (Ph.D. Performance Studies, D.E. New Media) interrogates understandings
of human and community in voicing norms for patients with voice-prosthetics.

Reginold Royston (Doctoral Student, African American Studies, D.E. New Media) researches
how a digital diaspora is deployed in news and entertainment media and networked-gaming
among transnational citizens from Ghana.


William Brown III received his BA in Sociology and African American Studies from UC Davis
in 2004 and his MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University in 2006.
Currently, William works on eCommunication projects at Health Research for Action in the
School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. He helped to develop a website with Internet Sexuality
Information Services (ISIS, Inc.) and SFDPH that provides government-subsidized HIV/STI
testing vouchers so that all San Francisco residents can get tested anywhere at no cost, hoping to
decrease racial and socio-economic disparities in minority testing for HIV/STIs. He lectures on
how to develop, prepare, and conduct online interviews on sensitive topics with minority
populations; and how to use online social networks to promote public health.
In pursuing his Dr.P.H. he aims to eliminate health disparities, promote social justice, and
utilize new media technologies to advance health education and outcomes among African
American, Latino, underserved, and economically disadvantaged youth. His dissertation "New
Media Interventions in Youth Sexual Health Promotion and HIV/STI Prevention" is in


Irene Chien is a Ph.D. candidate in Film Studies and New Media at the University of California,
Berkeley. She has published articles on Dance Revolution and on military machinima, as well as
contributed columns on photorealism, survival horror, and Grand Theft Auto IV to the film
journal Film Quarterly. She writes and teaches about embodiment, gender and race in cinema
and new media.

Her Ph.D. research focuses on the intertwined history of fighting and dancing games not only
because of the enduring popularity of these major game genres, but also because they both
foreground the body in exceptional ways. Her dissertation is titled, “Programmed Moves:
Fighting and Dancing Videogames, Embodiment, and Race.” It argues that fighting and
dancing games point to a key dynamic in videogame play –– the programming of the body into
the algorithmic logic of the game. Moreover, these games do this by investing players in
familiar racial, sexual, and national identifications. “Programmed Moves” points to the
connections between technological and social coding in videogames.


Caitlin Marshall is a second year PhD candidate in Performance Studies and New Media at UC
Berkeley. She is active as an academic, vocalist, and artist. Working between voice studies, new
media, and theories of the global south, Marshall’s project intervenes in contemporary polemics
over an Islamic voice by arguing for an understanding of voice-as-social-technology. Her current
work addresses the centralization of the adhan (Islamic call to prayer) in Cairo and European
anxiety and controversy over adhan broadcasts (Swiss minarets included). Her ongoing
research interrogates understandings of human and community in voicing norms for
laryngectomees / prosthetic-voice patients in post-colonial context. Marshall is founder and cochair
of VoxTAP, a Townsend Center working group on Voice in Theory, Art, and Practice


Reginold Royston is a graduate student in African American Studies and New Media at UC
Berkeley. His research investigates how diaspora is deployed across virtual worlds, news and
entertainment media, and networked-gaming among transnational citizens from Ghana
(Africa). It has centered around the concept of digital diaspora, in particular the virtual
communities constructed by those from Ghana where discourse around diaspora is central to
national identity. Using both traditional ethnographic methods and digital forms of participant
observation, he investigates how identity is constructed in increasingly mobile and ambient
environments, such as Facebook and networked-gaming sites for World Cup Football. His work
incorporates insights and methodology from sociology and anthropology; cultural and textual
analysis from African Studies; and critical insight on networks and IT development from new
media scholars. He will travel to Ghana to map networks of global exchange and interact with
the diaspora via research in the San Francisco Bay Area and online. Reginold has been a
reporter, graphic designer and music critic for Knight Ridder, Village Voice Media, and National

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UC’s Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM), located at the center of art/design, humanities,
and technology, is based in a public research university known for alternative thinking. The
Center’s mission is to understand what is new about each new media from cross-disciplinary
and global perspectives that emphasize humanities and the public interest. For more
information visit:
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For more information please contact Susan Miller,, 510 495 3505.