Meet the Instructors

Lisa Rhody

Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives

Dr. Lisa Rhody is the Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives at the Graduate Center at CUNY. Before joining the Graduate Center, Lisa was associate director of research and research assistant professor at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University, where she oversaw technical development of PressForward and Zotero. She was also editor of the Journal of Digital Humanities and Digital Humanities Now. She earned her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland. Her research combines advanced computational methods such as topic modeling and social network analysis with more traditional literary analysis to study 20th and 21st-century American literature, particularly ekphrastic poetry (poems that take the visual arts as their subject) by contemporary women poets. More broadly, she is interested in the 20th and 21st century American literature, verbal-visual studies, scholarly communication, and digital humanities.

Stephen Zweibel

Digital Scholarship Librarian

Stephen Zweibel is the Data and Digital Projects Librarian at CUNY Graduate Center and the lead developer of the NEH-funded DH Box, a digital humanities laboratory in the cloud. As a library systems specialist, Stephen focuses on emerging technologies for reference and data management, with a particular focus on APIs, web apps, and flexible distributions. His previous projects include Augur, a web app that tracks statistics about library reference desk interactions, and Know Thy Shelf, a radio frequency identification (RFID)-based inventory management system for libraries.

Stefano Morello

Digital Fellow, English

Stefano Morello is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in English. His academic interests include American Studies, pop culture, poetics, and archive theory. His dissertation explores the heterotopic space of the East-Bay punk scene, its modes of resistance and (dis-)association, and the clashes between its politics and aesthetics. He serves as co-chair of the Graduate Forum of the Italian Association for American Studies (AISNA) and is a founding editor of its journal, JAm It! (Journal of American Studies in Italy). As a digital humanist, Stefano focuses on archival practices, with a knack for archival pedagogy and public facing initiatives. He is currently creating an open access archive of East Bay zines and co-curating an exhibition based on his yet unpublished M.A. dissertation on the Lung Block, a neighborhood on the Lower East Side subject to a process of slum-making during the Progressive Era.

Kelsey Chatlosh

Digital Fellow, Anthropology

Kelsey Chatlosh is a cultural anthropology Ph.D. student and Digital Fellow at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Her future dissertation research focuses on Afro-Chilean activism for state recognition, territory and alternative discourses of memory and history, and how they are contesting dominant narratives of Chilean history and nationhood. Her work as a Digital Fellow is focused on digital tools and platforms for qualitative research and oral interviews, with an emphasis on ethics, political economy and decolonizing and feminist methods.

Olivia Ildefonso

Digital Fellow, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Olivia Ildefonso is a doctoral student in Earth and Environmental Sciences with a specialization in Human Geography. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between school segregation and capitalism. Olivia is from Long Island, New York and has worked as a racial justice activist on Long Island for the past ten years. She has worked for the civil rights organization ERASE Racism since 2010 and she has served on the board of directors for STRONG Youth, a gang prevention and intervention organization, since 2013. Olivia’s work as a digital fellow is focused on GIS mapping, digital tools for multimedia narratives, and data visualization.

Jojo Karlin

Digital Fellow, English

Jojo Karlin is a second year doctoral student in English at The Graduate Center, CUNY, researching transmissions of memory after periods of rapid technological transformation. Coming from a theater background, Jojo loves the intersection of disciplines, multiple media, and diverse expertises she finds in Digital Humanities. For her first big DH project, she did outreach for TANDEM, a web tool that gathers text and image data, and she now proudly coordinates outreach for DH Box, the GC's NEH-funded DH cloud laboratory. She is a freelance editor for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia, and is developing a digital interface for a collection of historical letters. Jojo is deeply interested in digital editions preserving past materiality while exploring new materials.

Javier Otero Peña

Digital Fellow, Environmental Psychology

Javier Otero Peña is a Venezuelan 2nd year student in Environmental Psychology. He is currently involved in a research project to study the politization of a public space in East Harlem through participatory art on a wall. He is also interested in exploring how the presence of public spaces in social media can transform the perception of these spaces and even become part of their identity; in other words, how the virtual space becomes an extension of the physical space. Javier holds a Master in Environmental Policies and Sustainable Development, and taught a class on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean at the Paris Catholic University. He also worked as a consultant for the United Nations Environment Programme for three years.

Rafael Davis Portela

Digital Fellow, History

Rafael Davis Portela is a Ph.D. student in the History department, specializing in the History of Capitalism and Urban History in Latin America. He is also a member of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies–CLACLS, and Adjunct Professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he teaches courses on Latin American History. As a Digital Fellow, he works and leads workshops on Python, Markdown and Network Analysis, and spends more time than he should on Emacs.

Rachel Rakov

Digital Fellow, Linguistics

Rachel Rakov is a doctoral student in the Linguistics Department, with a focus in Computational Linguistics. Her research is on improving speech prosody modeling techniques for a variety of tasks that fall within automatic speech recognition. Her current research is using prosody modeling to train computational models that can distinguishing between native and non-native speech. She has also worked on building tools for automatic language identification, and tools for automatic detection of sarcastic speech. She has presented her research at Interspeech as well as at Python conferences. Rachel has helped develop and teach courses in Python programming and Natural Language Processing for the Computational Linguistics MA program at The Graduate Center. She was also a consultant on O'Reilly book “Introduction to Machine Learning”, where she provided input on how to make the content of the book more accessible to readers without a math or CS background. Rachel has been an intern with the Speech-Language Technology team at Interactions, works in the Speech Lab at Queens College, and teaches at Hunter College.

Patrick Sweeney

Digital Fellow, Psychology

Patrick Sweeney is a doctoral candidate in Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY); and a Digital Fellow at the Graduate Center Digital Scholarship Lab. As a part of his role as a Digital Fellow, he is a faculty liaison to the New Media Lab. He also is a graduate student representative to the Executive Committee of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology. His dissertation explores the complementary application of computer assisted text analysis and discourse analysis to study how scientific theories about the etiology of homosexuality have become part of public discourse and used in arguments to expand or contract the scope of justice. His research interests include moral inclusion, citizenship, queer theory, qualitative methods, digital media, and critical psychology. Prior to becoming a Digital Fellow, Patrick taught psychology at Hunter College, CUNY; and was a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY.

Kristen Hackett

Digital Fellow, Psychology

Kristen Hackett is a scholar, activist and educator living and working in New York City. She is a PhD Candidate in Environmental Psychology Program at the Graduate Center of the City of New York, a Digital Fellow with the GC Digital Scholarship Lab, a Digital Pedagogy Fellow with the OpenLab at City Tech, a Coordinator of OpenCUNY, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Justice For All Coalition. Her research interests are in housing and community development in NYC, political and social responses to increasing insecurity and precarity and how art and technology can be used in consciousness-raising and resistance efforts and to advocate for community/human-centered policy development. For her dissertation, Kristen is exploring these themes through the lens a proposed rezoning in Long Island City, NY.

Hannah Aizenman

Digital Fellow, Computer Science

Hannah Aizenman is a doctoral student in Computer Science. Her research is in using machine learning to make sense of and visualize large, mostly climate, datasets. She was an adjunct at CCNY for the past 5 years and has taught and mentored high school students for the CREST HIRES REU program for the past 3 summers. Most recently, she's been a contributor to the open source matplotlib (Python's main visualization library) project; specifically she's been adding better support for visualizing categorical data.

Patrick Smyth

Digital Fellow, English

Patrick Smyth is a Ph.D. student in English and MA Advising Fellow at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He is a developer for DH Box, an NEH-funded project to make the digital humanities more widely accessible, and recently led curriculum design for the Digital Research Institute, a week-long intensive course in digital methods at the Graduate Center. Patrick works at the intersection of the digital humanities, disability studies, and the public humanities. Two of his recent projects include the NEH Impact Index and Eloud, a screen reader written in the Lisp programming language. His thesis project is Negotiated Access, an argument on the need for citizen technology to express and preserve community values. Patrick is a former Fulbright Fellow, and has taught at Queens College. First name: Last name: Say hi!

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