USC Annenberg Fellow Receives the Intel PhD Fellowship Award

Congratulations to Annenberg Fellow Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, a PhD candidate in the USC School of Cinematic Arts Media Arts and Practice program, who recently received the Intel PhD Fellowship Award!

McVeigh-Schultz’ research explores the intersections between platform affordances and communication rituals with particular emphasis on audience-performer interactions, such as during civic performances like town halls, political debates, and parliamentary rules. His work imagines alternative configurations to these otherwise familiar rituals. For example, McVeigh-Schultz seeks to find what a political debate would look like if the audience were able to convey live feedback to a candidate through the objects and architectural features that we tend to take for granted, such as the speaker’s lectern, the microphone, and the stage lighting. For his dissertation, McVeigh-Schultz is prototyping objects that convey aggregated real-time audience feedback, such as an animatronic microphone that moves based on the input from a live audience. McVeigh-Schultz puts an interesting twist on the conventional use of animatronics by exploring how objects can come to stand in for live audiences.

To explore questions of how heightened levels and new styles of audience engagement will spur the invention of new rituals and challenge the dominant logic of public address, McVeigh-Schultz will also incorporate a filmmaking component to tell a story about the alternate world in which these animistic objects and alternative rituals exist. The Intel PhD fellowship will support both the platform development and filmmaking components of his dissertation. Next year, McVeigh-Schultz will assemble a team of developers to help build an audience-feedback app toolkit for a variety of animistic objects, and will also put together a film crew to help tell the story about the world in which the animistic microphones might live. Last year, McVeigh-Schultz had the opportunity to intern with Intel’s Interaction Experience Research group under Jay Melican, who is now his fellowship mentor. During this internship, McVeigh-Schultz also worked with Senior User Experience Lead Adam Jordan to explore platforms that enable playful engagement with data. 

PhD Candidate Awarded Canadian Dissertation Scholarship

PhD Candidate Awarded Canadian Dissertation Scholarship
By Mike McNulty
July 17, 2013

Republished from the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy website


Occupational science PhD candidate Michelle Elliot has been awarded a scholarship from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to support her qualitative research. The SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship will support the final stages of Elliot’s PhD dissertation project entitled “Unpacking Experiences and Narratives of Students: Life Changing, Changing Life or Merely Taking a Trip.”

Elliot is exploring experiences which have the potential to be transformative by examining the roles of expectation, reflection, immersion and travel. Many institutions offer student service learning, study abroad, and international immersion programs, often advertised as offering ‘life changing’ experiences, and Elliot’s interest is in understanding the impact of such programs on students’ personal, professional, and occupational identities. To explore such experiences, Elliot traveled with a group of occupational students completing an intensive short-term immersion in a developing foreign country as part of their professional training program. Her observations made during the trip, as well as narrative-based interviews conducted with the students, will provide the data for her phenomenological and ethnographic analyses.

Created by an act of the Parliament of Canada in 1977, the SSHRC is Canada’s federal research funding agency promoting and supporting postsecondary research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Elliot, a Canadian citizen, is a fourth year occupational science PhD candidate at the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. She completed her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy degree at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She has worked as a clinical occupational therapist in various mental health settings, including a dedicated eating disorder treatment program in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.