Meet Jess, the writer and journalist creating our digital presence!
Jess joined the lab in September of 2019 for the UNT College of Visual Art + Design Open House event where we opened the doors of our new space to the public for the first time. Since then she’s written about and reported news for various lab projects, such as INSTRUMENT | One Antarctic Night, ATLAS in Silico, Elemental Mayhem, and more, as well as many new publications. Along with sharing about research from the lab, Jess also writes and creates media campaigns to highlight our collaborations, such as the SIGGRAPH 2020 Art Papers Sessions and AI, Art, and Social Justice Panel, the Artnodes issue on AI, Arts, + Design in collaboration with Leonardo, and more. Whether it’s on our Twitter, Facebook, or our website, any time you see a new post (including this one!) it was probably written by Jess. (You can imagine how strange it’s been writing in the third person about how I’m the one who writes these posts!)
As an integrative studies major, Jess is combining the fields of journalism, communications, and digital media studies as well as an English minor to pursue her love of writing and sharing ideas. Outside of writing for the lab, Jess currently writes and creates social media content for HerCampus UNT, a student organization and elite chapter of the national HerCampus online publication. She also writes fiction in her free time and hopes to one day publish a book.
Here’s a quick Q + A to get to know more about Jess’s experience as a member of the lab and her life outside of it:
Q: What motivates you to pursue art + science research?
A: I’m curious about the relationship between art and emerging technology and the impact of this collaboration on our society. The work we do in these areas at xREZ is a great source of inspiration for me as a writer. We are constantly finding innovative ways to connect with the world and each other through the intersections of art and science. We create visually and technically interesting projects that allow people to see the world in new ways and learn from the experience. I also deeply appreciate the integrative nature of the lab regarding all of our different fields of study. Here we find the crossovers between psychology, computer science, biology, sociology, anthropology, social justice, and more and use each of our strengths to learn from and grow with each other.
Q: What is your most memorable, meaningful, proud, or fun experience at the lab?
A: My proudest moment at the lab so far has been creating social media plans for the SIGGRAPH 2020 Art Papers Sessions and the AI, Art, and Social Justice Panel. Communicating about this topic reached a broader audience and connected with more people than we’ve ever had before on any of our platforms so I’m very proud of how it turned out. It’s been an honor to share the work of such incredible speakers who make a real impact in the world and to be able to participate in a critical discussion about how we can include and fight discrimination against underrepresented communities through the intersections of AI and Art.
Q: What is your most meaningful, memorable, proud, or fun experience in your life?
A: I think the most meaningful part of my life, not necessarily just a moment, was going off to college and figuring out what I want for myself and getting into the groove of living on my own. I’m still learning so much even over a year after leaving home and I know I have so much more ahead of me. I’ve also been able to come into my own as a creative professional and really figure out how I want to contribute to the world.
Q: What is something about you that might surprise your lab mates?
A: For about a year when I was around 13, I was involved in an Air force auxiliary program along with my brother. It wasn’t for me as much as it was for him but I did have a good time and learned a lot about myself.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of the lab?
A: I write fiction, blog, read, play video games with my roommates, listen to podcasts, and play with my cat, Mattie.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I have a growing collection of tattoos based on books that mean a lot to me so based on that I would have to say The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater, the All for the Game series by Nora Sakavic, and anything written by Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo, or V.E. Schwab. I’m a huge fan of fantasy.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
Q: What’s your favorite place to visit?
A: Seattle is my favorite place that I’ve already visited but the places I’m looking forward to visiting most in the future are London and New York City.
Q: Who is your favorite musical artist?
A: I’m always finding new artists and it’s hard to choose just one but I would have to say Lorde. I also listen to a lot of musicals.
Q: What is your favorite charitable cause?
A: My favorite charitable causes are those that help LGBTQ+ youth, such as The Trevor Project, because I know from personal experience how hard it can be to find support and community.