Catherine Lewis is an Assistant Professor in the Digital Design & Animation program within the Humanities Department of Hostos Community College. Professor Lewis holds a B.A. from The University of Virginia in Charlottesville in Art History and Studio Art and an M.F.A. from Parsons The New School for Design in Design and Technology.
Professor Lewis began her career far away from academia in luxury goods at Baccarat, the french crystal house. During her five years with the company, Professor Lewis worked with all sectors of Baccarat’s business including its national wholesale salesforce, its network of retail store management, and its international team managing custom corporate and designer business. As Corporate and Design Manager, Professor Lewis gained skills in long-term project management, data tracking and analysis, as well as product development and design. These invaluable skills provided Professor Lewis with a strong administrative foundation for her work in service to the Digital Design & Animation and Digital Music programs as well as to the larger institution of Hostos.
Professor Lewis spent her time at Parsons The New School for Design exploring the crossroads of technology and education with her thesis DeepFried Media. An on-line media literacy project for the middle school classroom, DeepFried Media gave students the opportunity to build their 21st century skill set through collaboratively remixing found media, challenging sources, and re-imagining news headlines. Professor Lewis designed and developed the project using HTML, PHP, and MySQL. A freelance web designer and developer, Professor Lewis continued to develop her interactive skill set with projects for clients from the interior design, entertainment, and publishing industries.
Since joining the faculty at Hostos, Professor Lewis has focused on assessment, educational technology, and games for learning. As the Digital Design & Animation and Digital Music programs were in their infancy, there was a distinct need to establish methods of assessment for both the individual students as well as the programs themselves. Professor Lewis developed the Portfolio Review process to answer this need. This review takes place each semester and offers students the opportunity to express who they are as designers and their future career trajectories while developing their communication skills. The students present their work using an ePortfolio and are given both verbal and written feedback by a panel of critics comprised of industry professionals. The Portfolio Reviews keep students apprised of their educational progress, keep faculty in tune with program outcomes, and bring to light any needs for curricular revisions.
Professor Lewis is also greatly involved with Educational Technology initiatives at Hostos including the Information Learning Commons, Educational Technology Leadership Committee, and the ePortfolio Implementation Committee. Each of these committees serves the students and faculty of the college through initiatives such as Rewards Points incentive programs, research and development of new hardware, and the support of asynchronous and hybrid course development. Professor Lewis feels strongly, in particular, about the opportunity that ePortfolios offer to shift the culture of our learners to one of reflection.
And, of course, Professor Lewis has a passion for games for learning. A way to invigorate the classroom environment, games can also take students out of the South Bronx and into the larger community of New York City through large urban games. During a learning unit on public art in Professor Lewis’s 3D Design course, students are challenged to compete in a Public Art Scavenger Hunt throughout Lower Manhattan. Students must navigate the caverns of the Financial District in their search for large-scale art installations that meet certain design criteria. The hunt serves to reinforce the language of design, contextualize public art its impact on its surroundings, and give students the opportunity to work collaboratively.
Professor Lewis looks forward to continuing these initiatives in the future and finding new ways to bring innovative learning experiences and opportunities for professional growth to the students of Hostos Community College.