By Ellen Garnett
The Simmons community welcomed Senior Lecturer Kristin Scott in the Communications Department this semester. The Voice sat down with Professor Scott for a chance to get to know her better.
1. What is your role here at Simmons?
I am a senior lecturer in the Communications Department, and I teach in the media arts concentration. Some of the courses I’m currently teaching or scheduled to teach in the spring include: Virtual Boston (a Boston course), Visual Communication, Media Convergence, and a new leadership course, Civic Engagement and Mobile Activism.
2. What are your recent and current projects?
I just published my first book: “The Digital City and Mediated Urban Ecologies.” In my book, I examine the digital technological initiatives and programs of three major cities in the U.S. (New York, Seattle, and San Antonio) and how each city’s government and public officials deploy terms such as “digital,” “smart,” and “cyber” to describe each city’s goals for urban digitality.
Because urban populations are rising at unprecedented rates, my research focuses on understanding how our everyday use of social media, digital and mobile technologies and apps, open data, and GPS-driven technologies connect to our understanding of and experiences within urban environments.
Because my background is cultural studies, I’m also always focused on issues of equality—and so my work is always driven by the desire to identify and challenge the various power dynamics that are at play in our everyday use of social media and digital technologies.
3. What was your role before you came to the College?
Before I came to Simmons, I was an assistant professor at the School of Integrative Studies at George Mason University in northern Virginia, where I also earned my Ph.D. in Cultural Studies, with a focus on media studies.
4. It is the honeymoon phase of your time at Simmons. What is your favorite aspect of it so far?
My favorite aspect of Simmons so far is the wonderful sense of community here. Having earned my undergraduate degree at Smith College, I was delighted to come full circle—back to Massachusetts, a women’s college and an empowering and tight-knit community, and a small liberal arts environment. My colleagues in the Communications Department are amazing, and I’m proud to be here.
5. What are some of your hobbies or interests?
My hobbies include photography, horseback riding (when I get the chance), traveling, and wandering around the city. I love to get lost and just roam. I also love hiking, kayaking, and being outdoors, and I go to Maine frequently for my nature fixes!
6. Tell us a fun fact about you.
Fun fact: I learned to fly an airplane in my early twenties and got to land the plane on my first flight!
7. What do you think your spirit animal would be?
Spirit animal: perhaps the fox, since I’ve seen them a lot in the past year or so. I hear that the animal that you see most often is likely your spirit guide for that time period.
The fox is swift and good at navigating obstacles, adaptable, discerning, persistent, able to be still and silent, and good at dealing with tricky situations; and the fox is also playful and energetic. I’d like to believe these are all good guiding traits for me in this time of my life.
8. If you have one message for the Simmons community, what would it be?
My message to the Simmons community is this: continue to be kind, vocal, supportive, and empowering of one another. I’ve been deeply impressed by the Simmons community and its commitment to social justice.
We are in the midst of some potentially life-changing, historical moments, and I think each and every person on this campus has the ability to help lead and enact the changes we so desperately need.
If you see Professor Scott around on the academic campus, make sure to give her a nice warm welcome.