Hi, everyone! I'm pleased to announce that I have been selected as the University of Arizona South's very first Faculty Fellow! I wanted to take some time to introduce myself, explain what the Faculty Fellow does, and provide you with some avenues for getting in contact with me and taking advantage of what the Faculty Fellow can offer.
First, let me introduce myself. I'm an Assistant Professor in the Educational Technology program where I teach topics like human-computer interaction, game design, integrating technology into the curriculum, and advanced multimedia. My research mainly revolves around how technology and design mediate our experience of and in the world and how that changes based on our relative distance from it, whether as a separate construct or if we fuse with it. (All that's a fancy way of saying I like to study video games and write about cyborgs.) I live in Tucson with my partner Adriana and our two dogs, Sofie and Menchi. In my spare time I do some photography and run a podcast.
So the question is, 'What is a Faculty Fellow?' Basically, the Faculty Fellows is a select group of faculty from all over the institution (there are about 50 of us) that focuses on developing within students a connection and sense of community to the university and to each other. We're here to help build student-student, student-faculty, and student-campus relationships. The goal is, essentially, to make a large university experience feel like the small liberal arts college experience where you get to know everyone and feel personally invested in the community. We at UA South are a special case, however: we're all over the place! That makes my job a bit more difficult but my promise to you is that I will do my best.
As your Fellow I'm here to act as a kind of mentor, a guide, and a friend. If you want to chat, ask questions, get advice, or even just grab lunch, I'm available and would love to hear from you. There are lots of ways to get in contact with me, too! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, DM me on our UA South Slack team at @ryanstraight, you can hit me up on Twitter at the official @uasfellow account or my own at @ryanstraight, even on Instagram also at @uasfellow. There's even a Facebook page. Since we just started these may be a little bare but not for long! If you’d like to communicate with me through more private channels you can find me on Keybase, Signal, and Wickr, as well.
My hope is that together we can achieve the goal of the Faculty Fellows and make UA South even more of a family than it already is. See you soon!