Emoti-Con is an annual “Con”-ference supporting youth to “Emote” or express themselves through digital media and technology. They share projects across a range of interest areas, and address pressing issues in their global, local, and learning environments. Emoti-Con is the largest event of its kind amongst informal learning programs in New York City. The event has been developed through a unique collaboration among NYC youth-serving organizations and Hive NYC Learning Network members, including Mouse, the New York Public Library, the Hive Research Lab and Parsons The New School for Design. Emoti-Con addresses the need for cross-institutional collaboration and provides the much needed venue for youth to get offline and connect through their common identity as youth media producers and technologists.


The Emoti-Con Design Fellows are the youth who make Emoti-Con happen! Design Fellows work on graphic design projects (signs, t-shirts, flyers), post on social media to spread the word and get people excited, and help teens get prepared to participate. They also help plan the day, coming up with ideas for everything from swag and giveaways to what speakers should be on the stage. On the day of Emoti-Con, the Design Fellows are the greeters, MCs, and show-runners, and create a brand-new game or design challenge every year that every single person who comes to Emoti-Con participates in.

My name is Arvin Lin. I was born in New York and I go to Manhattan Hunter Science High School. Throughout my high school career, I have grew a passion for art and design. Art is a way for me to express my deepest thought as well as to give my audience a taste of my perspective on the world. The reason I am excited to be a part of Emoti-con 2017 because I want to explore my designing skills. Everyday I am exposed to something new about designing but something that stood with me was learning about graphic design. At first graphic design was something I have no knowledge about but because of this internship I was able to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator. To learn how to use this one software, I created my very first poster as well as grew an interest for graphic design. From this internship, I hope to continue my passion for art and design and to study engineering for my future career path.

Hi! My name is Nyasiah Colón. I was born in New York and I currently attend Manhattan Hunter Science High School! I loved art for as long as I can remember, I draw and doodle on almost on any piece of paper I have, but it’s been throughout high school where I learned that I have a huge passion for art, design and multimedia. I love to create and share stories because it has allowed me to be myself and to share some of my beliefs, experiences and personality with people in a fun and interactive way. I found out about Emoti-Con Design Lab from one of my cohorts at my writing program, Girls Write Now, and I decided to join because I want to be a game designer and since game designers work with different members of the team, I thought it would be a really cool experience. I walked in knowing a little about the process of graphic design, since I knew about some of the programs being used, but the internship has taught me so much more! I learned how to use 3D programs such as Unity and Tinkercad and I was able to create a graphic line! This internship has given me a taste of what it’s like to be a designer and it is something that I wish to continue to pursue throughout my college life.

Hi there! My name is Gissell Espinoza and I am a senior at Manhattan Hunter Science High School. I was born in New York City and have lived here my whole life. Although I go to a science school, my passion for art was brought forward by my art history class. I took art history for three consecutive years and studio art once. My teacher helped me become more involved in the arts by introducing me to several art internships and workshops. As a senior, I don’t take art classes anymore but I will continue to pursue art in college.

My name is Denise Reyes. I go to Bronxdale High School. I was born and raised in New York City. When I was going through rough times the only consolation I had was drawing. Through drawing my feelings, I was able to express how I feel and had a cathartic effect on me. In Emoti-Con I was able to express images in the trophies and posters I created. I was also able to pursue art as a graphic designer and learn how to use Tinkercad, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop. I know the skills I learned during my internship in Emoti-Con will help me while I’m pursuing my interest in technology.


Dixie Ching, PhD, is a post-doc at New York University and leads the Youth Trajectories & Pathways Study for the Hive Research Lab, a research-practice partnership between Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network, Indiana University, and New York University. A former cell biologist, Dixie is interested in helping people see the relevance of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) to their lives and in developing a better-informed public through STEAM education. You can follow Dixie at @dixie_nyu.

Caitlyn Colman-McGaw, New York Public Library (Bio coming soon)

Alex Fleming is currently serving as a Learning Design Coordinator at Mouse. A member of the second graduating class of the original High Tech High school in San Diego, Alex is a DIY media maker and game designer who loves tech of all kinds. Alex previously worked for Boston non-profit HOME Inc. as a Media Lab Coordinator and holds a B.A. in Sociology and Theatre Arts with high honors from Brandeis University. A former magician, Alex retired from magic in 2013.

Rudy Garcia, New York Public Library (Bio coming soon)

Sarah Hubschman (Bio coming soon)

Marc Lesser is a specialist in the field of educational technology and digital media for learning with broad experience designing programming and learning spaces in local and national learning contexts. Since March of 2008, Marc directs the design and development of web-based and live learning environments for Mouse’s national program network. His experience is shaped by previous roles as an educator, trainer, and specialist in the area of arts, media, and technology education. Marc holds a Master’s degree from NYU’s Digital Media Design for Learning program, is the co-founder of Emoti-Con! NYC’s Youth Digital Media and Technology Festival, and in 2012 was named a National School Boards Association “20-to-Watch” among national leaders in education and technology. You can follow Marc at @malesser.

Gigi Polo is a Dominican designer and filmmaker; she is the Principal at Myellow Boots Studio, and a Part-Time Associate Teaching Professor at Parsons The New School for Design for both onsite and online classes. Gigi is the producer/editor of a documentary about bipolar disorder and the artistic temperament called Madly Gifted (https://vimeo.com/76631021). Her passion for teaching lies at the intersection of student-centered teaching and brain-based learning. Gigi is currently working on a series of graphic images that contest social prejudice and stereotypes. To see some of her work, please visit http://www.myellowboots.com and Academia.edu/GigiPolo.

Chrystian Rodriguez, Hive NYC / Mozilla Foundation (Bio coming soon)

Meredith Summs is a learning technology specialist, a curriculum developer, a maker, and currently works as the Associate Director, Learning Design at Mouse. In this role, she oversees the Learning Design team to develop content, web platforms and tools, and live programming. Over her 10+ years as an informal educator, she has taught digital and analog circuitry, web literacy, human-centered design, assistive & adaptive tech, IT and game design. She has also been active in the Mozilla network as a Hive NYC member and #teachtheweb Super Mentor. You can follow Meredith at @meredithsumms.

Jessica Walker directs the Summer and Pre-College Programs at Parsons The New School for Design. In this role she collaborates with faculty and community partners to develop workshops, classes and other opportunities for students to engage with art and design, portfolio development and college readiness. Jessica also teaches drawing and digital media within the undergraduate program at Parsons and is a practicing artist and filmmaker. Her work focuses on the overlap between creative practice and social science. Jessica’s latest project, “366” is a documentary film in which she meets with New Yorkers on their birthday to document how this day is spent across different age groups and cultures.