Emoti-Con! 2016

Emoti-Con 2016 (6/11/16) was our biggest yet- over 300 attendees and 30+ projects! Check out the winners, keynotes and judges below.


  • Panda's Box

    Panda’s Box

    Mouse Design League

    Panda’s Box is a joystick controlled assistive wheelchair attachment that allows users with limited mobility to have easy access to personal items such as metrocards, wallet, keys etc.

    Team Members:
    Kaylah M., Noel P., Rafia A., Zaheer C.
  • Styling With The Stars: Election Edition

    Styling With The Stars: Election Edition


    Styling with the Stars: Election Edition is a game aimed to make election season more fun. To make electing a new president fun, we have decided to style the candidates ourselves for any event they have to attend. At first the game was just going to be styling any character by using fun stickers like Trumps’s hair, but that led to thinking about other candidates with Trump’s hair and a sombrero. This game is for anyone who likes to think of Obama in a Kanye shirt, Hillary in Jordans, and Trump wearing a sombrero or simply wants to be more entertained by the candidates.

    Team Members:
    Alana C., Candy R., Melissa C., Perla F., Dylan J.
  • Alarm Clock Slippers

    Alarm Clock Slippers

    Mouse at Baruch High School

    An innovative new alarm clock system that will ensure that a busy and tired student will not oversleep in the morning. Nowadays, most people use their phones as their alarm clocks, however, it is very easy to click snooze or turn off your alarm altogether on today’s smartphones. This prevents students from actually getting out of bed and, instead, allowing them to oversleep. Our invention is a pair of alarm clock slippers that will require the user to actually get out of bed and place their feet into the slippers for a few seconds in order to turn them off.

    Team Members:
    Justin L., Madison L., Sandy L., Steven L., Tyler L., Zi J.
  • Ears Wide Open

    Ears Wide Open

    Radio Rookies

    From the Brooklyn Middle School, School for Human Rights, a podcast about how youth feel and think about racism. They used soundscape, interviews, music, commentary, and reporting to create audio that makes the audience think deeply about this issue. Using Audacity to create an experience that put young reporters inside people’s heads so that they can have empathy for youth and experience their thoughts and feelings.

    Team Members:
    Athina G., Gladys S., Randy B.
  • Vakway


    Baruch College Campus High School

    A 1/4 scale prototype of a vacuum designed for the NYC subway tracks. It was built to address the problem of trash and track fires in the NYC subway system. Our system is a compilation of two motors, a storage container, pneumatic cylinders and a remote so it may work automatically. The end user will be the MTA so they may save money and have a more efficient method for cleaning the tracks.

    Team Members:
    Abraham A., Amanda V., Amro H., Chen X., Hai-Lu L., Ho Y., Jia Z., Johnstone T., Louis L., Shannon L., Shi L.
  • Panda's Box

    Panda’s Box

    Mouse Design League

    Panda’s Box is a joystick controlled assistive wheelchair attachment that allows users with limited mobility to have easy access to personal items such as metrocards, wallet, keys etc.

    Team Members:
    Kaylah M., Noel P., Rafia A., Zaheer C.


  • Kaho Abe | NYU Game Innovation Lab

    Kaho Abe | NYU Game Innovation Lab

    | Kaho Abe is a game designer and media artist based in NYC interested in improving social and personal experiences through the use of technology, fashion and games. She makes games with custom controllers that require multiple people to play together in the same physical space, often face-to-face. Recently she has been exploring costumes as wearable gestural game controllers and immersive social virtual reality experiences. She shares her experiences teaching game design and custom controllers at NYU and Eyebeam. Kaho is a former Eyebeam Fellow and is currently the Artist in Residence at the NYU Game Innovation Lab.

  • Austin Carvey | Co-Founder, Young Hackers

    Austin Carvey | Co-Founder, Young Hackers

    Austin Carvey, native of Manhattan, NY, is currently a high school senior at the High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at City College. In the Summer of 2014, he co-founded the Young Hackers, an organization dedicated to diversifying the hacker community in NYC and giving everyone a chance to hack. They have planned 6 hackathons, most recently Hip Hop Hacks, where industries buffs from music and tech banded together to make an awesome event. When he’s not planning hackathons, he’s working at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center. There he writes code for Bruce Johnson, PhD, to contribute to structural biology research regarding the prediction of the structure of proteins. Through his research he learned about data science and machine learning, and hopes to learn more about both at either Harvey Mudd College, Carnegie Mellon University, or Howard University this fall. Check out his site: http://austincarvey.com

  • Lucy Jones | Fashion Designer

    Lucy Jones | Fashion Designer

    Lucy is a native of Wales and has lived in New York since enrolling in Parsons School of Fashion in 2011. She recently won the inaugural “Social Innovator” fellowship, an award which granted a year-long residency at Eileen Fisher in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The project will conclude with a solution for the “Green Eileen” damaged garments and will be presented in July 2016. Since arriving in the States, Jones has been thoroughly engaged in ‘design for disabilities’, a goal that stemmed from a conversation with her cousin who has hemiplegia. It is her ambition to marry style and function in the realm of ‘mainstream’ fashion with the intent of addressing a larger portion of society often overlooked in the fashion design process. Jones’ project ‘Accessible Design’ was awarded a William Randolph Hearst scholarship for ‘social innovation’ and two Royal Society of the Arts awards for ‘design innovation’ and ‘fashion leadership’. In October 2014 Jones was one of four students from Parsons selected to attend the UN World Summit for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In May 2015, with her Thesis entitled “Seated Design”, Jones was awarded Parsons’ Womenswear Designer of the Year and the prestigious Kering X style.com ‘Empowering Imagination’ 4.0 Award. She was recently listed Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2016 for the Arts and Style category. Jones’ work has been featured in numerous publications such as Style.com, BBC, CFDA, NPR, Forbes, Fast Company, Seventeen Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, Independence Care Systems, AOL online, ITV Wales, Vogue, The Impression, Plan de Ville, Fashionista amongst others.

  • Ramsey Nasser | Game Designer

    Ramsey Nasser | Game Designer

    Ramsey Nasser is an award winning game designer who puts people in situations they’ve never been been in before. He’ll make you wake up bears, shoot your friends, play golf through Twitter, and get scolded by a cartoon condom, all in the name of play. When he’s not making games, he’s designing programming languages or rebuilding his motorcycle, which – he swears – is so close to running this time. Ramsey has a B.S. in Computer Science from the American University of Beirut, an M.F.A. in Design and Technology from Parsons The New School for Design, an Eyebeam Fellowship and over a decade of professional experience. You can follow him on twitter at @ra or check out his work at http://nas.sr/.


  • Nelson Almanzar | Co-Founder, Talos Digital

    Nelson Almanzar | Co-Founder, Talos Digital

    A native New Yorker, Nelson Almanzar has more than 15 years of professional experience in user-experience design. In 2011, Nelson left his full-time job at A&E Networks to cofound Talos Digital, a full-scale software development agency. His company builds websites, apps, and other digital products for businesses. They now have offices in New York, Austin, Montreal, and Medellin with over 55 staff members. Nelson earned a BA in communication design from Parsons The New School for Design. He is a United States Marine Corps Reserve veteran. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, drawing, and traveling the world.

  • Chernor Bah | Global Education Advocate, Population Council

    Chernor Bah | Global Education Advocate, Population Council

    A leading advocate for global education, a girl champion and former refugee from Sierra Leone, Chernor Bah is currently an Associate at the Population Council, leading a collaborative initiative to provide solutions to adolescent girls affected by the Ebola Outbreak. In 2012, he was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General to serve as the Youth Representative on the High Level Steering Committee for the Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative. From 2012-2015, Bah also served as the Chair of the initiative’s Youth Advocacy Group- leading a dynamic group of young advocates for global education. Bah was a Co- Founder and Youth Engagement lead at A World at School-a digital mobilization and campaign organization for global education- where Bah started and led the Global Youth Ambassador initiative with over 500 young leaders campaigning for education around the world. As a teenager, he founded and led the Children’s Forum Network, Sierra Leone’s Children’s Parliament and was an Executive Producer for the Voice of Children Initiative- leading children and youth participation in his country’s peace building process. Chernor has spoken at the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union and African Union as well as at Harvard, Yale and Columbia Universities among others. He has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, the BBC, Al Jazeera and the Huffington Post. In 2014, he received the Women’s Refugee Commission’s Voice of Courage Award and the Population Council’s Ideas with Impact Award for his global efforts on behalf of girls, children and youth affected by disaster. He holds a Masters Degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelors Degree from the University of Sierra Leone.

  • Lori Rose Benson | VP, Healthy Lifestyles, YMCA

    Lori Rose Benson | VP, Healthy Lifestyles, YMCA

    Lori oversees all aspects of the YMCA of Greater New York’s Healthy Lifestyles and Membership initiatives. In this role, she works to ensure all YMCA Healthy Lifestyles and Membership departments support a broad range of fitness options and operate within and above Association standards. Prior to the YMCA of Greater New York, Lori served as Executive Director, Office of School Wellness Programs at New York City’s Department of Education (DOE). She implemented policies and designed initiatives to increase the quality and quantity of physical and health education for 1.1 million students in 1,700 public schools. Lori introduced NYC FITNESSGRAM, an annual student fitness assessment, which is now the country’s largest web-based longitudinal data base on childhood obesity and physical fitness.

  • Rolando Brown | Strategist, Advocacy Institute

    Rolando Brown | Strategist, Advocacy Institute

    Rolando Brown is a dynamic growth strategist, web developer and artist focused on the growth of social enterprises. He currently serves as the Growth Strategist and Engineer for the Advocacy Institute. He drives advancement of the Advocacy Institute’s technology tools and infrastructure. An award winning community developer, Rolando cultivated his blended approaches to infrastructure development and creative capacity building while working as a consultant for several startups, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

  • Sharese Bullock-Bailey | Tribeca Film Institute

    Sharese Bullock-Bailey | Tribeca Film Institute

    Sharese Bullock-Bailey is a multimedia producer, strategic consultant and program leader who has funded, developed and distributed youth media for the past 13 years through leadership and consulting for premier independent media networks. She joined Tribeca Film Institute in 2014 and serves as Director of Tribeca Teaches. Previously, she has showcased independent and youth media and culture to new audiences by pioneering strategic partnerships with major film festivals and broadcast networks at the international youth-media network Listen Up!/Learning Matters. She has led service and international education programs in over 20 countries, including filmmaking exchanges for young producers and educators throughout the UK and India. harese received a BA in Communications at The University of Pennsylvania and developed a broad financial skill set through the Financial Analyst program at Goldman Sachs. In 2002 she created a brand management consultancy that develops global brands and non-profits across the social sector. She taught with Teach for America in her hometown of Brownsville, Brooklyn, and as a founding teacher at Harlem Village Academies Elementary in Harlem, NY also earning a MS in Education. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Independent Television Service (ITVS) and The Cahn Fellows Program at Teachers College. In 2015, Sharese was selected for the inaugural cohort of Ford Foundation’s Rockwood JustFilms Fellowship.​

  •  Amy Parness & Ariel Churi | Founders, Sparkle Labs

    Amy Parness & Ariel Churi | Founders, Sparkle Labs

    Sparkle Labs began in 2005, when Ariel Churi and Amy Parness graduated from the Interactive Telecommunication Program at NYU. After collaborating on many projects in school, they wanted to continue working together on both commercial and non-commercial projects. Sparkle Labs’ goal is to realize the beneficial aspects of play in communication and learning. Sparkle Labs brings their expertise in design, branding, usability, and education to create hi-tech, hi-touch products and environments.Years of experience in commercial and educational product design has informed both their client, and art work. Sparkle Labs’ focused mix of art, craft, and science empowers people to access and experiment with new, often inaccessible technologies. Sparkle Labs’ work blurs the line between art and consumer products and has been featured at shows in Seattle, New York, South Korea and China. Today, Amy and Ariel are opening up their understanding of electronics by creating new electronics kits, teaching aids and releasing new interactive products.

  • Iltimas Doha | Design + Technology Student, Parsons

    Iltimas Doha | Design + Technology Student, Parsons

    Iltimas is a New York native, graduate of the Lab School for Collaborative Studies and current Design + Technology student at Parsons School of Design. His work explores surveillance and the impact that it has on youth and the city. You can follow him at @iltimasd.

  • David Grandison Jr. | Executive Producer, DIYdoc

    David Grandison Jr. | Executive Producer, DIYdoc

    David is currently Executive Producer of DIYdoc, a crowdsourced filmmaking app start-up that is launching in the early spring. He most recently led teams as Executive Producer of BrainPOP (BrainPOP.com), an award winning educational animation and game development studio for 6 years. While in this role, his team developed apps for BrainPOP, BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP ESL across all mobile platforms and in multiple languages. David holds a Masters in Instructional Technology and Media from Columbia University (TC). Prior roles include: Senior Producer for the Sundance Channel, where he led online production for “The Green” (one of the first weekly television series promoting sustainable lifestyles), conceptualizing the first Google map-based social network and producing geolocated video segments; Senior Producer for the Scholastic Teacher Channel, where he was awarded a Webby for his work redesigning the Teacher Community; and Instructional Designer for BMW University. Ultimately, he has 15 years of expertise creating video, mobile apps, games, online communities, and educational products that make learning fun.

  • Chanell Hasty | Founder, Fashion Redefining Justice

    Chanell Hasty | Founder, Fashion Redefining Justice

    Chanell is a seasoned human rights/international development professional with over ten years of experience. Ms. Hasty received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a concentration in International Affairs from Spelman College in 2004, and her Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations with specializations in International Law and International Organizations from Seton Hall University. Today, Chanell is the Founder and President of Fashion Redefining Justice, Inc. – a creative international development non-profit organization that seeks to uniquely revolutionize the way adolescent orphans and vulnerable children access justice - through the provision of livelihood and life skills training within the global fashion industry.

  • Eli Kariv | Founder, The Coding Space

    Eli Kariv | Founder, The Coding Space

    Eli is the founder of The Coding Space, an after school program where kids learn to code while developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. Prior to The Coding Space, Eli worked at Mozilla Firefox and Remind.com. Eli was also the President of Innoblue where he co-founded the Summer Founders Program, a program that gives Penn State entrepreneurs $10,000 to work on their ideas over the summer.

  • Jessica Klein | Design Director, Bocoup

    Jessica Klein | Design Director, Bocoup

    Jessica is dedicated to connecting people and ideas through new technologies and interactive experiences. As a community-based designer, Jessica is currently the Design Director at Bocoup, where she promotes openness and creativity. Prior to Bocoup, she was the Creative Lead of the Hive at Mozilla, crafting tools to support formal and informal learning environments. She created the Hackasaurus project which helps teens learn how to code through hacking. This project later became part of the larger Webmaker ( www.webmaker.org ) platform. Jessica began her career in the curatorial department of Prints, Drawings and Photos at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Over the last decade, she has worked at a variety of institutions dedicated to learning including the Museum of Arts & Design, The Rubin Museum of Art, The Institute of Play, Startl, The Hive and Sesame Workshop. She founded OceanLab NYC, a project which asked parents, teachers and kids in the NYC community to investigate their urban coastal environment through casual interaction and play. A Rockaway Beach native, Jessica co-founded Rockaway Help in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and was named a White House Champion of Change for her civic hacktivism and CSR award from City & State Reports for excellence in promoting community engagement through technology. Jessica has earned an M.F.A in Design and Technology from Parsons and an B.A. in Art History from Mount Holyoke College.

  • DB Lampman | Co-Founder, Staten Island Maker Space

    DB Lampman | Co-Founder, Staten Island Maker Space

    DB Lampman is the co-founder and Associate Director of Staten Island MakerSpace. She oversees all administrative and programming at the makerspace, including education programs for children and adults, STEAM programs for schools, libraries, and other CBOs, marketing, development and fundraising. In the two years since starting Staten Island MakerSpace, DB has developed and overseen over 500 in-house skill building workshops and provided education programs to approximately 3000 children. Formerly, she was the Program Director at the Noble Maritime Collection, a maritime museum, for six years. DB holds a BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. DB has experience developing curriculum and teaching art to all ages from pre-kindergarten students through adults. DB is also an actively working artist who specializes in mixed media sculpture and performance art. Her work has been exhibited internationally. Recent projects include “The Dance,” a large scale public art sculpture exhibited at Tappen Park and Conference House Park in Staten Island.

  • Arielle Mella | Parsons Student

    Arielle Mella | Parsons Student

    Arielle is a current freshman at Parsons The New School for Design where she is obtaining her BFA in Design and Technology and is Minoring in Data Visualization. She has a passion for visual design and aesthetics and enjoys expressing herself through traditional media as well as through new and emerging technologies. Dedicated to the growing field of technology, she is interested in expanding her knowledge of computers and the relationship humans share with technology, and one day wishes to teach children about creative computer science to create a new generation of designers and creative thinkers. Arielle is fond of computer science and graphic design, and recreationally she enjoys going to live music performances all around New York City.

  • Dennis Morgan | Director of Product

    Dennis Morgan | Director of Product

    When Dennis first started working with lasers 22 years ago, he thought lasers were for shooting and blowing things up! Then he learned how to use them to capture beautiful patterns of light in film that could recreate exact, unbelievable replicas of the world around us frozen in time. When he started working in atomic physics 18 years ago, he thought atoms were only the tiny pieces of the universe that swirled around us, and combined to make up what we see in everyday people and things. Then he learned how to use them to measure time and frequency to a level of precision that would enable vehicles to circumnavigate the globe unassisted, finding their way when they were far from home. When he started playing video games 35 years ago, games were something he dropped twenty-five cents into almost everyday instead of buying his elementary school lunch. Then he learned to make games that could change the fundamental way school lunches are prepared, packaged, distributed, and recycled, so school administrators could save money and be rewarded for cleaner disposal. Now, he is working with the data that humans produce, which swirls and expands around us daily, recreating exact, unbelievable replicas of who we are in this world… Wonder what he will learn next.

  • Aurelia Moser | Developer, Mozilla Open Science

    Aurelia Moser | Developer, Mozilla Open Science

    Aurelia is a developer and curious cartographer building communities around code at Mozilla Open Science. Previously of Ushahidi, Internews Kenya, and CartoDB, she’s been working in the open tech and non-profit journalism space for a few years, and recent projects have had mapping sensor data to support agricultural security and sustainable apis ecosystems in the Global South.

  • Ashley Pinakiewicz | Educator, Girls Prep Bronx Middle School

    Ashley Pinakiewicz | Educator, Girls Prep Bronx Middle School

    Ashley is an educator, design thinker, and brand strategist passionate about bringing design thinking principles into K-12 schools. She is the founding 7th grade English teacher at Girls Prep Bronx Middle School, where she learns alongside the world’s best 7th grade girls. Ashley continues to work on projects through her business, Looking Glass Strategy, consulting with educational organizations, non-profits, and start-ups to bring human-centered strategy, messaging, and processes to their work. Ashley cut her professional teeth at design and innovation firm IDEO, where she learned the design thinking approach, brainstormed ideas and pitched clients as part of the Toy Lab, and taught design thinking to corporate clients. She worked closely with IDEO’s Education group on projects including: redesigning an after-school science program with NYC DOE and the American Museum of Natural History; teaching design thinking to university students in Colombia; and developing a design thinking curriculum for a national education non-profit. After her inspiring stint at IDEO, Ashley ran US business development for brand strategy firm Clear, an M&C Saatchi Company, and led the Creative Team at Tough Mudder. She has a BA in English Literature from Georgetown University and a Masters in Education from Harvard University.

  • Jerelyn Rodriguez | CEO, The Knowledge House

    Jerelyn Rodriguez | CEO, The Knowledge House

    Jerelyn Rodriguez is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Knowledge House. Previously, she coordinated STEM after-school programming at Beyond Z and was the Bronx Field Director for Reshma Saujani’s 2013 campaign for New York City Public Advocate. In 2011, Jerelyn joined Students for Education Reform (SFER) as the National Program Director, organizing and coaching college students in 35 states to advocate for education reform. Prior to SFER, Jerelyn worked in the public school system, teaching and designing student programs. Jerelyn has recently spoken on panels at SXSWedu, the New York City Social Innovation Festival and NASA’s SpaceApps Challenge. She is on the leadership council for South Bronx Rising Together, a founding Datanaut at NASA, a fellow at Camelback Ventures, and has recently been honored as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Education at Jerelyn has a degree in film studies from Columbia University.

  • Andy Saldaña | Director of Operations, NY Tech Meetup

    Andy Saldaña | Director of Operations, NY Tech Meetup

    Andy is the Director of Operations for NY Tech Meetup (NYTM), a non-profit organization that runs the largest Meetup group in the world with over 46,000 members and a mission to build a more sustainable and diverse technology industry for all New Yorkers. He also co-organizes the Gay Tech Meetup NYC group and advocates for increased diversity in tech. He’s a lover of coffee, food, spirits and the conversation that happens while enjoying them.

  • Nikki Sylianteng | Interaction Designer

    Nikki Sylianteng | Interaction Designer

    Nikki is an interaction designer and artist who makes things that are subversive, useful, and adorable. Her latest work To Park or Not to Park? is a guerrilla parking sign redesign project currently saving drivers from parking tickets in Los Angeles, Brisbane, and New Haven. She also documents herself eating carefully at eating carefully. Her work has been widely covered in the news and heatedly debated on discussion threads. Nikki also freelances as a design consultant and advisor based out of Orbital, a space in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, home to independent folks developing and launching new ideas. She holds an MFA from the Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts. Prior to that, she spent five years researching materials and designing spaces at interior architecture firms in Los Angeles.

  • Tania van Bergen | Media Producer

    Tania van Bergen | Media Producer

    Tania is a multimedia producer dedicated to inspiring people’s natural curiosity through video and interactive experiences. Her work has taken her to some of the most amazing places on earth – she has hiked up 18,000 foot mountains in Peru to tell the story of climate change, flown on an LC-130 to learn about cosmic inflation in the South Pole and squeezed through 18-inch high caves following a team of researchers. Having started her career in children’s television she continues to seek out projects that encourage playful learning, whether her intended audience is children or adults. When she’s not working she can be found kayaking on the East River or hiking in the Adirondacks.