University of Rochester, Rochester, NY — May 2018

  • Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media Studies with Highest Distinction, Cum Laude

  • Major GPA: 3.92/4.0, Cumulative GPA: 3.68/4.0

  • Minors in Computer Science, Chinese


University of Rochester: The Science of Programming; The Science of Data Structures; Discrete Mathematics; Artificial Intelligence; Web Programming; Human Computer Interaction; Android Mobile App Development; iOS Mobile App Development; Essential Digital Media Toolkit; Florence the Wondrous: Making a Documentary; Interaction Design; Advanced Front End Web Development; Basic Mechanical Fabrication; Digital Media Studies Capstone

Virtual Reality Documentary - Spoons

Wrote the script, casted, filmed in 360, directed, edited, sound designed, created all promotional materials, planned the premiere, and produced the entirety of Spoons. Spoons is a 5-minute, immersive, 360 Virtual Reality documentary project that educates users about the reality of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by having them engage with a sufferer’s everyday life.

Augmented Reality App - Major Key

Lead a team of five develop an augmented reality app that teaches users how to play piano by highlighting the keys the need to play, teaching them how sheet music notes correlate to the notes on the instrument.

Documentary Project - Florence the Wondrous

Worked as part of a three person team filming and editing a segment of a documentary. The segment has been included in the documentary When Florence is the Place You Call Home by Federico Siniscalco.

Crowdsourced ESL Project - CrowdSpeak

Worked in a group of five to create a crowdsourced project. CrowdSpeak allows users to record videos of themselves speaking and automatically transcribes their video. Crowdsourced feedback helps users work on their tone, pronunciation, accuracy, and word choice. This project utilizes Python, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and Google’s Speech API. The project description can be found here.

Experimental Documentary Project - ITS

Wrote, filmed, edited, sound designed, casted, and directed ITS, an experimental documentary about stress college students experience while facing deadlines. The film had to be told primarily with picture, as no dialogue was permitted. The only sound allowed was recorded separately with a microphone and added in during the editing process.


Tech Ethics Writer, All Tech Is Human, Manhattan, NY January 2020 - Present

Writing a series of articles on the ethics of virtual reality creation, research, and applications.


Recurser, Recurse Center, Brooklyn, NY February 2019 - May 2018

The Recurse Center is a self-directed, community-driven educational retreat for programmers in New York City. 
-Worked on developing an immersive XR experience with WebVR, A-Frame, and three.js 
-Worked on developing an Augmented Reality app that would allow users with a wide range of disabilities to navigate the NYC public transit system as safely and conveniently as possible. This app was initially designed and prototyped at the School of Visual Arts this past July.

Open Documentary Lab Co-Creativity Research Intern, MIT, Cambridge, MA (Remote) June 2018 - February 2019

Conducted research on co-creation, how co-creativity affects media, and how non-human entities (like artificial intelligence) can participate in co-creation. Contributed to published paper, Collective Wisdom.

Artist in Residence, School of Visual Arts, Manhattan, NY June 2018

Selected to be an Artist in Residence for the School of Visual Art's Social Design Meets Entrepreneurship program. Prototyped and user tested an app that would allow users with a wide range of disabilities to navigate the NYC public transit system as safely and conveniently as possible.

Web Programming TA, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY August 2017 - December 2017

Worked as a TA to grade exams and guide students through their semester long project of building a fully functional website.


ABILITY Project Accessibility Designer and Artificial Intelligence Researcher, ABILITY Project @ NYU, Brooklyn, NY May 2017 - August 2017

Worked as a team member at the NYU Ability Project to rapidly prototype and code a cable box system for visually impaired people. Various different technologies and APIs were used to create a clear and comprehensive system, and a functional and accessible UX design. In charge of Artificial Intelligence video description prototype. This project was sponsored by Charter Spectrum and the NYC Media Lab. 

Game Innovation Researcher, NYU Game Innovation Lab, Brooklyn, NY May 2017 - August 2017

Worked in the Game Innovation Lab at NYU to create a Scratch-like interface that allows users to build Artificial Intelligences by dragging blocks into place. User created AIs could then be deployed to play a variety of video games in the General Video Game - Artificial Intelligence (GVG-AI) system. This project utilized Java, VGL (Video Game Language - a Python variant), and the GWT SDK.


Grand Challenge Scholars Program Winner May 2018

Awarded by the National Academy of Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) established a set of fourteen Grand Challenges that engineers face in order to make progress toward a sustainable world - one that provides all people with more than just their basic needs and aspires to a higher level of living. Students must successfully achieve work in five competencies (Talent/Research, Multidisciplinary, Entrepreneurship, Multicultural/Global, and Social Consciousness/Service) in relation to one of the fourteen Grand Challenges in order to be designated a Grand Challenge Scholar. Received this designation for work in the "Enhance Virtual Reality" Grand Challenge.


Susan B. Anthony Institute Independent Research Award May 2018

Awarded by the Susan B. Anthony Institute

This annual award recognizes excellence in undergraduate research and is presented at year's end to the student who has completed the best project in gender, sexuality and women's studies during the academic year. Received the award for studies of the female experience and intersectional feminism on college campuses.

Order of Omega October 2017

Awarded by the Order of Omega

Invited to join the Order of Omega - an honors society for the top 3% of students in Greek Life. To be considered, one must have a high GPA, demonstrated leadership both within and outside of one's chapter, and a history of community service. 

Grace Hopper Celebration Research Scholar September 2017

Awarded by the Computing Research Association

This competitive scholarship is awarded by the Computing Research Association (CRA-W) to undergraduate women with a demonstrated interest in pursuing research. The program brings students to the annual Grace Hopper Celebration and engages them in a unique, research-focused experience, providing them a mentor, networking opportunities, and advising toward graduate school and research careers in computing. 

Research and Innovation Grant August 2014

Awarded by the University of Rochester

A Research and Innovation Grant (RIG) is a grant funded by the University of Rochester. RIGs are awarded to a select group of incoming undergraduates who want to pursue their own academic interests beyond the classroom—learning and research they design on their own. 

Wilder Leadership Scholarship August 2014

Awarded by the University of Rochester

This scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate academic excellence (rigor, grades) and extracurricular achievement. Recipients of this scholarship must have demonstrated continued leadership in at least one of the following areas: clubs, scouts, student government, community service, sports.




Frameless VR Symposium, Rochester, NY November 2018

Selected to participate in the Frameless VR Symposium Expo. Presented virtual reality documentary project, Spoons. Link to the full program can be found here:


Reality, Virtually at the MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA January 2019

Selected to participate in the 3rd annual Reality Virtually Hackathon. The Reality Virtually Hackathon brings together interdisciplinary minds to explore the application of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for building new experiences. Led a team of 5 to create Major Key, an augmented reality app designed to teach users how to play the piano. To read more about the project, please click here.

Machine Learning for Media Hackathon at Google, Manhattan, NY August 2017

Invited as the only undergraduate to participate in a hackathon at Google in NYC. Paired with data/engineering executives to use Google Cloud Machine Learning technology to solve a business, design, or operational problem. Collaborated with executives from NBCUniversal and Fusion Media Group to develop a prototype that recognized what types of visuals on a TV show attracted the largest audiences and retained the most people after a commercial break.


President and Founder, Students for Chronic Illness Visibility, Rochester, NY November 2017 - May 2018

Founded and served as President for Students with Chronic Illness Visibility. As founder: Wrote the constitution, recruited members, coordinated with the Student's Association Government, and gained final recognition status for the club. As President: Oversaw club meetings, handled club funds, and set several projects in motion such as the Mobility Lending Library (an on-campus location where students can rent mobility devices like canes which should debut in Fall 2018).

Music Director, No Jackets Required, Rochester, NY October 2017 - May 2018

Served on the e-board of music performance club No Jackets Required (NJR). Oversaw diagramming and song arrangement for all instrumental and vocal parts in any given performance, and taught others how to diagram and arrange. Selected all repertoire for every show.

Philanthropy Chair, Kappa Alpha Theta, Rochester, NY January 2017 - May 2017

Served as the Philanthropy Chair for the Theta Lambda Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. Created, organized, managed, and promoted small and large events to raise funds for the Rochester branch of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Doubled the amount of money the chapter donated to CASA. Planned and executed a successful campus-wide fundraiser, Theta Dodgeball. 

Social Media Chair, Kappa Alpha Theta, Rochester, NY January 2017 - May 2017

Served as the Social Media Chair for the Theta Lambda Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. Ran all social media pages and developed promotional photo campaigns to create an online image for the chapter. Projects included various initiatives to document sorority life and highlight chapter accomplishments. 


  • Video Editing, Graphic Design, Sound Design, Photo Editing, Website Design, Computer Automated Design

  • Software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Blender, ProTools, Logic Pro X, Unity, Blender, and Creo Parametric

  • Human Computer Interaction, Web Programming, Artificial Intelligence, Data Structures

  • Coding Languages: Java, C++, HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Swift, Python, C#, C, PHP, SQL

  • Proficient in Spanish and Mandarin

  • Communication, Teamwork, Planning, and Fudraising Abilities

Exploring and Creating
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© 2019 by Kalila Shapiro

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