headshot_ngaskinsDr. Nettrice Gaskins

Dr. Gaskins received a BFA in Computer Graphics with Honors from Pratt Institute in 1992 and a MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994. She worked for several years in K-12 and post-secondary education, community media and technology before enrolling at Georgia Institute of Technology where she received a doctorate in Digital Media in 2014.

Dr. Gaskin’s model for ‘techno-vernacular creativity’ is an area of practice that investigates the characteristics of cultural art and technology made by under-represented ethnic groups for their own entertainment and creative expression and its application in STEAM learning. She has worked as a teaching artist for the Boston 100K Artscience Innovation Prize; and was a youth media/technology trainer for Adobe Youth Voices. She served as Board President of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture and is on the board of the Community Technology Centers Network (CTCNet).

Dr. Gaskins was a Digital STEAM research intern at the Smithsonian Institution (2013) and received funding from the National Science Foundation for Advancing STEM Through Culturally Situated Arts-Based Learning (2014). Dr. Gaskins recently presented a talk at the Fenway Alliance’s Third Annual TEDxFenway event (May 2015), titled The Future is STEAM-y, But What About Inclusion? She encouraged the audience to think deeply about STEAM, how the arts and STEM are interconnected, and why it is imperative that the STEM/STEAM world includes people from underrepresented communities.

In October 2014, BAA opened the STEAM Lab, the first of its kind in an urban public arts high school. Dr.Gaskins has engaged faculty and students across academic and arts departments that in project-based learning that includes physical computing, communication technology, and digital and media arts, among many others. The STEAM Lab is motivating students to reevaluate academic subjects that they may have otherwise dismissed, or explore new areas that they never even considered. The STEAM Lab is also preparing BAA students for the types of careers that are available in the 21st century.