"I am interested in the intersections of new technology like virtual reality and sustainability, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, ethics, and materiality."

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Reese Muntean

March 26, 2024

We're delighted to announce that Reese Muntean is a recient of the 2023 Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Awards for Excellence in Graduate Studies in the category of Excellence in Service.

PhD student, Reese Muntean is recognized for her contributions to the SFU graduate student community. Muntean advocacy efforts for graduate students through her various roles on the Graduate Student Society and SFU Senate have included safety issues around COVID-19, affordability, funding and academic matters.


Interactive Arts and Technology doctoral student in the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

Tell us a little about yourself, including what inspires you to learn and continue in your chosen field

My background is in photography and imaging, and I worked as a photographer after completing my undergraduate degree. I knew I wanted to continue my education, and I took classes in math, computer science, and science studies as a way to explore possible options. Eventually I decided to return to school full time, and the Making Culture Lab at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology seemed like the perfect place to both build on my background as a photographer and pursue my interest in new digital technologies.

Why did you choose to come to SFU?

I was impressed by the School of Interactive Arts & Technology as a whole, which has the level of academic rigor and strong research focus that I was looking for. I was also particularly interested in the work of my supervisor, Dr. Kate Hennessy, in the Making Culture Lab. The lab’s collaborative and participatory creation of new media projects for communities, museums, and public spaces has been a great fit for my background as a visual storyteller and my curiosity about the social impact of new technologies.

How would you describe your research or your program to a family member?

My research explores how we embed values into technology. I am interested in the intersections of new technology like virtual reality and sustainability, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, ethics, and materiality.

What three (3) keywords would you use to describe your research?

Sustainability, Cultural Heritage, Virtual Reality

How have your courses, RA-ships, TA-ships, or non-academic school experiences contributed to your academic and/or professional development?

Along with my experiences in the classroom as a graduate student and teaching assistant, I have had opportunities through research assistantships and my own doctoral research to work with communities in BC and abroad as well as with international organizations on collaborative development of media projects, exhibits, and installations.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I became more involved in student advocacy during the pandemic. I joined the Graduate Student Society COVID-19 Task Force, and I was later appointed by GSS Council to a temporary COVID-19 position to work with GSS Directors to continue the outreach and advocacy work undertaken by the task force in response to the pandemic. I was then elected and served as GSS Director of Academic Relations for two terms from 2021 to 2022, and I continued to work with the GSS, the SFU administration, Migrant Students United, and the TSSU on graduate student issues, particularly those of affordability and funding. Upon completion of my second term as GSS Director of Academic Relations, I have continued my working on behalf of graduate students in the academic governance of the University as a member of the SFU Senate since the beginning of 2023.