Two Ivan Allen College Students Receive 2017 Foley Scholar Award

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Two students in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Institute of Technology received the 2017 Foley Scholar award at this year’s GVU student awards competition.

Tom Jenkins, a doctoral student in the Graduate Program in Digital Media in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) and Morgan Orangi, a master’s student in the program's Human-Computer Interaction track were the award recipient. Both are advised by Carl DiSalvo, associate professor of digital media.

For Jenkin’s dissertation, he is creating a design research project that considers emerging “smart home” technologies and their relationship to alternative living arrangements, particularly cohousing communities. Cohousing is a form of semi-communal living where private homes lie around shared space. Each residence is self-sufficient, but together the community can offer social support that would otherwise be missing. Cohousing communities typically feature a common house, which may include an industrial-scale kitchen and large dining area for common meals, laundry facilities, recreational spaces, or even more unusual features, such as a wood shop. Part of his research asks “what would an Internet of Things look like if it was spread across multiple houses but only one home?” Cohousing communities offer a perspective to critique existing IoT practice as well as a site for producing design work that generates local, community-driven alternatives.

“I think that cohousing in particular provides an interesting model for understanding how communities might want or use technology to serve their social needs in novel ways. In this context, understanding and designing for community-building within cohousing communities would become one way to consider future service provisioning in a smart village, town, or city,” Jenkins said. 

Orangi’s personal research vision is one that encompasses community-building through technology. She desires to empower unique communities by introducing and integrating technology that enhances their sense of identity and methods of communication while also bringing awareness of these communities to an external audience. One project with Atlanta’s Proctor Creek Stewardship Council resulted in a simulation that showed how stream pollution negatively affects Atlanta residents in low-income neighborhoods along urban streams. Another of her projects aims to enhance communication within and outside of Native American reservations through white space-enabled technologies.

The selection process for the Foley Scholar awards is a state-wide competition. Additional 2017 Foley Scholars include Kayla DesPortes (HCC) and Tesca Fitzgerald (CS).

Read more about Tom Jenkins work.

For more information about the Foley Scholars Endowment visit Georgia Tech’s GVU Center webpage.  

To read more about these amazing students and their accomplishments, visit the Foley Scholars and GVU Master’s Student Awards webpage. 


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:ralu3
  • Created:10/23/2017
  • Modified By:Rebecca Keane
  • Modified:11/06/2017