Program Funds Four Post-Graduate Fellows from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program to Support Innovative Research in Alternative Media

IAC and New York University Launch the IAC Teaching and Research Fellowship Fund
IAC Fellowship winners (L to R) Chika Iijima, Michael Knuepfel, Patricia Adler, and Calli Higgins.

IAC (Nasdaq: IACI) and New York University (NYU) today announced the launch of the IAC Teaching and Research Fellowship Fund in partnership with NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. As part of the year-long program, IAC has committed $250,000 to support top post-graduate students from the School’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), a graduate education program in interactive media.   


The Fund, designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in interactive media, has named four of the top recent graduates of ITP as IAC Fellows and will fund each student for one year to develop their own work and/or research while providing faculty and student support within ITP’s classrooms. IAC Fellows will work directly with IAC mentors, leading business and strategy executives at the company and its brands, to discuss ongoing research, tackle challenges, and build a framework for a sustainable and successful career, post-fellowship. The fellows will also participate in a part-time internship within one of IAC’s divisions.


“Red Burns has been a seminal leader in creating ITP, long before the activity of interactivity became a prime driver of innovation and commerce in New York,” said Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive of IAC.  “It’s great we can further the learning and experience of her students.”


The four IAC fellows, selected based on academic and entrepreneurial excellence, innovative research, and their potential to make an impact on the future of the interactive media space, are:


  • Patricia Adler and Mike Knuepfel will work at IAC’s Hatch Labs, a technology innovation incubator devoted to improving mobility for today’s wireless generation.  They will be mentored by executives and focus on the design and development of startups including technical and business strategy; and
  • Calli Higgins and Chika Iijima will work at IAC’s Vimeo, the leading video sharing site providing the easiest way for people to host and share their videos in high quality.  The fellows will be mentored by Vimeo executives and focus on the development and production of interactive video and touchscreen technology.


“Partnering with IAC in creating a Research Fellowship for recent graduates follows the example of many entrepreneurial ITP alumni, most notably Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley who spent a year after graduating incubating his ideas around locative media,” said ITP Founding Chair Red Burns.  “Through this Fund, selected ITP students will now have a little extra time to deepen their skills and further explore their ideas in collaboration with the innovators at IAC.”


The IAC Fellows were selected by ITP Chair Dan O’Sullivan, in consultation with select ITP faculty and the Tisch School of the Arts Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell. This group of entrepreneurial individuals was chosen for the IAC fellowship based on outstanding academic excellence while at ITP, contributions to the ITP community, evidence of strong communications skills, and a proposal for an individual research project. Created to provide an open forum for motivated students to explore career opportunities and drive innovation in the industry, the IAC Fellowship is designed to allow creative entrepreneurial minds the guidelines and direction needed for success. The fellowship will last one year beginning September 2011.



About the IAC Fellows

Patricia Adler is a designer and new media artist. Her work takes shape as kinetic sculptures, mobile platforms, performances, video art, sound and light installations. Since 1999, Adler has been responsible for Pepper-mint design studio, in London (UK), creating furniture, products, and interiors for clients including; BBC, Bloomberg, IDEO, Selfridges, Guy’s and St.Thomas’ Hospital. Her work has been featured in Time Magazine, New York Times, The Guardian, Vogue and BBC. Adler is based in Brooklyn, NY. To view Adler’s work, visit

Calli Higgins is a visual artist and interactive designer focused on combining photography, video and creative programming to design personal, interactive experiences. Higgins received her M.P.S. from ITP and a B.S. in Media, Culture and Communication from NYU's Steinhardt School. For the 2011-2012 academic year, she is continuing her work at ITP as a Resident Researcher exploring the imaginative applications of new and existing technologies, particularly in the area of interactive imaging. Her work has been featured in NYC gallery spaces, international film festivals, and online publications. Higgins is based in New York City. To view Higgins’ work, visit

Chika Iijima is an interactive visual artist, whose work varies from minimalist geometric patterns to unique compositions abundant in form and color. Iijima, who originally trained and practiced as a graphic designer and photographer, creates an abstract visual narrative in sync with the sounds of live music performance in addition to interactive projection mapping installations. Iijima's work has been featured at the American Museum of Natural History, The Hammer Museum, San Francisco Art Institute, The Museum of Modern Art, Centre d'Art Contemporain Geneva, Matadero Madrid, Theatre Maisonneuve, Biennial in Venezuela, New York University, Cooper Union among other venues. To view Iijima’s work, visit

Mike Knuepfel is a designer, creator, innovator, and inventor living in New York City, who focuses on 3D printing and digital fabrication methods to revolutionize the way objects are manufactured and consumed by the public. Prior to moving to New York, Knuepfel worked as an engineer, designing the latest solar mounting systems. Knuepfel has spent the last two years imagining and creating new experiences with the latest technology. To view Knuepfel’s work, visit


About IAC

IAC operates more than 50 leading and diversified Internet businesses across 30 countries... our mission is to harness the power of interactivity to make daily life easier and more productive for people all over the world. To view a full list of the companies of IAC visit our website at



An oversized Greenwich Village loft houses the computer labs, rotating exhibitions, and production workshops that are ITP—the Interactive Telecommunications Program.  Founded in 1979 as the first graduate education program in interactive media, ITP has grown into a living community of technologists, theorists, engineers, designers, and artists uniquely dedicated to pushing the boundaries of interactivity in the real and digital worlds.  A hands-on approach to experimentation, production, and risk-taking make this hi-tech fun house a creative home not only to its 220 students, but also to an extended network of the technology industry’s most daring and prolific practitioners.  Visit:



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