Bio: Unathi Mahlati

Most people have been curious to know what instigated the switch from sciences to media studies. To put is shortly, science was a “rational” career path for me to pursue. I mean you could wake me up in the middle of the night and I’d always be able to tell you that 2H+Cl2 = 2HCl. I was always good at sciences, so it made perfect sense to pursue a science-related career. Nonetheless, after graduating with a BS in neuroscience from Bucknell University, I realized that I needed a career that was going to take me out of my comfort zone. I have always taken an interest in media from an early age, but I grew up in a society where u either became a doctor, lawyer, or engineer.

Enough about that! I am particularly interested in this class because of its involvement with society. I am particularly interested in how we can use the tools we have to educate and empower citizens. Last semester, I conducted a bit of research on a pedagogy that uses film in the classroom. Results showed that using film in the classroom improves student performance. I want to learn more about current projects that use media for intervention and educational purposes. I would love to travel and study how developing and developed worlds use media to educate citizens and address societal matters. What can be done to bridge the digital divide? Another issue I find very interesting is the conflict between generating profit and providing public service. I’m hoping to take a couple of management classes in the upcoming semesters.

I’ve had the chance to volunteer at Ashler Manor, where I and my partner used theater as means of intervention. Ashler manor provides services to adolescent girls who have been subjected to substance abuse, sexual abuse, depression, child/parent conflict, etc. Our purpose was to engage the girls, through theater, so that they address their reality and hence find solutions. I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in the Gulu Walk and Invisible Children “schools-for-schools” program. I’m looking forward to more community-engagement opportunities.

Categories: Biographies


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3 Comments on “Bio: Unathi Mahlati”

  1. February 2, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    I’m also very interested in the pedagogical and intervention (“raising awareness”) aspects of media usage. If you’re not already familiar, you might enjoy this educational web service and their background

    The following is a more recently developed project from a Stanford tenured professor who resigned from his position to begin this

  2. unathimahlati
    February 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Interesting websites. I conducted some research last semester on the use of film in the classroom and most results showed that utilizing film in the classroom actually improves students’ performance. I think that multimodal pedagogy has a lot of potential. But then again there is the issue of digital divide. Who will have access to these resources? Check this website out

  3. February 7, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    That’s a great question regarding the accessibility of resources. Thanks for sharing the Scratch website. During the fall, I volunteered with CFY which is an organization that provides desktop computers to eligible eighth grade students for their homes upon the condition that they and their families attend and participate in a morning or an afternoon workshop in which they learn about the resources available on the computer. The Scratch program is one of the software pieces installed on the machines. It’s really fun! The students and I both enjoyed this engineering principles game World of Goo

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