NYU SPS Metaverse Team header

NYU SPS Metaverse Team

The NYU SPS Metaverse Team is composed of faculty members, administrators, and staff members who share a common interest in understanding the Metaverse and using its tremendous potential to ready the future leaders and innovators of industry—our students—with what they will need to get ahead.

Mary Beth Altier, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Center for Global Affairs

Marybeth directs the MS in Global Affairs concentration in Transnational Security as well as the Initiative on Emerging Threats. Her research interests focus on political violence, political behavior, international security, nationalism, and ethnic conflict. She translates those interests into her Metaverse focus: security, and creating safe and equitable communities.

“How do we take the lessons learned from the launch of social media and how it has been exploited and apply them to the metaverse? How can we protect the technology, with proper security measures, to keep the metaverse from being manipulated by nefarious actors?”

Marc Beckman
Senior Fellow, Metaverse Collaborative
Founding Partner, CEO
DMA United
Marc Beckman founded DMA United with a modern vision: combining commercially oriented principles with branding and advertising.

Today, DMA United executes communication campaigns and new business development for internationally acclaimed individuals and brands, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Barneys New York, Pepsi, NBA, Russell Westbrook, Major League Baseball, Council Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Wynton Marsalis, and Nelson Mandela Media. DMA United’s polycultural platform uniquely positions the Agency at the center of superior style and design, and extends into fashion, music, sports, technology, and the arts.

Beckman’s deal flow surrounding DMA United’s individuals and brands concentrates on three areas: (1) Merchandising (Licensing, Co-Branding,DTR, International Expansion), (2) Commercial Endorsements/Sponsorships, and (3) Multi-Media Development (Broadcast Television, Publishing,Radio, Branded Entertainment).

In recent years, Beckman has structured several high-profile deals and partnerships resulting in the exchange of millions of dollars worldwide, such as: Russell Westbrook x Barney New York, Pepsi x Puma, NBA x Bloomingdales.

Further, in recent years, Beckman has also executed upon countless experiential marketing platforms and traditional campaigns, including MLB Assembly, Fossil Q, Finish Line, and Pepsi Art of Football (2014 and 2018).

Beckman was admitted to the State Bar Association of New York, New Jersey, and Washington DC after graduating with a JD from Hofstra University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Boston University. Beckman is active with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, mentoring several of the CFDA Incubator’s inaugural class participants, and structuring CFDA’s publishing deals with Assouline.

As a guest lecturer, Beckman is invited every semester to speak at both NYU Stern School of Business and Columbia University in their Fashion Industry, Entertainment Marketing, and The Art of Celebrity Business courses.

Beckman lives in Manhattan with his wife Alice Roi and their children, Jude and Damaris.

Vanja Bogicevic, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality

Has led VR research with multiple publications focused on VR shaping consumer responses—primarily in consumer and tourism. She has designed a VR class—pre-COVID, and is ready to launch it.

Shoshana Bass, PhD
Academic Director and Clinical Assistant Professor
Management and Technology Programs
Division of Programs in Business

Directs both the Management and Systems and the Project Management programs, and is thrilled that her students are deeply involved in project managing the NYU student NFT Gallery currently being built.

Milos Bujisic, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Marketing and Public Relations
Division of Programs in Business

Focused on applied marketing methodology and, for more than a decade, has explored VR’s use in hospitality, as well as in consumer services and branding. At Ohio State University, he helped launch a VR lab that was used for consumer sciences research in virtual settings. His research has included a program for food safety training in VR and another for VR initiative for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Christian Busch, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Center for Global Affairs

Is the director of MS in Global Affairs concentration in Global Economy. Has spent the last decade analyzing how people can live more meaningful and successful lives by spotting and connecting the dots, and guiding outcomes. His current research focuses on the development of a science-based framework for how to cultivate serendipity in order to generate innovation, impact, and “smart luck.” His key interest in the Metaverse is on the kind of mindset(s) and networks that will be required to connect the dots between information and people, and on different layers. “We’re excited by the intersection of serendipity and AI (in the Metaverse) and would like to take it further since it’s still very early days for us.”

Alexandra Cazangiu
Senior Director
Office of Information and Technology
With a background in data analytics, Alexandra came to the Metaverse Collaborative with a keen interest in the practical application of the Metaverse, how it can be a source of data that will be consumed in different ways, and how we can protect people’s privacy.

“How will the data collected via the metaverse be consumed, tracked, and integrated into other forms of technology? How do we address privacy issues and data governance in this new world?

Hui Soo Chae, EdD
Executive Director
Center for Academic Excellence and Support

For over 20 years, Hui Soo Chae has engaged in a broad range of R&D activities to understand the impact of emerging technologies on learning and teaching. As a member of the NYU SPS Metaverse Collaborative, his work focuses on the efficacy of extended reality (XR) applications and environments to advance student learning. "The education domain has been engaged in versions of the 'metaverse' for over 15 years. As a school committed to critical applied education, it is imperative that our students not just consume new technologies but leverage them to pioneer work that leads to a more just and inclusive society."

David Cooper
Adjunct Instructor
Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport

A sports entertainment executive who advises sport brands and professional athletes on communications, David is interested in how the metaverse can help brands grow their businesses and grow fandom. He teaches in the Real-World Program at SPS and has had students advise NBA teams on how to expand their brand in the Metaverse.

“Businesses need to be engaged in the metaverse today because that’s where the fans are—or risk getting left behind.”

Donatella Delfino, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies

Interested in leveraging Metaverse capabilities to enrich the math and science courses she currently teaches, as well as to learn more about how the Metaverse relates to and will inform the future of work. In particular, she is exploring how the VR or AR labs (and an immersive experience) might amplify student learning and result in new perspectives, skills, and credentials. She believes an immersive experience would be of specific benefit to students in Human Genetics and Human Biology who would have the opportunity to conduct experiments on their own and is setting up a class in the spring of 2023 in the Metaverse. “I see the Metaverse as providing expanded access and opportunity to our students who can learn science in a hands-on way.”

Michael Diamond
Academic Director and Clinical Assistant Professor 
Integrated Marketing and Communications
Division of Programs in Business

Research and teaching interests are focused on the transformation of Marketing and PR and the critical balance of a human-centered and data-driven approach to marketing and communications. The metaverse, AR, and VR, as a transformative platform for brand-building, engagement and community, along with the study of the applications of artificial intelligence and data-driven insights, are central to his research and curriculum work.

"The history of marketing and communications frequently demonstrates that, while some of the fundamental human needs, wants and behaviors do not change that radically over time, the means of engagement, storytelling, and brand-building  are profoundly influenced by new technologies.  The Metaverse and the broader value creation enabled by Web 3.0 and immersive experiences is a critical domain for practitioners and academics alike to understand and help influence."

Annelise Finegan, PhD
Academic Director of Translation & Interpreting and Clinical Assistant Professor

As academic director and faculty member in the translation program, Annelise teaches courses focused on how machine learning translation and AI are helping companies interpret in real time, and sees an application for it in the metaverse. She sees a deep responsibility to make sure students have sustainable careers and are prepared for the metaverse so they’re not only ready for today, but ready for tomorrow.

“How can human translators interact with and intervene with machine translation so that they are not reproducing biases that currently exist in different languages?”

Andres Fortino, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Project Management and Information Technology
Division of Programs in Business

Developing a cross-discipline, experiential course in the Metaverse that explores applications of virtual reality using MASY students as the technology team members. He also recently received a grant to study the IP bandwidth loading effect of teaching with VR headsets versus Zoom in the classroom, and is supervising a survey of SPS student’s opinions about the Metaverse. The survey will be conducted by students who will use the text responses as a final team project in their text data mining class. He looks forward to taking a group to visit Rembrandt’s artworks virtually (physically resides at the Rijksmuseum) and discover the answer to a wonderful mystery about his life and art using Oculus Quest. “The Metaverse is very rich for what I like to do, which is to work with students and see how they apply technology, creatively and productively. They also get a credential to out on the table to get a good job.”

Vince Gennaro
Clinical Associate Professor
Associate Dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport
Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport

Dean Gennaro developed a blockchain for sports course for continuing education and he teaches sports tech and innovation in the Tisch Institute’s executive education programs. In addition to hosting the annual Tisch Institute retreat in a virtual world, he is currently leading the development of a sports business simulation game and evaluating the launch of “Tisch Teaching Moments” as NFTs.

“I've always been obsessed with the future. Positioning ourselves for the future--being "first" to the future--will create real value for our students. The convergence of new technologies like blockchain, virtual reality, and AI/machine learning are the building blocks of the metaverse.”

Pierre Gervois
Adjunct Instructor
Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality

Pierre is an adjunct Professor at SPS (Jonathan Tisch Center for Hospitality) teaching Public Relations and communications. He is working closely with American cities and counties to help them leverage their assets (and in particular arts and historic heritage) to increase the appeal of their destinations for tourism and travel. He is also a crypto-artist creating NFT’s and has been actively involved in multiple Metaverse applications and projects since 2021 which made him realize the profound impact that the Metaverse will have on all industries.

Sourav Goswami
Adjunct Instructor
Schack Institute of Real Estate

Invests in and lives in real estate, with a focus on property technologies. He has not yet bought any Metaproperties, but is watching the technology and the real estate with great interest. “The Metaverse is the central topic in just about every real estate conversation today.”

Elizabeth Haas, PhD
Senior Advisor to the Dean

Exploring how the Metaverse can and will shift behavior (the way we do things) and specifically the impact this change in behavior will have on cities, organizations, and communities. Her work includes: guiding the research of students designing a stadium in the Metaverse (with a focus on services provided and the associated economics); partnering with the Conference of Mayors to profile the impact of the Metaverse on sports and cities using student research; and exploring how six cities might utilize the Metaverse to shift their identify and improve their connection to the broader communities they serve. “Web 3 and the Metaverse excite me, I’m especially interested in how executives translate these new abilities to bend time and space to service perceived needs, and create communities. with respect to the Metaverse.”

Mohammad Hamad
Assistant Director of Administration
Center for Applied Liberal Arts

Has invested himself in helping people that love to write but are intimated move past their intimidation and enjoy their passion.   He is investigating taking those same kills to the Metaverse for all of us intimidated by the Metaverse and passionate to explore.

Angeilie (Angie) Hyman-Robinson
Associate Director, Corporate Learning and Tailored Programs
Division of Programs in Business

Community-building experience that spans over 20 years as an alumni relations and program development professional for Catholic Charities and New York University. Earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a Master of Arts in Media, Culture, and Communications, and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from New York University. Research interests are in community engagement and interaction in digital environments that are amplified in the Metaverse.


Lee H. Igel, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport

Had his first taste of the Metaverse on Roblox that grew into his coaching city leaders on their Metaverse strategies.   His students are profiling the Metaverse in sports for the Conference of Mayors.

Dustin C. Jones, JD
Clinical Associate Professor
Schack Institute of Real Estate

In his courses on smart cities, and real estate technology, and in his interest on Real Estate Law, Dustin tackles the possible implications of the Metaverse.

Angie Kamath
NYU School of Professional Studies

A leader in higher education, championing equal opportunity for all through higher education and workforce programs that provide applicable skills across growing and emerging fields and an entrepreneur quick to build collaborations and seize on opportunities to better serve students.  The Metaverse Collaborative at NYU SPS came together under Dean Kamath’s leadership.

“The Metaverse is transforming the world our graduates will enter, and it will challenge their capabilities at work, at play, and in life. It’s a non-negotiable part of our future too.”

Recep Karaburun, DR
Clinical Assistant Professor
Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality

Besides directing the HI Hub Incubator (which has some Metaverse candidates being mentored and seeking funding), Dr K’s Ph.D. dissertation was on online connectiveness and it’s correlation with influence. He is planning a class in the Metaverse for the Spring of 2023 and leading our efforts in identify and really leveraging the new capabilities of Metaverse classrooms.

Carolyn Kissane, PhD
Academic Director and Clinical Professor, Center for Global Affairs
Director, SPS Energy, Climate Justice and Sustainability Lab

Carolyn wears many hats, working within the energy and environment space, global affairs, and higher education, and as a result, approaches the Metaverse with a lot of curiosity for both the potential opportunities it could bring, as well as potential risks it poses. For example, she sees the Metaverse as a potential source for energy companies to do training around energy installations in a sustainable way. Simultaneously, from a global affairs and transnational security perspective, there's a potential serious dark side in the cyber domain with identities being stolen and used inappropriately.

“Will the metaverses be a source of democratization and inclusion, or will they be a deeper perpetuation of exclusion and division?”

Matt "Chef" Kwatinetz
Faculty Director
NYU Urban Lab and Clinical Assistant Professor of Real Estate Economics
Schack Institute of Real Estate

Board member of the Burning Man Project and had a first-row seat when Black Rock City was cancelled due to the pandemic, and Burning Man then decided to create five different Metaverse-inspired worlds. Over the past two years, he has been involved in the Metaverse, including not only the development of various virtual worlds but also in the use of virtual reality to model real estate developments and review design changes before they are implemented. He has a dream of creating an urban lab where people can: come together in a virtual city and fly over Hudson Yards in action (as a case study); view how specific buildings are being built and how they may impact the surrounding city as part of an urban planning prototype space.

“The Metaverse can enable us to collapse time, allowing us to sit and watch -- most like watching the creation myth. It will really change our understanding of what we’re creating in a project and how we learn.”

Jenny McPhee
Clinical Assistant Professor
Director of the Center for Applied Liberal Arts

Fascinated by the Metaverse’s ability to create community and build bridges particularly in the elder community and is exploring how SPS can actively lead in this arena.

Mary Beth Roche
President and Publisher, Macmillan Audio
Adjunct Professor
Center for Publishing

President and Publisher at Macmillian Audio — with a focus on the audio format and marketing innovation is investigating how the Metaverse will change publishing, audio-creation, and brand marketing.  She is fascinated in what publishing can learn from other industries as they step into the Metaverse.

Kristine Rodriguez Kerr, EdD
Academic Director and Clinical Associate Professor
MS in Professional Writing
Center for Applied Liberal Arts

Her research interests include new literacy studies, educational justice, online learning, and curriculum development in both traditional and non-traditional spaces of learning – including the Metaverse.

Mechthild Schmidt Feist
Clinical Professor
Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies

A veteran of the Metaverse having taught her first course in the fall of 2006 as part of the Second Life curriculum and which explored a range of virtual scenarios in the classroom.  Over the years, she has followed up her interest in the Metaverse in the classroom by teaching, “Engaged Media: Second Life Water Bottle  -- an installation with Mirror Garden2  that simulated plastic bottle use in NYU cafeterias.  More recently, she taught a class titled, “Augmented Reality in the Neighborhoods” -- a media plus mapping class held with DCom and German Dessau design students.  Her work employs Google Earth + Google maps with image overlays.  https://mechthildschmidtfeist.com/

Chyng-Feng Sun, PhD
Clinical Professor
Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies

Planning two Metaverse courses for the Spring of 2023 focused on the “Metaverse and Media,” and the “Metaverse and Psychology.” Her perspectives on the social and cultural impacts of the Metaverse will be informed by her teaching and research that focuses on popular media representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality.  She currently believes that the Metaverse will have more significance on and importance to social identity and interpersonal relationships than on the overall economy. She is currently leading a multinational research team investigating the connections between sexual media and desires, behaviors, and relationships in nine countries.

“I am excited by the idea of teaching about and in the Metaverse and believe my experience with media, animation, and audience reception will be especially helpful as we identify opportunities for our students to learn in a new way.”

Anna A. Tavis, PhD
Clinical Professor and Academic Director
Human Capital Management
Anna directs the Human Capital Management program at NYU SPS and is interested in how technologies like the metaverse, VR, AR, and web 3.0 will transform the workplace as these technologies will be students’ reality. She believes it’s important to not only provide students with an immersive experience in the metaverse, but also the skills to think critically about its potential implications on ethics, human interaction, and critical thinking.

"Technologies like the metaverse, virtual reality, and augmented reality, in a hybrid remote workplace, are going to transform how people work. What are the implications going to be? How will it generate different modalities for working? What will be the role of HR and human capital and people management in the use of these types of technologies?"