Directors

STEPHANIE DEAN

Stephanie Dean is co-director of the Immersive Storytelling Lab at Middle Tennessee State University. Combining an academic’s zeal for research and a visual storyteller’s desire to explore expanding narrative forms, Dean has immersed herself into the worlds of virtual reality and augmented reality. At MTSU, Dean teaches courses in 360 video and digital sociology, among others.

As a researcher, storyteller, and academic activist, Stephanie is interested in how people use digital technologies and immersive media to align with or against the discourses that form our identities, policies, and understandings of culture(s). Dean is insatiably curious, a passionate researcher…and can be found to occasionally race reindeer.

More information can be found about Stephanie Dean at cutecattheory.net, or on her Twitter feed, @cutecattheory.


JOHN MERCHANT

Over the course of his career, John has had the opportunity to work with an amazing collection of musicians, songwriters, producers & engineers. His credits include Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Toni Braxton, Celine Dion and Lenny Kravitz, as well as producers Arif Mardin, David Foster, Russ Titelman, Raphael Saadiq, Phil Ramone, and many others. 

John earned a degree in Music Engineering from the University of Miami in 1989. While still in school, he began working as an intern at Middle Ear Studios on South Beach, owned by Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, where he advanced from assistant to Chief Engineer. In 2004, he opened his own studio in Miami, RedDoor, to produce both new and established acts. 

In 2007, John produced a top-selling DVD on mixing techniques for Multiplatinum Productions and in 2008 was nominated for a Grammy as producer for the artist Mika. 

Having completed his Masters Degree in Recording Arts & Technologies at Middle Tennessee State University, he is now an Associate Professor in their Recording Industry Department.