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May 1, 2023

ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day 2023 is approaching!

The Institute of Creativity, Arts, and Technology has been hosting an annual celebration of creativity and innovation by students and faculty through a public showcase in the Moss Arts Center for a decade now. This year’s theme is Beyond where we will focus on the kinds of work people do beyond a transdisciplinary education, how disciplines and identity are intertwined, and how that can help and transform. It will be held on Monday, May 1, 2023. We encourage you to join us for a full day of inspiring interactions and fun at the intersections of science, engineering, arts, and design. Mark your calendars. The day will include a panel discussion, a variety of incredible exhibits, and more. Exhibits will be staffed from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. ICAT brings together individuals across disciplines and the public to learn and engage with each other. This celebration will allow you to explore how students and faculty use their expertise to solve complex problems and allow you to learn more about their recent work.


  • 10:00-2:00 — Exhibits open at Moss Arts Center
  • 3:00-4:30 — Panel discussion and awards presentation at Creativity and Innovation District (CID) building
  • 4:30-5:30 — Reception at CID
  • 5:30-6:30 — Rhizome community student projects at CID


ICAT Day Catalog 2023.pdf ICAT Day Catalog 2023

Exhibit Information

Keynote Panel

We are thrilled to welcome the return of five graduates of the Institute of Creativity, Arts, and Technology to celebrate creativity and innovation with us. This year’s theme is Beyond, focusing on the kinds of work people do beyond a transdisciplinary education, how disciplines and identity are intertwined, and how that can help and transform. In a panel discussion with moderator Ashely Costello, these like-minded individuals will speak about the scopes of their life since their time at ICAT. Prospective students will learn about the challenges of being put in a box with transdisciplinary education and how they were able to push beyond the boundaries of the industry.

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Ashley Costello
Ashley Costello
Ashley Costello is the current Graduate Research Assistant for CENI. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Higher Education program. Her research interests are in exploring how to create more conducive higher education learning environments for trauma-impacted students, and exploring traumatic educational cultures around STEM majors. She is from Northeastern Pennsylvania, where she received her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Lock Haven University, and eventually a Master's in Social Work from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. During the time between her undergraduate degree and her first Master, she worked as a crisis counselor in a Women’s Center with individuals that were experiencing and fleeing relationship/dating violence. She carried this passion for working with trauma-impacted populations to Virginia Tech when she came here in 2016 to pursue another Masters in Public Administration. After that program, she worked with a Women’s Center in Virginia as an Outreach and Community Educator for a little while. She then moved into higher education when she took a position within the Living-Learning Community, Innovate, and completed her final Master's degree in Educational Psychology at Tech. When she’s not hitting the books, or writing fervently in her home office, She enjoys casually running races with some of her School of Education colleagues, and the fabric arts (mainly cross-stitching and hand embroidery).
Brennon Bortz
Brennon Bortz
Brennon Bortz is a Software Solution Architect today. He initially studied music theory and composition as an undergraduate, and then pursued a graduate degree in music composition, feeding himself along the way as a software developer. While working on his Master’s degree focusing on choral and small acoustic ensemble composition, he was introduced to electroacoustic composition and began working with Paulo Chagas, Tim Labor, and Miller Puckette. His interest in cross- and inter-disciplinary work grew as he discovered ways to combine music and technology, later moving to Northern Ireland to pursue a second Master’s and Ph.D. in sonic arts. There he began working with Ben Knapp, whom he later followed to Virginia Tech to become one of the first students associated with ICAT. At Virginia Tech, he completed a Master’s and Ph.D. in computer science, focusing his research at the intersection of music, psychophysiology, and affective computing. Now a proud member of Corporate America at Leidos, Brennon spends his time overseeing the software engineering activities of an operation of several thousand employees, building a new software factory in Pennsylvania, engaging executive leadership on software and cloud strategy, and—from time to time—building cool things. He lives in Fresno, California with his wife Whitney, his two daughters, and his son.
Jason Forsyth
​Jason Forsyth
​Jason Forsyth is an Associate Professor of Engineering at James Madison University. He received his PhD from Virginia Tech in May 2015. His major research interests are in wearable/ubiquitous computing and engineering education. Previously he was an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at York College of Pennsylvania from 2015 – 2018, teaching courses across the engineering curriculum and specialized in microprocessors, embedded systems, and engineering capstone. Outside of the classroom, Jason has been nominated for the New River Valley Leading Lights award, funded externally and internally through York College’s Great to Greater initiative and the York County Community Foundation, and awarded a recipient of the 2012 Best Paper Award from IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering for working on wearable monitoring of carbon monoxide poisoning in construction workers. His current research interests focus on on-body human activity recognition and interactive machine learning for physical therapy patients and practitioners to increase exercise adherence and clinical evaluation.
George Hardabeck
George Hardebeck
George Hardebeck is a Senior Producer of Engineering at Ideum specializing in projection mapping, physical computing, virtual environments, and interaction design. He received his BFA and MFA of Creative Technologies from Virginia Tech, where he learned to love the challenges in making advanced scientific research accessible through interactive media. George has worked on large and small format clients from Smithsonian Museum of American History, Natural History Museum of Utah, the Moss Arts Center, Boeing, and was a featured artist at Moogfest in 2018. George is leading the development of a 60' projection environment at the Da Vinci Science Center, where guests are encouraged to emulate Da Vinci's creativity through Art, Science, and Engineering. He developed the premier exhibit for New York City's first civil rights museum, The Jackie Robinson Museum, an S-scale model of Ebbets Field with a faceted dvLED wall, 5k interactive touchscreens, a projection-mapped field, and a 30,000 character 3D printed crowd. At Ideum, we get to explore novel concepts and interact with the top historical and scientific experts in their field to tell compelling stories through the use of emerging and interactive technologies.
Annie Y. Patrick
Annie Y. Patrick
Annie Y. Patrick is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Studio for Transforming Engineering Learning and Research (STELAR) Lab in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mississippi College and an associate’s degree in Nursing from Holmes Community College. After a fulfilling nursing career working in a variety of specialties, she became interested in technology while studying Library and Information Science and completed a master’s degree in network technology and cyber assurance at East Carolina University. She received her doctorate degree in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech. She works as an applied scholar in interdisciplinary spaces focused on the groundwork of sociological participation, engineering studies, social (in)visibility, care work, and social justice.
Kari Zacharias
Kari Zacharias
Kari Zacharias is an engineer, a humanist, and an education researcher. She is a graduate of the Virginia Tech Department of Science, Technology, and Society, where she completed her PhD in 2018. During her graduate studies, ICAT was her research site as well as one of her academic homes: her dissertation examined transdisciplinarity, belonging, and institutionalization in science, engineering, art, and design. Dr. Zacharias is currently an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Engineering Professional Practice and Engineering Education at the University of Manitoba, where she researches engineering cultures and knowledge. Her work includes studies of how engineering ways of understanding the world can be integrated with other disciplinary and Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and making. Dr. Zacharias enjoys hiking and roller skating, and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her partner and their very extroverted cat.