• Faculty

  • Debra McGrory

    Part-time Assistant Professor


    Office Location
    A - 66 West 12th Street

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    Debra McGrory


    Debra is an entrepreneur, digital innovator and educator with expertise in digital media, XR technologies and storytelling. She is recognized for data-driven and researched based approaches to immersive experiences and emerging technologies. She is a recognized top business executive by Fast Company and data visualization expert by Google with a l ong-standing reputation for building, implementing, and leveraging cutting-edge digital technologies and products to communicate data with a current focus on the interesection of technology and journalism.


    Degrees Held

    ➢ Certificate of Completion, NYU Stern School of Business
    Graduate Certificate, Strategic Steps for Growth, 2012 – 2013
    A mini-MBA program developed by the Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME), NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.  

    ➢ Loyola College in Maryland
    BA, Art History, Minor in Studio Art, 1998-2002, Syracuse University, Florence, Italy, ​2001


    Professional Affiliation

    ➢ Co-Founder, Sonify, Inc. (May 2019 - Present)

    ➢ Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Datavized Technologies, Inc. (November 2019 - May 2019)

    ➢ Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Datavized, Inc. (October 2015 - May 2019)

    ➢ Founder & CEO, Culture Shock LLC (August 2007 - November 2016)


    Recent Publications

    Exploration Narrative: Agency and VR Experience - Immersive Storytelling and WebVR, February 5, 2017 Reflective essay for The Nth Degree Series Presents: Immersive Storytelling Symposium at Parsons School of Design, The New School. 

    Data Visualization: What is it? What is it Good for? Mar 11, 2014, Digital Impact (Formerly Markets for Good). Debra Anderson, Instructor at the New School, Co-Founder at DataCoLab, Founder & CEO at CultureShock offers a brief examination of the current landscape and highlighting the benefit and value of DV for Social Good including: What is Data Visualization (DV)? Which organizations have used it effectively – and to what end? Why it is useful (with data and stats)?

    Performances and Appearances

    ➢  2019 Google DATAVIS TALKS - 1st External Guest Speaker, Researcher and Expert - Presented a 45-minute talk on “Data Visualization and Sonification”

    ➢  2019 NYC Digital Inclusion Conference (DiCon) Speaker - “Data Sonification and Accessible Technology - Turning Data into Sound and Music”

    ➢  2019 AMP NYC Exhibitor - “3D Software, Virtual Reality and Emerging Technology”

    ➢  2019 Bernstein Labs Panelist - “Emerging Technology - The Future is Now”

    ➢  2019 Divergence Digital Innovation Labs Panelist - “Profit or Perish - The New Imperatives of Digital Disruption”

    ➢  2019 RLab Faculty Committee Advisor - NYCEDC-funded center for research, education and entrepreneurship in VR/AR and related technologies

    ➢  2019 SAGE Publication Research Methods - Featured Interviews on “Big Data, Data Science and Digital Methods” - “Developing Innovative Data Visualizations for Social Change”, “Bringing Data Visualization Technology from a Company to the Classroom”, “Creating Open Source Tools with Google for Data Visualization and Sonification”

    ➢  2018 VR & Education Meetup Guest Lecture: “WebXR in Education”

    ➢  2018 MIT Reality Virtually Hackathon Workshop Lead “Getting Started with WebXR & “Building Immersive WebXR Visualization with Geometric”

    ➢  2018 Presented “Immersive 2030” WebXR initiative at the 73rd session of United Nations General Assembly 2018 Led Uniondocs Three-Day Intensive Workshop “Worlds Made Real: Storytelling for Immersive Documentary” - Guest lecture “Immersive Storytelling Using WebXR”

    ➢  2018 Spoke on an emerging technologies/adapting to technological disruption panel for a "national security-focused US Government agency/audience"

    ➢  2018 Spoke at The United Nations Office of Information and Communication Technology (OICT) and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) TechTalk Event on Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) for Sustainable Development. Guest Lecture “WebXR: VR/AR with open-source and accessible applications for all”

    ➢  2018 AMP NYC Accelerator for Media Pros (First cohort, NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and  Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment)

    ➢  Co-organizer WebXR NYC Meetup Group 2018 - Present

    ➢  Co-organizer A-Frame NYC Meetup Group 2018 - Present

    ➢  2018 Bristol City Hall, UK: Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data’s inaugural Data for Development Festival. Guest Lecture “Immersive Communications: Data-driven Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality” and Exhibition & Technology Presenter & Partner: VR Data Playspace, Datavized Beta, UN Environment “There’s Something in the Air” WebVR experience and Bristol Data Dive

    ➢  2018 University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain: Malofiej 26 Infographic Awards (Jury Member) and Summit: Guest Lecture “Data Visualization and the Immersive Web”

    ➢  2018 Harvard: WeCode Conference: Guest Lecture “The Value of Immersive Visualization”

    ➢  2018 Fast Company Magazine February Issue Featured Entrepreneur Issue 222, “How to Lead With Optimism”

    ➢  Founder, Immersive NYC Meetup Group, 2017- Present

    ➢  2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) PlayLabs Accelerator for VR/AR/AI startups, first cohort

    ➢  2017 Future of Storytelling: Curator and Exhibitor “Women in Virtual Reality”

    ➢ 2017 Immersive Storytelling Symposium - Exploration Narrative: Agency and VR experience, The New School The Nth Degree Series: Creative Minds Creating Change

    ➢  2016 Visual Knowledge: Beyond Words - Data Visualization & Knowledge Management, World Bank Group, Washington, D.C. Guest Lecture “The Web and Virtual Reality: A New Communication Platform”

    ➢  2016 Moderator “Immersive Storytelling - Virtual Reality at Tribeca Film Festival”

    ➢  2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MITopendoclab Virtually There: Documentary Meets Virtual Reality Conference and Exhibition: Guest Lecture “Real Data in Virtual Worlds” & Exhibition of VR documentary “In\Formation”

    ➢  2015 Made in NY Media Center by IFP Lecture: “In\Formation: VR Case Study”

    ➢  Macquarie-NYVR Summit & Expo, Panel: “How VR With Change Everything”

    ➢  2015 International Center of Photography New Media Narratives Program First Ever VR Weekend Workshop: “Stepping Inside VR with Debra Anderson”

    ➢ 2015 Digital Hollywood Panel: “VR-AR Production on the Edge - The Amazing Journey of Imagination: Storytelling in Content and Advertising”

    ➢  Nominee for WEConnect Mentor, Women Entrepreneurs NYC – Election December 2015


    ➢  Co-Founder, Women In Virtual Reality NY Meetup Group 2015 - 2017

    ➢  Made in New York Media Center by IFP Innovation Committee 2013-2014

    ➢  Founding Member, Peacebuilding and Technology Laboratory, 2014 - Present

    ➢  2015-2016 IFP Media Center, Workshop (NYC): “Virtual Reality: Business, Production and Distribution”

    ➢  2015 NYC Media Lab, Lecture (NYC): “Exploring Future Reality”

    ➢  2015 Lecture (NYC) “Data-driven Storytelling”

    ➢  2015 Seminar, (NYC) “Stepping Inside Virtual Reality with Debra Anderson”

    ➢  2015 Fulbright Association - Greater NY Chapter, The New School for Public Engagement: “Women in Tech: Quantifying the Impact of the Arts through Big Data”

    ➢  2013 Hunter College, Visual Arts and the Sciences: Linked Epistemological Approaches: Guest Lecture: “Methodologies, Technologies and Applications: New

    technology and sensory matters.”

    ➢  2013 Festival, Keynote Speaker (Derry, Ireland): “Lecture: The Art of Information”

    ➢  2012 Volta Art Fair, Exhibition Co-Curator (NYC): “BOOM!: Boomboxes, iPads, Audiovisual Interfaces”

    ➢  2011 Vimeo ‘Frame’, Exhibition Co-Curator (Miami): “Contemporary moving image digital artworks”

    ➢  2011 Vimeo ‘Projection’, Exhibition Co-Curator (NYC)

    ➢  2010 Volta Art Fair, Exhibition Co-Curator (Basel, Switzerland): “Generative Animation for the iPad”

    Research Interests

    Data Visualization, Data Analysis, Data Sonification, Data Journalism, Digital Journalism, Data Storytelling, Data Science, Emerging Technology, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Immersive Media,  Voice, Audio, Spatial Audio, Strategic Design, Open Data, Accessibility, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning,  AI for Good, Data for Good, Smart Cities, Innovation, Interactive Design 

    Awards And Honors

    TwoTone (2019 Finalist), Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism
    Airfield (2018 Winner), Online News Association's Journalism360 Grant Award



    Future Courses

    Digital Development
    PSAM 3274, Spring 2025

    Past Courses

    Big Data: Consumer Research
    NMGT 2112, Fall 2023

    Digital Development
    PSAM 3274, Spring 2024

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