The course will be led and organized by Prof. Gotsis and Dr. Lionis. Additional USC, UC, and non-USC lecturers will be announced in the program as we get closer to begin.
Questions about the program can be addressed to gotsis [ at ] usc.edu.
Marientina Gotsis, MFA is Research Associate Professor of Interactive Media & Games at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and director and co-founder of the Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center. Gotsis has a broad background in arts, design, and engineering with a special interest in medicine, public health, and health behavior. She and her team have developed several innovative applications using games and virtual reality for health behavior change in topics such as child development, wellness, obesity, nutrition, exercise, autism, PTSD, rehabilitation, and eye disease. Gotsis has developed partnerships and projects with funding by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Norlien Foundation, National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Department of Defense, US Department of Education-NIDRR and the Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs. Formerly the Media Lab Manager for the Interactive Media Division, Gotsis managed technology infrastructure and contributed to several research projects funded by Electronic Arts, Intel, Microsoft, and Nokia. She has taught at USC (School of Cinematic Arts, School of Social Work, Roski School of Fine Arts), Northeastern Illinois University, Columbia College Chicago and Harold Washington College, and she has consulted for small businesses and not-for-profits. Gotsis has 24 years of experience as a designer and technologist. She received a BFA in photography/film/electronic media and an MFA in electronic visualization from the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Gotsis was born in 1978 in Chicago, Illinois, but raised in Athens, Greece. She programmed her first virtual reality application in 1997.
Founded in 2010 following the success of the USC Games for Health Initiative, the Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center (CM&BHC) is a unique incubator for innovation in the use of entertainment applications at the intersection of behavioral science, medicine and public health. As an organized research unit between the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the Keck School of Medicine of USC, its mission is to increase public awareness of critical issues in mental health and behavioral science, and to provide hands-on creativity-based educational opportunities for health researchers and practitioners. CM&BHC relies on sponsorship from individual, foundation, federal and international organizations to support infrastructure, research and production. As of 2013, CM&BHC members have completed several research milestones, published and disseminated ideas and findings, trained and mentored a remarkably diverse cohort of alumni, and provided consulting to partners locally, nationally and internationally. Our lab space (SCI 308) is affectionately known as The Garden, is named to honor the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341–270 B.C.E.), whose school and community garden were dedicated to the social and emotional welfare of its students and friends. Epicurus’ letters include some of the earliest inquiries into the role of homeostatic balance of pleasure (akin to contemporary concepts of affect regulation), the definition of happiness as the absence of mental and physical suffering (tranquility), and examples of practicing mindfulness in daily living. For more information, visit http://cmbhc.usc.edu.
Christos Lionis, MD,
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Rated among the best 200 universities in Europe by the Times of Higher Education, and ranked best in Greece in 2018, the University of Crete is a young public educational institution committed to excellence in research and teaching. Established in 1973, the University accepted its first students in 1977-78. It now has 16 Departments in 5 Schools (Philosophy, Education, Social, Economic & Political Sciences, Sciences & Engineering, and Medicine) as well as a number of affiliated research-oriented institutions, including the Skinakas Observatory, the Natural History Museum, and the University General Hospital. Currently, over 16,000 undergraduates and 2500 postgraduate students are registered here. They are educated by an outward looking academic faculty of around 500 members, supported by adjunct lecturers, post-doctoral researchers, laboratory support staff and instructors, as well as around 300 technical and administrative support staff. The international orientation of the University is reflected in its track record of collaborations with many of the leading research and educational institutions in Europe and worldwide as well as active promotion of mobility and exchange programmes. Research and research training at all levels benefits also from the close collaboration between many of the University’s research groups with the Institutes of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) and the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture (IMBBC). Reflecting its research activity and associated initiatives, the University of Crete is the first Greek University to have signed the EU Charter and the Code for the recruitment of researchers, and forms part of the Euraxess European network for the mobility of researchers. The University fully participates in quality assurance mechanisms both for its academic and administrative structures, and it is a strategic choice of the University that there will be an ongoing effort to meet quality in all its structures. Located at campuses in Heraklion and Rethymnon on the island of Crete, a site rich in ancient and modern Mediterranean cultures, the University offers a vibrant social and intellectual environment for research and education. As such, whether your contact with the University is brief or long-term, we trust it will be rewarding.