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MDOCS Staff


Jordana Dym, MDOCS Director

Jordana Dym

Jordana Dym is the inaugural director of the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative and professor of history. Her research and teaching interests include Latin America, the history of cartography, and public history. She joined the Skidmore faculty in 2000 after undergraduate studies in history and a master's in Russian studies at Stanford University (1989), a stint in the Foreign Service, and graduate studies at New York University (PhD, 2000). Student research collaborations include research for an exhibit of declarations of independence in Mexico's national archives (2010), cataloguing and scanning a private collection of Guatemalan historical documents to preserve the materials for scholars (2012–2013), and a Saratoga Springs map exhibit in partnership with the Saratoga Springs History Museum, Public Library, and City Historian's Office (2015). In addition to spearheading a public history initiative in the History Department, she shepherded the creation of the Latin American Studies Minor program (2002, director 2007–2011), and helped organize the 2004 Skidmore-Saratoga Springs Film Forum Haiti film festival, which hosted leading writers and filmmakers on campus. She has enjoyed sharing her love of travel with students on travel programs and collaborative research in France, Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.

Her publications include From Sovereign Villages to National States: City, State and Federation in Central America, 1759–1839 (2006), an exhibit catalog, Declarando Independencias (Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico, 2010), five edited volumes, including Mapping Latin America: A Cartographic Reader (with K. Offen, 2011), and articles and book chapters in French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. She has edited a journal, Mesoamérica (2008–2013), organized a 2012 virtual "cartographic conversation" for the John Carter Brown Library (2012), and serves on the executive committee of the Visual Cultures Section of the Latin American Studies Association. A recipient of several major research grants, including from the NEH (2003–2004) and John Carter Brown Library (2012), she spent 2013–2014 as a Humanities Writ Large Fellow at Duke University, working on The World Displayed: Western Travelers' Cartography, 1450–1930 and exploring digital humanities and documentary studies initiatives.


Sarah Friedland, Storytellers' Institute Director

Sarah Friedland

Sarah Friedland received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and the International School of Film and Television in Cuba and her MFA from the Integrated Media Art Program at Hunter College. Her documentary films and installations are concerned with personal stories that reveal larger histories and intricacies about place and society. Friedland’s works with Esy Casey have screened widely in the US and abroad and have been supported by grants from the Jerome Foundation, the Paul Newman Foundation, the William H. Prusoff Foundation, the Princess Grace Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Center for Asian American Media. In 2009, after the debut of her feature documentary Thing With No Name, she was named one of the “Top 10 Independent Filmmakers to Watch” by Independent Magazine. She is a recipient of the 2014 Paul Robeson award from the Newark Museum for her feature documentary The Rink, which is slated for PBS (WNET/NJTV) fall 2016. Her recent documentary Jeepney (2015) was broadcast on PBS (World Channel). She has received residencies and fellowships from the Center of Contemporary Art in Pont- Aven, the LABA House of Study, the MacDowell Colony, and Meerkat Media. 


 Adam Tinkle, Assistant Director

Adam Tinkle

Adam Tinkle creates, teaches, and writes about music, sound, media, and performance. At the center of Adam's work are strategies for artistic engagement, interactivity, and pedagogy that draw on experimental music. In 2010, he co-founded the Universal Language Orchestra, a group of elementary-aged novice musicians that composed, improvised, and built their own instruments. He subsequently created several similarly path-breaking arts education programs across San Diego county, where his collaborations with his students and his audience-participatory works were shown at the Birch Aquarium, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Old Globe Theatre, and the Institute of Perception. Before moving to Skidmore in 2014, he was a founding broadcaster on KNSJ 89.1FM, San Diego's first community radio station, where he led community workshops on radio-making and produced a weekly crowd-sourced music and documentary program. His award-winning solo performance A Mess of Things merges radio documentary with songs and video art. In May 2014, his interactive sound sculpture the Shantytown Scrapblaster was permanently installed at the Media Arts Center San Diego.  For More: www.riskyforager.com,  www.adamtinkle.com


Jesse O'Connell, Program Coordinator

Jesse Wakeman

Jesse O'Connell is a documentary filmmaker whose work began at the award-winning Moxie Institute Film Studio + Lab in San Francisco, CA. She was the associate producer and assistant editor on many of Moxie's films, including the Emmy-nominated series The Future Starts Here, and edited on the first films in the Let it Ripple nonprofit short-film series including Free Speech and Engage. She also worked with over 2,000 schools and nonprofit organizations involved in the Let it Ripple project, helping them to customize any of the five films for their outreach purposes.

She joined the MDOCS staff in the fall of 2015 after moving back to the east coast. She looks forward to helping students of all disciplines uncover important stories in their studies that allow us to look to the future through the lens and perspective of the past. Inspired by the challenge of highlighting the truth in the complex network of the digital landscape, she continues to explore the power of nonfiction storytelling. She has a BS in video production from Ithaca College's Roy H. Park School of Communications. www.jessewakeman.org


 Nicole Buck, Academic Administrative Assistant

Nicole Buck

Prior to joining the MDOCS team at Skidmore, Nicole led systems, event planning and fundraising efforts at the Saratoga Senior Center. She also worked for the Boeing Company as a financial and business planning analyst on the development team launching the first Delta IV rocket into space from Cape Canaveral, FL.  Nicole earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Boston College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.  Nicole lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband, Jason, and her three children, Maddie, Ryan and Molly.