I’m Stephanie Alarcon. I am a bike riding, tree hugging, science fetishizing, turntable loving unix geek from Philadelphia. I like using technology for social and environmental justice, and I’m always on the lookout for awesome projects and professional positions. Here’s my resume.
Right now I’m doing an internship with the Open Technology Institute, working with their mesh networking platform, Commotion. I’ve been a sysadmin for a long time, most recently for the University of Pennsylvania Library System. In May, 2011 I finished a Master of Environmental Studies degree at Penn, with a capstone project about electronic waste. My focus was urban environment, and my heart belongs to environmental justice. I think it would be awesome to work on a team to help e-textiles avoid the same pitfalls as e-waste. If you know of projects that do that kind of research, please get in touch!
I like making things and organizing projects, so it’s really fun to be the Director of Education and Outreach for The Hacktory, Philly’s first hackerspace. We recently won a big matching grant from the Knight Arts Challenge to run a program for artists to learn how to add technology to their work, then teach those skills to Philadelphia students. The whole project will be topped off with an exhibition. We need to raise the matching funds by early 2013, so please consider making a donation! We have lots of fun activities and classes, so check out our website for the latest news.
Previously, I was on the board of Hive76, one of Philly’s awesome hackerspaces. They have open house every Wednesday night, so come over some time to build a custom guitar effect pedal, make something with a 3-d printer, or talk shop with some nerds. I recently became a Penn State Extension Master Gardener. See their Facebook page for the latest news. It’s a great program, and in Philly there’s a lot of energy around food justice, urban agriculture, and making things grow in challenging spots.
I did my undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh where I wiled away many hours at WPTS and in the Latin American Studies department. I also wrote some poetry and newspaper articles, some good, some bloody awful. I did a bunch of freelance djing in the ’90s and 2000s and that was super fun. I also did some wandering around the world, particularly Latin America but also a few other places. In the picture on this page, I’m doing some 4-limbed soldering at the build-out of a community radio station at Maseno University near Kisumu, Kenya, after the World Social Forum in 2007, where I volunteered with the Prometheus Radio Project to build some rad low power stations, do some amazing skill shares, and facilitate the formation of a new Indie Media group in Nairobi. JJ Tiziou took that and literally hundreds of thousands of other photos of peoples’ struggles and triumphs. You should look him up.
My most recent travels took me to Queztaltenango (or Xela) in Guatemala to study Spanish, check out some appropriate technology projects, and learn some things about their history and the strong Mayan culture that exists there.