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Daniele Bascelli, 2022 True Blue Award Recipient

by User Not Found | March 23, 2022

Dan BascelliDaniele Bascelli has been with Spelman College and the Comprehensive Writing Program for 26 years. He taught media arts at Algonquin College in Nepean, Ontario, at the beginning of the digital media revolution and has since been exploring the use of new media to enhance written communications, narrative formation and the visual arts.

After arriving at Spelman College as the interim assistant director of the Comprehensive Writing Program, Bascelli took on the role as the coordinator for a Melon Faculty Development Grant with Dr. Mary Hocks to encourage Spelman faculty to learn and employ digital media in their curriculum for the benefit of their students. During this six-year grant, he worked with faculty from every department and mentored a cadre of student media assistants, many of whom went on to careers in commercial media or associated callings themselves. Dr. Anne Warner, long time English professor and director of the Comprehensive Writing Program, upon seeing the talents of the media assistants, encouraged the formalization of the new media curriculum that was given to these select students. Thus, the mentoring of student media assistants morphed into a one semester course in new media than Bascelli designed and has taught through the English Department for more than 10 years.

With Dr. Warner and Dr. Rick Langhorst, Bascelli brought course and learning management systems, the digital student portfolio and streaming media services to Spelman classrooms using servers he built and configured in his office on the third floor of the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center. The early work in new media provided a foundation of growing confidence in this medium and trust that more elaborate and ambitious projects could flourish.

Bascelli began a collaboration with Spelman colleague Dr. Arturo Lindsay in 2001, creating an International Virtual Museum for artists and writers to respond to the 911 tragedy – the first site to do so. The collaborations with artists and academics expanded to include Opal Moore, Joe Jennings, T. Lang, Julio Gonzales Ruiz, Sheila Walker, Colm Mulcahy, Fatemeh Shafiei, Ayoka Chenzira, whose Digital Moving Image Salon has since become the documentary film major at Spelman, and other colleagues in projects, including The Voyage of the Delfina, Artists Contemplating Torture, Bearing Witness, Mathematical Magic, and several other performances, environmental and video art and various book projects and articles. Bascelli has continued these productive collaborations and is currently working in post-production as video editor on the documentary film "Arte Congo," which covers the impact that Spelman Summer Art Colony in Portobelo, Panama, has had in spawning the "Congo" Art movement. This documentary, another collaboration with Arturo Lindsay, includes filmmakers Sheila Walker and Toshi Sakai, author Renée Alexander Craft, Cheryl Odeleye and Oronike Odeleye.

Bascelli's focus at Spelman College, however, is always on the students and attempting to ensure they have the richest educational and student life experience possible. His work in the Writing Center supports Dr. Michelle Robinson, director, with her continuing faculty development and curricular enhancement projects such as Writing Across the Curriculum, as well as Melanie McKie, assistant director, in support of the amazingly talented Spelman College Peer Tutor Program. This is in addition to continuing the Media Assistant Program, where tech-savvy Spelman students are employed to assist faculty and students in their media needs.

Bascelli has advised RSOs such as Echelon 12 Art and Fashion Club and Beyond the Body. He is most well known for being the long-time coach of the Spelman College Honda Campus All-Star Challenge team. Working in tandem with Spanish professor Estelle Finley, Spelman's HCASC team has gone from strength to strength with a five-year playoff run from 2015-2019, culminating in a second place win in 2018 and the national championship in 2019. This year, the Spelman team is already deep into the Elite 8 stage of the championship playoffs and is competing April 10-12, 2022, with another strong, quick-witted and imperturbable team of super bright, motivated Spelman women.