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Executive Director of the New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, Arizona State University
Retha Hill is on the faculty of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University where she is the executive director of the New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab. The Lab’s journalism and computer science majors create innovative products, including virtual, augmented and mixed reality apps and content; Web applications; news game tools; social media tools and mobile apps for media clients. On the entrepreneurship side of the Lab, students create their own media companies and products.
Hill, an award-winning journalist, is the founder of AncestoriesXR, an extended reality platform that helps families tell their unique genealogy history using video game technology and immersive media. Think Ken Burns storytelling meets video game technology. The startup is part of the prestigious Seed Spot Impact Accelerator.
Hill is a 2020 recipient of a Knight Journalism 360 grant to train African American journalism professors in immersive technology; a 2019 National Association of Broadcasters Pilot winner for a project to create geo-located AR extreme weather visualizations; a 2017 Knight News Challenge Winner for a project to create a virtual reality data tool; a 2015 Knight News Prototype winner to create a narrative games tool for journalists; a 2012 AEJMC/Knight Innovations Award grant recipient; a 2010 Knight News Challenge winner for a community engagement tool, and a 2010 J-Lab Women Entrepreneurs grant winner for a mobile app that used Augmented Reality to find black history in cities across the country.
Hill joined the ASU faculty in 2007 after eight years at BET, where she was vice president for content for BET Interactive. Before joining BET, Hill was executive producer for special projects at washingtonpost.com. She was a founding editor of Washington Post Newsweek Interactive.
She started her career as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer, followed by The Washington Post. She is writing a book on blacks and dementia. She is a co-founder of Playable Media, LLC, an education technology and serious game design company. The company created the fake news game simulator, “Hoaxes & Havoc,” a game about sexual harassment in the workplace called “Inappropriate Behavior,” among other titles.