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Mariana and Seth

Mariana Anachoreta Duprat

“This program is crazy: It is fast, and it is exhausting, but you'll come out of it a better person with an amazing life/work/academic experience and a lot of new and wonderful friends.”
GSE Program: 
MA program in Learning, Design, and Technology (LDT)
29 years old
Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Graduate of ESDI (college of industrial design) at UERJ (Rio de Janeiro State University)

Describe LDT.

This program is crazy: It is fast, and it is exhausting, but you'll come out of it a better person with an amazing life/work/academic experience and a lot of new and wonderful friends.

What else makes LDT unusual?

The interdisciplinarity and the contact with people from every background imaginable. It is also an interesting mix of academia and professional life, while focusing on the educational system, both formal and informal.

What are your classmates like?

They will do anything for each other, from organizing social events and teaching you what they know to helping you move a piano. An amazing cohort, better than I could have ever imagined.

Why are you wearing a cape in the photos accompanying this interview?

For my final Master’s project, I worked with Seth Trudeau, another LDT student, to create a multi-player, massive-scale board game: Superherolympics: Unleashing the superpowers hidden inside all of us. We were wearing the capes as a representation of our project. [The photos were taken during the July 31 LDT Expo of students’ Master’s projects.] Our goal is to unleash the superhero within the players of our game — early adolescents who have to navigate different cultures. The game brings different aspects of their personalities to the surface through a safe and powerful persona; it helps them to share with each other beyond cultural norms and preconceptions; and it lets them learn more about themselves in a social context.

What were you doing prior to applying to the GSE?

I was working with interaction design, creating science museum modules and exhibits and working on training simulators.

Why are you drawn to the field of education?

I have always been interested in how people communicate and interact with each other, and the exchange that happens in education is one of the most interesting examples of that. It is also one of the main places where people learn how to interact and communicate in society.

Mariana Anachoreta Duprat

Is there someone who inspired you to pursue advanced study in the field?

My mother. She is a physical therapist, but she has been an English teacher for many years as well as an acupuncture teacher. Her dedication and her novel solutions to social problems in her classrooms were very inspiring.

Why Stanford?

It is a renowned program with amazing teachers. The program gives you access to many interesting scholars, professionals and students. The campus and the weather are pretty amazing as well.

What are your career plans?

I intend to continue my work as an interaction designer, but within the field of education.

Any tips for incoming students?

Don´t stress out too much, avoid taking too many project-based classes at once, try to get out of campus (it is easy to stay cooped up), exercise, get a bike, and enjoy the CERAS rooftop. You can always change your classes until the 3rd week and take interesting hard classes for credit/no credit. 

Interview conducted August 2015