Pierre-Valery Njenji Tchetgen (Faculty First Look Scholar, 2018-19) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. A poet and recording artist, he is the founder of the Music Is Healing collective and WordSoundLife.org, a hybrid network for digital media learning. His work combines Education and Information Sciences to explore new modes of communication that build on trans-African cultural practices and knowledge systems. As a past recipient of the SHASS predoctoral fellowship (2017-18), Pierre-Valery is an Affiliate Researcher in Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT. His book of poetry, Dirges of Becoming, was accepted as a Creative Thesis for the Masters of Arts Program in Humanities (MAPH) at the University of Chicago (2003), and has since then been performed at conferences, concerts, spoken word venues and festivals nationwide.
His dissertation research explores drumming as a context for language learning for children in the early years. The Drumball is a technological invention inspired by African talking drums that makes it possible for children with no prior drum knowledge to explore language through an alternative human-computer interface to the alphabetic keypad.
He founded b@ease solutions to provide consulting and develop creative projects in social networking applications, web mapping, games, and digital learning environments (ranging from digital tools to learning ecologies).