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Danny Pimentel
Dr. Danny Pimentel

Office: NE Campus Library First Floor Suite 105 (temporary). SOJC Portland

City: Portland

 

Research Interests: Immersive media psychology, cross-reality platforms and immersive storytelling, and body transfer

Portfolio

Curriculum Vitae

LinkedIn

Twitter Handle: @xrprof

Faculty Directory

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Assistant Professor - Immersive Media Psychology

Oregon Reality (OR) Lab - Co-Director

Biography

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Daniel Pimentel is an Assistant Professor of Immersive Media Psychology at the School of Journalism and Communication in Portland. Daniel’s research primarily focuses on cross-reality (XR) media platforms: virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). Specifically, he conducts experimental research examining how XR storytelling experiences can contribute to prosocial attitude and behavior change across various contexts, including climate action, wildlife conservation, and mental/physical well-being. His XR projects and prototypes have been funded by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Thompson Earth Systems Institute (TESI), and the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC). His work has also been featured in peer-reviewed journals such as New Media and Society, and reputed technology conferences such as Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHIPLAY), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Games, Entertainment and Media (IEEE GEM), and IEEE VR. Daniel also carries several years of XR industry serving as a researcher at various technology companies, including Magic Leap, XR Americas (New York), and Yellow Wood Immersive Media (Miami). Daniel is a proud McKnight Doctoral fellow and member of the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.

Learn more about Danny - here

Check out Danny's current project - Project SHELL | Turtle's Eye View

Education

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  • PhD, Philosophy (Communication), The University of Florida

  • MS, Global Strategic Communications, Florida International University

  • BS, Advertising, The University of Florida

 

Publications

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Refereed Journal Articles

Pimentel, D. (2020). Saving Species in a Snap: On the Feasibility and Efficacy of Augmented Reality-based Wildlife Interactions for Biodiversity Conservation. Journal for Nature Conservation. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2022.126151

Pimentel, D., & Kalyanaraman, S. (Under Review). How Multi-Sensory Animal Embodiment in Virtual Reality Influences Environmental Threat Processing and Conservation Behaviors. Scientific Reports. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-957911/v1

Pimentel, D., & Kalyanaraman, S. (2021). Virtual Climate Scientist: A VR Learning Experience About Paleoclimatology for Underrepresented Students. Interactive Learning Environments. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2021.1969582

Pimentel, D., Kalyanaraman, S., Lee, Y.-H., & Halan, S. (2021). Voices of the unsung: The role of social presence and interactivity in building empathy in 360 video. New Media & Society, 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444821993124 

Pimentel, D., Foxman, M., Davis, D. Z., & Markowitz, D. M. (2021). Virtually Real, But Not Quite There: Social and Economic Barriers to Meeting Virtual Reality’s True Potential for Mental Health. Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 2. https://doi.org/10.3389/frvir.2021.627059

Pimentel, D., Kalyanaraman, S., Fillingim, R. B., & Halan, S. (2021). The Effects of VR Use on Pain Experienced During a Tattoo Procedure: A Pilot Study. Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 2, 38. https://doi.org/10.3389/frvir.2021.643938

Pimentel, D., & Vinkers, C. (2021). Copresence with Virtual Humans in Mixed Reality: The Impact of Contextual Responsiveness on Social Perceptions. Frontiers in Robotics and AI. https://doi.org/10.3389/frobt.2021.634520

Pimentel, D., & Kalyanaraman, S. (2020). Customizing Your Demons: Anxiety Reduction via Anthropomorphizing and Destroying an “Anxiety Avatar.” Frontiers in Psychology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.566682

Select Conference Proceedings

Davis, D. & Pimentel, D. (2022). Emerging technologies create new realities in strategic communication. In Proceedings of the 25th International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC). International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC).

Davis, D. & Pimentel, D. (2022). Emerging technologies create new realities in strategic communication. In Proceedings of the 25th International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC). International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC). 

Pimentel, D., & Kalyanaraman, S. (2020). Your Own Worst Enemy: Implications of the Customization, and Destruction, of Non-Player Characters. Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, 93–106. https://doi.org/10.1145/3410404.3414269

Pimentel, D. (2019). Digital demons: Psychological effects of creating, and engaging with, virtual avatars representing undesirable aspects of the self. 26th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2019 - Proceedings. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2019.8797907

Pimentel, D., Kalyanaraman, S., & Halan, S. (2018). Bigger is Better: A VR Penguin Rehabilitation Simulation to Study Animal Conservation Behaviors. 2018 IEEE Games, Entertainment, Media Conference, GEM 2018. https://doi.org/10.1109/GEM.2018.8516548

Pimentel, D., Kalyanaraman, S., & Halan, S. (2018). So cute it hurts!: The interplay between animal cuteness and message framing in environmental advertising. Proceedings of the Conference of the American Academy of Advertising, 73.

“Immersive storytelling has the capacity to change how you think and feel, not only about yourself, but the world around you."

–Danny Pimentel, Assistant Professor of Immersive Media Psychology

Popular Press

Laufer, P. (2021). Turning Turtle. The Tortoise, 3(2), 134-139.

Snap Creators Collaborate with Google ARCore to Publish 5 Lenses for #EarthWeek. (2021, May 12). Lenslist. Retrieved from https://blog.lenslist.co/2021/05/12/snap-creators-collaborate-with-google-arcore-to-publish-5-lenses-for-earthweek/

Book Chapters

Herrera-Arcos, G., & Pimentel, D. (2019). Mediated Interdependence in Motion: A Co-op Augmented Reality (AR) and Brain–Computer Interface (BCI) Installation (pp. 189–194). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24326-5_22

Zheng, L., Phelps, J. E., & Pimentel, D. (2019). Psychological transportation in narrative advertising. In Advertising Theory: Second Edition. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351208314

Industry Papers

Pimentel, D., Fauville, G., Frazier, K., McGivney, E. , Rosas, S. & Woolsey, E. (2022). Learning in the Metaverse: A Guide for Practitioners. Meridian Treehouse Immersive Learning.

Conference Papers

Pimentel, D. & Kalyanaraman, S. (2022). One too Many?: Compassion Fade Effects of Non-Human Casualties in Virtual Reality. 72nd Annual International Communication Association Conference.
 

Pimentel, D., Varry, S. & Maloney, D. (2022). The Use of Virtual Reality for Gaming, Escapism, and Social Connection During a Global Pandemic. 72nd Annual International Communication Association Conference.
 

Kalyanaraman, S., Pimentel, D., Halan, S., Spiker, T., & Amaya, R. (2019). Decision-making under duress: Virtual reality as a methodological novelty in journalism education. World Journalism Education Conference.

Pimentel, D. (2019). Digital demons: Psychological effects of creating, and engaging with, virtual avatars representing undesirable aspects of the self. 26th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2019.
 

Pimentel, D., Amaya, R., Kalyanaraman, S., Halan, S., & Bailenson, J. N. (2019). Customizing climate change on your plate: A VR seafood buffet. 26th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2019.
 

Pimentel, D., & Cardentey, D. (2019). Simulating habitat experiences of living loggerheads. Seventh Annual Science by the Shore Symposium.
 

Pimentel, D., Kalyanaraman, S., Fillingim, R. B., & Halan, S. (2019). Virtual games and volitional pain: A new methodological approach for testing VR pain interventions on individuals receiving a tattoo. 26th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2019.
 

Pimentel, D., Amaya, R., & Kalyanaraman, S. (2018). Fast pitch: Effects of walk-up music tempo on MLB player performance. Ninth Annual Conference on Sport and Society.
 

Pimentel, D., Halan, S., & Kalyanaraman, S. (2018). Customizing your demons: Affective implications of anthropomorphizing the “anxious avatar.” 68th Annual International Communication Association Conference.
 

Pimentel, D., Halan, S., Kong, S., Xiao, M., & Kalyanaraman, S. (2018). Look around or look ahead: Information processing of traditional versus 360-degree video narratives. 68th Annual International Communication Association Conference.
 

Pimentel, D., Lee, Y.-H., Halan, S., Kalyanaraman, S., Kim, M., & Mclean, D. (2018). Voices of the unsung: Social presence, interactivity and empathy-building in 360 video. 68th Annual International Communication Association Conference.
 

Pimentel, D., Lee, Y.-H., & Kalyanaraman, S. (2018). Be careful what you Twitch for: Dispositional inferences of videogame streamers based on in-game behavior. 68th Annual International Communication Association Conference.
 

Pimentel, D. (2017). The effects of interactive, 360-degree video in environmental communications. 2017 CJC Research Symposium.
 

Pimentel, D., & Kalyanaraman, S. (2017). Customizing your demons: The affective implications of anthropomorphizing “the anxious self.” 2017 International Conference on Mobile Brain-Body Imaging and the Neuroscience of Art, Innovation and Creativity.
 

Pimentel, D., Kalyanaraman, S., Kong, S., & Xiao, M. (2017). Not in my backyard? Immerse me in 360 video! 360-degree video and interactivity’s role in shaping attitudes and threat perceptions. 67th Annual International Communication Association Annual Conference.
 

Pimentel, D. (2016). Psychological mechanisms in narrative advergaming. 2016 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference.
 

Pimentel, D. (2016). Philanthropy in virtual worlds: A conceptual model for evaluating purchase intent of cause-related virtual goods in MMORPGs. Annual CJC Research Symposium.
 

Almujaibel, N., & Pimentel, D. (2013). Advertising in the gulf cooperation council: Analysis and insights. 2013 Arabian Social Media Conference.
Pimentel, D., & Almujaibel, N. (2013). Social media privacy and information-sharing. 2013 Arabian Social Media Conference.

Invited Talks

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  • Pimentel, D. (2022). Altruism in the Metaverse: How Mixed Reality Can Connect Audiences to Social and Environmental Issues. 2nd Annual Science Communication Winter Research Forum. Eugene, Oregon.

  • Pimentel, D. (2021). Immersive Storytelling for Environmental Conservation. XR Academia. Bogota, Colombia and Amsterdam, Netherlands.

  • Pimentel, D. (2021). The Importance of Mentoring in Getting the Most Out of a Graduate Education. Florida Education Fund. Tampa, Florida, USA.

  • Pimentel, D. (2021). Cross-reality (XR) Storytelling for Environmental Conservation. Flagler College, St. Augustine, Florida, USA.

  • Pimentel, D. (2021). Preparing for Communication Careers in the Meta Verse. Guest Lecture - University of Oregon, Portland, Oregon, USA.

  • Pimentel, D. (2021). Virtual Reality and the Species Divide: Immersive Storytelling for Environmental Communication. University of Oregon: Better Together Webinar Series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Hxh4DmJIUc

  • Pimentel, D. (2020). Ethical Design of Immersive Media. Portland Design Week Panel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QcdBD33hMU

  • Pimentel, D. (2018). Creando Experiencias Interactivas en Unity (Creating Interactive Experiences in Unity). Marketing University Webinar Workshop.

  • Pimentel, D. (2012). Picking a Fight with Goliath. TEDxYouth.

 

Honors and Awards

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  • 2021: Official Nominee - Best AR Lens: Environmental and Social Good (Lens Fest)

  • 2019: Doctoral Dissertation Research Fund Award

  • 2019: UF Graduate Student Mentoring Award

  • 2019: NSF Doctoral Consortium Travel Grant

  • 2018: Top Student-Faculty Paper Award

  • 2018: Dean’s National Travel Award

  • 2017: 1st Place, IEEE Brain Hackathon

Grants

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  • 2022: “Vanport AR,” Dean’s Fund Award, for $12,000 (PI).

  • 2021: “Penguin Rescue!,” AR Sustainability Grant sponsored by Snap Inc. and Google, for $8,000 (PI).

  • 2020 – 2021: “Save-a-Turtle Snapchat Lens,” Snap Inc., for $5,000 (PI).

  • 2018 – 2021: “Project S.H.E.L.L. (Simulating Habitat Experiences of Living Loggerheads),” Sea Turtle Conservancy, for $35,560.88 (PI).

  • 2019 – 2020: “Virtual Climate Scientist: A Polar Ice Cap Expedition,” Thompson Institute for Earth Systems (TIES), for $2,089 (PI).

  • 2019 – 2020: “Immersive Disaster Emergency Application (IDEA),” National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) PILOT Innovation Challenge Innovator Award, for $15,000 (Co-PI).

Fellowships

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  • 2020: Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Inductee

  • 2015-20: McKnight Doctoral Fellowship

  • 2015-18: SREB State Doctoral Scholars Fellowship

  • 2015: Board of Education Summer Fellowship

Areas of Expertise

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  • Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality

  • 360 Video

  • Advertising

  • Marketing

  • Human-Computer Interaction

  • Environmental Communication 

  • Hardware:

    • Magic Leap

    • Meta/Oculus

    • HTC Vive

    • Hololens

    • Mobile AR

  • Production Software:

    • Unity 

    • C #

    • Lens Studio

    • Maya | Blender

    • Adobe Creative Suite

    • Rokoko Studio

  • Statistics:

    • IBM SPSS, AMOS, R Studio, G*Power​

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