Dr. Robert Prey receives Dean's Convocation Medal

June 02, 2016

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Communication, Arts and Technology, Dr. Robert Prey is being  recognized with the award of the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Prey on his outstanding achievements. 

Dr. Robert Prey completed both his master's and doctoral degrees at SFU and his work epitomized the university's goal to engage the world.

Before beginning his PhD at SFU he worked with the grassroots activist organization Migrant World Television (MWTV) in South Korea, producing news and current affairs programs for migrant workers in 11 different languages. Dr. Prey continued his activism through his involvement with Media Democracy Days at SFU.

His doctoral dissertation, “Now Playing. You”: Big Data and the Production of Music Streaming Space, examines big data and the rise of music streaming platforms in order to better understand value production and rent extraction in the online economy. For Dr. Prey, contemporary music streaming services provide a window into the dynamic and unstable processes through which mediated social space is made abstract in the commercial media economy.

Dr. Prey received a number of significant awards to support his work, including the $105,000 Canada Graduate Scholarship, the CanWest Global Graduate Fellowship in Communications and a Korean Press Agency Research Grant, among many others.

Dr. Yuezhi Zhao, his supervisor, says, "Without equivocation, I can say that Rob Prey is simply the best graduate student I have ever had the honour and privilege to supervise and his dissertation is by far the most exceptional, most original and best-written dissertation I have ever had the pleasure to read."

Dr. Prey is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Journalism at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

He says, "I was extremely fortunate to have a supervisor who gave me the freedom to pursue rough ideas wherever they led. At the same time Dr. Zhao invited me to present drafts of my work alongside much more established scholars, at events she organized in both Canada and in China. She provided the perfect combination of freedom and support."

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