Red Burns was an Arts Professor and Chair at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Professor Burns was involved in starting the department as a spin off from the Alternate Media Center in 1979, and served as the Chair from 1982 until 2010. In 1997, she was named Tokyo Broadcasting System Chair.
Most recently, Professor Burns was honored as Design Patron at the National Design Awards by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in October 2012. Prior to that, she received a Webby Special Achievement Award at the Webby Awards Gala in June 2011 in recognition of her influential role as founder of ITP. In 2009 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Canadian New Media and was an honoree at the Exploratorium’s 32nd Annual Awards Dinner honoring Women in Science. In 2005 she was added to the New York Women in Communications, Inc. Matrix Hall of Fame, In 2004, she was honored with a Distinguished Leadership Award for achievement in technology from the New York Hall of Science and in 2002 was a recipient of the Chrysler Design Award. In addition, she has received a number of other awards including the 1997 Matrix Award (the first in the "New Media" category), and in 1998, the Crain's All-Stars Educator's Award, and the Mayor of New York's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology. She was also inducted into the Art Director Club's Hall of Fame in 1998 with the "Special Educator's Award." She has been listed on Richard Saul Wurman's "Who's Really Who 1000, The Most Creative Individuals in the USA 2002." "Crain's" cited her as one of the "Top 100 People Who Will Shape New York." Interactive Week picked her as one of the "Top 25 Influential People on the Net," and she was named one of Newsweek's "50 for the Future," New York Magazine's "New York Cyber Sixty," Silicon Alley's 100 and "Crain's New York Business" listed her both as one of the 100 top leaders of New York's economy, as well as one of the top 100 most influential women in business.
Professor Burns has been a board member for the Charles Revson Foundation, The Art Director's Club and Creative Capital. She has also served on "Seminars on Science," a program of The National Center for Science, Literacy, and Technology, which is part of the American Museum of National History Advisory Board, and has been a mentor to the Ross School in East Hampton, New York. She is also an education advisor to the New Museum of Contemporary Art.
Professor Burns has served on the New York Times Digital Company Advisory Board, IVREA Institute (Italy), The Visual Media Task Force, The Convergent Media Group, Electronic Neighborhood, and ProBono.net Boards. She was a founding member of the Media Lab Europe Board and the Board of Directors of the New York New Media Association (NYNMA).
Red Burns has been a juror for the On-Line Journalism Awards, the National Magazine Awards, and the Webby Awards. Most recently she served on The National Design Awards, The Rockefeller Foundation New Media Fellowship Panel, as a juror for the Creative Capital Grants, as well as The American Institute of Graphic Arts "365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions."
During the 1970's, as head of NYU's Alternate Media Center, she designed and directed a series of telecommunications projects including two-way television for and by senior citizens, telecommunications applications to serve the developmentally disabled, and one of the first Teletext field trials in the United States (at WETA in Washington, D.C.). She also created a CD-ROM on chaos theory.
This innovative research center set the stage for the creation of the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU in 1979. She was also the Principal Investigator on two major research projects, funded by Intel and Microsoft.