Current Students

MTS students on the market this year
Lisa Hurwitz
lisa.hurwitz@u.northwestern.edu
Lisa Hurwitz is a doctoral candidate working with Ellen Wartella in the Center on Media Human Development. At Northwestern, she has engaged in formative and summative evaluations of educational media for children and caregivers. Her scholarly work has been published in journals such as Journal of Children and Media, Journal of Early Adolescence, and Early Child Development and Care. Lisa worked in the children’s media industry in various marketing and market research capacities prior to coming to Northwestern. Her on-screen credits include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, WordWorld, and Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days. She received an M.A. in Media, Technology and Society from Northwestern and a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish Language/Literature with a joint minor in Computer Science/Mathematics from New York University.
MTS students
Fashina Aladé
alade@u.northwestern.edu
Fashina Aladé is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program working in the Center on Media and Human Development with Dr. Ellen Wartella. Her research centers on children's learning from educational media with a focus on comprehension and development. She has also completed research on the impact of television on young children’s theory of mind and executive function. She holds an MA from Ohio State University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, both in Communication. In addition to her academic pursuits, she has worked with MediaKidz Research and Consulting, Inc. on a variety of projects evaluating children’s television programs and online games.
Hannah Badal Hannah Badal is a Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology, and Society program. Hannah holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Global Health Studies from Northwestern University and an MPH from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, with a certificate in Socio-contextual Determinants of Health. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist. Prior to returning to Northwestern, Hannah worked on the Research and Evaluation Team in the Prevention Communication Branch in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her research interests focus on health communication and the development and evaluation of health messages, as well as unintended consequences (e.g., stigma and discrimination) that stem from communication efforts.
Lillian Boxman-Shabtai
lillianboxman@u.northwestern.edu
Lillian Boxman-Shabtai is a fourth year PhD student at the Media Technology and Society program. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Lillian received a BA and an MA in communication from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she studied the circulation of online humor and its role in the articulation of national identity. Broadly interested in audiences and in media reception studies, Lillian’s research focuses on textual and societal aspects of polysemy (meaning multiplicity).
Mike DeVito
devitom@u.northwestern.edu
Mike DeVito is a second year doctoral student in the Media, Technology, and Society program and a Cognitive Science specialist. He is currently attached to the Social Media Lab under Professor Jeremy Birnholtz. His HCI-based research centers around user perceptions of algorithmically-driven technology, including folk theories of algorithmic systems, effects on cognition and information flows, and formation and presentation of the self-concept through social media. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Mike worked as Managing Editor for the new media sustainability collaborative Planet Forward and earned both an M.A. in Media and Public Affairs and a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from The George Washington University.
Jabari Evans
jabarievans2020@u.northwestern.edu
Jabari Evans is is a Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology, and Society program. He received his B.A. in Communication and Culture with a minor in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Evans went on to earn his MSW from the University of Southern California's School of Social Work. Prior to Northwestern, Jabari has enjoyed a decorated career as a hip hop songwriter and producer performing under the moniker of "Naledge" in the rap group Kidz in the Hall. Jabari's research interests revolve around exploring the role media plays in the racial socialization, resiliency, self-efficacy and self-image of African American youth and adolescents in urban environments. Most recently, Jabari has founded his nonprofit organization (The Brainiac Project Inc.) to leverage the combination of social media and a burgeoning local hip-hop scene as a means for violence prevention in Chicago's South Side communities.
Jeremy Foote
jdfoote@u.northwestern.edu
Jeremy Foote's research applies computational social science methods toward understanding the social implications of technology. He is interested in the seemingly altruistic behavior that appears online, such as open source software, product reviews, and wiki communities. Much of his work is focused on online communities: why people start communities, and what makes communities grow.
J. Sophia Fu
sophiafu@u.northwestern.edu
Sophia Fu is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University studying under Prof. Michelle Shumate. She is currently a research assistant at Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact Lab. Her main research interests include social networks, collective action, nonprofit organizations, and information communication technologies (ICTs). Her dissertation examines the dynamic processes of creating social innovation in the context of social entrepreneurship. She holds a bachelor's degree in International Journalism from Hong Kong Baptist University.
Lisa B. Hurwitz
lisa.hurwitz@u.northwestern.edu
Lisa Hurwitz is a doctoral candidate working with Ellen Wartella in the Center on Media Human Development. At Northwestern, she has analyzed child-targeted food marketing and engaged in formative and summative evaluations of educational media for children and parents. Lisa worked in the children’s media industry in various marketing and market research capacities prior to coming to Northwestern. Her on-screen credits include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, WordWorld, and Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days. She received an M.A. in Media, Technology and Society from Northwestern and a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish Language/Literature with a joint minor in Computer Science/Mathematics from New York University.
Phoebe Jean-Pierre
phoebejeanpierre2019@u.northwestern.edu
Phoebe Jean-Pierre is a JD/PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program and the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Her research centers on health communication, both in how we talk about health and some of the legal questions involved. Currently, her research focuses on the disclosure of medical error. Beyond this, Phoebe is interested in risk/crisis communication during health emergencies, doctor-patient confidentiality, privacy and protected health information, ethical and legal issues in health communication, and legal questions surrounding minors and consent. Phoebe holds a BA in Communication and World History from the University of Pennsylvania.
Silvia Lovato Silvia Lovato is a doctoral student at Northwestern’s Media, Technology and Society program and part of the Center on Media and Human Development. She’s interested in how digital technology enables young children to do things they couldn't do without it, especially in the use of voice input systems like Siri by pre- and emerging readers. Previously, she oversaw PBS KIDS Digital Products on pbskids.org, including the successful PBS KIDS online and mobile video players. She spent 14 years at PBS working with content producers to develop engaging, fun and educational digital content for kids ages 2-8, from games to apps to original online video. Silvia worked with nearly every PBS KIDS series – from Wild Kratts to Arthur to Sesame Street – to help shape their program websites. She has a master’s degree in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University. Prior to joining PBS in 2000, she was at washingtonpost.com.
Will Marler Will is a second-year student in the MTS program. His research centers on the adoption and use of mobile technologies by Americans in poverty, with a focus on public-private initiatives bent on eliminating the “digital divide.” Will keeps an eye on similar developments in Turkey, where he spent three years working in education and media. Will arrived at Northwestern with degrees in Political Science (B.A., Drury University) and Islamic and Near Eastern Studies (M.A., Washington University in St. Louis).
Ivory Mills
imills@u.northwestern.edu

Ivory Mills is a Law & Science Fellow and dual degree candidate pursuing a PhD in Media, Technology, and Society and a JD at Northwestern Law. With interests in both theory and practice, she investigates international and comparative ICT law and policy from an organizational and interorganizational perspective. Interdisciplinary in nature, her work draws upon the technological, economic, legal, social, and cultural implications of corporate, civil society, and regulatory institutions in the international system. Ivory holds a B.A. in International Studies from Spelman College and is a Fellow with the Institute for International Public Policy, Cohort 16.

Jacob L. Nelson Jacob Nelson is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University’s Media, Technology, and Society program. Prior to beginning graduate school, he worked as an editor for a hyperlocal news site. He researches issues in news production and consumption.

Sarah Pila
sarah.c.pila@u.northwestern.edu

Sarah Pila is a second year doctoral student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working in the Center on Media and Human Development with Ellen Wartella. Before starting at Northwestern, Sarah earned a Master of Arts in Child Study and Human Development from the Eliot Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. Before that, she completed her BA in Psychology with minors in Family, Youth, & Community Sciences and Mass Communication at the University of Florida. Her research interests focus on the benefits of prosocial and educational media for young children, particularly in early childhood education.
Elena Rodina Elena Rodina is a PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Elena received an MA in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Oregon, and a BA in Romanic-Germanic Philology from Kazan State University (Russia). She has worked as an international correspondent and political journalist for a number of major print outlets in Moscow. She is primarily interested in the issues of censorship, self-censorship, political implications of the mass media in Post-Soviet Russia, and comparative analysis of the cultural and political aspects of news production in Russia and the United States.
Amy A. Ross Amy A. Ross is a third year Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology and Society (MTS) program. She was born and raised in Costa Rica, where she earned her B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of Costa Rica. She went on to work as a reporter for five years at the country’s main newspaper, La Nación. She obtained her Master’s Degree from the MTS program at Northwestern in 2015, with a focus on news production values and news consumption online. Her current research interests include contemporary body-discipline and body-surveillance practices as they relate to morality, health and identity.
Thomas Rousse Thomas Rousse is a joint JD-PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working in Ellen Wartella's Center for Media and Human Development.  Centered on the interplay between new media and the law, his research draws on methods and literature from a range of disciplines including constitutional law, game studies, sociology, critical theory, social network analysis and American studies.  He holds a Master of Science in Games Analysis from the IT University of Copenhagen and graduated from Northwestern's American Studies program in 2010. His work as a game designer and critic can be found at ludist.com.
Kyosuke Tanaka Kyosuke Tanaka is a second year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program, working in Noshir Contractor's SONIC lab. His research interests lie at the intersection of network science, web science and computational social science. His recent projects explore how people form and develop their cognitive map of networks that surround them and how people use the networks, using observational data, simulation and experiments. Kyosuke holds a Master of Social Research from Australian National University, a BA in Business and Commerce from Keio University, and certification from the International Business Profession program at Bellevue College.
Ashley Walker Ashley Marie Walker is a PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working with Professor Madhu Reddy. Ashley's research focuses on sociotechnical ecosystems, privacy concerns and behaviors, and information policy. She is currently studying the factors that effect changes communication technology infrastructure in hospital environments.  Prior to Northwestern, Ashley attended the University of Michigan where she received a Master of Science in Information after completing her thesis using offline frameworks from urban planning to understand the evolution of online platforms. 
Miya Williams Miya Williams is a Ph.D. candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program. She received her B.A. in print journalism with minors in sociology and communication and the entertainment industry from the University of Southern California. Williams went on to earn her M.A. in publishing and writing from Emerson College with a concentration in magazines. She has experience in corporate communications and public relations and prior to attending Northwestern she worked at JET magazine and EBONY magazine. Williams' research explores the role of the traditional black press in the new media age. She is interested in the implications of evolving production and consumption practices as it relates to the intersection of journalism, digital technology, and culture.
Renwen Zhang Renwen Zhang is a first-year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program. Her current research focuses on the social and psychological effects of digital technology. She is particularly interested in understanding how to better use interactive technologies to improve health and wellness, as well as the sociotechnical aspects of health information technologies (HIT). She holds an M.Phil. in Communication from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a B.A. in Journalism with a joint minor in English Language & Literature from Shanghai International Studies University. She also minored in Law at Fudan University.