Current Students

MTS students on the market this year
Drew Cingel
Drew Cingel is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Drew received an MA in Communication from Wake Forest University, and a BA in Psychology and a BA in Media Studies/Media Effects from Penn State University. His areas of research include adolescent socio-emotional development and social media use, children’s learning from tablet computers, and the impact of television on children’s moral reasoning. His work has been published in journals such as New Media & Society, Media Psychology, and Journal of Media Psychology.
MTS students
Fashina Aladé
Fashina Aladé is a PhD student working in the Center on Media and Human Development with Ellen Wartella. Her research centers on children's learning from educational media with a focus on comprehension and social 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. 
Lillian Boxman-Shabtai
Lillian Boxman-Shabtai is a third year PhD student at the Media Technology and Society program. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Lilian 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 Mike DeVito is a first year doctoral student in the Media, Technology, and Society program, currently attached to the Social Media Lab under Professor Jeremy Birnholtz. His research centers around the cognitive effects of new media on human social identity and information flows, including the formation and presentation of the self-concept through social media, trust in external memory, and lay understanding of algorithmic effects. He is also interested in the emerging effects of personified/anthropomorphized technology, including virtual assistants and rudimentary AI. 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. 
Jeremy Foote
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.
Jiawei (Sophia) Fu
Sophia Fu is a second-year PhD student 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 interorganizational networks, social network analysis, nonprofit organizations, and social media. She holds a bachelor's degree in International Journalism from Hong Kong Baptist University

Robin Hoecker
CV [pdf]

Grounded in professional experience as a photojournalist, Robin Hoecker's research revolves around visual communication. She is particularly interested in how visual rhetoric shapes collective memory and how images are used to portray and resolve conflicts.
Lisa B. Hurwitz
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
Phoebe Jean-Pierre is a MA/PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program. 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.

Erin Flynn Klawitter

Erin Klawitter is a doctoral candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program. Her research focuses on how user characteristics, including gender, socioeconomic status, and skill, shape online participation, particularly the production and sharing of digital content. She is particularly interested in how practices of social media production shape economic outcomes for independent artists. Prior to beginning her doctoral work, Erin worked in the Web design industry as a Web editor and content strategist. She holds a B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Communication from Saint Louis University. 
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, 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
Ivory Mills

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 student 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 is a first 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 spent two years (and two very snowy winters) in Somerville, MA earning a Master of Arts in Child Study and Human Development from 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.
Aditi Raghavan
Aditi Raghavan is a Doctoral Candidate in the Media, Technology & Society program at Northwestern University. She received her B.E in Computer Science and Engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy in Anna University, India. She also holds an M.A in Communication from Northwestern University. Aditi is interested in the definitions of 'users', history of technology and the study of cities. Her current dissertation research explores user navigation of urban spaces and how technology mediates this process in the city of Chicago. Using archival and ethnographic methods to study how 'users' in a city navigate towards food and restaurants, Aditi's dissertation work lies at the intersection of Urban studies, STS and HCI/CSCW literature.
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 second year Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology and Society program. She was born and raised in a bilingual and bicultural home 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. As a journalist, Ross wrote news articles and features for a variety of topics revolving primarily around Human Rights and Education. Her experience in an integrated newsroom allowed her to further develop skills in social media, photography, video and audio editing. Her research interests include news production, news consumption and the evolving relationship between news organizations and audiences in the online environment.
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
Kyosuke Tanaka Kyosuke Tanaka is a first year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program. His research interests lie at the intersection of network science and web science. His recent work examines the role of self-disclosure via online social network profiles and the impacts of social media use in developing countries. He 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 Marie Walker Ashley Marie Walker is a first-year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working with Eszter Hargittai at the Web Use Project. Ashley's research focuses on the social media ecosystem, privacy behaviors, privacy concerns, and information policy. In specific, she is currently studying how platforms shape users' behaviors.  Prior to coming 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, from GeoCities to Myspace to Facebook. 
Ryan Whalen
Ryan Whalen is a joint degree student pursuing a PhD in Media, Technology, & Society and a JD at Northwestern Law.  Ryan's research focuses on innovation and information policy, intellectual property, and computational legal studies. His recent work explores the role that networks of people and information play in the innovative process. Ryan is a Law & Science Fellow at the Northwestern University School of Law, a Graduate Fellow at the Northwestern Center for Legal Studies, and served as the 2014-2015 Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern University Law Review.
Miya Williams Miya Williams is a Ph.D. student 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.