Current Students

MTS students in the job market this year

Lillian Boxman-Shabtai
lillianboxman@u.northwestern.edu
Lillian Boxman-Shabtai is a PhD candidate in the Media Technology and Society program. She holds a BA and MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Broadly interested in the relationship between media messages and their audiences, Lillian’s research focuses on textual and societal aspects related to the concept of polysemy (meaning multiplicity). Her previous work explored the polysemy of humorous email forwards and YouTube parodies. Her dissertation explores the framing and reception of a news story about economic inequality in the US by integrating competing theories of interpretation in the discipline and multiple methods of audience and textual analysis.

Jabari Evans

Jabari Evans
jabarievans2020@u.northwestern.edu
Jabari Evans is a PhD candidate in the School of Communication Studies at Northwestern University and a research fellow at the Northwestern Center of Media and Human Development. His research focuses on the subcultures that urban youth and young adults of color develop and inhabit to understand their social environments, emotional development and professional aspirations. He explores strategies these youth use for self-expression especially regarding digital media. His most recent work is examining the cultural production and social media habits of youth musicians in the DIY Hip-Hop micro-scene of Chicago. His forthcoming dissertation project, which centers on a Hip-Hop Education program in Chicago Public Schools, has been recognized for awards by the International Communication Association and has been covered by the Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, Rolling Out Magazine, Ebony Magazine and Chicago Crain's Business. He is also a 2019 selection for Microsoft Research New England's Social Media Collective PhD Internship. 

Lindsay Larson

Lindsay Larson
Lindsay Larson is a PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program, working in Leslie DeChurch’s ATLAS Lab. Her research explores team performance and leadership emergence in teams and organizational systems, with a focus on leading teams in the digital age. Lindsay holds a BS in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Florida.


MTS students

Mohammad Behroozian
Mohammad Behroozian is passionate about studying educational media for wartime. He has studied political science at the American University of Afghanistan and earned his master’s degree in television producing at Boston University on a Fulbright scholarship. Mohammad has nearly a decade of experience in media and communications work.

John J. Brooks
John J. Brooks is a doctoral student in the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University, studying with Dr. Nathan Walter. Previously, John completed his B.A. in Theatre/Gender Studies and his M.S. in Health Communication, both at Northwestern. His research primarily pertains to communication in the contexts of health and politics—specifically, the effects of mass media, the spread and correction of misinformation, the persuasive power of narratives, and the impacts of emotion and credibility on persuasion. Most recently, John was the recipient of a Top Paper Award from the NCA Political Communication Division. John's work will also be featured in the American Journal of Public Health and the upcoming International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology.

Eleanor R. Burgess

Eleanor Burgess
eburgess@u.northwestern.edu
Eleanor R. Burgess is a PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working in Professor Madhu Reddy’s PITCH Lab. As a Fulbright scholar she earned her MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship from University College London. She received her BA in Communication Studies from Northwestern University with a minor in Global Health Studies. Her research investigates the human experience of healthcare technology interaction. Within care settings she explores the user needs of patients, families, and healthcare providers. These inform her design of human-centered solutions to optimize communication, collaboration and learning within healthcare environments. Through analyzing the social and technical aspects of technology design and implementation, she seeks to synthesize best practices of new technology creation within healthcare systems. She has designed for populations including firefighters, doctors, and chronic kidney disease patients and is currently conducting research with care managers to support mental healthcare delivery. In addition to her academic research she actively involves herself in the tech startup scene to learn about the non-academic challenges of technology design and implementation.

Kaitlyn Childs
Kaitlyn Childs is a PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working in Professor Michelle Shumate’s Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact lab. She’s currently studying perceptions of corporate-nonprofit partnerships using concept mapping techniques. She holds an M.A. in Communication and a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mike DeVito
devitom@u.northwestern.edu
Mike DeVito is a doctoral candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program and a Cognitive Science specialist. He currently works out of the Social Media Lab. Mike’s HCI-based research centers around how users adapt to the new challenges that ever-evolving, complex, algorithmically driven technology introduce to social and informational processes. His current research in this area includes explorations of how social media users employ folk theories of algorithmic feeds to guide their behavior and determine self-presentation strategy, how queer populations balance disclosure and stigmatization in online spaces that induce new challenges related to audience management. He currently publishes work on these topics in top-tier HCI venues such as the ACM CHI and CSCW conferences.

Julia Fernandez
j-fernandez@u.northwestern.edu
Julia Fernandez is a PhD student in the Media, Technology and Society program working in Dr. Jeremy Birnholtz’s Social Media Lab. Her research focuses on how users navigate complex sociotechnical ecosystems in order to express themselves and make social connections. She is also conducting research regarding popular perceptions of algorithmic systems. Prior to Northwestern, Julia was a Junior Fellow at the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) in the Library of Congress’ Office of Strategic Initiatives, working with Dr. Trevor Owens. She received her BA in American Studies from Smith College with a focus in Media and Digital Culture. 

Floor Fiers
Floor Fiers is a first-year PhD student in the MTS program who works together with Dr. Aaron Shaw as part of the Community Data Science Collective. She is interested in the field of digital inequality, particularly in how Internet skills and usage can lead to different life outcomes. Originally from the Netherlands, Floor first came to the United States six years ago to attend the United World College (Montezuma, NM) and recently graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Sociology from St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY). Her undergraduate honors thesis focused on status seeking strategies on Instagram.

Jeremy Foote
jdfoote@u.northwestern.edu
Jeremy Foote is a PhD candidate who works with Aaron Shaw as part of the Community Data Science Collective. His research focuses on understanding collaboration systems, and in particular on understanding how new collaborations get started. He uses computational social science and data science methods to address questions like, "What patterns of communication predict productive, long-lasting communities?" and, "How do people decide which collaborative projects to contribute to?"

Hannah Badal

Hannah Getachew-Smith
h.badal@u.northwestern.edu
Hannah Getachew-Smith is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program and a Northwestern Presidential Fellow. She works with Dr. Courtney Scherr in the Health Communication Interaction Design Lab to develop interventions to facilitate difficult conversations in health. Hannah’s research interests focus on the evaluation of digital health interventions to promote healthy behaviors and address health disparities. Trained in public health, she holds a Master of Public Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Prior to returning to Northwestern, she worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducting research to develop and evaluate national HIV prevention campaigns.

Adam Goodkind
Adam Goodkind is a PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program, working out of the CollabLab and Inclusive Technology Lab. He studies linguistic markers of collaboration and convergence in conversations, and how these can be utilized to improve communication. By extracting deep linguistic structure and patterns of production, he strives to uncover previously unseen signals in conversation. Adam received an MA in Computational Linguistics from the CUNY Graduate Center, and a BA from Columbia University.

Nick Hagar
nicholashagar2018@u.northwestern.edu
Nick Hagar is a PhD student working with Dr. Nick Diakopoulos in the Computational Journalism Lab. His research examines the business of news, with a focus on the labor of journalists. His current project uses computational methods to examine the link between freelancer career trajectories and news content. Nick holds a BS in Journalism from Northwestern University

Bri Hightower

Bri Hightower
Bri Hightower is a Ph.D. candidate within the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She conducts research with Ellen Wartella in the Center on Media and Human Development. Hightower’s main research interests revolve around understanding how technology and media can enhance learning and communication for families with children. During summers 2018 and 2019, Bri served as a UX research intern at Facebook.

Sohyeon Hwang
Sohyeon Hwang is a first-year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society Program at Northwestern University. She works with Dr. Aaron Shaw in the Community Data Science Collective and is interested in quantitatively and computationally investigating governance of large-scale, diverse online communities. She holds a BA in Government and Information Science from Cornell University.

Phoebe Jean-Pierre
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 immigration and where this intersects with the healthcare system. Beyond this, Phoebe is interested in the immigration court system, portrayal of immigrants in the media, healthcare laws, disclosure of medical error, racial disparities in medicine, doctor-patient confidentiality, and ethical and legal issues in health communication. Phoebe holds a BA in Communication and World History from the University of Pennsylvania.

Kerstin Kalke
Kerstin Kalke is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working in Dr. Courtney Scherr’s Health Communication Interaction Design Lab. Kerstin’s main research interests center on how media and technology can be used to promote healthy behaviors. Previous projects focused on the analysis and development of evidence-and theory-based mobile phone apps, social media campaigns, and written material to enhance healthy behaviors in the contexts of breast cancer, mental health, and sexual health. Kerstin holds a BA in English/American and German Studies from the Julius-Maximilians Universitaet in Wuerzburg, Germany, and a MA in Communication from the University of New Mexico.

Yena Lee
Yena Lee is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology and Society program. She was born in Korea and grew up in Brazil. She received her B.A. in Media Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her undergraduate thesis on feminist K-pop fans’ connective action on Twitter was accepted by NCA and the Console-ing Passions Conference. She hopes to expand her research on feminist activism by studying collective mobilization online using a critical lens to examine social, political, and cultural connections and disconnections that technologies create.

Breniel Lemley
Breniel Lemley is a seccond-year Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology, and Society program. She conducts research in the Center on Media and Human Development with Dr. Ellen Wartella. Her research interests include children’s learning from educational media with a focus on early STEM learning. Prior to attending Northwestern, Lemley worked in the Education Division of SRI International as an Education Research Associate. There, she supported projects funded by the Institute of Educational Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, George Lucas Education Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Music from the University of San Francisco.

Maya Lennon
Maya Lennon is a PhD student in the Media, Technology and Society program. She holds a BS in Cognitive Science from Brown University. She works with Dr. Ellen Wartella and Dr. Alexis Lauricella in the Center on Media and Human Development. She is interested in children’s learning from educational media, especially interactive forms of media. She has also researched children’s learning of causal information from song.

Reyhaneh Maktoufi

Reyhaneh Maktoufi
Reyhaneh Maktoufi is a PhD candidate in Media, Technology, and Society at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on science communication, curiosity, and public engagement with scientists. She works at the Nonprofit Network and Social Impact Lab where she studies nonprofit mergers and attitudes toward nonprofit-corporation partnerships. Her working background is mainly in audience outreach in nonprofits, mostly in the field of health. Rey currently enjoys working with different nonprofits such as the Adler Planetarium as a communication workshop facilitator and the Communicating Science Conference ComSciCon - Chicago as an organizer. She also engages in science outreach through writing blog-posts and making science comics.

Will Marler

Will Marler
willmarler@u.northwestern.edu
Will Marler is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. Will's research explores issues of technology and marginalization, with a focus on the implications of smartphone and Internet use for people in poverty. Most recently he completed a year-long, ethnographic study of low-income Chicagoans who benefit from a federal program that subsidizes mobile phone and Internet service. His current research explores how unstably housed adults in Chicago navigate social boundaries on Facebook while seeking to expand their reach on the site. Will's publications appear in New Media & Society and Mobile Media & Communication. He holds a BA from Drury University and an MA from Washington University in St Louis.

Mora Matassi
Mora Matassi is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology and Society program interested in the intersection between digital culture and computer-mediated communication. She was born and raised in Argentina, where she earned her B.A. in Communication from Universidad de San Andrés (UdeSA). Prior to Northwestern, Mora received an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard University as a Fulbright scholar. She was assistant at MIT's Scheller Teacher Education Program and coordinator at the Center for the Study of Media and Society in Argentina. Her research, in collaboration with Pablo Boczkowski and Eugenia Mitchelstein, has been published by New Media & Society and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.

Joshua-Paul Miles
Joshua-Paul Miles is a second-year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program studying with Dr. Michelle Shumate. He is a research assistant in the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact Lab. His main research interests include organizational networks and partnerships, organizational communication, interorganizational dynamics, collective action, and discrimination and community empowerment within networks and organizations. Joshua-Paul, strongly believes that organizations play a profound role in solving our world's most complex problems. He hopes to help lead organizations to successful cross-sector outcomes that benefit various types of stakeholders through methods grounded in robust and multilevel research analyses. He holds degrees in Corporate Communication and Spanish for the Business Professions, with a minor in Human Resource Management from Marquette University. 

Ivory Mills

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 information and communication technology (ICT) market organization and regulation from organizational and interorganizational perspectives. Interdisciplinary in nature, her work draws upon the technological, economic, legal, and social implications of corporate, civil society, and regulatory institutions in the international system, highlighting the challenges ICTs pose for law and policymaking. Her dissertation research explores the international ICT governance network of standard setting organizations (a form of modern transnational private regulation) and international investment treaties (a form of traditional international law), and looks for potential conflicts, such as security, intellectual property, and economic development.

Ashley Niler
Ashley Niler is a Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working with Leslie DeChurch in the ATLAS (Advancing Teams, Leaders, and Systems) Lab. Prior to Northwestern, Ashley earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Labor and Employment Relations, from Penn State. Her research interests include leadership, teams, and multiteam systems. In particular, she explores the relational processes in these systems from a social networks perspective.

Sarah Pila
sarah.c.pila@u.northwestern.edu
Sarah Pila is a doctoral candidate 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 BS 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.

Sanjana Ramesh
Sanjana Ramesh is a second-year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society Program working with Dr. Courtney Scherr in the Health Communication Interaction Design Lab. Prior to starting this program, Sanjana received her MPH in health communication and social marketing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Sanjana’s research explores the influence of various factors, including personality, psychosocial factors, and media on the adoption of new and existing health technologies, particularly genetic and reproductive technologies.  

Amy Ross

Amy Ross
Amy A. Ross is a Ph.D. candidate in the Media, Technology and Society (MTS) program. She was born and raised in Costa Rica, where she earned her B.A. in Communications at 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. Her dissertation research is situated at the intersection of studies on science, medicine and media, and explores the rise of a proposed new diagnosis known as orthorexia nervosa. Her research interests also include contemporary body-discipline practices as they relate to morality, health and identity.

Thomas Rousse
Thomas H. Rousse studies the intersection of law and technology, with a focus on intellectual property and online communities, as a joint J.D./Ph.D. student. He currently serves as the Senior Online Editor of Northwestern University Law Review. He holds an MSc. in Media, Technology and Games Analysis from the IT University of Copenhagen and graduated from Northwestern’s American Studies program in 2010. His advisor is Aaron Shaw.

Camille Saucier
Camille Saucier is a Ph.D. student in Media, Technology and Society working at the Center Of Media Psychology and Social Influence (COM-PSI) under Dr. Nathan Walter. She holds a BA and MA from the University of Southern California in Psychology and Communication Management respectively, and previously worked as a research specialist with the Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project. Her research interests include public opinion formation, attitude change, and decision-making, specifically around science communication. She is particularly interested in the discourse surrounding environmental issues like climate change, and how these messages can be adapted to be more persuasive.

Sapna Suresh
Sapna Suresh is a first-year doctoral student in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. She works alongside Dr. Nathan Walter in the Center of Media Psychology and Social Influence to evaluate the effectiveness of strategic messaging and methods to correct misinformation. Sapna’s research interests center around information gathering, attitude and preference formation, and leveraging knowledge of these areas to facilitate positive decision-making and soci-behavioral outcomes. She is interested questions such as, “How do we compel the American citizenry to prioritize climate change action their day-to-day actions and voting behavior?” and, “How can we encourage truthful, fact-based discourse in online spaces?” Sapna holds a BA from Rice University in environmental engineering and policy studies.

Anne-Marie Singh
annemarie@u.northwestern.edu
Anne-Marie Singh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society Program at Northwestern University and is working at the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact under Dr. Michelle Shumate's advisorship. She has several years of experience working in environmental nonprofits as a communicator and as a science journalist in public media. Her research interests include organizational communication and cross-sector partnerships in the nonprofit sector. Anne-Marie has a M.S. degree in Science Journalism from Boston University and a B.A. in English Literature from Delhi University, India.

 

Kyosuke Tanaka

Kyosuke Tanaka
Kyosuke Tanaka is a Ph.D. candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program, working in Noshir Contractor’s SONIC research group. He is interested in people's awareness of their social networks that could impact their task performance and more importantly, group coordination. His recent projects explore the factors that explain the errors we make in accurately assessing and mobilizing network ties among individuals in our social network. Kyosuke holds a Master of Social Research (Advanced) from Australian National University, a B.A. in Business and Commerce from Keio University, and certification from the International Business Profession program at Bellevue College.

Daniel Trielli
Daniel Trielli is researching how news reaches the public in our algorithmically-defined information world, and how computational journalism can be applied to investigate complex issues. He has a master's degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland, where he studied the way in which search engines mediated political information during the 2016 United States elections. Before coming to the U.S., Daniel worked as a journalist for over a decade in his native Brazil.

Kalia Vogelman-Natan
Kalia Vogelman-Natan is a PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working in the Center on Media and Human Development with Ellen Wartella. Her research interests focus on mobile communication and the role of media in the lives of families, specifically the impacts mobile ubiquity has on children, adolescents, and parenting. She holds a BA in International Relations with a minor in English Literature & Linguistics, and an MA in Communication from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Ashley Walker
Ashley Marie Walker is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology. & Society program at Northwestern University. Her work looks at the ways online social spaces impact group dynamics and intracommunity conflict, ecological perspectives on sociotechnical systems, and how epistemic injustices influence coordination and collaboration practices for response to long-term, systemic crises. She works with Madhu Reddy in the PITCH Lab, and her dissertation work looks at how the invisible labor that brings people, information, and technology into working configurations can exclude crucial stakeholders in responding to the rise in maternal mortality in the US.

Jasmine (Yutong) Wu
Jasmine (Yutong) Wu is a first-year Ph.D. student in Media, Technology, and Society program working in Noshir Contractor's Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) lab. Her research interests include social network analysis, teamwork, and intergroup bias. She applies computational tools to understand team processes in research and industrial settings to further improve management and team performance. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Information Science and Communication. There, her research focused on gender difference in immersive virtual environments and co-authorship networks.

Erique Zhang
Erique Zhang (they/them) is a PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program. Their research interests include the cultural production of women of color and transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) individuals. Erique is especially interested in the beauty, lifestyle, and fashion communities on video-sharing and social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, and the ways in which women of color and TGNC content creators in these communities engage with questions about race, gender, and representation. Erique holds a BFA in Studio Art and MA in Visual Culture: Costume Studies, both from New York University.

Renwen (Alice) Zhang
Renwen (Alice) Zhang is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program. She works with Madhu Reddy in the PITCH Lab and is also affiliated with the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies (CBITs). Her research focuses on the effects of digital technology on individuals’ well-being and social relations. She uses mixed methods to examine how individuals use social media and mobile technology to communicate with others and enhance well-being, with a particular interest in self-disclosure, online privacy, and mental health. Alice’s work has appeared in top peer-reviewed journals, such as Information, Communication, & Society and Computers in Human Behavior.