Current Students

MTS students on the market this year

Jacob Nelson

Jacob 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.


MTS students

Fashina Aladé

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
h.badal@u.northwestern.edu
Hannah Badal is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology, and Society program working with Dr. Courtney Scherr in the Health Communication Interaction Design Lab. Hannah’s research interests focus on the development and evaluation of health messages, as well as unintended consequences (e.g., stigma and discrimination) that stem from communication efforts. Hannah holds an MPH from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and is 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.

Lillian Boxman-Shabtai
lillianboxman@u.northwestern.edu
Lillian Boxman-Shabtai is a PhD candidate in the Media Technology and Society program. Prior to coming to Northwestern, she 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 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 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. Lillian has also completed research on the production of musical remakes on the internet and their meaning structures in relation to literary and legal debates about the transformative qualities of parody.

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 third 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. He currently publishes work on these topics in venues such as the ACM CHI and CSCW conferences. 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

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.

Sophia Fu

J. Sophia Fu
sophiafu@u.northwestern.edu
J. Sophia Fu is a PhD candidate (ABD) at the Media, Technology, and Society program of Northwestern University. Her research interests include interorganizational networks, nonprofit organizing, and information communication technologies (ICTs). Her dissertation research, supported by the Decision, Risk, and Management Sciences division of the National Science Foundation, examines the dynamic processes of organizing and managing social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Sophia’s work has appeared in top peer-reviewed journals in communication, such as Journal of Communication, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and Information, Communication, &smp; Society. She has won awards for her research from the Public and Nonprofit Division of Academy of Management (2016) and the Organizational Communication Division of International Communication Association (2017).

Bri Hightower

Bri Hightower
Bri Hightower is a second year Ph.D. student within the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She conducts research with Ellen Wartella and Alexis Lauricella in the Center on Media and Human Development and Anne Marie Piper in the Inclusive Lab. Hightower’s main research interests revolve around understanding how technology and media can enhance learning and communication for families and children. Prior to returning to Northwestern University, she assisted with research at the Center for Children and Technology, a division of Education Development Center (EDC), and provided support to projects funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and Heising-Simons Foundation. When not researching, she can be found mentoring undergraduate students through the Brady Program, reviewing books on her blog, knitting, FaceTiming her niece, and exploring Chicago’s beer scene.

Lindsay Larson

Lindsay Larson
Lindsay Larson is a third-year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society program, working in Leslie DeChurch’s ATLAS Lab. Her research interests include team composition and leadership issues in organizational teams and multiteam systems. Her current research projects focus on collective language use, leader identity and identification, and leadership emergence in multiteam systems. Lindsay holds a BS in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Florida.

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.

Reyhaneh Maktoufi

Reyhaneh Maktoufi
Reyhaneh Maktoufi is a third year PhD student in Media, Technology, and Society. She has spent the past 10 years moving between different NGOs mostly active in the field of cancer and palliative care, participating in health communication and audience outreach. Rey did her Bachelor in Physiotherapy at Tehran University and her Master’s at the University of Sussex in Health Psychology. Her main interest is in science communication, curiosity, persuasion, and audience engagement. She is currently volunteering at Adler Planetarium where she is conducting her research on science communication in astronomy and building mutual grounds between experts and the public. Rey is also working on audience perception towards nonprofit and corporation pairings and also nonprofit mergers, at the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact Lab.

Will Marler

Will Marler
willmarler@u.northwestern.edu
Will Marler is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program. His research centers on the adoption and use of mobile technologies by Americans in poverty, with a focus on public 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

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 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.

Sanjana Ramesh
Sanjana Ramesh is a first-year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society Program. Sanjana received her BA in Health and Human Physiology, with a focus in Health Promotion, and minors in Communication Studies and Spanish from the University of Iowa. She went on to receive her MPH from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where her research largely focused on health communication and social marketing. During her masters, Sanjana served as a graduate research assistant for the Center for Reducing Health Disparities. In addition, she also held various marketing research positions at community health-based nonprofits. These positions allowed her to consult in community-based participatory research efforts across a multitude of health contexts. Sanjana is primarily interested in a mixed methods approach to message design and effect in populations affected by health disparities, particularly as it relates to the adoption or rejection of health behaviors.

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 Ross

Amy Ross
Amy A. Ross is a fourth 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 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.

Anne-Marie Singh
Anne-Marie Singh is a Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology and Society Program at Northwestern University, and is working at the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact. 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 nonprofit communications, nonprofit organizations, and funder-nonprofit collaborations. 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 third year Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology, and Society program, working in Noshir Contractor’s SONIC lab. He is interested in network awareness and cognition. His recent projects explore how people recall and learn social connections that surround them and how people search their social networks. 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 worked as a journalist for more than a decade in Brazil before coming to the U.S. to pursue a degree of Master of Journalism. In his home country, he has worked as an assistant editor at O Estado de S. Paulo, a national newspaper, in charge of making the brige between the city news desk and the graphics department, working with data and visualizations. Later, he became the editor of an experimental project on mobile platforms. During his master’s program at the University of Maryland, he has researched the role of algorithms in society, including how search engines mediated political information during the 2016 cycle. He is interested in researching data and computational journalism, data literacy for journalists and audiences, media literacy and data visualization.

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
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.