Master’s Program Alumni

Starting with the arrival of our very first CMS students in 1999 and Science Writing students in 2002, our alumni have gone on to some extraordinary careers. And nearly all of them can draw a straight line from their studies at CMS/W to what they do today…

Featured Alumni

Lisa Song '09

Lisa Song, ’09
Pulitzer Prize-winner, Reporter at ProPublica

Steven Schirra, ’13

Steven Schirra, ’13
User Experience Research Manager at Twitch

Aswin Punathambekar, ’03: From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (

Aswin Punathambekar, ’03
Founder and Director, Global Media Studies Initiative; Associate Professor at University of Michigan

Rekha Murthy, ’05, on "Transforming Humanities Education"

Rekha Murthy, ’05
Radio & Podcast Strategist

Julie Fischer, '14

Julie Fischer, ’14
User Experience Researcher, Google Play

Abby McBride, ’12

Abby McBride, ’12
Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow

Cara Giaimo, ’15

Cara Giaimo, ’15
Staff Writer, Atlas Obscura

Cristobal García Herrera, ’04

Cristobal García Herrera, ’04
Ph.D. Researcher & Innovation Group Co-Founder, Imperial College London’s Dyson School of Design Engineering

All Graduate Program Alumni

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Abdul-Kareem Ahmed
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Medical Student at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Freelance Science Writer
Abdul-Kareem Ahmed Thesis: SIGN HERE: Informed Consent in Personalized Medicine
Liam Andrew
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Developer, The Texas Tribune
Liam Andrew Liam Andrew is a media and technology researcher, software developer, and musician. His work aims to use technology to extend the reach of researchers and writers in journalism and the humanities, as well as find novel ways to present, organize, preserve, and enrich digital stories. He is currently based in Austin, Texas, working on editorial tools and APIs with The Texas Tribune. He previously worked on development, design, and research at MIT's HyperStudio, Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab, and social news curation startup Wiser. An Iowa native, Liam earned his B.A. studying literature and music at Yale University.

Thesis: The Missing Links: An Archaeology of Digital Journalism
Emily Anthes
S.M., Science Writing, 2006
Emily Anthes Thesis: The Chosen Genes: Jews, Genetics, and the Future of Ethnic Medicine
Katie Arthur
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
Katie Arthur Katie's research focuses on the decolonial intervention in the UK climate change conversation. Katie has worked with the UNFCCC secretariat, The Surefoot Effect and the Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team. She has written for Novara Media, The Ecologist and MIT Center for Civic Media. In her spare time here, Katie enjoys sneaking to English Literature courses and following Freud-based memes.

Thesis: Frontlines of Crisis, Forefront of Change: Climate Justice as an Intervention into (Neo)colonial Climate Action Narratives and Practices
Ivan Askwith
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Strategist / Producer / Founder, Askwith&Co
Ivan Askwith Thesis: Television 2.0: Reconceptualizing TV as an Engagement Medium
Alec Austin
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Senior Game Designer at Kabam
Alec Austin Since his graduation from CMS, Alec Austin has worked as a game designer at EA, Electrified Games, Tapzen, and Kabam. His short fiction has been published in a variety of markets, including Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Strange Horizons.

Thesis: Expectations Across Entertainment Media
Amitabh Avasthi
S.M., Science Writing, 2004
Documentary filmmaker, Nature Tango Films
Amitabh Avasthi Thesis: Superfish: The Coming Blue Revolution
Leslie Baehr
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Leslie Baehr Thesis: Troubled Waters: The Battle Over Shipwrecks, Treasure and History at the Bottom of the Sea
R.J. Bain
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2004
Co-Executive Producer, MTV's "Catfish: The TV Show"
R.J. Bain Thesis: Rethinking the Informed Citizen in an Age of Hybrid Media Genres: Tanner ’88, K-Street, and the Fictionalization of News
Chelsea Barabas
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Senior Advisor for Social Impact, Digital Currency Initiative at MIT Media Lab
Chelsea Barabas In 2009 Chelsea graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in Sociology and minors in Arabic and Feminist Studies. She has worked with an international development start-up called Nuru International. With Nuru, Chelsea headed up the development of co-learning and design opportunities between Western development practitioners and local social entrepreneurs.

She is also interested in understanding how emerging technologies can be wielded to create stronger bridges between education and civic engagement by expanding learning from the classroom to other nodes of a learner’s life.

Thesis: Engineering the American Dream: A Study of Bias and Perceptions of Merit in the High-Tech Labor Market
Taylor Beck
S.M., Science Writing, 2012
Freelance Writer
Taylor Beck Taylor Beck is a freelance writer in New York. His stories have appeared in The Washington Post, Scientific American, and Fast Company, among other publications, and his research in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Matter, as well as several books. He writes about medicine and neuroscience, particularly sleep, mental health, and technology. His work appeared on The National Geographic Channel in a documentary, "Sleepless In America" in 2014.

Thesis: The Twitching Eye: REM Sleep and the Emotional Brain
Rachel Becker
S.M., Science Writing, 2015
Rachel Becker Rachel Becker is a staff science journalist at The Verge.
Jason Begy
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2010
Ph.D. student at Concordia University
Jason Begy Works in game studies and game design and is a research affiliate with the MIT Game Lab.

Thesis: Interpreting Abstract Games: The Metaphorical Potential of Formal Game Elements
Eben Bein
S.M., Science Writing, 2016
Freelance Writer
Eben Bein In twelfth grade, Eben’s high school studio arts teacher named him a “Renaissance man,” a title he strives to embody to this day. Eben labors, learns and revels in the miraculous interplay of science, writing, education, environmentalism and the arts. A science writer, high school biology teacher, frontman for two rock bands, grassroots environmental activist, once classically trained ballet dancer and poetry enthusiast, Eben seeks projects of all sorts that draw on and blend these diverse interests. Eben grew up in a cohousing community in Acton, MA, studied biology, French and dance at Dartmouth College and currently lives in Somerville, MA.
James (Scott) Berdahl
S.M., Science Writing, 2010
James (Scott) Berdahl Thesis: Morning Light: The Secret History of the Tagish Lake Fireball
Dan Bersak
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
CTO - Fusar Technologies
Dan Bersak Thesis: Ethics in Photojournalism: Past, Present, and Future
Vanessa Bertozzi
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
Program Manager, Etsy Wholesale
Vanessa Bertozzi Thesis: Unschooling Media: Participatory Practices among Progressive Homeschoolers
Lisa Bidlingmeyer
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Thesis: Agent + Image: How the Television Image Estabilizes Identity in TV Spy Series
Jim Bizzocchi
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2001
Associate Professor, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University
Jim Bizzocchi Thesis: Ceremony of Innocence: A Case Study in the Emergent Poetics of Interactive Narrative
Kristina Bjoran
S.M., Science Writing, 2011
Senior Creative Strategist, Forum One
Kristina Bjoran Thesis: Nico’s Bubbles: The Story of a Whale, Some Crows, and the Search for Sentience
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