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 Alumni (Alphabetical)

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Monica Bobra
S.M., Science Writing, 2005
Thesis: The Endless Mantra: Innovation at the Keck Observatory
Amar Boghani
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Director, Media & Entertainment at PSB Research
Amar Boghani Website:

Thesis: The City Expressed: Everyday Media Production and the Urban Environment
Veronica Bollow
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
Katherine Bourzac
S.M., Science Writing, 2004
Katherine Bourzac Thesis: Across the Great Divide: Chimeras and Species Boundaries
Beyza Boyacioglu
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Beyza Boyacioglu Beyza Boyacioglu is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and artist. Her work has been presented in various venues and festivals including MoMA Doc Fortnight, IDFA DocLab, Morelia International Film Festival and Anthology Film Archives. She has received grants and fellowships from LEF Foundation, MIT Council for the Arts, Flaherty Seminar and SALT Research. She was an artist in residence at UnionDocs in 2012 where she co-directed "Toñita’s" -- a documentary portrait of the last Puerto Rican social club in Williamsburg. She is currently producing a cross-platform documentary about Turkey’s gender-bending pop legend Zeki Müren; the project is comprised of a feature film, a hotline and a web experience. Currently, Beyza works as a Producer at MIT Open Documentary Lab.
Jennifer Boyce
S.M., Science Writing, 2005
Thesis: Scroop, Luster, and Hand: The Science and Sensuality of Silk
Lindsay Brownell
SM, Science Writing, 2014
Freelance Science Writer
Lindsay Brownell Lindsay Brownell is a native of Detroit, MI, and spent most of her childhood either digging for worms and collecting rocks or with her face buried in a book, often at the dinner table. She attended Davidson College in North Carolina, where she indulged in such nerdy activities as a twelve-hour reading/performance of John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost” and Dance Dance Revolution tournaments, and graduated with a dual degree in English and Biology.

After two years of working, traveling, and trying to figure out what to do with her life, she discovered MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing and never looked back. She wrote her thesis about the influence of molecular technology on the classification of species and completed a summer internship as a science writer at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. After 1.5 years working as an internal science writer and editor at Boston-based hedge fund RA Capital Management, experimented with freelancing, and is now a Science Writer at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

In her spare time, she likes anything having to do with Disney, dancing, Ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, trying to learn how DSLR cameras work, roaming farmer’s markets, and watching thunderstorms from her window while listening to Beethoven sonatas.

Thesis: One Fish, Two Fish, Lungfish, Youfish: Embracing Traditional Taxonomy in a Molecular World
Ada Brunstein
S.M., Science Writing, 2007
Executive Editor and Acquisitions Group Leader, Digital Reference at Oxford University Press
Ada Brunstein Thesis: Eye to I
Alison Bruzek
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Science Writer & Radio Producer
Alison Bruzek Producer at WBUR, Boston's NPR Station.

Thesis: Maximum Containment: The Most Controversial Labs in the World
Lily Bui
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Ph.D. student, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Lily Bui Lily Bui's masters research focused on using sensors to support environmental monitoring, and communicating sensor-based data to different stakeholders. She is currently a PhD student at MIT's School of Architecture & Planning in the Department of Urban Studies & Planning.

She holds dual bachelor's degrees in International Studies and Spanish from the University of California Irvine. Before joining MIT CMS, she worked at Public Radio Exchange (PRX), where she helped generate and distribute science public radio; and SciStarter, where she helped find and tell stories about citizen science. In other past lives, she has worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; served in AmeriCorps in Montgomery County, Maryland; worked for a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter; and performed across the U.S. as a touring musician.

In her spare time, she can be spotted on a surfboard or skateboard (and/or strumming a ukulele) somewhere warm.

Thesis: Sense and the City: Representations of Air Quality Data in the “Smart City”
Kevin Bullis
S.M., Science Writing, 2005
Thesis: When Machines Touch Back: Simulating — and Stimulating — the Most Intimate of Senses
Joseph Calamia
S.M., Science Writing, 2010
Thesis: Implanted: Technology and Connection in the Deaf World
Kyrie Eleison Caldwell
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Kyrie Eleison Caldwell Kyrie E. H. Caldwell earned her B.A. in Art History and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a return to her Midwestern hometown after a good while spent in Conyers, Georgia. During that while, Kyrie played many video games, steeping herself especially in the rich worlds and stories of the Final Fantasy series. Since then, she thought about those video games through various humanist lenses, from literature to folklore to Japanese studies to her undergraduate majors, until she realized that she could cut to the chase and directly study video games through those various humanist lenses. Thus she found the wonderful people of UW-Madison's Games + Learning + Society group and now finds herself in CMS at MIT, working at the MIT Game Lab and The Education Arcade.

Kyrie's academic interests lie in many directions and disciplines, but for the time being she has settled on the ways in which game design reflects, comments upon, simulates, and seeks to challenge or affirm broader cultural ideas and systems. She believes that both playfulness and emotionality have a distinct and rigorous place in scholarship and life in general, and in the spirit of that, she has published work on the parallels between mystical religious practices and video game play, love as a game mechanic (forthcoming), and a reflexive exploration of how one’s play history shapes one’s life (forthcoming).

Personally, Kyrie has been known to fence sabre and chase down frisbees, listen to much much music and wear fancy dresses, and (unsurprisingly) play all sorts of games. She has no doubt that she is where she is in large part because of her brilliant, driven, and supportive family and friends.

Thesis: Fake the Dawn: Digital Game Mechanics and the Construction of Gender in Fictional Worlds
Candis Callison
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2002
Assistant Professor, School of Journalism, University of British Columbia
Candis Callison Thesis: A Digital Assemblage: Diagramming the Social Realities of the Stikine River Watershed
Jordan Calmes
S.M., Science Writing, 2011
Pharmacy Student, University of Wyoming
Jordan Calmes Thesis: Mass Spec: The Biography of a Scientific Instrument
MacGregor Campbell
S.M., Science Writing, 2009
Correspondent at New Scientist
MacGregor Campbell Thesis: How to Build a Living Thing
Brett Camper
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2005
Co-Founder, Mapzen
Brett Camper Thesis: Homebrew and the Social Construction of Gaming: Community, Creativity, and Legal Context of Amateur Game Boy Advance Development
Camille Carlisle
S.M., Science Writing, 2010
Science Editor, Sky & Telescope magazine
Camille Carlisle Camille Carlisle spends her days thinking about black holes, space missions, and various astronomical gobbledygook, trying to excite people about astro by writing and editing articles for Sky & Telescope. Before joining S&T's staff in 2011, she worked as the fact checker at Science News.

Thesis: Heart of Darkness
Catherine Caruso
S.M., Science Writing, 2016
Catherine Caruso Hailing from the suburbs of Boston MA, Catherine first realized she might have an affinity for words when, at age ten, she missed the Grand Canyon because she couldn’t put down her book (ironically, Brighty of the Grand Canyon). One fateful July she was completely sucked into Shark Week, and from there she developed a particular interest in marine biology (along with a particularly intricate color-coded Shark Week viewing schedule).

She graduated with a biology degree from Wellesley College, followed by a stint working at the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole, MA where she found it delightfully impossible to escape science talk. Catherine also has an M.S. at the University of New Hampshire, that came with the informal title plumber/fish husbandry specialist/molecular biologist/lab technician/lab instructor/writer/editor. She completed her master's in science writing at MIT in 2016, and interned at MIT Technology Review and Scientific American MIND.

In her free time, Catherine alternates between total nerd and total jock, which involves podcast listening, Wikipedia scouring, running (preferably after a soccer ball), rock climbing, and explaining the complexities of American football to unsuspecting victims.

Thesis: Subconcussive Blows in High School Football: Putting Young Brains at Risk
Anita Chan
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2002
Assistant Research Professor of Communications, University of Illinois
Anita Chan Anita Say Chan is an Assistant Research Professor of Communications and an Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research and teaching interests include globalization and digital cultures, innovation networks and the “periphery”, and science and technology studies in Latin America. Her manuscript on the competing imaginaries of global connection and information technologies in network-age Peru, Networking Peripheries: Technological Futures and the Myth of Digital Universalism, is forthcoming with MIT Press. Her research has been awarded support from the Center for the Study of Law & 
Culture at Columbia University’s School of Law and the National Science Foundation, and she has held 
postdoctoral fellowships at The CUNY Graduate Center’s Committee on Globalization & Social Change, and at Stanford University’s Introduction to Humanities Program. She completed her S.M. with the Comparative Media Studies Program in 2002, with the masters thesis titled, "Collaborative News Networks: Distributed Editing, Collective Action, and the Construction of Online News on"

Thesis: Collaborative News Networks: Distributed Editing, Collective Action, and the Construction of Online News on
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