Staff

The staff at Comparative Media Studies/Writing play critical everyday roles: promotion, finance, research group leadership, software development, student services, academic administration, and much more. They also help shape CMS/W’s culture of participation, serving on Institute working groups, hosting their own special events, and even running Independent Activities Program classes around their specialties and passions.


Patsy Baudoin
MIT Libraries Liaison to CMS/W; the Media Lab; and Art, Culture, & Technology. Media Studies, Visual Arts, and Film Studies Librarian.

patsy@mit.edu
 Staff
Amar Boghani
Creative Technologist, Mobile Experience Lab

amarkb@mit.edu
 Staff Thesis: The City Expressed: Everyday Media Production and the Urban Environment
Jessica Dennis
Financial Assistant II

jdennis@mit.edu
 Staff Jessica Dennis joined CMS/W in 2012 as the Financial Assistant II. Prior to that she worked as an Administrative Assistant in MIT’s Music and Theater Arts department for two years. She holds an M.Ed in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University, and a BA in International Affairs and Spanish from the University of New Hampshire. She lives in Boston, and her spare time she enjoys working on her blog, Gluten Free Boston Girl.
Rik Eberhardt
Studio Manager, MIT Game Lab

reberhar@mit.edu
 Staff As Studio Manager for the MIT Game Lab, Rik Eberhardt spends his days playing Tetris: with people, boxes, tasklists, equipment, money, and time. When not staring at a spreadsheet trying to fit in another computer purchase, a last minute event budget, or placing undergraduate researchers on a Game Lab project, he's chipping away at spreadsheets on his DS, reproducing pixel-art in Picross and Picross 3D, or managing the ultimate spreadsheet, a game of Sid Meier's Civilization. He is also an instructor for two MIT Game Lab classes on game production and has served as a mentor and director for multiple game development projects including elude, a game about depression produced in the summer of 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William & Mary, is a Certified Scrum Master, a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, and is currently working towards a Serious Games MA Certificate from Michigan State University.
Alexandra Faller
Administrative Assistant II, Mobile Experience Lab

arfaller@mit.edu
Ala 150x150 Staff Alexandra joined the Mobile Experience Lab in June of 2013 as an Administrative Assistant II. She holds a BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University and enjoys yoga, dance, and public health research in her free time.
Kurt Fendt
Executive Director, HyperStudio

fendt@mit.edu
 Staff Dr. Kurt Fendt is Principal Research Associate in Comparative Media Studies and Executive Director of HyperStudio – Digital Humanities at MIT. He teaches a range of upper-level German Studies courses in Foreign Languages and Literatures. Fendt has held Visiting Professorships at the University of Cologne, the Technical University of Aachen (both Germany), and the University of Klagenfurt, Austria; in 2001 he was Visiting Scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute in Sankt Augustin, Germany.

Fendt is co-Principal Investigator of the US-Iran – Missed Opportunities project, the d’Arbeloff-funded Metamedia project, co-Director of Berliner sehen, a collaborative hypermedia learning environment for German Studies, co-author of the French interactive narrative A la rencontre de Philippe (CD-ROM version), and co-author on a range of digital humanities projects. Since 2005, he has been organizing the MIT European Short Film Festival.

Before coming to MIT in 1993, Fendt was Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the University of Bern in Switzerland, where he established the Media Learning Center for the Humanities and earned his Ph.D. in modern German literature with a thesis on hypertext and text theory in 1993 after having completed his MA at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.
Jamie Folsom
Lead Web Applications Developer, Hyperstudio

jfolsom@mit.edu
jamie nola 150x150 Staff Jamie is lead web applications developer at MIT HyperStudio, which builds tools to support teaching and research in the humanities.

He participates in all aspects of the lab's work, from consulting with faculty and collaborating with partners, to developing and deploying web apps and services.

He has an AB in French from Vassar College and a Master's Degree in Technology in Education from Harvard University and has been a teacher, a technology trainer and manager, and a web applications developer for 20 years. He's from Boston, Massachusetts.
Gabriella Horvath
Administrative Assistant, HyperStudio

ghorvath@mit.edu
GH headshot 136x150 Staff Gabriella Horvath is the Administrative Assistant at HyperStudio. Her background includes front-of-house administration for a live theater and founding an independent cinema in Washington. Gabriella received an M.S. in Arts Administration from Boston University ('06). She is also the Office Manager of the Electronic Literature Organization and co-curator of the European Short Film Festival at MIT.
Mikael Jakobsson
Research Scientist

mjson@mit.edu
Mikael Jakobsson 150x150 Staff Mikael Jakobsson conducts research at the intersection of game design and game culture. With a foundation in interaction design, he investigates how gaming activities fit into social and cultural practices, and how this knowledge can inform the design and development process. His research has partly been supported by research grants involving collaboration with the game industry. He is currently involved in creating a research strategy for the MIT Game Lab where he also is teaches classes in game studies and game design. He has nearly twenty years of experience in teaching, course development, research project management, establishing external funding and collaboration, as well as advising master’s and PhD students.
Jill Janows
Director, Grants Development

jjanows@mit.edu
IMG 05133 150x150 Staff Jill works strategically with research groups and faculty to help secure project funding from foundations and other donors. After pursuing a career in public television documentary filmmaking as a writer/producer/director in New York and Boston at WGBH, where she was executive producer for cultural programming, Jill ventured beyond public TV to work in the nonprofit community. Prior to MIT, she was a foundation development officer at Physicians for Human Rights, where she helped win funding for PHR's global research and advocacy projects including a medical-legal project supporting women survivors of gender violence in Africa. Jill grew up in the Chicago area, graduated from Wellesley where she studied philosophy and art history, and has an MFA in poetry from Goddard College.
Suzanne Lane
Director, Writing Across the Curriculum

stlane@mit.edu
Suzanne Lane 8 150x150 Staff Suzanne Lane is Senior Lecturer in Rhetoric and Communication, and Director of the Writing Across the Curriculum program. She holds a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT, a master's in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, and a doctorate in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Her research interests focus on contemporary rhetoric, genre theory, and argumentation studies, and she is particularly interested in sites of cultural contact between discourse communities and rhetorical cultures. In one research project, she has studied the rhetoric of slavery, especially the cultural forms of argumentation slaves developed; in another project, working with the Harvard Study of Undergraduate Writing, she has explored how students learn disciplinary-specific genres and forms of argumentation, and transfer them to new locations. She has also published fiction and poetry.
Shannon Larkin
Academic Administrator

slarkin@mit.edu
slarkin 150x150 Staff Shannon is the Academic Administrator for CMS|W. While she works primarily with the graduate programs in CMS and Science Writing, also handles academics for the undergraduate programs as well.

When not handing out advice, truffles or Kleenex to students in her MIT office, Shannon is also a professional singer and singing teacher. She holds a Master's degree in Early Music Performance from the Longy School of Music.
Karinthia Louis
Administrative Assistant: Publicity and Events Coordinator

klouis@mit.edu
klouis e1382629636810 150x150 Staff Karinthia Louis has a bachelors degree in Fashion Merchandising from Bay State College in Boston and even has her own crochet accessory line called The KLoset! She is a Beantown fashionista who enjoys traveling, styling, shopping, planning memorable experiences, eating out at new places, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
Scot Osterweil
Creative Director, Education Arcade

scot_o@mit.edu
 Staff Scot Osterweil is Creative Director of the Education Arcade. He has designed award-winning games in both academic and commercial environments, focusing on what is authentically playful in challenging academic subjects. Designs include the acclaimed Zoombinis series (math and logic), Vanished: The MIT/Smithsonian Curated Game (environmental science), Labyrinth (math), Kids Survey Network (data and statistics), Caduceus (medicine), and iCue (history). He is a founder and Creative Director of Learning Games Network, where he leads the Gates Foundation’s Language Learning Initiative (ESL), and where he designed Quandary, named Game of the Year at the 2013 Games 4 Change festival.
Mike Rapa
Systems Administrator

mrapa@mit.edu
 Staff As Systems Administrator, Michael Rapa is the first point of contact for CMS/W tech support. A graduate of The Art Institute of Boston, Rapa received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2007 with focus on Graphic Design and Digital Illustration. His previous professional experience was as a Desktop, Lab Systems, and A/V Technician for Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.
Rachel Schnepper
Communications Officer

rschnepp@mit.edu
Rachel Schnepper Staff As Annotation Studio’s communications officer, Rachel brings over ten years of higher education experience with her to HyperStudio. Prior to working at HyperStudio, Rachel taught at Rutgers University, Princeton University, DePaul University, and Washington and Lee University. Accordingly, Rachel is intimately familiar with the needs of faculty and is committed to helping them integrate digital humanities tools into their research and teaching.

Rachel earned her Ph.D. in early modern European history in 2010 from Rutgers University. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the North American Conference on British Studies have supported her research, which focuses on media transformations in the seventeenth century English Atlantic.
Alexandra Sear
Administrative Assistant II

sear@mit.edu
Alexandra Sear 150x150 Staff Alexandra Sear joined CMS/W in November 2013 as the Administrative Assistant II for Writing Across the Curriculum. Prior to MIT, Alex worked in film and television production, at Harvard University's Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning, and at Ropes & Gray LLP. She has a BA in Philosophy from Hamilton College and an MFA in Screenwriting from Boston University.
Becky Shepardson
Undergraduate Academic Administrator

bshep@mit.edu
Picture 31 150x150 Staff Prior to working for CMS/W, Becky Shepardson was an administrative assistant for the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT. She continues to work part-time as an editorial assistant for the theoretical computer science journal Information and Computation. Becky holds a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Boston University.
Sarah Smith
Administrative Officer

se_smith@mit.edu
Sarah Smith 150x150 Staff
Steven Strang
Founder and Director of MIT's Writing and Communication Center

smstrang@mit.edu
 Staff Steven Strang is founder and Director of MIT's Writing and Communication Center. He teaches Rhetoric. Research interests include rhetoric and personal essay and fiction.

Strang is author of Writing Exploratory Essays (1995, 2008) and various articles on pedagogy, literary criticism, writing center practice, short stories, and poetry.
Philip Tan
Creative Director, MIT Game Lab

philip@mit.edu
 Staff Philip Tan is the creative director for the MIT Game Lab. He teaches CMS.608 Game Design and CMS.611J/6.073J Creating Video Games. For six years, he was the executive director for the US operations of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, a game research initiative.

He has served as a member of the steering committee of the Singapore chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and worked closely with Singapore game developers to launch industry-wide initiatives and administer content development grants as an assistant manager in the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore. Before 2005, he produced and designed PC online games at The Education Arcade, a research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that studied and created educational games. He complements a Master's degree in Comparative Media Studies with work in Boston's School of Museum of Fine Arts, the MIT Media Lab, WMBR 88.1FM and the MIT Assassins' Guild, the latter awarding him the title of "Master Assassin" for his live-action roleplaying game designs. He also founded a DJ crew at MIT.

Thesis: Tensions in Live-Action Roleplaying Game Design: A Case Study with the MIT Assassins’ Guild
Jessica Tatlock
Administrative Assistant II

jtatlock@mit.edu
jtatlock 150x139 Staff Jessica Tatlock joined CMS headquarters staff in July 2009 after a brief stint with Henry Jenkins' Project New Media Literacies. She had spent the previous year coordinating the Internet Safety Technical Task Force at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Prior to Harvard, Jessica worked for more than a decade in Boston's youth development and education fields, developing programs, tools and resources for practitioners working in a wide range of settings. She has an M.Ed in Cultural Diversity and Curriculum Reform from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and lives in Brookline with her two children.
Carole Urbano
Communications Specialist, Education Arcade

curbano@mit.edu
 Staff Carole manages the communications and outreach for The Education Arcade. She designs and implements project level communication strategies including general promotion, participant recruitment, retention and support. Recent efforts recruited nearly 1,500 teachers from around the globe enrolling 25,000 middle grades students in an online math challenge featuring Lure of the Labyrinth.

Carole developed her marketing skills executing integrated marketing programs (advertising, PR, events, social media) for a variety of corporations in the financial services, high tech, and semiconductor industries. Her recent tenure with the Regional Educational Laboratory at Education Development Center forged her knowledge of the K-12 market and building blended communities of practice.
Sara Verrilli
Development Director, MIT Game Lab

akiru@mit.edu
sverrelli 150x139 Staff Sara Verrilli has spent her professional career in the videogame industry, starting with the day she walked out of MIT's Course V graduate studies and into a position as QA Lead at Looking Glass Technologies for System Shock. However, her game organizing endeavors started much earlier; she helped found a role-playing club at her high school by disguising it as a bridge group.

Since then, she's been a game designer, a product manager, a producer, and a QA manager, in no particular order. A veteran of both Looking Glass Technologies and Irrational Games, she's worked on eight major published games, and several more that never made it out the door. As Development Director of the MIT Game Lab, she looks forward to corralling, encouraging, and exploring the creative chaos that goes into making great games, and figuring out just the right amount of order to inject into the process. And, while she still doesn't understand bridge, she does enjoy whist.
Andrew Whitacre
Communications Director

awhit@mit.edu
 Staff Andrew conducts the communications efforts for CMS/W and its research groups. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College.

This work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects including website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotions.
Sarah Wolozin
Director, Open Documentary Lab

swolozin@mit.edu
swolozin1 150x137 Staff Sarah Wolozin develops and oversees activities related to the Open Documentary Lab, including projects, events, and partnerships that support the emerging field of digital storytelling. She also manages lab operations. Sarah has always had an interest in exploring new platforms for storytelling and social change.

Before coming to MIT, she produced documentaries and educational media for a wide variety of media outlets including PBS, Learning Channel, NPR, various websites and educational platforms. Her work includes an episode of the PBS series, The College Track: America’s Sorting Machine and two episodes of the Peabody-winning PBS series, I’ll Make Me A World: A Century of African-American Arts, for which she served as associate producer. She started experimenting with the Web back in the early stages of its public use and produced an award-winning interactive website based on a comic book character. She has been a speaker at Sundance New Frontier, SXSW, and other media venues and sits on the 2013 selection committees for the Tribeca New Media Fund and the Sundance New Frontier Lab, among others. Sarah holds a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Ethan Zuckerman
Director, Center for Civic Media

ethanz@media.mit.edu
ezheadshothersman 150x150 Staff Ethan Zuckerman is cofounder of the citizen media community of Global Voices and author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection.

Prior to MIT, Ethan worked with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University on projects focused on civic media, freedom of speech online, and understanding media ecosystems. He led a team focused on Media Cloud, a project that builds an archive of news stories and blog posts applies language processing and presents ways to analyze and visualize the resulting data. Zuckerman also founded Geekcorp, a non-profit technology volunteer corps that has done work in over a dozen countries, and helped found Tripod, an early participatory media company.