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
Suruchi Dumpawar
Technical Assistant, MIT Mobile Experience Lab

suruchid@mit.edu
Suruchi Dumpawar Suruchi Dumpawar was born and raised in central India, where she graduated with a B.Tech in Electronics and Communications Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Nagpur. She worked at Oracle SSI, Bangalore as a part of the Interfaces & Conversions team developing interfaces across various modules of Oracle applications. After receiving her photography education at the National Institute Of Design, Ahmedabad, she co-founded Lucida—an art, research and education driven photographers’ collective. Her photography work exploits the idiom of documentary photography to wheedle out visual narratives by revealing subtle details, making connections apparent and informing insights into her subjects.

A self-proclaimed film buff and a fledgling filmmaker, Suruchi has a keen interest in digital storytelling. She loves to travel, derives great pleasure from poring over books and is continually fascinated by language, light & the human brain.
Rik Eberhardt
Studio Manager, MIT Game Lab

reberhar@mit.edu
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.
Caitlin Feeley
Project Manager & Game Designer, Education Arcade

cfeeley@mit.edu
Caitlin Feeley Caitlin designs and researches educational games, technology, and playful learning at the Education Arcade. She has 11 years of experience in educational research and development, primarily focused on informal learning experiences for underserved populations and young adolescents. She was the project manager and co-designer for Vanished, a transmedia science mystery game/event co-developed with the Smithsonian. Past projects have included multimedia instructional materials for the NSF-funded “Kids Survey Network,” a program teaching statistics and data analysis to middle schoolers. She also designs financial literacy games, including the award-winning “Farm Blitz” and “Bite Club” for D2D Fund. She has instructional experience both in MOOCs and traditional classrooms, including video development for EdX courses (11.26x, Intro to Game Design, and 11.32x, Design and Development of Educational Technology) and teaching fellowships at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Caitlin holds a master’s degree in Technology, Innovation and Education from Harvard University.
Kurt Fendt
Executive Director, HyperStudio

fendt@mit.edu
Kurt Fendt 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 Global Studies and Languages. 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 NEH-funded Annotation Studio project, 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 Folsom 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.
Michael Gravito
Systems Administrator

mgravito@mit.edu
Gabriella Horvath
Financial Assistant II

ghorvath@mit.edu
Gabriella Horvath Gabriella Horvath is CMS/W's financial assistant. 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 has been an admin for MIT Venture Mentoring Service, the HyperStudio digital humanities lab, the Electronic Literature Organization, and is currently the festival organizer and co-curator of the European Short Film Festival at MIT.
Mikael Jakobsson
Research Scientist

mjson@mit.edu
Mikael Jakobsson 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
Jill Janows 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 of Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication

stlane@mit.edu
Suzanne Lane Suzanne Lane is Senior Lecturer in Rhetoric and Communication, and Director of the Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication (WRAP) 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
Shannon Larkin 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: Events Coordinator/Fiscal Assistant

klouis@mit.edu
Karinthia Louis Karinthia Louis is a certified event planner and has a bachelors degree in Fashion Merchandising. She even has her own crochet accessory line called The KLoset! She is a Beantown fashionista who enjoys traveling, planning memorable experiences, styling, shopping, eating out at new places, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
Giada Mattern
Administrative Assistant

gmatt@mit.edu
Giada Mattern
Katherine Olson
Administrative Assistant II, Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication

kjo@mit.edu
Scot Osterweil
Creative Director, Education Arcade

scot_o@mit.edu
Scot Osterweil 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.
Chris Peterson
Assistant Director MIT Admissions; Instructor, CMS/W

petey@mit.edu
Chris Peterson Chris Peterson works, teaches, and researches at MIT. As an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, he oversees MIT's recruitment and evaluation of top academic and technical talent, as well as advising on communications strategy and strategic initiatives; as a Lecturer in CMS/W, he has taught a popular course surveying social media research and scholarship; as an affiliate of the Center for Civic Media, he helps to lead the Mapping Information Access project. He also serves on the Board of Directors at the National Coalition Against Censorship and as a Fellow at the Digital Ecologies Research Project. When not on campus you can probably find him eating hamburgers nearby.

Thesis: User-Generated Censorship: Manipulating the Maps Of Social Media
Becky Shepardson
Undergraduate Academic Administrator

bshep@mit.edu
Becky Shepardson 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
Steven Strang
Founder and Director of MIT's Writing and Communication Center

smstrang@mit.edu
Steven Strang 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
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
Jessica Tatlock 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
Carole Urbano 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
Sara Verrilli 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
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
Sarah Wolozin 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
Ethan Zuckerman 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.