Alumni of Our Master’s Programs

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
Pulitzer Prize-winner, Reporter at ProPublica

Steven Schirra, ’13
UX Research Manager at YouTube

Aswin Punathambekar, ’03
Founder and Director, Global Media Studies Initiative; Associate Professor & British Academy Global Professor at University of Virginia

Rekha Murthy, ’05
Radio & Podcast Strategist

Anika Gupta, ’16
Senior Product Manager, Digital Product and Technology, The Atlantic

Kendra Pierre-Louis, ’17 </ br>
Senior Reporter, the How to Save a Planet podcast, Gimlet Media

Cara Giaimo, ’15

Cara Giaimo, ’15
Staff Writer, Atlas Obscura

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

All Graduate Program Alumni

Abdul-Kareem Ahmed
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Freelance Science Writer, Scientific American
Thesis: SIGN HERE: Informed Consent in Personalized Medicine
Liam Andrew
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Chief Product Officer, The Texas Tribune
Liam Andrew is a digital media leader, researcher, and software engineer, working at the intersection of journalism and publishing products and technologies. He is the Chief Product Officer at The Texas Tribune, where he leads development on tools for storytelling, membership, revenue, and process for nonprofit newsrooms and local/regional news initiatives. He is excited about extending the abilities of researchers and writers, and finding novel ways to present, promote, preserve, and enrich digital stories. An Iowa native, Liam earned his bachelor's degree in literature and music at Yale University.

Thesis: The Missing Links: An Archaeology of Digital Journalism
Emily Anthes
S.M., Science Writing, 2006
Science Journalist
Thesis: The Chosen Genes: Jews, Genetics, and the Future of Ethnic Medicine
Diego Arenas
S.M., Science Writing, 2019
After countless hours indulging in science podcasts while toiling away at his own experiments at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Diego cannot believe it took him so long to realize he wanted to take part in creating the types of programs that he so often relished. Conducting research confirmed the passion for science Diego nurtured as a Cell and Molecular Biology major at Cornell University, but it was the wait time between experimental steps that led to the biggest personal breakthroughs. In the quiet sanctuary behind the sterile walls of the laboratory, Diego found he was most excited about learning science and devising creative ways to share what he learned with a variety of audiences.

As a first-generation immigrant from Colombia, Diego understands the importance of spreading information for the progress of societies and the individuals they comprise. He has started sharpening his abilities as a science communicator through his work at the American Institutes for Research by developing assessment items that align to the Next Generation of Science Standards. He looks forward to honing his skills at MIT and exploring different forms of multimedia to find his niche within the field.

In his spare time, Diego is either binging the latest television series, crafting a new project, or running to his current music obsession.

Thesis: Minding the Empathy Gap: How Insights into Brains and Behaviors are Placating Polarization
Katie Arthur
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
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 is a producer and digital strategist based in Los Angeles. Since graduating from CMS, Ivan has built the strategic practice for an award-winning digital agency, led the Digital Media division of Lucasfilm and Star Wars, and then launched his own consulting practice focused on fan engagement and activation. He has been named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” and has been described by WIRED as “the secret weapon” behind the biggest entertainment crowdfunding successes of the past decade. He is now the producer of the cult-favorite comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000, and the Executive Producer of Do, Re & Mi, an animated show and app featuring Kristen Bell, that was designed to help pre-schoolers fall in love with music, and airs on Amazon Prime.

Thesis: Television 2.0: Reconceptualizing TV as an Engagement Medium
Alec Austin
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Principal Systems Designer, Kabam
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
Thesis: Superfish: The Coming Blue Revolution
Leslie Baehr
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Self Employed Scientific Content Consultant
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 - "Love & Listings" (VH1) at Purveyors of Pop
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
Research Scientist, MIT Media Lab
Chelsea is a research scientist at MIT, where she examines the spread of algorithmic decision making tools in the US criminal justice system. She works with an amazing group of interdisciplinary researchers, government officials and community organizers to unpack and transform mainstream narratives around criminal justice reform and data-driven decision making.

Formerly, she was the Head of Social Innovation at the MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative, where she examined the social and political implications of cryptocurrencies and decentralized digital infrastructure.

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
Teacher, Pierrepont School; Freelance writer and researcher
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
Environment reporter, CALmatters
Thesis: You Smell: The Mysterious Science of Scent
Jason Begy
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2010
Indexer and Editor
Jason Begy is the owner of Jason Begy Indexing, an indexing service for academic monographs, edited collections and journal supplements in the humanities, social sciences, archaeology and linguistics. He is co-president of the Indexing Society of Canada / Société canadienne d’indexation, and a rulebook editor and indexer for All-Aboard Games. He is also co-author of Players and Their Pets: Gaming Communities from Beta to Sunset (with Mia Consalvo), from University of Minnesota Press."

Thesis: Interpreting Abstract Games: The Metaphorical Potential of Formal Game Elements
Eben Bein
S.M., Science Writing, 2016
Biology and Climate Solutions Educator, Writer
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.

Thesis: Climate Nudges: Psychological Tools to Fix a Warming Planet
Ashley Belanger
S.M., Science Writing, 2020
Ashley Belanger is a journalist whose reporting, features, and essays explore the tensions between what science discovers and what humans experience. Captivated by neuroscience and technology, as an arts critic, she garnered recognition for essays discussing scientific theories in the context of pop music. Through her career, she’s engaged communities both local, as associate editor of Orlando Weekly, and national, as culture writer for the classic television network MeTV. In her freelance reporting, she works to connect public health studies to critical social issues and has generated in-depth web features for Teen Vogue on complex topics, including child marriage and school shootings. She earned a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Florida.

Thesis: Where the Desert Ghost Roams
James (Scott) Berdahl
S.M., Science Writing, 2010
Project Development, VR Resources Ltd.
Thesis: Morning Light: The Secret History of the Tagish Lake Fireball
Dan Bersak
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
Startup Technical Consultant
Thesis: Ethics in Photojournalism: Past, Present, and Future
Vanessa Bertozzi
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
Qualitative Researcher
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
Professor Emeritus, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University
Jim is now Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University, and retired from his regular teaching duties. He continues to work actively on both his research and his art creation. His research interests still include examining the poetics of cinema, video art, and video installations, as well as analyzing the design of interactive narrative in various media forms. His latest scholarly interest is the examination of Virtual Reality environments. He continues to work actively on his own video art, including ambient video works, video installations, and generative video system development. He teaches occasional directed study classes with undergrad and graduate students with interests similar to his, and is also quite active with a group of graduate students working on the analysis of Virtual Reality experience and design. Jim loves to ski tour and bike to help maintain his aging body, but mostly he figures trying to keep up with graduate students is a good way to protect his mind from atrophy.

Thesis: Ceremony of Innocence: A Case Study in the Emergent Poetics of Interactive Narrative
Kristina Bjoran
S.M., Science Writing, 2011
Content Developer, Microsoft
Thesis: Nico’s Bubbles: The Story of a Whale, Some Crows, and the Search for Sentience
Anna Blaustein
S.M., Science Writing, 2021
Anna Blaustein discovered her passion for science writing while harvesting mussels before dawn for a writing assignment at Bowdoin College. Equipped with a notebook, a pen, and foul weather gear, she realized science writing combined her interests in storytelling, science, and adventure.

Her coursework has taken her from the Bay of Fundy to Baja, California. She’s analyzed water samples from Icelandic fjords and studied plant physiology in the American Southwest. At the Arnold Arboretum, she studied how climate change affects grain quality—research which became her honors thesis. Most recently, she’s been communicating public health information as a Massachusetts Contact Tracer.

Anna seeks stories about the intersections of science and society, and her work reveals how research and data relate to the human experience. She hopes to use storytelling to bridge the divide between science and public understanding and to help people connect with each other and the world we share.
Monica Bobra
S.M., Science Writing, 2005
Science and Engineering Associate, Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Stanford University
Thesis: The Endless Mantra: Innovation at the Keck Observatory
Amar Boghani
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Director, Media & Entertainment at PSB Research

Thesis: The City Expressed: Everyday Media Production and the Urban Environment
Iago Bojczuk
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2020
Iago Bojczuk is a Brazilian researcher exploring topics at the intersection of emerging technologies, international development, education, and human rights.

Iago earned a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies from the University of Oregon, where he graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. While at MIT, Iago worked as a research assistant at Global Media Technologies & Cultures Lab with Dr. Lisa Parks, with whom he co-led a J-WEL funded workshop titled SITS (Social IT Solutions) for Computer Science students at the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) in Tanzania and at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) in Brazil. He was also a 2020 recipient of the Lemann Fellowship at MIT.

After graduating from MIT, he held positions with the Office for Europe at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for information and communication technologies, and with the Advocacy & Communications Team at Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. In the fall of 2021, Iago will pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Cambridge.

Apart from academia, Iago enjoys spending time exploring new cultures, laughing with friends, learning foreign languages, and listening to Brazilian Popular Music.

Thesis: Media cartographies of broadband access in Brazil: the case of the Geostationary Defense and Strategic Communications Satellite (SGDC-1) and rural schools
Veronica Bollow
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
Elizabeth Borneman
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2020
Elizabeth is a designer, writer, and researcher interested in how art, computation, and communication can combine to strengthen community structures, and enhance learning across learner backgrounds. A Florida native, Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology from Georgetown University. There she led a research team in the Culture and Emotions Lab investigating the campus climate for patterns in students’ belonging and social engagement across university locations and situational contexts. She also spent a semester in Cape Town, South Africa as a field researcher studying plant systems and animals’ optimal foraging, ideal free distribution, and territorial defense behaviors.

She most recently worked as a designer and programmer artist in Xaq Pitkow’s Computational Neuroscience lab, where she designed and prototyped interactive graphics and games for teaching and communicating concepts in computational neuroscience and in color vision grounded in visual perception. She’s excited about the power of info-visualization. At MIT, Elizabeth works in the Teaching Systems Lab designing multi-media practice spaces and curriculum for equitable teaching in Computer Science and STEM. Outside of study, Elizabeth likes to go dancing, spend time on the water, and explore outdoors.
Katherine Bourzac
S.M., Science Writing, 2004
Science and Technology Journalist
Thesis: Across the Great Divide: Chimeras and Species Boundaries
James Bowie-Wilson
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2019
James Bowie-Wilson is a game developer and entrepreneur. He is passionate about emergent gameplay narratives, and expanding the range of voices shaping those narratives.

Growing up in the winter wonderland of Madison, Wisconsin, he attended the University of Southern California, graduating with degrees in Sociology and Interactive Entertainment. His Honors thesis explored the impact of gender on game developers in leadership positions. He won recognition as a National Merit Finalist, National Achievement Finalist, USC Presidential Scholar, and USC Renaissance Scholar.

He has worked with wonderful teams to build great games. The largest project in USC Advanced Games’ history, “Bloom”, was featured by Intel, GamesBeat, and VentureBeat; “Howie and Yarla” won an IndieCade award for storytelling and was featured by Fox News; “Hare-y Kare-y”, “Dear Humans”, and “Samsong” each won awards at Global Game Jams. He runs Roll Play Studio, an investor and accelerator funded, publisher supported venture with guidance from industry veterans.

When not dancing across keyboards, James breakdances across concrete as a member of Rhythm Attack, an international dance crew centered in Hong Kong.

Thesis: Roguelife: Digital Death in Videogames and Its Design Consequences
Beyza Boyacioglu
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Media Producer and Editor
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
Science Writer, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
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. She then worked 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
Head of Reference Publishing, Oxford University Press
Thesis: Eye to I
Alison Bruzek
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Opinion Audio at the New York Times
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'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
Web Development and Strategy, Little Guy Design
Thesis: When Machines Touch Back: Simulating — and Stimulating — the Most Intimate of Senses
Josefina Buschmann
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2019
Josefina is a researcher and filmmaker working with media to explore the cross between technology, society, and environment. Her background in sociology and filmmaking informs her collaborative practice-based research. Recent projects include the study of predictive policing and atmospheric mediations, from the analysis of satellite geospatial imaging, drones, and the examination of computer vision databases. She is also part of the Chilean film collective MAFI – Filmic Map of a Country.

Thesis: Operational Atmosphere: Mediating Policing in the ‘Fight Against Crime’ and ‘Rural Terrorism’ in Chile
Joseph Calamia
S.M., Science Writing, 2010
Senior Editor, Science & Technology, University of Chicago Press
Joseph Calamia is the senior commissioning editor for the University of Chicago science, technology, and mathematics books program. Recent publications include an updated and illustrated edition of Carl Zimmer's A Planet of Viruses, Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner's Seeing Silicon Valley, Sandra Knapp's Extraordinary Orchids, and Paul Davies' What's Eating the Universe. He comes to Chicago after nearly a decade commissioning books at Yale University Press, where he has worked with authors in digital studies, including Zeynep Tufekci, Kate Crawford, and danah boyd. In the sciences and mathematics, he has published authors including Priyamvada Natarajan, Francis Su, and Marcia Bartusiak. His education is in physics, environmental studies, and science writing, and he holds degrees from Cornell University, Yale University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Thesis: Implanted: Technology and Connection in the Deaf World
Kyrie Eleison Caldwell
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Qualitative Research Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Extension
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
Associate Professor, School of Journalism, Writing, and Media and Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies, University of British Columbia
Candis Callison is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, jointly appointed in the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media and the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. She is the author of How Climate Change Comes to Matter: The Communal Life of Facts (Duke University Press, 2014) and the co-author of Reckoning: Journalism’s Limits and Possibilities (Oxford University Press, 2020). Candis is a citizen of the Tahltan Nation (an Indigenous people located in what is now known as Northern British Columbia), an award-winning former journalist, a Trudeau Foundation Fellow, a member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a regular contributor to the podcast, Media Indigena. She holds a Ph.D. in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society and a Master of Science in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. In 2018, Candis gave the keynote address for MIT's Investiture of Doctoral Hoods. You can find her on Twitter @candiscallison.

Thesis: A Digital Assemblage: Diagramming the Social Realities of the Stikine River Watershed
Jordan Calmes
S.M., Science Writing, 2011
Thesis: Mass Spec: The Biography of a Scientific Instrument
MacGregor Campbell
S.M., Science Writing, 2009
Animator, Oregon Public Broadcasting; Correspondent at New Scientist
Thesis: How to Build a Living Thing
Brett Camper
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2005
Head of Product Development, American Civil Liberties Union
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
Camille Carlisle spends her days thinking about black holes, space missions, and various astronomical gobbledygook. She is the science editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, where she oversees feature articles on all aspects of the science of astronomy, from Martian weather to Big Bang cosmology. She also writes feature articles herself, covers astronomy news for S&T's website, and works with the art director to create infographics for the magazine. She shares her passionate fondness for black holes in her blog, The Black Hole Files. In 2021 she received the Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Science Journalism Award for her May 2020 cover story, "Rugged Worlds."

Before joining S&T's staff in 2011, Camille worked as the fact checker at Science News.

Thesis: Heart of Darkness
Catherine Caruso
S.M., Science Writing, 2016
Writer/Reporter for Cancer Discovery, American Association for Cancer Research
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
Laura Castañón
S.M., Science Writing, 2018
Freelance Science Writer
Laura has never managed to be just one thing. While growing up in Needham, Massachusetts, her indulgent parents allowed her to fill their home with collections of insect molts and unidentified bones as well as the deconstructed remains of old TVs and a ship’s radar. She attended Washington University in St. Louis where she earned a first major in theatrical design and technology and a second in environmental studies, while spending her free time performing story-based comedy. After graduation, her job titles ranged from mad scientist to tall ship bos’n to theatrical carpenter and electrician. She has repaired windsurfers, lectured about climate change, built elaborate golden candelabras, and taught preschoolers how to pet a snail.

Laura sees science writing as the perfect intersection of these disparate interests. Her experiences in performance and education have made her a lively communicator and storyteller, and her dual interests in technology and nature make MIT the ideal place to turn those skills into writing.

Laura has two dogs and a gecko to keep her company through her endeavors. The dogs are a constant delight and remind her that hiking is better than working. The gecko reminds her that she is slightly less important than a piece of banana.

Thesis: The People and the Park: How a Small Mexican Community Created one of the World’s Most Successful Marine Preserves
Diego Cerna Aragon
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2021
Diego Cerna Aragon is a technology and media researcher from Peru. His work focuses on discourse analysis, expert knowledge, and the uses of new technologies. He earned a bachelor's degree in Communication from the University of Lima. In Peru, Diego worked as a communications official and researcher at the Institute of Peruvian Studies, one of the most long-standing think tanks in the country. During this experience, he explored how bureaucrats employed different new technologies, such as digital platforms for technical cooperation and algorithmic systems for socioeconomic classification. Diego has also been involved in political transparency initiatives from civil society. He was part of Open Parliament, a project dedicated to gather, store and publish data from official activities of members of the Peruvian Congress. At MIT, Diego works as a research assistant at the Open Documentary Lab. For his master's thesis, he plans to explore the representation of economic expertise in Peruvian media.
Diego Cerna Aragon is a technology and media researcher from Peru. His work focuses on discourse analysis, expert knowledge, and the uses of new technologies. He earned a bachelor's degree in Communication from the University of Lima.

In Peru, Diego worked as a communications official and researcher at the Institute of Peruvian Studies, one of the most long-standing think tanks in the country. During this experience, he explored how bureaucrats employed different new technologies, such as digital platforms for technical cooperation and algorithmic systems for socioeconomic classification.

Diego has also been involved in political transparency initiatives from civil society. He was part of Open Parliament, a project dedicated to gather, store and publish data from official activities of members of the Peruvian Congress.

Thesis: Disputing Facts, Disputing The Economy: Media Controversies at The Decline of The Peruvian Miracle
Anita Chan
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2002
Associate Research Professor of Communications, University of Illinois
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
Denise Cheng
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2014
Senior User Researcher, Reddit
At MIT, Denise explored how to configure a worker support infrastructure around people who earn income through Etsy, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, UberX and other peer-to-peer marketplaces. She has built strong relationships across the space with city governments, foundations, investors, startups, policy analysts and labor advocacy organizations. As a a former Peace Corps volunteer, the project lead of a well-reputed citizen journalism outlet, an entrepreneurial fellow with CUNY J-School, and many other stints on the way to MIT, her roots are in the future of news, media/digital literacy, media justice, and community building.

Denise holds a B.Phil in Cultural and Participatory Journalism from Miami University of Ohio and an M.S. in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. She is affiliated with the MIT Center for Civic Media and MacroConnections at Media Lab. Like a moth to a flame, she is drawn to DIY media, neighborhoods, design of all types and creating frameworks—media expression or fulfilling work—that enable people to pursue what they find meaningful.

Thesis: Reading Between the Lines: Blueprints for a Worker Support Infrastructure in the Peer Economy
Grace Chua
S.M., Science Writing, 2008
Consultant, Kite Global Advisors
Thesis: Singing the Brain Electric
Anna Chung
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2020
Anna Woorim Chung is a digital media researcher and designer. She explores ways of representing spaces and information through mediums like VR, 360 video, and data visualization.

Born and raised in southeast Michigan, Anna first made her way out west to attend Pomona College, where she studied Media Studies and Computer Science. Along the way, she worked on VR research at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and published a paper on Computer Science education.

Anna’s current projects aim to engage people in understandings of gentrification and civic engagement. At MIT, she joins the Center for Civic Media, where she hopes to continue working on projects and tools that critically examine digital and physical spaces and make them more inclusive.

After school, Anna loves exploring cities, playing basketball, improving her Korean, and napping.

Thesis: Subverting the Algorithm: Examining Anti-Algorithmic Tactics on Social Media
Allyson Collins
S.M., Science Writing, 2008
Senior Director of Digital Communications at NYU Langone Health
Thesis: Sense and Sense-ability: The Artful Science of Hands-on Medicine
Gillian Conahan
S.M., Science Writing, 2011
Thesis: Bulletproof Gossamer: Spinning a Superfiber
Cynthia Conti
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2001
Professor, Clark University
Thesis: “Stepping Up to the Mic”: Le Tigre Strategies Third Wave Feminist Activism Through Music and Performance
Anne-Marie Corley
S.M., Science Writing, 2009
Freelance writer and editor
Anne-Marie is a former U.S. Air Force officer turned science writer and yoga teacher who's returned to her roots as a traveler and free spirit. Her educational background in physics and Russian complements her interest in life cycles, Earth-based spirituality, and empowering women to trust their bodies and their voices. Most of her current writing is based on her personal journeys, both inner and outer.

Thesis: Reentry
Christina Couch
S.M., Science Writing, 2015
Freelance Writer, Administrative Assistant II for the MIT Communications Forum
Christina Couch Christina Couch is a human interest and finance journalist who’s making the transition into science writing. Her writing credentials include work for Wired Magazine, Discover Magazine, The AV Club,, Time Out Chicago and Entrepreneur Magazine and she’s the author of a financial aid guidebook that came out in 2008, but what she’s most proud of is getting to gesture wildly and say “TODAY I INTERVIEWED THE MOST AMAZING PERSON ON EARTH!” to family and friends at least once a week. Christina has spent the last five years living as a permanent traveler and moving to a different city or country roughly every three months (thank you remote work technology). Aside from travel and space and robots (and traveling space robots), Christina’s interests include awkward dancing, indie videogames and the first three Die Hard movies.

Thesis: Life After Hate: Recovering From Racism
Josh Cowls
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
Data Ethics Researcher at The Alan Turing Institute
Josh Cowls is a graduate of MIT's Comparative Media Studies program, having previously gained degrees from the universities of Exeter and Oxford in the UK. While with CMS, Josh wrote his thesis on the impact of social media on the 2016 presidential election. After graduating from the program, Josh returned to the UK, and he can now be found researching data ethics at the Alan Turing Institute in the British Library in London.

Thesis: From Trump Tower to the White House, in 140 Characters: The Hyper-Mediated Election of a Paranoid Populist President
Stephen Craft
S.M., Science Writing, 2012
Systems Engineer
Thesis: Stronger: The Architects of a New Intelligence
Heather Craig
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Thesis: Interactive Data Narrative: Designing for Public Engagement
Selby Cull
S.M., Science Writing, 2006
Associate Professor of Geology, Bryn Mawr College
Thesis: From Gondwanaland, with Love: The Tale of How Boston Got Its Rocks
Tracy Daniels
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2008
Thesis: Hybrid Cinematics: Rethinking the Role of Filmmakers of Color in American Cinema
Michael Danziger
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2008
Principal Software Engineer, Precision Health AI
Thesis: Information Visualization for the People
Abhimanyu Das
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Thesis: Indian Comics as Public Culture
Aashka Dave
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2018
Doctoral Student in Information Studies at UNC Chapel Hill
Thesis: When to Start Freaking Out: Audience Engagement on Social Media During Disease Outbreaks
Rodrigo Davies
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2014
Product Manager at Asana
Rodrigo is a product manager at Asana in San Francisco, and focuses on bringing clarity to how teams collaborate and get work done. Previously he has served on product teams tackling complex problems in sectors including transportation (Strava Metro), finance (Neighborly), community organizing (Spacehive) and emerging market media (Conde Nast). In his spare time, Rodrigo serves on the advisory board of Build Up, an award-winning non-profit he co-founded, and two San Francisco-based organizations, Youth Art Exchange and the Immigration Institute of the Bay Area.
Robert Davis
S.M., Science Writing, 2021
Robert Davis is a writer and communications professional with nearly a decade of experience in the fields of corporate communications and content marketing. Prior to joining the Graduate Program in Science Writing, Robert served as content director at The Bulleit Group—a San Francisco-based PR firm servicing clients across a range of technology verticals including AI, cybersecurity, and alternative energy. Before that, he spent several years working as a corporate communications specialist for advertising agencies and digital publishers.

Robert is an accomplished writer, editor, marketer, and strategist with a fierce passion for technology. His work on behalf of tech industry clients has been published in outlets like Venture Beat, Morning Consult, Forbes, Inside Big Data, Robotics Business Review, Renewable Energy World, and Electronic Health Reporter. Robert’s primary writing interests include artificial intelligence, data science, data ownership, and global supply chains.
Fernanda de Araújo Ferreira
S.M., Science Writing, 2020
Fernanda de Araújo Ferreira watched her first science classes from under a desk, drawing while her mother taught plate tectonics to geology students. She took her first official university-level science classes while majoring in General Biology at the Universidade de Brasília (UnB) in Brazil and is now completing her Ph.D. in Virology, studying the nature of the latent reservoir of HIV-2, at Harvard University.

She initially got into science writing as an excuse to take deep dives into various areas of science, from zoopharmacognosy to AI, that were not HIV-2. After writing for Harvard’s Science in the News and GSAS Bulletin, as well as taking courses through Harvard’s creative writing program, she’s excited to pursue science journalism full-time. She writes about all areas of science (including math!), but has a special love for infectious diseases and, unsurprisingly, plate tectonics.

Thesis: Unraveling The High Heel
Erica Deahl
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2014
Design Manager, Khan Academy
Erica Deahl is a designer and researcher creating media for education and social impact. She co-leads the City Digits project at MIT's Civic Data Design Lab, developing classroom curricula and building geo-spatial tools to help high school students conduct data-driven urban investigations. Erica is currently an S.M. candidate in the Comparative Media Studies program, where her research focuses on using digital media in K-12 public education to support technological literacies and promote civic engagement. Previously she was a senior designer at 2x4 in New York City, where she designed and managed interactive projects for cultural sector clients.

Thesis: Better the Data You Know: Developing Youth Data Literacy in Schools and Informal Learning Environments
Josh Diaz
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Systems Designer, ArenaNet
Thesis: Dwarf Fortress Gathers at the Statue and Attends a Party
Timothy James Dimacali
S.M., Science Writing, 2018
TJ grew up in Manila, the Philippines, on a staple of vintage comics and classic sci-fi, which instilled in him a lifelong love for literature and science. After graduating with a creative writing degree from the University of the Philippines, TJ found himself pursuing a variety of odd jobs from financial news info editor to cultural commission speechwriter to advertising copywriter. He put this diverse experience to good use when he eventually landed a job as Science and Technology Editor at GMA Network, one of the country’s largest media companies. He managed to secure some accolades along the way, including the Philippine government’s Gawad Scriba Award for Science Communicators. He is also an alumnus of the Asia Journalism Fellowship, the Netherlands Fellowship Program, CERN School Philippines, the Silliman University National Writers Workshop, and the Iligan National Writers Workshop. His sci-fi short stories, which often blend Philippine history and mythology, have appeared in local and foreign anthologies. TJ attended MIT as a Fulbright scholar—like Dolph Lundgren, only a bit less buff.

Since 2020, TJ has been a communications consultant for the Probe Media Foundation, the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). He is the chief editor of the NAST's Foresight 2050 project, an ambitious 30-year projection of science and technology trends in the Philippines. He also supports STEM education through his regular contributions to Batobalani Magazine and Asian Scientist Magazine.

Thesis: From the Sea to the Stars: The Forgotten Journeys of the Philippines’ Ancient Explorers
Sue Ding
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
Filmmaker and Senior Programmer for New Media, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Sue Ding is documentary filmmaker and emerging media consultant based in Los Angeles. As a freelance filmmaker, she directs and produces nonfiction media—from feature documentaries to 360 videos—with a focus on identity, storytelling, and visual culture. She also consults on interactive, immersive, and multiplatform projects, writes about documentary and emerging media, and serves as Senior Programmer for New Media at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. She is currently producing an audio AR experience for Manzanar National Historic Site.

Thesis: Re-Enchanting Spaces: Location-based Media, Participatory Documentary, and Augmented Reality
Nadya Direkova
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2003
Director, Research and Design, Airbnb
Nadya is a designer and leader focused on speed of innovation. She's worked on products for all ages and global audiences, including making educational toys at Leapfrog and designing local search experiences at Google. She's best known for her work in defining a flexible framework for leading design sprints at scale at Google, leading over 100 design sprints and training 300+ design leaders through Sprint Master Academy.

Thesis: Bilingual By Design: A Design Study of Toy Design and Material Play Culture for Children Bilingual in French and English
Ana Domb
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Consultant in UX research and Strategy
Thesis: “Fire, Lights, Everything!”: Exploring Symbolic Capital in the Tecnobrega Dance Scene
Audubon Dougherty
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2010
Solution Principal, Experience Design at Slalom Consulting
UX and product strategist, researcher and designer in NYC. Works at Slalom Consulting.

Thesis: New Medium, New Practice: Civic Production in Live-Streaming Mobile Video
William Dowd
S.M., Science Writing, 2007
Thesis: A Bright Idea?: The Promise and Peril of a Memory Drug
Kaelan Doyle-Myerscough
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2018
Freelance journalist
Kaelan Doyle Myerscough is a writer and academic. She graduated in June 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts with honors in East Asian Studies at McGill University, and wrote her thesis on competitive online gaming communities of the popular franchise Pokémon. Her research interests include transnational new media industries, fan cultures, and emergent forms of academic creation and expression.

Her published work includes an essay on intertextuality between online communities, social activism and Jia Zhangke’s 2013 film A Touch of Sin; a comic/manga adaptation of excerpts from Kathleen Stewart’s Ordinary Affects; and (forthcoming) an essay on resonances between Homer’s Iliad and the 2013 TV series Hannibal. In her free time, Kaelan enjoys writing, drawing, video games, and spur-of-the-moment crafting projects.

Thesis: Intimate Worlds: Reading for Intimate Affects in Contemporary Video Games
Kevin Driscoll
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
Kevin Driscoll is an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia where he specializes in technology, culture, and communication. His recent research concerns alternative histories of the internet, the politics of amateur telecommunications, and the moral economy of consumer software. In collaboration with Julien Mailland from Indiana University, he published Minitel: Welcome to the Internet, a cultural and technological history of the French videotex network (MIT Press, 2017). His next book, The Modem World, traces a pre-history of social media through the dial-up bulletin board systems of the 1980s and 1990s (Yale University Press, 2022).

Thesis: Stepping Your Game Up: Technical Innovation Among Young People of Color in Hip-Hop
Kristina Drzaic
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Lead Narrative Designer at Amazon Game Studios
Thesis: Oh No I’m Toast!: Mastering Videogame Secrets in Theory and Practice
Julia Duke
SM, Science Writing, 2014
Recognition Coordinator, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Donor Relations at Harvard University
Julia’s first book told the story of an “ugly” dinosaur who, à la “The Ugly Duckling,” had simply been hanging around with a dissimilar species. This story foreshadowed some of Julia’s life passions, including writing, studying evolutionary biology and history, and spending time with animals of the non-human variety. Julia grew up an aspiring veterinarian in St. Louis and entered Harvard College an aspiring writer. She exited college with a History of Science degree, having satisfactorily indulged her simultaneous loves for science and writing – particularly in an honors thesis her senior year, in which she explored anthropomorphism and scientific story-telling in the age of Darwin. Julia then worked happily alongside scientists and animals in the Conservation & Science department of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo for two years.

She can often be found volunteering at wildlife rehabilitation centers, petting strangers’ dogs, and searching for bits of wilderness in the city.

Thesis: The Beast Within: Measuring the Minds of Zoo Animals
Hannah Cheng
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Freelance Editor
Thesis: Take Two Notes and Call Me in the Morning: The Science of Music Therapy
Suruchi Dumpawar
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Senior UX Consultant, Mirum Agency
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.

Thesis: Open Government Data Intermediaries: Mediating Data to Drive Changes in the Built Environment
Stephanie Dutchen
S.M., Science Writing, 2009
Manager of Feature Content and Multimedia, Harvard Medical School
Thesis: Lessons from a Rare Disease
Joellen Easton
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2005
Director, Audience Development, Bangor Daily News
In late 2015 Joellen Easton left nonprofit media for the first time in her career, and also made the daring move back to Maine from Southern California (in the winter!). She now serves as the digital product manager for the Bangor Daily News, where her one big goal is to make digital revenue overtake print revenue as quickly as possible, through launching of new products, optimization of digital performance, and innovation. Formerly she worked for American Public Media, leading the creation and partnership development of the Public Insight Network, a platform for digital editorial engagement.

Thesis: High-Interactivity Radio: Using the Internet to Enhance Community Among Radio Listeners
Katie Edgerton
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
TV Writer
Katie Edgerton is a TV writer living in Los Angeles. She's worked on Y: The Last Man (FX), Halt and Catch Fire (AMC), and other series.
M C Elish
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2010
Researcher, Data & Society
Madeleine Clare Elish is a Senior Research Scientist working with Google Research's Ethical AI team. Previously, she co-founded and led the AI on the Ground Initiative at Data & Society Research Institute, an independent nonprofit research organization focused on social implications of data-centric technologies & automation.

As a cultural anthropologist, her work examines the social impacts of AI and automation on society. She has conducted field work across varied industries and communities, ranging from the Air Force, the driverless car industry, and commercial aviation to precision agriculture and emergency healthcare. Her research has been published and cited in scholarly journals as well as publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, Wired, and MIT Tech Review. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University and an S.M. in Comparative Media Studies from MIT.

Thesis: The Evolution of Intimacy: Advertising Personal Computers in the 1980s
Michael Epstein
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2004
Founder, Walking Cinema
Michael is a screenwriter, transmedia director, and expert in place-based storytelling. His work is a direct extension of his thesis "Moving Fiction" discussing models for mobile storytelling. In 2006, Michael founded Walking Cinema, an interactive storytelling studio comprised of filmmakers, developers, and designers specializing in cinematic applications for mobile devices. The company has developed cross-platform apps for MTV, PBS, the Venice Biennale, Audible and many museum and broadcast clients.
Walking Cinema's 2009 project MURDER ON BEACON HILL extended a PBS American Experience documentary into the streets of Boston as a mobile app. The project was the first iPhone app to win an award at a major film festival and has garnered international press. In 2013 Michael directed the Gold Muse-winning WALKING CINEMA: POSTS FROM GLOUCESTER, a handheld documentary a young woman channeling her family’s traditions via a series of postcards from the past.
Michael is currently working on the NEH-funded WALKING CINEMA: MUSEUM OF THE HIDDEN CITY, a hybrid popup museum/documentary about this history of affordable housing in San Francisco. He is also developing two original podcast series for Audible: PEN & PLACE (travel with authors to the places that inspire their writing) and UNCANNY VALLEY (comedy audiobook about an artist/entrepreneur developing a technology to send your smell to others.)

Thesis: Moving Fiction
Libby Falck
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2019
Libby Falck is an entrepreneur, designer and multimedia artist based in Cambridge, MA. She geeks out about helping communities use design thinking and making to tackle social and environmental issues. She is previously the co-founder of IDEAco, the writer and lead creator of the K-12 design thinking curriculum the City X Project, the organizer of San Francisco’s first Youth Civic Hackathon, and the writer and designer of Autodesk's Maker Program Starter Kit. Libby completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she studied communications and game-based learning. She is also a graduate of the Singularity University Global Solutions Program (2012) and the 4.0 Schools Launch Accelerator (2014).

Libby’s research is focused on using new media to enable individuals to collaboratively redesign public systems, particularly those related to education and governance. Her mission is to develop tools and experiences that transform issues into actions, empowering more people to design and implement solutions toward building a world that works. Find her on Twitter @LibbyFalck for news on #GBL #digitalcitizenship #worldbuilding #designthinking #FutureofWork #civichacking #rethinkhighschool.

Thesis: Play for Change: Educational Game Design for Grassroots Organizing
Joshua Feblowitz
S.M., Science Writing, 2010
Assistant Medical Director of Frederick Health Hospital Emergency Department
Joshua Feblowitz, M.D., M.S., is the assistant medical director of Frederick Health Hospital Emergency Department in Frederick, Maryland, and an attending physician with Sound Physicians. He completed his residency training at Brigham & Women's Hospital / Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and subsequently worked as an attending emergency physician and administrative fellow at Carroll Hospital in Westminster, Maryland. He also works as the Senior Medical Editor for the educational simulation app Full Code ( His science writing has been published in the NYU Physician, Living Without, and multiple Children’s Hospital Boston publications (Dream, Vector, Pediatric Views, Thriving). His research in healthcare IT and clinical decision support has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Applied Clinical Informatics, Annals of Emergency Medicine and others. He graduated from Harvard in 2009 with a degree in American History & Literature and completed MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing in 2010. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 2015. He grew up in Winchester, MA, and now lives in Frederick, MD.

Thesis: Computer, MD
Clara Fernandez-Vara
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2004
Associate Arts Professor, NYU Game Center
Chief Narrative Officer, Empathy Box
Clara is a game scholar, designer and writer. Her main research interest is the study of narrative in games and how it can integrate with game design, focusing on adventure games. She is particularly interested in applying methods from textual analysis and performance studies to the study of video games and transmedia artifacts. Clara’s videogame work is grounded in the humanities, informed by her background in literature, film and theatre. Her first book, Introduction to Game Analysis, has been published by Routledge.

Thesis: Orson Welles’ Intermedial Versions of Shakespearian Theatre, Radio and Film
Amanda Finkelberg
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Vice President of Product, Hippo Education
Finkelberg is the Senior Director of Product for Hippo Education and is on a mission to make better medical education for every clinician. She holds two degrees in Media including an MS from CMSW focused on new technologies and future of education. Prior to her move to education design, Finkelberg ran a small LA-based visual effects and animation company which provided artwork for feature films and commercials and capped a long career in VFX at ILM, Sony and Digital Domain features. She has been teaching and developing curriculum at the college level for the last decade.

Thesis: Space, Place, and Database: Layers of Digital Cartography
Julie Fischer
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2014
Senior User Experience Researcher at HubSpot
Julie Fischer is a skilled and adaptable researcher with expertise in story development for major media projects. Her credits include researcher for documentary films The Unknown Known (2014) and Tabloid (2010). Her current work focuses on the strategic integration of live video technologies in documentary media, and the potentials of WebRTC to transform interactive storytelling. She was a research assistant at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, a group dedicated to building the field of interactive documentary.

Thesis: To Create Live Treatments of Actuality: An Investigation of the Emerging Field of Live Documentary Practice
Garret Fitzpatrick
S.M., Science Writing, 2012
Head of Products at Shell TechWorks
Garret Fitzpatrick is a Senior Systems Engineer at Shell TechWorks in Cambridge, MA, where he uses his background in Aerospace Engineering and Science Writing to help address some of the biggest challenges in the energy industry.

Before joining TechWorks, Garret spent ten years at NASA as a Lead Project Engineer on a cell biology payload designed for the International Space Station and as a Shuttle Crew Escape Engineer responsible for life support equipment on the Space Shuttle.

He holds a B.S. in Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a M.S. in Science Writing from MIT. Garret is passionate about exploration and enjoys fishing, skiing, writing, and traveling. He has lived and studied in Ireland, Russia, and India.

Thesis: Searching for Life Where the Sun Don’t Shine: Explorations to the Seafloors of Earth and Europa
Brittany Flaherty
S.M., Science Writing, 2019
Freelance science writer
Brittany is a Boston-based science writer and “just-for-fun” blogger who grew up exploring the wooded trails and apple orchards of Harvard, MA. When she recently asked her parents about her career ambitions as a kid, Brittany was told, “You just liked nature and reading.” Not much has changed: from aspiring “nature reader” to budding science writer, Brittany has long loved to explore her surroundings and the power of communication. Delighted to learn that she didn’t have to choose just one of her passions, Brittany studied biology, environmental studies, and English at William Smith College. She began to ardently write about her scientific interests at the nexus of medicine, health, and the environment. After graduation, she moved to Vancouver and conducted Fulbright research that examined emerging challenges for the United States and Canada in managing their transboundary water. Brittany then returned to Boston and has written about cancer biology and research for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute since 2012. Brittany is thrilled to join the Graduate Program in Science Writing at MIT, where she hopes to learn more about how best to connect society with science. An avid runner, skier, and yogi, Brittany writes about language and movement on

Thesis: The Conservation Sacrifice: How Far New Zealand Will Go To Save Its Birds
Sean Flynn
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Program Director, Points North Institute
Sean Flynn is a Co-Founder and Program Director at the Points North Institute, a media arts organization that produces the Camden International Film Festival and other artist support programs that serve as a launching pad for the next generation of nonfiction storytellers. Sean received a master’s degree from MIT’s Comparative Media Studies department, where he worked as a researcher at the MIT Open Documentary Lab. Sean began his career in documentary as a producer and cinematographer working on two feature-length films, BEYOND BELIEF and THE LIST, both of which had their premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and aired on national television. In 2012, Sean was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in Mumbai, where he investigated the emergence of the slum tourism industry. In 2015, he was selected for the NAMAC Creative Leadership Lab.

Thesis: Evaluating Interactive Documentaries: Audience, Impact and Innovation in Public Interest Media
Sam Ford
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Media innovation. Audience engagement. Cultural intelligence. Storytelling experimentation.
Sam Ford works on models, strategies, and implementation for media innovation, audience engagement, cultural intelligence, and storytelling experimentation. He has provided these services to a wide range of organizations, including ViacomCBS/Simon & Schuster, Univision/Fusion Media Group, Peppercomm, WNYC/New York Public Radio, Lowe’s/Orchard Supply Hardware, the University of Southern California, ORBmedia, MacArthur Foundation, Microsoft, The Coca-Cola Company, Poynter, the U.S. Department of State, and the American Press Institute.

Sam is also a research affiliate of MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing, a Knight News Innovation Fellow with Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism, an adjunct instructor in the Department of Communication at Western Kentucky University, and executive director of the nonprofit Accelerate Kentucky.

Sam is co-author, with Henry Jenkins and Joshua Green, of the 2013 NYU Press book Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, a result of the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium research group he co-founded and helped manage. He is also co-editor, with Abigail De Kosnik and C. Lee Harrington, of the 2011 book The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era, and has published more than 25 academic essays on media fandom, transmedia storytelling, professional wrestling, soap operas, the marketing and communications world, and a range of other subjects.

Sam lives in Bowling Green, KY, with wife Amanda and daughters Collins, Harper, and Emma. More at his site.

Thesis: As the World Turns in a Convergence Culture
Jennifer Frazer
S.M., Science Writing, 2004
Freelance Science Writer/Blogger, Scientific American
Thesis: Mold Fever: How a Bizarre Life Form Penetrated Popular Consciousness and Launched a Creeping Hysteria
Eva Frederick
S.M., Science Writing, 2019
Science Writer and Webmaster, Whitehead Institute
Eva spent the long afternoons of her childhood in Sheffield, England, collecting snails from under the rocks at the bottom of her garden. The oldest daughter of an archaeologist and a writer, Eva was raised to value both science and storytelling, and often combined the two. Under her guidance, the snails’ everyday lives became thrilling exploits which she often related to friends, family, or anyone who would listen. These first experiences sparked her interest in communicating her enthusiasm about science and the natural world.

Though still an avid snail fan, Eva’s interests have broadened considerably since her rainy English childhood. Eva went on to major in journalism and biology at The University of Texas at Austin, where she made a brief foray into research, studying bacteria living in honeybees’ guts. Her junior year, she began working at UT’s school newspaper, The Daily Texan, and co-founded the Science & Technology section, later serving as managing editor. Since then, Eva has interned with Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, where she crafted stories about Texas animals and ghost towns, and also with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where she taught kids about bugs, birds, and native plants. In her free time, Eva enjoys hiking, making plant-themed cupcakes, and growing tomato plants in her hydroponic garden.

Eva hopes to use her career to make science more accessible to the public and increase scientific literacy. You can follow her on Twitter @EvaCharlesAnna.

Thesis: Plague of Absence: Insect Declines and The Fate of Ecosystems
Will Freudenheim
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2021
Will Freudenheim is a researcher and game designer. His work is focused on investigating how people read and ascribe meaning to their environments through emerging media platforms, and considering new applications of contextual media in the development of educational tools. Will graduated from Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Science in Society. His honors thesis presented a theoretical framework called the “embodied interface” to study the unique facets of augmented reality, examining the relationships between graphical interfaces, locative media, human environmental perception, and networks of human and algorithmic actors in the production of experiences of space. Recently, Will worked as a game designer and resident at NYU’s Game Center Incubator, where he co-led the development of a puzzle and exploration game called Crosshatch. At MIT, Will joins the Education Arcade, where he hopes to participate in creating games and systems to invite students to develop new understandings of their environments. In his free time, Will likes to compose music and sound design for independent animators.
Will Freudenheim is a researcher and game designer. His work is focused on investigating how people read and ascribe meaning to their environments through emerging media platforms, and considering new applications of contextual media in the development of educational tools.

Will graduated from Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Science in Society. His honors thesis presented a theoretical framework called the “embodied interface” to study the unique facets of augmented reality, examining the relationships between graphical interfaces, locative media, human environmental perception, and networks of human and algorithmic actors in the production of experiences of space. Recently, Will worked as a game designer and resident at NYU’s Game Center Incubator, where he co-led the development of a puzzle and exploration game called Crosshatch. At MIT, Will joins the Education Arcade, where he hopes to participate in creating games and systems to invite students to develop new understandings of their environments.

In his free time, Will likes to compose music and sound design for independent animators.

Thesis: The Network and the Classroom: A History of Hypermedia Learning Environments
Greta Friar
S.M., Science Writing, 2017
Science Communications Officer at Whitehead Institute
Greta Friar is a science writer living in the Boston area. She can be reached by email at or on twitter @gretafriar.
Rachel Fritts
S.M., Science Writing, 2020
Science and Environmental Writer
Rachel Fritts is a science and environmental writer who covers a range of topics including conservation, biology, and the Earth sciences. She is currently a news intern at Science, and her freelance work has appeared in a wide variety of publications including The Guardian, Audubon, Mongabay, InsideClimate News, Science News, Eos, and Hakai. You can find her on Twitter @rachel_fritts.

Thesis: Plague On The Prairie: The Fight To Save Black-Footed Ferrets From The West’s Most Insidious Disease
Florence Gallez
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2012
Florence Gallez is an independent documentary photojournalist and black-and-white photographer from Brussels, Belgium, currently based in Paris. Gallez received a BA degree in English and Russian from the University of London in 1996, an MSc in journalism from Boston University in 1999, and a digital media-focused MSc in Comparative Media Studies from MIT in 2012. She spent eight years as a Moscow-based journalist covering Russian politics, economics, society, and culture for The Moscow Times, the U.S. publisher Bureau of National Affairs (Bloomberg BNA), and most recently CNN's Moscow Bureau.

In December 2017 Gallez published her first photo book, 'Flow and Reflections', a photographic journey through Russia, Cuba, Belgium, and the United States, whose photographs were first presented in her debut exhibition of the same name in Moscow on March 13-15, 2015.

As a photographer of social documentaries, she seeks to bring more visibility to people who are in challenging situations and often not cared for by society, especially women and children. In Paris, she is contributing local and international news and social documentaries to the French photo agency Wostok Press, Dodho Magazine, and Social Documentary Network. In 2020 she started to work as a photojournalist for the Russian news agency Sputnik / Rossiya Segodnya.


Thesis: A Proposal for a Code of Ethics for Collaborative Journalism in the Digital Age: The Open Park Code
Katharine Gammon
S.M., Science Writing, 2007
Freelance Science Writer
Thesis: Changing Her Tune: How a Transsexual Woman Claims a New Identity through Voice
Cristobal Garcia
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2004
Ph.D. Researcher & Innovation Group Co-Founder, Imperial College London's Dyson School of Design Engineering
Thesis: Spacing Innovation and Learning in Design Organizations
Mariel García-Montes
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2018
Mariel García-Montes, @faeriedevilish, joins the CMS program and the Center of Civic Media to ponder the questions she asked herself (without the chances to formally explore) throughout her work in tech capacity building in civil society in Mexico and Latin America – especially those around youth, media, civic/moral education and digital literacies.

She has worked doing communications, instructional design and research around open data, privacy and security, strategic communications and other digital literacies for SocialTIC (Mexico), Unicef (HQ); as a consultant for School of Data, the Open Knowledge Foundation, the engine room and Internews; and as an intern for the Youth and Media Lab at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She is a philosophy graduate from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and a Berkman Klein Center affiliate.

Mariel loves passionate opinions in the intersections of technology and society, creative communications efforts, random acts of kindness, passport stamps...and both eating and dancing salsa.

Thesis: Just Say No to “Just Say No”: Tensions in Organizational Approaches to Youth and Online Privacy in the Americas
Conor Gearin
S.M., Science Writing, 2016
Digital Producer, BirdNote
Conor Gearin is a writer, editor and digital media producer from St. Louis living in Rhode Island. He's a Digital Producer for BirdNote, where he helps create daily radio programs about birds as well as the Threatened and Bring Birds Back podcasts. His work has appeared in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2019, The Atlantic, Undark, The Millions, The New Territory, New Scientist, and elsewhere. He co-created and co-hosted the BioGenesis podcast with fellow GPSW alum Raleigh McElvery. He received an S.M. in Science Writing at MIT and an M.S. in Biology at the University of Nebraska Omaha, where he completed thesis research on grassland bird conservation. He writes a newsletter about local wildlife and landscapes called Possum Notes. Favorite bird? Common Yellowthroat.

Thesis: Evolution in the Cornbelt: How a Few Special Species Are Adapting to Industrial Agriculture
Claudia Geib
S.M., Science Writing, 2016
Freelance Science Writer
Claudia grew up on Long Island, New York, where she spent her formative years wading into tide pools and staring off at the horizon in search of whales. She spent her undergraduate years at Northeastern University pursuing degrees in Journalism and Environmental Science, while using any free space in her schedule to indulge her interest in marine science– from helping with the necropsy of a 9-foot seal at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, to hauling lines on a 134-foot tall sailing ship off of New Zealand with Sea Education Association. After her classwork at MIT, she completed an internship with Nautilus Magazine in New York. Claudia is currently based on Cape Cod and working as a freelance writer, editor, and film researcher. In 2020, she was Mongabay's inaugural Sue Palminteri Wildtech Reporting Fellow, where she covered the intersection of conservation and technology. She is also a fact-checker for the Gimlet podcast How to Save A Planet. You can find her work at

Thesis: Swimming Sentinels: Climate Clues from Stranded Marine Mammals
Cara Giaimo
S.M., Science Writing, 2015
Staff Writer, Atlas Obscura
Cara Giaimo Cara Giaimo is a freelance animal and plant correspondent for the New York Times, Anthropocene Magazine, Fabrikzeitung and elsewhere. In addition, CJG is currently putting together an enormous book about wildlife for Atlas Obscura, and writing a middle-grade book about gainfully employed, super-sensing animals with former classmate Chris Couch. Cara holds one Master's degree in science writing from MIT, and one bachelor's degree in English and biology from Amherst College. You can find Cara at, on Twitter @cjgiaimo, or walking two cats around Somerville, MA.

Thesis: The Mascot and the Refugee: Survival Strategies for the New Urban Jungle
Anne Glausser
S.M., Science Writing, 2009
Assistant Station Manager, Ideastream Public Media, Cleveland’s NPR/PBS station
Thesis: The Placenta’s Second Life
Ali Gold
S.M., Science Writing, 2021
Ali Gold believes that the best way to learn about anything is to write about it. By the third grade, Ali knew she wanted to be a writer. Ali was raised in St. Louis, Missouri by a doctor and a nurse who taught her that accurate health information can be the most empowering and essential information a person can have. During high school, Ali realized she could combine her interests in writing and science, and so her unwavering interest in science writing began.

At Washington University in St. Louis, Ali studied Psychological and Brain Sciences, Writing, and Communication Design, and served as a senior editor of the university newspaper for three years. During her time in college, Ali also freelanced and interned for several news publications, as well as for the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and NYU Langone Health. Her favorite stories to write have been those that explore the intersection of policy and individual experience­, including public hospital reform in Denmark, medical marijuana legislation in Missouri and Illinois, and Title IX procedures at her own university.
Alexandre Goncalves
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2014
Ph.D. candidate, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
During his master's program, Alexandre Gonçalves investigated recent controversies in Brazil across both traditional and independent media that have led to social and legal changes. He is interested in issues such as agenda-setting, framing analysis, and public opinion. These interests are fueled by his experience in the media and his knowledge of information technology – especially databases and natural language processing.

He also worked as a reporter at the Brazilian daily newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, where he covered biotechnology and science policy.

Before becoming a journalist, he had worked as an information architect at many software companies.

Thesis: Conflicting Frames: The Dispute Over the Meaning of Rolezinhos in Brazilian Media
Desi Gonzalez
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Director of Product at Verb
Desi Gonzalez leads the design and and development of digital experiences for culture and learning. Puerto Rico-born, Maryland-raised, and now based in Austin, Texas, she is currently the Director of Product at Verb.

Previously, she has led digital strategy at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, built digital tools for the emerging middle class in Peru, developed hands-on learning spaces at the Museum of Modern Art, and managed a kids website at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her writing has been featured in publications including Art in America, Art Papers, Indiewire, and The Brooklyn Rail. She has been invited to speak about art, design, and technology at events held by organizations including SXSW, Google Design, and We Are Museums.

She holds a B.A. in linguistics and art history from Emory University and an M.S. in comparative media studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Thesis: Museum Making: Creating with New Technologies in Art Museums
Amulya Gopalakrishnan
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
Reporter, Times of India
Thesis: Web of Words: Poetry, Fandom and Globality
Elyse Graham
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Associate Professor, Stony Brook University
Elyse Graham is Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at Stony Brook University. She has published three books with Stanford University Press, McGill-Queen's University Press, and Oxford University Press, including the Amazon bestseller You Talkin' to Me?: The Unruly History of New York English.

Thesis: Remaking English Literature: Editors at Work Between Media
Matt Graydon
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2019
Matt Graydon graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Film.

He joined CMS after working as a media and communications specialist with the United Nations in Iraq, South Sudan and Afghanistan, where he focused on migration and refugee issues in humanitarian and development contexts.

He is interested in how practices like migration are shaped by technology, the role of the media in conflict, and the use of state-sponsored media as a foreign policy tool.

Thesis: Manufacturing Dissent: Assessing the Methods and Impact of RT (Russia Today)
Michael Greshko
S.M., Science Writing, 2015
Science Writer, National Geographic
Michael Greshko grew up in Huntersville, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte. Ever since he first sported a bowl cut—thankfully, many years ago—he’s been interested in both creating and sharing moments of wonder with others, leading him to science, writing, and performance. Michael recently graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Spanish. Outside of the classroom, he split his time between working in a paleoecology lab, writing article series for the student newspaper, and performing in student-produced musicals. Needless to say, he’s most comfortable at the nexus of the arts and the sciences. Michael is currently orbiting the binary stars of journalism and research science, hoping to live happily on this professional Tatooine as a science communicator and academic. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, graphic design, SyFy Channel Original Movies, and hiking. He is also a part-time magician and maintains a respectable playing card collection.

Thesis: There and Back Again?: Reproducibility and the Hunt for a Human Compass Sense
Elizabeth Gribkoff
S.M., Science Writing, 2021
Elizabeth Gribkoff is an environmental journalist with experience in political, investigative, and science reporting. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a minor in Spanish from the University of Vermont. After college, Elizabeth did stints building trails in Northern California, researching bees on Vermont blueberry farms, and helping clients close deals at a corporate law firm.

Wanting to combine her passions for writing and environmental issues, Elizabeth landed an internship at online investigative news site She shortly moved into the full-time role of energy and environment reporter, where she covered topics ranging from cyanobacteria blooms to solar development over the past two years. When not writing, she can be found camping, swimming, cooking, backpacking and practicing her Spanish.
Neal Grigsby
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Product Manager, Unity
Thesis: A Ceaseless Becoming: Narratives of Adolescence Across Media
Giorgia Guglielmi
S.M., Science Writing, 2017
Freelance science writer; Communications manager at FMI Basel
Giorgia Guglielmi ( is a writer covering the life sciences, biomedicine, science policy, and the intersections of science and society. Her stories have appeared in Nature, Science, Spectrum News, and more. She is also a part-time editor and communications manager at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland. A native of Italy, before joining the MIT Giorgia obtained a Ph.D. in biology from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, where she studied how sheets of cells fold origami-style to build an embryo.

Thesis: Media of Mass Destruction: How Fake News Is Killing Italy’s Olive Trees
Erico Guizzo
S.M., Science Writing, 2003
Robotics Editor at IEEE Spectrum
Thesis: The Essential Message: Claude Shannon and the Making of Information Theory
Anika Gupta
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Senior Product Manager, Digital Product and Technology at The Atlantic
Anika Gupta has worked across a variety of roles within the journalism industry, including editorial, technology and marketing. She has presented at national and international conferences on user-generated content, community engagement and technology strategy. After graduating from Northwestern's Medill School, she worked in India for several years as a science reporter and later as a product manager. She started Hacks/Hackers New Delhi, a grassroots group of journalists & technologists.

Her articles have appeared in Smithsonian, Fortune, the Guardian, and elsewhere.

Thesis: Towards a Better Inclusivity: Online Comments and Community at News Organizations
Neeti Gupta
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2004
Director of Partner Marketing Programs, GE Healthcare
Thesis: Grande Wi-Fi: Understanding What Wi-Fi Users Are Doing in Coffee-Shops
Ayse Gursoy
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Ph.D. candidate, University of Texas
Thesis: Game Worlds: A Study of Video Game Criticism
Kelso Harper
S.M., Science Writing, 2021
Kelso Harper’s love for science sprouted alongside the wild oaks of her home in San Luis Obispo, California, and then blossomed in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received her degree in chemistry from Johns Hopkins University. Kelso gleefully gobbled up her chemistry courses and began research, but found herself drawn to other disciplines, too. Slowly she realized that only science journalism could satisfy her many curiosities.

Since graduating in 2018, she has written and produced videos about glacial floods, magnetic droplets, x-ray telescopes, and e-cigarettes for outlets like Scientific American, Retro Report, and the National Geographic Resource Library. Despite her soft spot for natural and physical sciences, Kelso’s interests extend further. As an eating disorder survivor, Kelso aims to combat fat phobia and diet culture by spreading good information on mental health, nutrition, and the complicated relationship between weight and health.

Kelso was a 2020-21 CASW Taylor/Blakeslee Fellow. One day, Kelso hopes to have a staff position as a multimedia science journalist and simply too many houseplants.
Lissa Harris
S.M., Science Writing, 2008
Thesis: Air Trade: Promises — and Pitfalls — in the Coming Carbon Market
Robin Hauck
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2003
Director of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, Go Ahead Tours
Thesis: Popcorn Moms: Decoding Representations of Motherhood in American Popular Cinema, 1979-1989
Timothy Haynes
S.M., Science Writing, 2003
Emerging technology consultant, Signal & Story
Judy Heflin
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2020
Programmer Writer - AI/ML at Amazon Web Services
Judy Heflin is a writer, programmer, and researcher focusing on computational narrative intelligence and the literary aspects of new media. She graduated from Yonsei University in South Korea with a BA in Comparative Literature and Cultures and a certificate in creative writing. Judy has since created content for media companies across the globe, ranging from editorial content at various print publications to virtual and augmented reality livestreams at some of the largest competitive gaming events in the world. At MIT, Judy works at the Trope Tank assisting with interactive fiction systems and computational narrative models.

Thesis: AI-Generated Literature and the Vectorized Word
Jessie Hendricks
S.M., Science Writing, 2020
Jessie Hendricks spent time as an actor, science communicator, and content creator. She currently produces and hosts SCIENCED, a scicomm podcast for the SoCal Science Writing group, as well as serves on their membership committee. She has written and hosted many science videos on the YouTube channel Everyday Science, including parody science music videos and a series on the periodic table called #ElementADayInMay, as well as written and guest-hosted for other outlets such as Skybound Entertainment’s Gamma Ray TV. She got her start in science communication while producing citizen science outreach videos for the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center on harmful algal blooms. Her current science writing interests include science storytelling in the entertainment industry, science history, quantum entanglement, and shark immunology.
Evan Higgins
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
Interactive Writer at Quartz
Evan Higgins is a video game writer and critic. His work has appeared in the BioWare video game Star Wars: The Old Republic: Nights of the Eternal Throne, as well as journalistic outlets.

Thesis: The Allure of Choice: Agency and Worldbuilding in Branching-Path Transmedia Universes
Zahra Hirji
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Energy and Climate Reporter, BuzzFeed News
Thesis: Living in the Shadow of Mauna Loa
Moneta Ho Kushner
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2004
Director of Product Design, Facebook
Moneta Ho Kushner is a Director of Product Design at Facebook, where she and her team work on product experiences that help people build community including Facebook Groups, Events and Identity. She is passionate about setting customer-focused vision and growing collaborative UX teams to successfully deliver on that vision. Prior to joining Facebook, she led design at the marketplace startup OfferUp, Search ads formats at Google and the design system for Windows at Microsoft. When she is not working, Moneta can be found enjoying life in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two rambunctious children.

Thesis: From Physical to Virtual: Extending the Gallery Experience Online
Christine Hoekenga
S.M., Science Writing, 2007
Digital Storyteller and Communications Strategist
Thesis: Mind Over Machine: What Deep Blue Taught Us about Chess, Artificial Intelligence, and the Human Spirit
Rena He Huang
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Thesis: Journey to the East: The (re)Make of Chinese Animation
Daniel Hueker
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2002
Director/Superintendent, Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center
Courtney Humphries
S.M., Science Writing, 2004
Author and Freelance Science Writer
Courtney Humphries is a freelance journalist and author who writes about ideas and developments in science, health, and culture, and is drawn to stories that reveal unexpected insights about the everyday world. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Nautilus, MIT Technology Review, New Scientist, Nature, Science, Wired, Harvard Magazine, Architect, and other publications. She is the author of Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan...And the World, a natural history of pigeons published by Smithsonian Books. She returned to MIT as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow for 2015-2016.

Thesis: Side Effects: The New Age of AIDS in America
Fatima Husain
S.M., Science Writing, 2018
Managing Producer, Possibly
Host, MIT Abstracts
Graduate Student, MIT EAPS
MIT Presidential Fellow, MIT WISDM Fellow
Science Multimedia Producer and Writer
Fatima is an organic geochemist and multimedia science producer based in Cambridge, MA. Each day, she's either in the lab, telling stories about ancient life and environments through organic geochemistry or phylogenomics, or she's sharing the exciting research conducted at MIT with K-12 students around the world through video as host of the MIT Abstracts talk series by the MIT-Nord Anglia Education Collaboration. In addition to her graduate studies, Fatima is also the managing producer of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society's weekly radio series called Possibly, which explores the science behind sustainability. Prior to her Ph.D. studies at MIT, she was MIT's Curiosity Correspondent and completed an internship at NOVA | PBS.

Fatima is particularly interested in the applications of lipid biomarkers to paleoenvironmental reconstruction to study human history, the evolution of photosynthetic organisms, climate change, science writing, and education.

Thesis: The Deepest Paradox: Seafloor Mining and Its Future
Matthew Hutson
S.M., Science Writing, 2003
Science Writer
Matthew Hutson is a freelance science writer in New York City, where he covers psychology and artificial intelligence among other things. He’s written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Wired, Science, Scientific American, and other publications, and is the author of The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking. He has an Sc.B. in cognitive neuroscience from Brown University and an S.M. in science writing from MIT. Twitter: @SilverJacket

Thesis: Artificial Intelligence and Musical Creativity: Computing Beethoven’s Tenth
Suzanne Jacobs
SM, Science Writing, 2014
Graduate student in physics at the University of Texas at Austin
Suzanne Jacobs spent her earliest years in the New York City suburbs and Lincoln, Nebraska, but primarily grew up in Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from high school, she headed north to the University of Michigan. She began her college career wanting to take classes in anything and everything. After sampling a wide variety of subjects, including Greek literature, extreme weather, philosophy and organic chemistry, Suzanne found herself in a physics class, where she fell in love and never looked back. As much as she enjoyed her physics classes, Suzanne longed for a writing outlet outside of lab reports, so she wandered into the newsroom at the student newspaper and joined the staff of The Michigan Daily. She soon became as passionate about journalism as she was about physics and went on to intern at a blog called The Utopianist and at the local NPR affiliate station in Michigan. Since completing her bachelor’s degree in physics nearly two years ago, Suzanne has continued to pursue both science and writing at the University of Michigan by studying iceberg calving with an engineering professor and doing research for a book on social entrepreneurship with a business school professor. Although physics and writing often seem like separate pursuits, Suzanne hopes to combine her passions to help show a general audience how amazing hard science really is.

Thesis: The Ruins of Science: Whatever Happened to the Tevatron?
Brian Jacobson
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2005
Professor of Visual Culture, California Institute of Technology
Brian Jacobson is Professor of Visual Culture in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology.

He is a historian of modern visual culture and media. His writing about film, art, energy, technology, and the environment has appeared in Cinema Journal, Screen, Film Quarterly, Framework, Film History, Environmental History, History and Technology, Early Popular Visual Culture, and numerous anthologies. He also writes criticism, including essays and reviews in The Atlantic, the Literary Review of Canada, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Jacobson is currently working on a book about the visual culture of petroleum in post-World War II France. Other projects include a book about mid-century American environmentalist media and articles generally concerned with the visual and material cultures of energy and the environment in a range of national and historical contexts.

Jacobson is the author of Studios Before the System: Architecture, Technology, and the Emergence of Cinematic Space (Columbia University Press, Film & Culture Series, 2015), a book that situates the world’s first film studios in the architectural and technological developments of urban industrial modernity and argues that cinema should be understood both as a system of environmental regulation and as a critical component of what historians of technology have termed the “human-built world.”

He is the editor of In the Studio: Visual Creation and Its Material Environments (University of California Press, 2020), a volume that examines film, television, art, and new media studios in a range of historical and geographic contexts.

Jacobson is the recipient of Fulbright, Social Science Research Council (SSRC, US), Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC, Canada), Carnegie Trust, and other fellowships. He was a 2016-2017 fellow at the University of Rochester Humanities Center.

Thesis: Constructions of Cinematic Space: Spatial Practice at the Intersection of Film and Theory
Lucy Jakub
S.M., Science Writing, 2020
Lucy Jakub is an essayist and editor. She grew up on the coast of Maine. As a nonfiction major at Columbia University, she developed a mantra for her writing: “follow the weird.” After following the weird through the frat houses of the Upper West Side, it led her to more interesting subjects—bedbugs, blobfish, radiolarians, and speculative biology. Since graduating she has worked at The New York Review of Books, finding commissions for her favorite science writers, removing em dashes, and inserting Oxford commas. She hopes to continue to support print media and long-form journalism from the other side of the editor’s desk. When she’s not writing, she’s baking elaborate desserts for her friends and listening to Björk sing about plate tectonics.

Thesis: Sea of Change
Liwen Jin
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2008
Global Marketing Director at frog
Liwen Jin works for a Boston-based innovation design consultancy, Continuum, as their head of Greater China Marketing. As the original designer of Reebok Pump, Swiffer, and MIT Open Laptop Per Child, Continuum draws upon deep expertise, human awareness, and global awareness to develop products, services, and experiences that improve people's lives across the world. With her role she travels often between Shanghai and Boston to bridge business and cultural gaps between the two offices.

Thesis: Chinese Online BBS Sphere: What BBS Has Brought to China
Carolyn Johnson
S.M., Science Writing, 2004
Reporter, Washington Post
Thesis: Neutrino Capital of the World
Ashley Junger
S.M., Science Writing, 2018
Ashley grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis, her bedroom shelves littered with well worn books and various rocks found while exploring the surrounding creek system. As an undergraduate at DePauw University, she pursued both of these passions, double-majoring in Biology and English Literature. While pursuing her bachelors, she was also an Environmental Fellow, and on the executive board of both the environmental club and the outdoors club. Ashley explored her interests with several internships, researching water purification methods for a non-profit, studying butterfly population dynamics in a Costa Rican nature reserve, and writing about antibiotic resistance for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s magazine. Ashley found she was most engaged when she worked on projects that combined her interest in the natural world with her passion for writing, especially when she could focus on human impacts on the environment.

In her spare time, Ashley enjoys experimenting with embroidery, hiking, and trying out new recipies.

Thesis: Can This Burger Save the Planet?: Synthetic Beef and the Dream of an American Animal-free Diet
Elon Justice
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2021
Elon is a videographer and writer with an interest in digital media platforms and co-creative storytelling. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2017 with a B.A. in TV/Film Production and a minor in Creative Writing, and most recently worked as a commercial producer for a local television station in Bowling Green, KY. An Eastern Kentucky native, Elon has long been acutely aware of media portrayals of underrepresented populations that are often one-dimensional, stereotypical, or altogether inaccurate. She aims to combat this phenomenon by working alongside these populations to co-create media that allows for more varied and truthful representations of their regions. In her free time, Elon enjoys traveling, over-analyzing her favorite music and TV shows, and teaching others how to correctly pronounce her name (Hint: It’s not like Elon Musk).
Elon is a videographer and writer with an interest in digital media platforms and co-creative storytelling. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2017 with a B.A. in TV/Film Production and a minor in Creative Writing, and most recently worked as a commercial producer for a local television station in Bowling Green, KY.

An Eastern Kentucky native, Elon has long been acutely aware of media portrayals of underrepresented populations that are often one-dimensional, stereotypical, or altogether inaccurate. She aims to combat this phenomenon by working alongside these populations to co-create media that allows for more varied and truthful representations of their regions.

In her free time, Elon enjoys traveling, over-analyzing her favorite music and TV shows, and teaching others how to correctly pronounce her name (Hint: It’s not like Elon Musk).

Thesis: Hillbilly Talkback: Co-Creation and Counter-Narrative in Appalachia
Emily Kagan Trenchard
S.M., Science Writing, 2005
Vice President, Digital and Innovation Strategy at Northwell Health
Thesis: Cancer and the Clock: Chronotherapy’s Struggle for Legitimacy
Sarah Kamal
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2005
Sarah Kamal dabbles in various things and is active in her community on the outskirts of Montreal, Canada. She feeds neighbourhood kids and gets a kick out of watching her son grow - although she has moments of terror when she reflect on her own terrible attitude as a teen (sorry, Mom!). Her son will hit puberty in 5 years; Sarah has no doubt grandma will relish payback time.

Thesis: Cultured Men, Uncultured Women: An Exploration of the Gendered Hierarchy of Taste Governing Afghan Radio
Colleen Kaman
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Senior Experience Strategist at IBM Interactive Experience
Robin Kazmier
S.M., Science Writing, 2017
Science Editor at PBS NOVA
Robin is Science Editor at PBS NOVA, where she works across broadcast and digital to ensure that all of the series' content is scientifically accurate and journalistically sound. She also edits the digital publication NOVA Next. Her own reporting has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Audubon, Yale Climate Connections, and NOVA Next. In 2020, she was awarded the National Association of Science Writers Science in Society Reporting Award for a story about cigarette butt pollution and the surprising public health argument for banning cigarette filters altogether. And in 2021 she shared a duPont-Columbia Award for NOVA's "Decoding COVID-19" documentary. Prior to attending MIT, Robin lived in Costa Rica, where she got her first taste of science writing as a field guide editor, and transitioned to journalism as a wildlife columnist and then general manager for The Tico Times. She is the author of the book National Parks of Costa Rica. Robin holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Geography from Northwestern University, and her favorite bird is the squirrel cuckoo.

Thesis: The Parataxonomist Revolution: How a Group of Rural Costa Ricans Discovered 10,000 New Species
Chris Kerich
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz
Chris Kerich is a programmer, artist, and human being. Chris has a bachelor's in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University but likes to tell people that he very nearly minored in film. He also now has an M.S. in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. These days, he's working on his PhD at UCSC in their Film & Digital Media department.

What values become embedded in software, especially in understudied, normalized infrastructural systems, is his primary research focus. This can take many different specific forms, in everything from video encoding to physics systems in video games. His master's thesis explores some of the beginnings of how to interrogate these systems, which he hopes to expand on during his PhD.

Thesis: Critical Breaking
Lilia Kilburn
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Doctoral Student in Anthropology, Harvard University
Lilia is curious about interactions between the voice and technology--everything from invasive vocal surgeries to Auto-Tune. In her work, she seeks to get at the ways in which writers can speak to the subtleties of the human voice through techniques drawn from ethnography, creative nonfiction, and audio documentary.

Lilia has alternately lived near and far from her birthplace, Boston. She graduated from Amherst College and has worked as a graphic designer, a jukebox refurbisher, and a researcher in Cameroon and South Africa. Lately she's been at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics studying public discourse on autism, which dovetails with her broader interest in understanding how minority groups the world over contend with popular conceptions of their lives. She likes reading fiction aloud and really good mustard.

Thesis: Answering Machine, Auto-Tune, Spectrograph: Queer Vocality Through Sonic Technology
Andrea Kim
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2021
Fulbright Open Study/Research Fellow
Andrea Shinyoung Kim is an interdisciplinary researcher and multi-media artist based in Los Angeles. Her work explores avatar embodiment, virtual idols, and cultural identity, with a focus on performativity in social VR. She is an alum of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, MIT Comparative Media Studies, and Duke Literature programs, and is currently a Fulbright Open Study/Research Fellow at the Seoul Institute of the Arts, where she looks at storytelling models from Korean mask dance and shamanic performance to design culturally-informed virtual worlds. Her digital media work spans from immersive (XR) and participatory to civic media forms. Previously, she worked with the Center for Global Women's Health Technologies at Duke University as the director of The (In)visible Organ, a documentary film and an arts-based reproductive health education initiative.

Thesis: Virtual Worldmaking: A Phantasmal Media Approach to VRChat
Flourish Klink
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2010
Thesis: Laugh Out Loud in Real Life: Women’s Humor and Fan Identity
Abi (Nighthill) Knopp
SM, Science Writing, 2014
Clinical Team Assistant at Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice
Cultural Council Secretary, Town of Williamsburg
Abi Knopp lives in Western Massachusetts, where she is pursuing further education toward licensure in Speech-Language Pathology. She has worked with Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice since 2016, where she supports clinical operations for a team of home health professionals.

In addition to her S.M. in Science Writing from MIT, she holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. In past roles she has taught science writing through MIT's MOSTEC summer program, volunteered at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, interned as a radio producer for "Living on Earth," taught and developed a college-level course at Portland State University, and served as an editor for multiple literary magazines.

On her own time Abi likes to hike, paint, repair, bake, and fall asleep to the sound of a good podcast.

Thesis: Taking Nature's Pulse
Trent Knoss
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Senior Science Editor, University of Colorado Boulder
Thesis: The Grey Harvest: Hunting Wolves in America's Heartland
Hillary Kolos
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2010
Director of Digital Learning at DreamYard Project
Hillary grew up in Virginia and moved to New York City to study film. She's worked in a wide range of educational settings teaching video production, game design, and even knitting. At MIT she focused on how we can use new media tools to make learning more participatory. She has worked for the Adobe Foundation, the New Learning Institute at the Pearson Foundation, Institute of Play, and the Tribeca Film Institute.

Hillary's CMS thesis explored a small community of undergrad students who played video games in an MIT dorm and how their relationship to gaming made their community more participatory.

Not Just in It to Win It: Inclusive Game Play in an MIT Dorm
Hannah Krakauer
S.M., Science Writing, 2012
UX and Product Content Writer at ChefSteps
Thesis: Interview with an Octopus
Orit Kuritsky
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Thesis: Transformational Tales: Media, Makeovers, and Material Culture
Lan Le
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Culture and Technology Researcher
Thesis: Imaginaries of the Asian Modern
Rocket Lee
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2010
Senior Infrastructure Engineer, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Rocket Lee is a technologist and game designer based in Oakland, CA. They spent their time at CMS focusing on game design and their master’s thesis included designing and running an alternate reality game that explored ethics in games.

Thesis: Designing Game Ethics: A Pervasive Game Adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo
Brandon Levy
S.M., Science Writing, 2017
Health Communications Specialist at the National Institutes of Health
Brandon was born in Boston but raised down the street from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Chevy Chase, Maryland. After bursting onto the reporting scene with an investigation of the food served in his middle school’s cafeteria, Brandon went on to win several writing competitions and serve as editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, The Tattler. Meanwhile, the combination of an early interest in biology and his family’s many eccentricities made him intensely curious about why people act the way they do. Brandon earned a B.S. in Neuroscience from Duke University, where he volunteered in a neuroimaging lab and wrote a senior thesis on the influence of emotional facial expressions on social decision making. After graduating, he returned to Maryland to work in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition at the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health. Finding the day-to-day grind of scientific inquiry to be less-than-thrilling, he began writing about NIH-funded research for several of the institution’s publications and was soon hooked. He has also worked as a member of the press team at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and now works with the NIH's Intramural Research Program (IRP) to help inform the public about the cutting-edge research being done at the NIH. When he’s not writing or reading Stephen King novels, Brandon enjoys singing, cooking, and cheering on Duke’s basketball team.

Thesis: The Angelman Approach: Hacking DNA to Treat a Rare Disease
Xiaochang Li
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Stanford University
Xiaochang Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University. Her research examines questions surrounding the relationship between information technology and knowledge production and its role in the organization of social life. Her current book project explores the history of automatic speech recognition and natural language processing and how the problem of mapping communication to computation shaped the rise of big data, machine learning, and related forms of algorithmic practice. Prior to joining Stanford, she received her PhD from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Epistemes of Modern Acoustics at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

Thesis: Dis/Locating Audience: Transnational Media Flows and the Online Circulation of East Asian Television Drama
Zhan Li
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2003
Senior Researcher at Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
After graduating from the S.M. Comparative Media Studies program at MIT, Zhan worked as a media & entertainment industry analyst at HSBC in NYC. He then entered the Ph.D. program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication in Los Angeles, from which he graduated in 2014 as a specialist in organizational communication and strategic foresight. Currently he is a senior researcher at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute think tank of Zurich, Switzerland.

Thesis: The Potential of America’s Army the Video Game as Civilian-Military Public Sphere
Jason Lipshin
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2014
UX Researcher, Google
Jason is an interaction designer and user experience researcher focused on mobiles and ubiquitous computing. He is a graduate student in MIT's Comparative Media Studies program and has worked with both the MIT Imagination, Computation, and Expression Lab and the MIT Mobile Experience Lab. Through his work with the Mobile Experience Lab, Jason has helped develop new concepts and prototypes for clients including Marriott Hotels, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, and RAI - Italy's national broadcasting company. This summer, he will be working for Disney Interactive Group in Tokyo.

Thesis: Network Design: A Theory of Scale for Ubiquitous Computing
Claudia Lo
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2018
Claudia Lo is interested in issues of online social interaction, in particular online community moderation. Her thesis, When All You Have is a Banhammer: The Social and Communicative Work of Volunteer Moderators, examines the less-widely known aspects of volunteer moderation work and workers, using large-scale esports events on Twitch as a case study. She is currently working as a Design Researcher at the Wikimedia Foundation on anti-harassment tools.

Thesis: When All You Have is a Banhammer: The Social and Communicative Work of Volunteer Moderators
Devi Lockwood
S.M., Science Writing, 2019
New York Times opinion writer and editor
Devi Lockwood comes to science writing from poetry, folklore, and long-distance cycling. For years she has been traveling on a mission to record 1,001 audio stories about water and climate change. She has collected 750+ interviews, and is working to create a map on a website where you can click on a point and listen to a story from that place.

Devi is a 2018 National Geographic Explorer for a project recording stories with ArtCirq, an indigenous Arctic Circus in Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada. In May 2014 she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from Harvard University where she studied Folklore & Mythology, earned a Language Citation in Arabic, and rowed for the Radcliffe Varsity Lightweight Women's Rowing team. She loves interviewing scientists and non-scientists, and the many doors a good question can open. You can follow her on Twitter @devi_lockwood.

Thesis: The Living Library
Andres Lombana Bermudez
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2008
Postdoctoral Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
Andres Lombana-Bermudez is a researcher and designer working at the intersection of digital technology, youth, innovation, and learning. His approach is transdisciplinary and collaborative, combining ethnographic and quantitative research methods, design-based research, and media technology design. He is a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a Research Associate with the Connected Learning Research Network.

Andres has worked in the field of digital media and learning for over a decade and collaborated in projects such as the Digital Edge, Berkman's Youth and Media Lab, the New Media Literacies Project, and KLRU-Austin PBS summer STEM. His dissertation research focused on digital inequalities, immigrant assimilation, and participation gaps among Latino/Hispanic youth.

Andres has a doctorate in Media Studies from UT-Austin with concentration in digital literacy and education, a masters in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, and bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Literature from Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

Thesis: The “New” Sounds of the Slap-of-the-Stick: Termite Terrace (1937-1943) and the Slapstick Tradition
Geoffrey Long
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Visiting Assistant Professor, Whittier College
Geoffrey Long is a storyteller, scholar, and consultant exploring the future of storytelling and how storyworlds and technology co-evolve. He is co-editor of the Playful Thinking series for MIT Press, an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Emerging Technology in Business and Design department at Miami University of Ohio's College of Creative Arts, and the Director of Miami's Worldbuilding + Narrative Design Research (WNDR) Lab.

In his previous academic and professional lives Geoff has been a Visiting Assistant Professor in Digital Liberal Arts and Director of the Whittier Other Worlds (WOW) Lab at Whittier College; Creative Director for the World Building Media Lab at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts; Technical Director and Creative Director for the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC's Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism; cofounder of Microsoft Studios' Narrative Design Team; a member of a "future of media" think tank under Microsoft CTO/CXOs J Allard and Ray Ozzie; and a founding member of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab and the Convergence Culture Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His writing has appeared in The Edison Project from the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab; Durhy Kurtz and Bourdaa's The Rise of Transtexts: Challenges and Opportunities and Wolf's Revisiting Imaginary Worlds: A Subcreation Studies Anthology, both from Routledge; and the extended online edition of Jenkins, Ford and Green's Spreadable Media from NYU Press. As a scholar and consultant Geoff has worked with Amazon Studios, BET, Cisco, the City of Los Angeles, DirecTV, Fidelity, FOX, Havas, HBO, IBM, Intel, the Los Angeles Times, MTV, Turner Broadcasting, Walt Disney Imagineering and Warner Bros.

Geoff holds a BA in English and Philosophy from Kenyon College, a master's in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Media Arts + Practice from USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

Thesis: Transmedia Storytelling: Business, Aesthetics and Production at the Jim Henson Company
Rogelio Lopez
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Ph.D. candidate, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Thesis: From Huelga! to Undocumented and Unafraid!: A Comparative Study of Media Strategies in the Farm Worker Movement of the 1960s and the Immigrant Youth Movement of the 2000s
Lacey Lord
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Lacey Lord was born and raised in Southern Indiana. She earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in Literature and minors in Digital Media and Peace and Conflict Resolution from Ball State University. Lacey is most interested in the ways in which digital media are affecting how we consume, construct, and participate within fictional and nonfictional stories. Her most recent projects include an extensive exhibit on the life and work of Kurt Vonnegut for the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and two transmedia projects for the Indiana State Museum, Transmedia Indiana and Transmedia Star Wars. She was also a design editor at The Broken Plate, Ball State’s national literary magazine, and published a short memoir as a member of The Invictus Writers in 2013.

Thesis: Comics: The (Not Only) Visual Medium
Debora Lui
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2008
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Debora Lui holds a joint Ph.D. in Communication and Education. She previously worked in museum education and nonprofit arts fundraising. She has a Bachelors degree from MIT.

Thesis: Neon Signs, Underground Tunnels and Chinese American Identity: The Many Dimension of Visual Chinatown
Karen MacArthur
S.M., Science Writing, 2003
Independent Writer and Editor
Thesis: Looking at ADHD: A Personal Exploration of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Allison MacLachlan
S.M., Science Writing, 2011
Marketing Manager, Owlkids Books
Allison holds an undergraduate degree from Queen's University and graduated with a master's in Science Writing from MIT in 2011. She interned at the NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland and has done freelance writing for Technology Review.
She now works on the business side of book publishing in Toronto, Canada where she maintains an interest in health and behavioral science.

Thesis: Aspartame: Artifice and the Science of Sweet
Emily Makowski
S.M., Science Writing, 2019
Content Writer at MBTA
Emily Makowski is a scientist-turned-writer from Buffalo, New York. She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and evolutionary biology from Case Western Reserve University, where she studied moth behavior. She also worked in ophthalmology labs at Cleveland Clinic and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center prior to making the switch to full-time writing. Her work has appeared in The Scientist and Environmental Health News. Emily also has many interests outside of science, such as cooking, singing, and occasionally updating a blog about abandoned malls. An avid user of public transit, she’s currently working on a writing project with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Find her on Twitter @EmilyRMakowski.

Thesis: Mass Appeal: Saving The World’s Bananas From A Devastating Fungus
Rekha Malhotra
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2019
Rekha Malhotra a is producer, curator, educator, and activist. She pioneered merging Bhangra and Bollywood sounds with contemporary electronic dance music. She is the founder of Basement BhangraTM, Bollywood Disco and co‐founder of Mutiny Club nights. She was named "Ambassador of Bhangra" by the New York Times.

Rekha was the sound designer for the TONY award‐winning Broadway Show, "Bridge and Tunnel,” and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for her work on the play "Rafta Rafta" and was the associate producer for the NPR Radio Documentary, "A Feet in Two Worlds." She has done remixes for artists that range from Meredith Monk to Priyanka Chopra.

Her debut album, DJ Rekha presents Basement Bhangra, was released on E1 Music and was nominated for the 2008 Plug Awards. She was NYU's A/P/A Artist-in-Residence for 2006-2007. She has received numerous community awards and in 2009 was inducted into the New York City's Peoples’ Hall of Fame.

Rekha has curated events for Celebrate Brooklyn and Central Park SummerStage NYC. DJ Rekha was a Grand Marshall of the 9th Annual NYC Dance Parade in 2015. In January 2017 she was one of the official DJs for the historic Women's March on Washington. She serves on the board of Chhaya CDC, an organization of New Yorkers of South Asian origin to advocate for and build economically stable, sustainable, and thriving communities.

Thesis: Last Night a DJ Queered My Life: Disrupting the Mythologies of a Popular Media Practice
Susannah Mandel
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2003
Lecturer in the Core Curriculum Program at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University
Thesis: Mask or Closet, or, “Under the Hood”: Metaphors and Representations of Homosexuality in American Superhero Comics After 1985
Gordon Mangum
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Senior Product Manager at aidx
Gordon Mangum joins MIT's CMS department having worked in radio and media development for the last decade. He was previously Country Director of Internews Sudan, which built a network of six community radio stations in South Sudan and border areas of Sudan. While there he directed the training of local journalists in the run-up to the vote for independence in 2011. He has also consulted with radio projects in Somalia, Uganda and Cambodia. He was most recently Chief Engineer of WERS in Boston, where he helped students learn about radio broadcasting and analyzed digital strategies, and has previously work at Maine Public Radio and ESPN Radio Boston. His interests include developing and improving information systems, participatory civics, and music. Gordon holds a dual B.A. from the University of Virginia in Philosophy and Religious Studies.

Thesis: Designing Informative and Engaging Live Streaming Video Experiences
Eduardo Marisca
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2014
Digital Innovation at La Victoria Lab
Eduardo Marisca is currently working on digital innovation at La Victoria Lab, a human-centered design lab building new products and services for the emerging Peruvian middle-class, based in Lima, Peru. While at MIT, he did research on the rise of indie video game development in Peru and its potential as a creative industry, as well as video games and education as Research Assistant with The Education Arcade.

You can read his blog or follow him on Twitter as @piscosour.

Thesis: Developing Game Worlds: Gaming, Technology, and Innovation in Peru
Amanda R. Martinez
S.M., Science Writing, 2010
Chief Creative Officer at Prometheus
Amanda R. Martinez is the Chief Creative Officer and head of brand at Prometheus, an energy company that turns CO2 from the air into zero net carbon fuels and carbon negative products.

She can be reached at or via Instagram at @amandarosemartinez.

Thesis: The Unfinished Miracle: How Plastics Came to be Lost at Sea
Alice McBride
S.M., Science Writing, 2021
Alice McBride began her biology career in a leaky rowboat owned by Cornell University. She has since collected ecological data from all sorts of conveyances, including farm tractors and a two-masted tall ship. In exploring different ecosystems,​ Alice has counted earthworms in meadows, pursued birds through canals and up trees, and introduced summer campers to the joys of bogs. In the Atlantic surf, she was once mistakenly identified by beachgoers as a seal. Along the way, Alice became an academic editor and developed a keen appreciation for clearly communicated research. Alice’s goal as a science writer is to shrink the artificial gulf that looms between humans and the natural world.
Abby McBride
S.M., Science Writing, 2012
Sketch Biologist
Sketch Biologist and Fulbright–National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow (home, sketch blog, art store)

Thesis: Don’t Call It a Seagull!
Andrea McCarty
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2005
Audio Visual Projects Manager at Yale University
Thesis: Toying With Obsolescence: Pixelvision Filmmakers and the Fisher Price PXL 2000 Camera
Sorcha McDonagh
S.M., Science Writing, 2003
Literary Translator
Thesis: Atlantic Crossings
Maureen McDonough Lyons
S.M., Science Writing, 2005
Partner at Pod Consulting
Thesis: Barren Promise: The Hope and Heartache in Treating Infertility
Raleigh McElvery
S.M., Science Writing, 2017
Communications Specialist, MIT Department of Biology
Raleigh McElvery is the science writer and multimedia producer for the MIT Department of Biology, where she crafts videos, podcasts, news stories, and researcher profiles. She is also a freelance science journalist, and has written for Science, Discover Magazine, Quanta Magazine, Chemical & Engineering News, MIT Technology Review, NOVA Next, and more.

Thesis: Trial and Error: Medical Marijuana, the Absence of Evidence, and the Allure of Anecdote
Bennett McIntosh
S.M., Science Writing, 2017
Ph.D. Student, UW-Madison History of Science, Medicine, & Technology
Thesis: SuperAgers: Do Octogenarians with Exceptional Memory Hold the Key to Healthy Aging?
Philip McKenna
S.M., Science Writing, 2006
Reporter at InsideClimate News
Thesis: Winging It: A Bold Step Toward the Whooping Crane’s Return
Stephanie McPherson
S.M., Science Writing, 2011
Freelance Writer and Video Producer
Thesis: AcidopHiles: A Not-So-Basic Life

Stephanie McPherson writes and produces video about science and technology for universities and research institutions around the US. Her work has also appeared across a spectrum of media, including the Boston Globe Magazine, the PBS NOVA website and the national radio show Living on Earth. She earned her Master’s degree in Science Writing from MIT in 2011 and has since written about everything from diabetes to 3D printers in space. She also writes mystery fiction. Her debut short story was published in The Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot in April 2018.
Sam Mendez
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2020
Sam is a researcher and animated filmmaker. His films focus on cities and experimental documentary techniques; his research focuses on health equity.

Sam wants to use collaborative methods and documentary techniques to improve research partnerships. How do we align people in partnership between universities and community groups? How do we center underserved communities in this work? Sam aims to find answers by working with MIT’s Open Doc Lab and public health researchers.

Sam did his undergrad at Harvard, where his thesis was an animated documentary about a bodega. His inspiration came from community-based participatory research at Harvard's Viswanath Lab. In his time there, Sam worked on public health communication research. After graduation, he focused on video projects. This included a wheelchair travel series he directed in Ho Chi Minh City.

More recently, he worked on public health research at Northwestern's Simon Lab. There, he focused on community engagement for a collaborative U54 grant. He also led the user-centered design process for a web resource about clinical trials.

In his free time, Sam likes to learn more about web accessibility and performance art.

Thesis: Health Equity Rituals: A Case for the Ritual View of Communication in an Era of Precision Medicine
Heather Miller
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2003
President at LPM Education
Heather Miller is an American educator and writer with expertise in the teaching of reading and writing. She holds graduate degrees from Harvard and MIT. While at MIT, she founded the Young Historians Program, an organization that engages middle and high school students in historical inquiry and digital arts. For much of her career, Miller has worked as an editorial director overseeing the design and development of large-scale reading and writing programs. As an educational consultant to charter and public schools, she has helped schools achieve marked improvement and overall high achievement in test scores (and hopefully in much more that education is all about, too). She has worked in educational technology in the US, India, China and France.

Thesis: The Book as Looking Glass: Improving Works for and about Children in Early Modern England
Heather Mongilio
S.M., Science Writing, 2018
Health/Fort Detrick Reporter, Frederick News-Post
Heather first declared she was going to be a journalist walking home from the bus stop in fifth grade. She grew up in Ellicott City, Maryland, where she first discovered how fascinating the brain is and the adrenaline high from breaking news. After deciding not to choose between her interests, she earned her bachelor’s degree from American University in journalism and psychology. Heather worked at The Eagle, American University’s student-run newspaper and served as editor-in-chief during her senior year.

Prior to attending MIT, Heather could be found reporting on murder, domestic violence, drunken driving and other crimes as a crime and courts reporter. She’s always been interested in psychology and medicine, but since working as a crime reporter, Heather has discovered her interest in the science of crime, including the psychology behind criminal acts and domestic violence as a public health concern. Heather is a self-described brain lover, and she enjoys chasing a good story, breaking news, reading, baking and watching the Patriots and the Red Sox.

Thesis: Invisible Scars: How Domestic Violence Victims Have Been Left Out of the Discussion on Traumatic Brain Injuries
Maywa Montenegro
S.M., Science Writing, 2003
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of California, Davis
Thesis: Rice: How the Most Genetically Versatile Grain Conquered the World
Alix Morris
SM, Science Writing, 2014
Director of Communications, Earthwatch
Alix is the Director of Communications at Earthwatch Institute with experience in scientific communications and global field research. Alix has a Master’s degree in Science Writing from MIT and a Master’s in Health Science from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. During her time at MIT, Alix focused her thesis work on the effects of shark finning on the marine ecosystem. Prior to that, Alix lived and worked in East Africa, where she conducted field studies focused on improving access to malaria diagnosis and treatment. Alix is interested in marine conservation, natural resource management, and the intersection between public health and the environment.

Thesis: Preying on the Predator: The Shark Fin Controversy
Andrew Moseman
S.M., Science Writing, 2008
Senior Writer, Institute Communications, Caltech
Andrew Moseman Formerly the Executive Features Editor and Digital Director of Popular Mechanics, Andrew is now a Senior Writer at Caltech contributing to Caltech Magazine and The Caltech Effect. He has also written for publications such as Outside, Fortune, Esquire, The Muse, Runner's World, and Discover.

Thesis: The Grass Is Half-Full: New Biofuels from Field to Wheel
Roya Moussapour
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2021
Director of Research and Continuous Improvement, Lumen Learning
Roya Moussapour is a researcher and designer committed to increasing access to educational opportunities for historically marginalized and excluded populations of students. She currently leads research and continuous improvement at Lumen Learning, a company using open educational resources to deliver low-cost textbook solutions and professional learning opportunities within higher education.

While pursuing her master's degree within CMS, Roya worked at the Teaching Systems Lab designing and implementing unique methods for K-12 teacher learning. She also holds a B.A. in Physics from Bowdoin College. In her spare time, Roya plays violin in the Boston chapter of the Me2/Orchestra, an ensemble with a mission to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness through performance and outreach.

Thesis: Cashing in On Student Data: Standardized Testing and Predatory College Marketing in The United States
Rekha Murthy
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2005
Independent Radio and Podcast Strategist
Rekha Murthy is an independent podcast strategist with 20 years of experience in public radio, podcasting, and other digital media. She believes that podcasting is at its best when it includes a wide range of voices and lived experiences. She is a founding member and lead facilitator of Spotify's Sound Up global podcast training program, and a Founding Governor of the Podcast Academy, which recognizes excellence in the field. Past professional work includes PRX and Radiotopia, NPR, and startup-hopping in New York's Silicon Alley.

Thesis: Street Media: Ambient Messages in an Urban Space
Conor Myhrvold
S.M., Science Writing, 2012
Senior Program Manager, Tech, at Uber
Thesis: Embodied Cognition in Robots and Human Evolution
James Nadeau
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
Portfolio Associate, Putnam Investments; Executive Director, Boston LGBT Film Festival
Thesis: The Medium is the Medium: the Convergence of Video, Art and Television at WGBH (1969)
Erica Naone
S.M., Science Writing, 2007
Senior Technical Writer, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks
Erica Naone is senior technical writer for Unit 42, the cybersecurity research arm of Palo Alto Networks, which focuses on threat intelligence and cybersecurity incident response. She assists threat researchers and security consultants with communicating about their work to a variety of audiences, including the threat intelligence community, organizations seeking to protect themselves from cyberattacks, and the general public. She previously worked in development and alumni relations at Virginia Commonwealth University and as IT Editor for MIT Technology Review. She has freelanced for publications including Astronomy, Discover, and Atlas Obscura.

Thesis: The Dancer in Nature
Susan Nasr
S.M., Science Writing, 2006
Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at Alameda County Medical Center
Susan Nasr worked as a science writer at Technology Review magazine, Physician's First Watch, Children's Hospital in Boston, and at before pursuing a career in medicine.

Thesis: The Buffalo Wars
Anna Nowogrodzki
S.M., Science Writing, 2015
Freelance journalist; Writer, Today's Science
Anna Nowogrodzki Anna Nowogrodzki spent her childhood amid the black raspberries, creeks, and cornfields of central New York. Though in seventh grade she made a future business card that read “Anna Nowogrodzki, botanist,” she always found the written word as captivating as the natural world. At Dartmouth College, she majored in being out in the woods (Environmental and Evolutionary Biology) and minored in curling up with a good book (English). Post-college, she found purpose in tracking southern pine beetles in the field, editing elementary school science textbooks, studying flower development genes at the New York Botanical Garden, teaching gardening to children in the Bronx, and searching for disease resistance in grapevines at Cornell. In science writing, she is thrilled to have found a field where her inability to shut up about science is actually an asset. Her current interests include agriculture, ecology, plants, why misinformation persists, flawed systems, and how to affect change. She firmly believes in singing with people, goat cheese, mental health advocacy, Excel spreadsheets, and expansive views.

Thesis: Sex, Drugs, and Women's Desire
Megan Ogilvie
S.M., Science Writing, 2004
Data Enterprise Reporter, Toronto Star
Thesis: Ocean Fertilization: Ecological Cure or Calamity
Sophie Ormerod
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2002
Thesis: The Medium Still Isn’t the Message: Revisiting the Link Between Communication Technologies and Political Liberalization
Stephen Ornes
S.M., Science Writing, 2006
Freelance science writer; Senior Lecturer in Science Communications at Vanderbilt University
Stephen Ornes lives in Nashville, TN, and writes about math, physics, and cancer research. He’s the author of Math Art: Truth, Beauty, and Equations and contributed to The Science Writer’s Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish, and Prosper in the Digital Age. His work has appeared in Discover, Scientific American, New Scientist, Science News for Students, and the Front Matter section of PNAS. He teaches at Vanderbilt University’s Communication of Science and Technology program. Visit him online at

Thesis: “If It Quacks Like a Sphere”: The Million Dollar Problem
Kate Petersen
S.M., Science Writing, 2020
Freelance science journalist
Kate Peterson is a freelance science journalist who is particularly interested in astrobiology, space, climate, and environmental policy. She has written for Wired, Inverse, Ars Technica, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, and Environmental Health News.

Thesis: Aliens Inferred
Chris Peterson
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Director of Special Projects, MIT Admissions and Student Financial Services
Chris Peterson works with the senior leadership team for MIT Admissions + SFS to help make sure that the Institute remains accessible and affordable to a diverse group of students with unique interests and aptitudes. Since graduating from CMS, he has occasionally taught courses as a term-appointed Lecturer in the department, as well as, with Ed Schiappa, the inaugural first-year advising seminar offered by the department on Media and the 2020 Election. He is co-PI on the Mapping Information Access project, on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Talent Development Institute, a keyholder for SIPB, staff member of the MIT Spinning Arts Club, and first-year advisor. He enjoys yoga, powerlifting, and growing banana plants at unusual latitudes.

Thesis: User-Generated Censorship: Manipulating the Maps Of Social Media
Margaux Phares
S.M., Science Writing, 2016
Science Communication Fellow at Hiroshima University
Margaux Phares is a science writer with EMBL. Prior to science communications, she worked underground in biology laboratories and above ground in emergency medicine at the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in MIT Technology Review, NOVA Next, and Storybench.

Thesis: Your Brain on 9 Volts – The Specter and Hype of Electrical Brain Stimulation
Kendra Pierre-Louis
S.M., Science Writing, 2016
Reporter, Gimlet
Kendra Pierre-Louis is Senior Reporter for Gimlet Media's How to Save a Planet podcast. Previous she was reporter at the climate desk of the New York Times and a staff writer at Popular Science. Her work has also appeared in Aeon, FiveThirtyEight, Sierra, InsideClimate News, Newsweek, and The Washington Post. Kendra is also the author of the book “Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet.”

In addition to her S.M. in Science Writing from MIT, Kendra has an M.A. in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute, and a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.

Thesis: Geographies of Nowhere: Smeltertown and the Rising Wave of Environmental Refugees
Emily Pontecorvo
S.M., Science Writing, 2019
Reporter at Grist
Emily Pontecorvo is a journalist and multimedia producer with experience in film, podcasting, and print. She is dedicated to telling stories about the natural environment and the ways we are changing it, but she enjoys reporting on a wide range of science, including energy, health, and technology. She is particularly interested in climate change adaptation, and related intersections of science and policy. These days she loves telling stories through sound, and feels there’s no equivalent to hearing a good piece of tape. You can see some examples of her work at

Thesis: Navigating the 21st Century Without Vision: How the iPhone Changed the Landscape for Assistive Technology and Fueled the Movement Fighting for Digital Accessibility
Aswin Punathambekar
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2003
Associate Professor, Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia
Dr. Aswin Punathambekar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. Aswin’s research and teaching focus on the impact that globalization and technological change have on the workings of media industries, formations of audiences and publics, and cultural identity and politics. He is the author of From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (NYU Press, 2013), co-author of Media Industry Studies (Polity, 2020), and co-editor of Global Bollywood (2008), Television at Large in South Asia (2013), and most recently, Global Digital Cultures: Perspectives from South Asia (2019). He is currently completing a co-authored book, titled The Digital Popular: Media, Culture, and Politics in Networked India (forthcoming, 2022).

He serves as an editor of the peer-reviewed journal Media, Culture and Society and co-edits the Critical Cultural Communication book series for NYU Press. He also serves on the Board of Jurors for the Peabody Awards.

Thesis: We Are Like This Only: Desis and Hindi Films in the Diaspora
Ravi Purushotma
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
UI Engineer,
Thesis: Communicative 2.0: Video Games and Digital Culture in the Foreign Language Classroom
Elizabeth Quill
S.M., Science Writing, 2007
Special Projects Editor, Science News
Thesis: Eavesdroppers: How Scientists Are Learning to Listen in on the Animal Kingdom: Four Stories on Wildlife and Sound
Sara Rafsky
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2018
Safe +Secure Executive at DOC SOCIETY
Sara Rafsky worked in Mexico City as Researcher on Central America at Amnesty International. Before that she was the Americas Research Associate for the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York, where she reported on press freedom in Latin American and the United States. Previously, she wrote about culture and politics as a freelance journalist in New York, South America and Southeast Asia, interned at the Associated Press in Bogotá, Colombia and was the Editorial Assistant for ARTnews magazine in New York. Sara also lived in Argentina, where she worked with the Ford Foundation and interned with Human Rights Watch and the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE). In 2008, she received a Fulbright Grant to research photojournalism and the Colombian armed conflict. She has a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and is from Brooklyn, New York.

Sara loves all things cinema, journalism and Latin America.

Thesis: The Print that Binds: Local Journalism, Civic Life and the Public Sphere
Peter Rauch
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Writer, Critic, Media Theorist
Thesis: Playing with Good and Evil: Videogames and Moral Philosophy
Jocelyn Rice
S.M., Science Writing, 2007
Science Writing Editor, Great Minds
Thesis: The Butterfly Clock: Illuminating the Molecular Mysteries of Monarch Migration
Jason Rockwood
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Enterprise Blockchain Advisor - VeChain Ecosystem Ambassador, Thrudheim, LLC
Jason Rockwood helps businesses understand and exploit technological change. He started in digital advertising before pivoting to Information Technology. He worked as the acting CIO of the Miami HEAT under the title of Vice President of Mobile Innovation, and served as Chief Information Officer of hospitality brand Oasis. He now focuses exclusively on helping enterprise companies understand and exploit blockchain, with a specific focus on adopting the VeChain blockchain network.

Thesis: From Enclosure to Embrace: Punitive Isolation and Network Culture
Aziria Rodríguez Arce
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2018
Aziria D. Rodríguez Arce, a lover of tacos, memes, and all things funny, earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). She is also a community organizer and web developer. Aziria has worked in various non-profit organizations in Puerto Rico designing and developing participatory tech solutions to deal with government transparency, technology accessibility, capacity building, and economic development issues on the island.

All of Aziria's endeavors stem from a political and philosophical point of view based on advancing equality and inclusion. Therefore, it was only natural she directed her bachelor’s degree into the completion of a thesis that studied how power identity relations and symbolic violence are attuned with cultural and memetic content creation in the web, which she later funnily titled Make Me a Sandwich.

At MIT Aziria worked with the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory. She is interested in understanding how collective narratives and identities transform content creation, production, and distribution in new media to promote social change. She wants to work on practical technological applications of collective and participatory content and media tool creation.

Aziria has Chandler Bing’s approach to handling uncomfortable situations and an obsession with meme sharing in Facebook.

Thesis: Seizing the Memes of Production: Political Memes in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican Diaspora
Talieh Rohani
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Group Product Manager WW Commerce User Experiences
Management, Product @ Adobe

Previously, she worked for Apple, Rosetta Stone, Salesforce, Teaching Channel and Webtrends.

Thesis: Nostalgia Without Memory: Iranian-Americans, Cultural Programming, and Internet Television
Jenny Rood
SM, Science Writing, 2014
gRED Communications Manager, Genentech
Jenny Rood is the gRED Communications Manager at Genentech. Prior to joining Genentech, she spent more than 5 and a half years at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, working in the development office and then as a direct scientific writing adviser to lead scientists at the institute. She earned a Ph.D. in biology from MIT prior to entering the Graduate Program in Science Writing. Before joining the Broad, Jenny was an intern at the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, and an editorial intern at The Scientist. Her video and written work has also appeared in Technology Review.

Thesis: Succulent and Spiny: The Bahamas’ Quest for a Sustainable Lobster Fishery
Dan Roy
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Research Scientist, Teaching Systems Lab and the Education Arcade
Dan Roy is a research scientist at the Education Arcade and the Teaching Systems Lab, designing playful learning experiences for teachers and students alike. He is the lead game designer on the CLEVR project, inviting high school biology students to explore a cell in VR and collaboratively diagnose and treat a genetic disorder. He directs the ELK project, helping teacher candidates practice understanding what students know through roleplay conversations. Dan is also the founder of Skylight Games, a social enterprise inspiring a love of learning through play, starting with languages (Lyriko). Before his current roles, he worked with the Learning Games Network on games to teach language (Xenos) and science (Food Fight, Guts and Bolts), and with the Education Arcade, helping middle-schoolers build curiosity, intuition, and comfort in math through puzzles (Lure of The Labyrinth). He has an S.M. in Comparative Media Studies from MIT and a B.S. in computer science from UMass Amherst.

Thesis: Mastery and the Mobile Future of Massively Multiplayer Games
Stephanie Davenport
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2003
Communications Consultant
Thesis: Experiments in Corporate Collaboration: The Case of the Arts Electronica FutureLab
Emily Ruppel
S.M., Science Writing, 2011
Ph.D. student, University of Pittsburgh
Emily Ruppel is a Ph.D. student in communication at the University of Pittsburgh with focus areas in rhetoric of science, bioethics, STS, feminist theory, and oral history.

Prior to her doctoral studies, Emily worked as Associate Director of Communications for the American Scientific Affiliation and as Web Editor for the daily blog of the BioLogos Foundation. Most recently, she served as content editor for Abraham's Dice, a collection of essays on randomness and providence edited by Karl Giberson and forthcoming with Oxford University Press. She also continues to work as executive editor of the ASA's God & Nature magazine, an online publication offering articles, interviews, poetry, and artwork from international scholars on special topics in science and religion:

Thesis: Hallowed Hands
Aviva Hope Rutkin
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
News Automation Engineer, Bloomberg
Aviva Hope Rutkin is a News Automation Engineer at Bloomberg.

Thesis: Champagne for the Blind: Paul Bach-y-Rita, Neuroscience’s Forgotten Genius
Nathan Saucier
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
Nathan Saucier is a filmmaker and educator. Returning from two years teaching English and media classes at a university in South Korea, he joined CMS to work with the Creative Communities Initiative while pursuing diverse interests in non­fiction media making and education.

Nathan is a graduate of Bard College’s film department, where he created documentaries and narrative shorts inspired by his time in Romania and the Balkans.

His background includes work in film production and video streaming in Los Angeles. These experiences helped shape his interest in the culture and capabilities of live streaming. He is further interested in the relationship between filmmaker and subject in the context of participatory documentaries.

Thesis: Operational Images and the Interpretive Turn
Mols Sauter
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies
Mols Sauter is Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies. They were a Vanier Scholar and PhD candidate in Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal, QC, researching the politics of disruption in networked communication technology. They are the author of The Coming Swarm: DDoS Actions, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet. They hold a masters degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, and have held research fellowships at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society, and New America.

Their work has been published in The Atlantic, the Journal of Communication, the Case Western Reserve Law Review, Real Life Mag, Ethnography Matters, HiLow Brow, io9, the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Times, the American Behavioral Scientist, and the MIT Technology Review, and in collected volumes published by MIT Press and Peter Lang. They have frequently appeared as an expert on technology, culture, and politics on the CBC, NPR, the BBC, PRI, American Public Media, the Boston Globe, and other international outlets. Their research has been featured by Popular Mechanics, BoingBoing, Slate, Der Spiegel, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Thesis: Distributed Denial of Service Actions and the Challenge of Civil Disobedience on the Internet
Frankie Schembri
S.M., Science Writing, 2018
Science and Tech Reporter, News Intern, Sience Magazine
Frankie Schembri was raised on snowy winters and long books in Ottawa, Canada. She began her undergraduate education at MIT in Mechanical Engineering, but realized that she was most excited about explaining what she was learning to her friends and family. Frankie switched to MIT’s undergraduate Science Writing program, where she was able to combine her background in STEM with her love of communication, and graduated with a B.S. in June 2017.

Frankie has worked in an MIT Mechanical Engineering lab, as a communications assistant at the Harvard Kennedy School (reporting on the intersection of technology and democracy), and as an intern at a public relations firm writing content for software companies. Most recently, she was a communications fellow at MIT’s Office of Sustainability, where she reported on efforts to use the university as a living laboratory by testing researchers’ work on MIT campus operations.

Frankie is fascinated by the power of information technology and computing to shape modern life and hopes to report on these subjects in way that is inclusive to all, arming the public with the information necessary to navigate an increasingly technology-driven world. She is electrified by the opportunity to continue strengthening her skills at MIT. Recreationally, Frankie enjoys meeting cats, eating doughnuts, searching for the freshest memes, and watching baseball.

Thesis: The Promise and Perils of Personalized Learning: Keeping Students at the Center of the Ed Tech Revolution
Steven Schirra
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
UX Research Manager at YouTube
Thesis: Playing for Impact: The Design of Civic Games for Community Engagement and Social Action
Karen Schrier
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2005
Associate Professor & Director, Games & Emerging Media program, Marist College
Karen "Kat" Schrier is a game designer, producer, and educator. She is an Associate Professor and the Founding Director of the Games & Emerging Media program at Marist College. She also currently consults as a Game Designer for the World Health Organization (WHO) and is co-PI on a Templeton Foundation Grant on VR and empathy. She was also a Belfer Fellow for the Center for Technology & Society at the ADL. Dr. Schrier is the author/editor of over 100 published works, including We the Gamers: How Games Teach Ethics and Civics (Oxford University Press), the Learning, Education & Games series (ETC Press/Carnegie Mellon), and Knowledge Games (Johns Hopkins University Press). Prior to becoming a full-time academic, she worked at media companies like Scholastic, BrainPOP, and Nickelodeon. Dr. Schrier holds a doctorate from Columbia University, a master’s degree from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.

Thesis: Revolutionizing History Education: Using Augmented Reality Games to Teach Histories
Stephen Schultze
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2008
Associate Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, at Princeton University
Thesis: The Business of Broadband and the Public Interest: Media Policy for the Network Society
Sarah Schwartz
S.M., Science Writing, 2015
Ph.D student at MIT Microbiology; Freelance science writer/fact checker
Sarah Schwartz was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She spent her childhood getting lost in redwoods and stories, collecting wood sorrel and novels, and learning how to identify constellations and split infinitives. Dreading that someday she would have to make a career decision between the sciences or writing, she studied both fields at the University of California, San Diego, where she earned her B.S. in Environmental Systems while taking Revelle College’s rigorous Humanities series and as many writing courses as possible. She has worked in laboratories at UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, learning about bacterial aging, natural sunscreens, neonatal hypoxia-ischemia, marine sponge biochemistry, and what to do when you set the ethanol on fire. These experiences fostered her deep respect and appreciation for scientific research and professional scientists; they have also left her eager to keep studying, supporting, and contributing to the natural and physical sciences. Though her primary interests lie in the areas of environmental and human health, Sarah hopes to explore various fields and interdisciplinary challenges, and to generate a broad dialogue about important, exciting science. In her free time, Sarah loves to bake, sing, hike, and obsess about Giants baseball.

Thesis: Owning the Code of Life: Human Gene Patents in America
Emma Sconyers
SM, Science Writing, 2014
Communications Project Manager for Population Health Management at Partners HealthCare
Emma Sconyers grew up in Newport, Rhode Island, never far from the beach or the local nature preserve, where she could usually be found with stacks of field guides, glass collection jars and a magnifying glass tucked safely under her arms. Her love of the natural world inspired her to pursue a degree in Biology from the University of Rhode Island. However, her love of literature and writing nagged so hard at the back of her mind she decided her junior year to double minor in English and Writing & Rhetoric. After completing a life engrossing honor’s thesis on the history of tuberculosis sanitaria in Rhode Island, her dedication to pursuing a career in science writing was cemented. Upon graduating, Emma landed a job as a Medical Staff Secretary at Newport Hospital where she has been working the past year. When she’s not chasing down doctors to sign endless piles of paperwork she moonlights as the co-director of her old high school’s theater company as well as a photography assistant (both of which she’s been doing for some time). She hopes to delve into her favorite subjects: the history of medicine, genetics, natural conservation and biological discovery. She is unapologetically in love with Martha Stewart and all things domestic, walking in the woods with her dog and singing old jazz standards far too loudly while she’s doing dishes.

Thesis: I Carry You in My Heart: Facing an Incurable Prenatal Diagnosis
Megan Scudellari
S.M., Science Writing, 2008
Freelance Science Journalist, Textbook Author
Megan is an award-winning freelance science journalist and author based in Boston, Massachusetts, specializing in the life sciences. She is a contributing editor at IEEE Spectrum and has written for the Nature, Newsweek, Bloomberg News, Scientific American, Discover, and Technology Review, among others. She worked as a health columnist for the Boston Globe (2015-2017), a contributor to Retraction Watch (2016-2017), and a correspondent then contributing editor at The Scientist magazine (2009-2014).

Thesis: Proof Positive: Finding the Cause of AIDS
Nick Seaver
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2010
Assistant Professor, Tufts University
Nick Seaver is an anthropologist of technology, whose research focuses on the circulation, reproduction, and interpretation of sound. He is an assistant professor of anthropology at Tufts University, and he holds a PhD from the University of California, Irvine. His dissertation research examined the development of algorithmic music recommendation, and at CMS, he wrote a thesis on the history of the player piano.

Thesis: A Brief History of Re-Performance
Sheila Seles
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2010
Manager, Content Marketing, TiVo
Thesis: Audience Research for Fun and Profit: Rediscovering the Value of Television Audiences
Jesse Sell
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Senior Business Development Manager at Twitch
Jesse Sell’s thesis work focuses on broadcasting and spectating in the realm of professional video gaming. He currently works as a research assistant in the Education Arcade, where he designs educational video games. In the summer of 2014, Jesse spent time in Cologne, Germany working on the public relations team for Turtle Entertainment, the largest professional video gaming broadcasting/management company in the world. During his time with Turtle Entertainment, he acquired skills in managing press rooms for large events, writing press releases, pitching to potential investors, and creating media/press kits. While working as a mortgage consultant in Philadelphia, he became familiar with client relations and compliance. His time with the MIT Education arcade has helped him develop a deep understanding of the iterative process required for design projects. Jesse received a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012.

Thesis: E-Sports Broadcasting
Parmesh Shahani
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2005
Vice President, Godrej Industries, and head of Godrej India Culture Lab
Parmesh Shahani is an author and DEI consultant. In the recent past he was the founder of the Godrej India Culture Lab which ran for a decade between 2011 and 2021 and changed the cultural landscape of Mumbai, India. Parmesh is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in corporate India and has guided many of the country’s leading companies on their inclusion journeys. His first book Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India (Sage Publications) was released in 2008 and re-released in June 2020 as an updated edition and his second book Queeristan: LGBTQ Inclusion in the Indian Workplace (Westland Business) was released in August 2020. Parmesh holds an MS in Comparative Media Studies from MIT (2005). He is a TED Senior Fellow, a Yale World Fellow, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He is a member of the FICCI taskforce on diversity and inclusion and a board member of KHOJ International Artists’ Association.

Thesis: Disco Jalebi: An Ethnographic Exploration of Gay Bombay
Sultan Sharrief
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2019
PhD candidate, Media Arts and Practice program at USC
Sultan Sharrief is currently a PhD candidate in the Media Arts and Practice program at USC. He is a transmedia activist, filmmaker, and social entrepreneur. His interest lies at the intersection of art, business, and community impact.

His directorial debut feature film, Bilal's Stand, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and he has produced four other feature films. He is also the creator and showrunner for the Black Public Media program Street Cred'.

After he received a Masters Degree from MIT in Comparative Media Studies he founded the Quasar Lab, which focuses on data equity. He is currently developing a Virtual Reality Data Visualization Musical as part of his PhD dissertation.

Thesis: Wrestling With Systemic Edges: Designing For Long-Term Social Change
Fangfei Shen
S.M., Science Writing, 2012
Senior Software Engineer, Dropbox
Fangfei is a senior software engineer at Dropbox. Fangfei earned two degrees from MIT, a bachelor's in Physics and in Writing and a master's in Science Writing.

Thesis: Money for the Big Eyes
Morgan Sherburne
S.M., Science Writing, 2010
Public Relations Representative, University of Michigan News
Thesis: Distant Harvest: The Production and Price of Organic Food
Sangita Shresthova
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2003
Director of Research at Civic Imagination Project, University of Southern California
Thesis: Strictly Bollywood?: Story, Camera and Movement in Hindi Film Dance
Sonny Sidhu
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Vice President, Media & Entertainment at PSB Research
Thesis: Poetics of the Videogame Setpiece
Saimas Sidik
S.M., Science Writing, 2021
Saima Sidik’s path through science began during her bachelor’s degree at McGill University, where she spent hours sorting fruit flies with a paintbrush to breed mutations in genes encoding ion channels. After graduating, Saima used her knowledge of genetics to help ocean ecologists map marine food webs. Saima has always been fascinated by the little things in life, so she turned to studying microbes, first as a master’s student at Dalhousie University where she worked with the dysentery-inducing bacterium Shigella, then as a research associate at the Whitehead Institute where she studied the beautiful cell biology of a parasite called Toxoplasma. Blogging about microbiology, medical research, and natural history as well as writing for the MIT Biology website convinced Saima that she wanted to tell science stories full-time, and this led her to join the GPSW. She wants to explore all types of science writing, but she’s especially interested in ecology and earth science.
Lauren Silberman
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Thesis: Double Play: Athletes’ Use of Sport Video Games to Enhance Athletic Performance
Ben Silverman
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2020
Ben Silverman is an electronic musician, multimedia artist, software developer, and humanities researcher interested in participatory culture, archives, fandom studies, queer online subcultures, and the ethnographic study of virtual worlds. More generally, his research concerns the ways that groups of people organize and behave socially online, and the affective aspects of human-computer interaction.

Before attending MIT, Ben earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Brown University with a concentration in computer music. Towards this undergraduate degree, he produced an honors thesis in ethnomusicology regarding fandom and labor in an online music file-sharing community. In addition, Ben received the Buxtehude Premium and Brand Musical Premium departmental awards during his studies at Brown.

At MIT, Ben works with the HyperStudio Laboratory for Digital Humanities. He is interested in the ways in which software and interfaces can be leveraged within the context of multimedia archives, pedagogy, and humanities research.

In his free time, Ben enjoys composing music, making videos, cooking with his partner, drawing, and watching cute animal videos.

Thesis: Fursonas: Furries, Community, and Identity Online
Michelle Sipics
S.M., Science Writing, 2006
Editorial Lead, Technology Innovation at Accenture
Thesis: Abandoned Minds: The Escalating Crisis of Geriatric Mental Illness
Joshua Sokol
S.M., Science Writing, 2015
Freelance science journalist
Joshua Sokol A product of Raleigh, NC, Josh Sokol writes bio blurbs with casual flair and a knack for subtle self-promotion. Josh graduated from Swarthmore College in 2011, where he majored in English Literature and Astronomy. He then took his talents to the land of acronyms as a Research & Instrument Analyst (RIA) at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), where he helped calibrate the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for NASA (NASA). His non-astronomical interests include oceans, literature, bad movies, fossils, “taking his talents,” and his succulent plants, which he will also take, along with his talents, to MIT.

Thesis: The Reef at the End of the World
Lisa Song
S.M., Science Writing, 2009
Reporter at ProPublica
Thesis: Drinking Up the Desert
David Spitz
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2001
Chief Marketing Officer, emParticle
Thesis: Contested Codes: The Social Construction of Napster
Erik St. Gray (Stayton)
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Senior Researcher at Alliance Innovation Lab, Silicon Valley
Erik St. Gray (né Stayton) is a technologist and anthropologist of technology who shapes the future of human relationships to technology by studying and critiquing their past, their present, and conventionally accepted visions of their future. He received his dual-degree Sc.B. from Brown University in physics and English literature before completing his Master's and Ph.D at MIT on the social and cultural context of automated cars, and the practices of autonomous vehicle development, respectively. Erik is a senior researcher in user experience and human-centered design at the Alliance Innovation Lab, a research center of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi automotive alliance.

Thesis: Driverless Dreams: Technological Narratives and the Shape of the Automated Car
Christa Starr
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2001
Partner at Elephant Gun LLC
Abe Stein
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Content Director at Sports Innovation Lab
Thesis: Televisual Sports Videogames
Siri Steiner
S.M., Science Writing, 2005
Medical Writer at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Thesis: The Natural History of a Lost Sense

Medical Writer, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Anna Lee Strachan
S.M., Science Writing, 2003
Freelance Producer/Writer/Director for NOVA-WGBH
Anna Lee Strachan is an Emmy-nominated freelance producer for PBS’s NOVA series. She has produced and directed several hours for PBS’s NOVA including the critically-acclaimed The Fabric of the Cosmos, Making Stuff, and NOVA scienceNOW. As an associate producer she helped produce the Peabody Award-winning two-hour special, Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. Prior to her television work, she wrote for NASA’s Ask an Astrobiologist website and produced for NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday. She has a degree in cognitive neuroscience from Harvard University and an M.S. in science writing from MIT.

Thesis: Chasing Chupacabras: Why People Would Rather Believe in a Bloodsucking Red-eyed Monster from Outer-Space than in a Pack of Hungry Dogs
Andy Kelleher Stuhl
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Ph.D. Student in Communication Studies, McGill University
Andy's interests center on sound, networked media, and communities of practice. His thesis project at CMS examined the processes and motivations behind interactive musical works.

Andy is now a Ph.D. student in Communication Studies at McGill, where he is researching the adoption of software interfaces for automated radio programming amid regulatory change and consolidation of ownership in the industry.

Thesis: Listening in Code: Process and Politics in Interactive Musical Works
Han Su
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2020
Han Su (苏汉) is an interactive media artist, full stack developer, and media researcher focusing on HCI, politics of code, and technology at large.

Prior to CMS, Han earned his bachelor’s degree with double-major in Computer Science and Interactive Media Arts at New York University Shanghai―the third degree-granting campus in the NYU global network, during which he has studied in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Buenos Aires―where he picked up some basic Spanish and Arabic.

Han is born and raised in China and has received education in both Chinese and western countries. Han loves reading about politics, economics, and history. At MIT, he works at the Global Media Technology & Cultures Lab. Han is enthusiastic about emerging technologies and interested in tech companies in emerging markets.

Apart from academia, Han is keen on sports and music―he has received endorsements for his ping-pong and basketball skills, while bad reviews of his singing.

Thesis: Theory and Practice Towards a Decentralized Internet
Nidhi Subbaraman
S.M., Science Writing, 2010
Science Reporter, Wall Street Journal
Nidhi is a science reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Previously, she worked at BuzzFeed News, the Boston Globe, and NBC News.

Thesis: Why We Sing: An Ode to Our Musical Origins
Michael Sugarman
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2021
Director of Media and Podcast Producer at Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure, UMass Amherst
Mike Sugarman is a media producer, musician, and organizer interested in how music communities use the internet to organize offline. While in CMS, he studied how improvised music communities improvised to adapt to live-streaming events when COVID-19 made in-person concerts impossible. At the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure, he furthers that research in two ways: first seeking to understand how online tools and social media might be developed to cater to the values and needs of small, interest-based communities, and second co-designing online tools with communities currently underserved by the profit-motivated social media. In addition to that research, Mike produces iDPI’s public-facing media, creating a forum for the community of scholars, journalists, activists, and artists working to build a new internet that centers equity, justice, and communities’ values.

Thesis: Playing It By Ear: Improvised Music Livestreaming During COVID-19
Huan Sun
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Thesis: The Hidden Activism: Media Practices and the Media Opportunity in Chinese Politics of Resistance
Ainsley Sutherland
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Product & Partnership Strategy, Enigma MPC
Ainsley graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Economics.

Ainsley has design experience in games, education, software, and transmedia production. Prior to graduate school, she worked at Game Changer Chicago, where she co-designed transmedia games and stories with youth.

Ainsley is from Baltimore and has a dog named Koda.

Thesis: Staged Empathy: Empathy and Visual Perception in Virtual Reality Systems
Lana Swartz
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Assistant Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia
Philip Tan
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2003
Creative Director, MIT Game Lab
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
Kate Telma
S.M., Science Writing, 2017
Kate Telma graduated from Brown University in 2015 with an ScB in chemical biology. After working at Bolt Threads, a startup that makes spider silk, she joined the science writers at MIT. She completed an internship with Nature India in New Delhi, where she wrote about population genetics, antibiotic resistance, and medical devices. Her written work has appeared in NOVA Next, MIT News, Hearing Health, and Undark.

Thesis: Senses Lost: The Impossible Dilemma of Usher Syndrome, and Its Possible Solutions
Maria Temming
S.M., Science Writing, 2017
Technology Reporter at Science News
Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Maria Temming always envisioned herself as an author. While other kids played soccer or video games or the clarinet, Maria spent hours hashing out plot lines and characters. She never thought she would find anything quite as fascinating as her own word-constructed worlds—until she took a physics class. At first, Maria viewed physics and astronomy concepts merely as excellent fodder for sci-fi stories, but she soon found herself fascinated with the real science of the cosmos.

As physics and English major at Elon University ‘16, Maria realized that science writing appeased both her inner STEM fangirl, who loved learning about the weird and wonderful phenomena in our universe, and the creative writer, who just wanted to spend her time telling stories. Maria cut her teeth in science journalism by writing for Sky & Telescope in the summer of 2014, and she worked as an AAAS Mass Media Fellow at Scientific American the following summer. During the school year, Maria got her science writing fix by contributing to the university tech blog and working on her thesis project: composing three chapters of a popular science book about the attendees of the Green Bank Meeting of 1961, the seminal SETI conference. She looks forward to further honing her science communication skills at MIT, so that she can get someone else excited about jaw-dropping, mind-bending, and sometimes just plain head-scratching research that physicists and astronomers are doing.

Thesis: Melvin Calvin: Nobel-Winning Chemist and SETI Scientist Wannabe
Rachel Thompson
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2019
Rachel Thompson earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and Comparative Literature from Harvard University. Her honors thesis explored literature’s evolving role in the digital age through an ethnographic study of an online literary magazine. She also co-founded and directed the Harvard Organization for Prison Education and Reform, a network of eight volunteer groups that tutor in prisons across Massachusetts and work on advocacy initiatives relating to mass incarceration and education.

Before joining CMS, Rachel worked in Boston-area art museums — the Harvard Art Museums and the Peabody Essex Museum — with a focus on developing teaching curriculum for makerspaces as well as integrated digital media experiences for visitors.

At MIT, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab under the direction of Lisa Parks.

Thesis: Incomplete Sentences: Exploitation and Empowerment in American Incarceration Media
Yao Tong
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
Yao Tong graduated from the University of Michigan, double majoring in Communication Studies and Economics. Growing up in Beijing, Yao took a particular interest in the complex interplay between political, economic, and cultural contexts impacting new media in Asia. Most recently, she interned at China Central Television (CCTV) as a director assistant, where her tasks involved coming up with an effective propagation strategy in the face of the continuous mediocre television ratings. To delve deeper, Yao conducted an independent research project on microblogging services in China and revealed substantial insights on how cultural and social factors dictate the way Chinese people communicate online.

In her spare time, Yao is an ardent jazz music lover and an enthusiastic pianist in chamber music groups on campus. She swims every day to keep fit, and loves to go to BSO (Boston Symphony Orchestra) to admire her favorite musicians such as Evgeny Kissin and Anna Netrebko.

Thesis: Narrative as an Aid for the Doctor-Patient Relationship in China
Deniz Tortum
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2016
Deniz Tortum is a filmmaker, researcher and designer. He is currently a fellow at Harvard Film Study Center, where he is working on a film about a hospital in Istanbul and works with Virtual Collaboration Research, where he designs virtual reality experiences. His first feature film, Zayiat, has been screened internationally, including at SXSW. His most recent film, If Only There Were Peace, was selected to Sheffield, True/False FF and won the best short documentary award at Dokufest.

Thesis: Embodied Montage: Reconsidering Immediacy in Virtual Reality
Whitney Trettien
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2009
Assistant Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
Whitney Trettien is a scholar, creator, and teacher whose work weaves together archival research and creative use of technologies. She has a PhD from Duke University, an MS from MIT, and is an Assistant Professor of English at University of Pennsylvania. Before moving to Penn, she taught in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC Chapel Hill.

Thesis: Computers, Cut-ups and Combinatory Volvelles: An Archaeology of Text-Generating Mechanisms
Lauren Maurer Trew
S.M., Science Writing, 2012
Freelance Writer/Editor
Thesis: Flashback: The Return of Psychedelic Medicine
Kelsey Tsipis
S.M., Science Writing, 2018
Science Writer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Growing up in Cleveland, OH, Kelsey Tsipis did not always aspire to be a science writer. She was a child with ardent aspirations, prone to ever-changing interests and great immoderation in her passion. It wasn’t until she took her first science journalism class as an undergraduate at UNC Chapel Hill that she recognized that science writing perfectly suited her inquisitive disposition. As an undergrad, Kelsey focused primarily on a wide range of public health topics, including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, mental health coverage, and research findings from UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University — winning her the North Carolina Medical Society Scholarship for Medical Journalism. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a specialty in Editing and Graphic Design from UNC Chapel Hill, Kelsey worked as a medical editor for an independent, nonprofit global research institute and served on the executive committee of the American Medical Writers Association Carolinas Chapter. Kelsey is now beyond grateful to continue her passion for science writing at MIT with fellow students and professors whom she admires greatly.

Thesis: Fission and Fury in Perry Ohio: One Town’s Fight to Save Their Nuclear Power Plant
George Tsiveriotis
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
Researcher at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism
George moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009 after attending high school in Athens, Greece. He earned his B.S. from Stanford University in Symbolic Systems, an interdisciplinary program that consists of coursework in computer science, psychology, philosophy, and linguistics.

George spent the year before grad school working in Facebook's communications and policy department, where he collaborated with tech reporters from outlets such as WIRED and the Washington Post on stories about a wide range of topics including tech accessibility, the Silicon Valley gender gap, and the role of analog art in online communities.

George's research interests include social media, online identity, techno-utopianism, and algorithmic bias.

Thesis: Everything is Awful: Snark as Ritualized Practice in Online Discourse
Madeleine Turner
S.M., Science Writing, 2019
Madeleine grew up in Los Angeles County, where every day feels like summer. Swapping the SoCal heat for shade under redwood trees, she attended the University of California, Santa Cruz. Through her college years, she spent many hours organizing student-led classes, picking strawberries for an agroecology lab, and learning to hula-hoop (a quintessential Santa Cruz activity). She always identified as an enthusiastic reader, but didn’t discover a love for writing until taking a science communications class in her junior year. After graduating with a degree in ecology and evolutionary biology, she became a social media intern for Sempervirens Fund, a nonprofit focused on protecting redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Today she contributes to Los Gatos Magazine, a local events and lifestyle publication, and Save the Redwoods League’s Giant Thoughts blog, where she writes about redwood science and wildlife.

Thesis: Future Tal: The Race To Build A Bot That Gabs Like A Human
Rachel VanCott
S.M., Science Writing, 2008
Thesis: Ghost at the Machine: Internet Addiction and Compulsive Computer Use
Iris Vargas
S.M., Science Writing, 2008
Freelance writer
Thesis: Earthlings: Humanity’s Essential Relationship with Gravity
Mara Vatz
S.M., Science Writing, 2004
Thesis: Knowing When to Stop: The Investigation of Flight 191
Ilya Vedrashko
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
Managing Director, Communications Planning and Research, Syneos Health
Thesis: Advertising in Computer Games
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2006
Disability and Technology Consultant, Radical Disability Blogger and Writer
Thesis: Decloaking Disability: Images of Disability and Technology in Science Fiction Media
Karen Verschooren
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2007
Image and Artifact Programming, House for Dance, Image and Sound
Thesis: .art: Situating Internet Art in the Traditional Institution for Contemporary Art
Kenrick Vezina
S.M., Science Writing, 2011
Science Writer, Editor, and Educator
Thesis: Metromorphosis: Evolution on the Urban Island
Gina Vitale
S.M., Science Writing, 2019
Assitant Editor, Chemical and Engineering News
Gina Vitale is an assistant editor at Chemical & Engineering News and an unrepentant Eagles fan. She can be reached through or via Twitter at @GinaCVitale.

Thesis: Asbestos, USA: A Little Town Once Thrived As The Asbestos Capital of The World – Now It Grapples With The Waste That Was Left Behind
Kelly Wagman
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2021
Computer Science Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago
Kelly is a human-computer interaction researcher working on building a more inclusive internet. She can be found @kellybwagman on Twitter or at

Thesis: Sex, Power, and Technology: A Relational Engineering Ethos As Feminist Utopia
Maya Wagoner
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2017
UX Designer and Reseacher
Maya Wagoner is a civic user experience designer, user researcher, and technologist passionate about critical pedagogy and democratizing technology. She has collaborated with organizations such as The Engine Room, Brooklyn Public Library, the Emerson College Engagement Lab, Open Technology Institute, Invest in Open Infrastructure, and Mozilla on fostering equity and democratic technologies through participatory methods. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Thesis: Technology Against Technocracy: Toward Design Strategies for Critical Community Technology
Annie Wang
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2020
Annie Wang is a researcher and designer fascinated by intercultural exchange, game design, and the power of new media technologies in disrupting and reshaping social science and STEM education inside and outside of the classroom. Originally from Alpharetta, Georgia, she graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in both Media Arts and Sciences (2D Design plus Computer Science) and History. Before joining the CMS program, she was cross-registered and later worked at the MIT Education Arcade and the Game Lab, where she worked to help design both touchscreen and virtual reality-based games for student learning. As a graduate student at MIT, she hopes to further her understanding of the power of media in shaping beliefs and preconceptions and the potential of emerging media in helping both student and adult learners traverse and bridge sociocultural divides.

Outside of academia, she can usually be found researching and testing new recipes, getting hopelessly lost in history museums, collecting pictures of dogs and seals, or debating the intricacies of video game lore.

Thesis: Creators, Classrooms, and Cell: Designing For The Benefits and Limitations of Learning in Immersive Virtual Reality
Yu Wang
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2015
Manager of Software Product and Operations, Makeblock Co.
Wang Yu spent his years empowering Chinese grass root NGOs with technology. As a member of NGO 2.0 China project, he participated in building the Philanthropy Map, which is designed to help Chinese NGOs and corporations find each other's needs. He also attended Web 2.0 workshops for Chinese NGOs as an instructor, to train them how to utilize social media to achieve their goal.

As a graduate student at University of Science and Technology of China, Wang is interested in software developing and engineering, science communication, online education, data analysis, mining and visualization. He believes that the well-being of society resides in collaborative solving social issues and sharing delight about knowledge, life, and the world.

Thesis: Heike, Jike, Chuangke: Creativity in the Chinese Technology Community
Qi Wang
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2002
Associate Professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology
Thesis: Negotiating Realists: The Sixth Generation of Chinese Filmmakers
Genevieve Wanucha
S.M., Science Writing, 2009
Science Writer at University of Washington, Memory and Brain Wellness Center
Thesis: The Clearest Mirror: The Science of Laughing and Crying
Erin Weeks
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Science Writer, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (Charleston, SC)
Thesis: Out of Africa and Into the Sunshine State: Tracking an Exotic Invader
Margaret Weigel
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2002
Margaret graduated from CMS in 2002 and began her career in the glamorous and lucrative field of education technology as the Project Director of Project New Media Literacies with Dr. Henry Jenkins. She subsequently worked for Dr. Howard Gardner at Harvard's Project Zero, for academic publisher Cengage Learning as a digital strategist and content developer, for Six Red Marbles as a Director of Curriculum and Learning.

Thesis: The Commoditable Block Party: Electric Signs in Manhattan, 1881-1917
Matthew Weise
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2004
CEO at Empathy Box
Matthew Weise is a game designer and writer whose work spans industry and academia. He has been a Narrative Designer at Harmonix Music Systems on Fantasia: Music Evolved, the Game Design Director of the GAMBIT Game Lab at MIT, and a consultant for Microsoft, PBS, and others on transmedia storytelling and game design. His work, both creatively and critically, focuses on transmedia adaptation with an emphasis on the challenges of adapting cinema into video games. Matt has given lectures and workshops on film-to-game adaptation all over the world, and his published work on Aliens, James Bond, and zombie and horror cinema can be found along with the rest of his writing on his blog at His development work, including IGF finalist The Snowfield, is available at

Thesis: Understanding Meaningfulness in Video Games
Evan Wendel
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2008
UX Designer, Intuitive Company
Thesis: New Potentials for “Independent” Music: Social Networks, Old and New, and the Ongoing Struggles to Reshape the Music Industry
Michelle Woodward
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2002
Photo Editor, Middle East Report magazine
Michelle lives in Beirut with her husband and young daughter. She is the photo editor for the magazine Middle East Report ( and editor of the Photography Page on the e-zine Jadaliyya ( She is also an experienced photography researcher. She finds photos for authors to use in their published work and help them navigate the landscape of rights and permissions. She also pursues historical research into photography of the Middle East and occasionally publishes on this topic.

Thesis: The Construction of Photojournalism: Visual Style and Branding in the Magnum Photos Agency
Sam Wotipka
SM, Science Writing, 2014
Exhibit Development Coordinator, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Thesis: Seizing A Species: The story of the Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Harvest
Ashley Yeager
S.M., Science Writing, 2008
Associate News Editor, Science News
Ashley Yeager is author of Bright Galaxies, Dark Matter, and Beyond: The Life of Astronomer Vera Rubin

Thesis: Cosmos Incognito: Vera Rubin Shines Light on Dark Matter
Christopher York
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2001
Thesis: Anthropology of Nostalgia: Primitivism and the Antimodern Vision in the American Southwest, 1880-1930
Sarah Yu
S.M., Science Writing, 2013
Software Engineer at LinkedIn
Thesis: The Butterfly People, and Their Impacts on the Creatures They Love
Huma Yusuf
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2008
Executive, Business Integrity, CDC Group
Thesis: Tactical Cities: Negotiating Violence in Karachi, Pakistan
Yannis Zavoleas
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2004
Associate Professor at University of Ioannina, Adjunct Senior Lecturer at University of New South Wales, Sydney
Yannis Zavoleas is Associate Professor at University of Ioannina, Adjunct Senior Lecturer at University of New South Wales, Sydney and co-founder of Ctrl_Space Lab, Athens. His work explores the idea of “tools for thought” to expand creativity, by also introducing themes from biology, media and philosophy into architectural design. He has received awards in design, paper writing, fabrication and interactive storytelling. His funded research “Bio-shelters: Designing reef habitats at Sydney Harbour” combines data-driven design approaches with dynamic simulation to tackle environmental problems. Co-author (with Nicole Gardner and M. Hank Haeusler) of Computational Design: From Promise to Practice (2020); author of Machine and Network as Structural Models in Architecture (2013); co-editor (with Nikolas Patsavos) of Digital Materiality and the New Relation between Depth and Surface (2013).

Thesis: Restating Artistic Value: Why Do People Pay 2,000,000 US.D. for a Urinal Signed by R. Mutt?
Vicky Zeamer
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2018
Strategic User Researcher for AI, Salesforce
Vicky specializes in building strategic visions, processes, collaborative methods for “designing” ML/AI systems in conjunction with data scientists, software engineers, and more. She is currently a Strategic User Researcher for AI at Salesforce in San Francisco, California. Previously, she was a Design Researcher at IDEO and a UX Researcher for the AI team at HubSpot.

At MIT, she earned her M.Sc. in Comparative Media Studies and wrote her thesis on how the dining out food industry shifted in response to the proliferation of digital food culture on Web 1.0 & 2.0. Vicky earned her B.A. at Wellesley College in American Studies (how people and societies function & create culture) and Media Arts and Sciences (how computer science and design could be leveraged for innovation).

Thesis: Internet Killed the Michelin Star: The Motives of Narrative and Style in Food Text Creation on Social Media
Jia Zhang
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2013
Mellon Associate Research Scholar, Columbia University Center for Spatial Research
Thesis: Information Visualization as Creative Nonfiction
Ling Zhong
S.M., Comparative Media Studies, 2014
Senior Venture Architect at BCG Digital Ventures
Lingyuxiu Zhong is a digital media studies researcher at MIT. She previously received a B.A. degree in History from Yale University, where she studied how collective memories of the past can impact a society’s identity formation process. At MIT she focused on digital image sharing and collection practices and their cultural and commercial implications.

Thesis: My Pins Are My Dreams: Pinterest, Collective Daydreams, and the Aspirational Gap