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

Please use the MIT Directory for current offices and phone numbers.

Garrett Beazley

As a Video Producer, Garrett develops online video content hands-on. He works with educators and researchers to transform course curricula into tangible video content with the help of his teammates and colleagues. With a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design he has been developing online courses since 2013. He also creates graphic designs, developed recording practices for K-12 classrooms, and helped develop a video-based annotation tool.

Katerina Cizek

Director of the National Film Board of Canada’s multi-year HIGHRISE project, Katerina Cizek is an Emmy-winning documentary-maker working across multiple media platforms. Prior to HIGHRISE, she worked as the NFB’s Filmmaker in Residence. Her work has documented the digital revolution and has itself become part of the movement.

For more information on the MIT Visiting Artists Program, visit Arts@MIT.

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, Playboy.com, 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

Rik Eberhardt

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

Ira Fay

Ira Fay is a Learning Game Designer in The Education Arcade at MIT, an Affiliated Scholar at Hampshire College, and CEO of Fay Games, a studio primarily focused on games for educational impact. Prior to his academic career, Ira was a Senior Game Designer at Electronic Arts (Pogo.com), and before that, he worked at Z-Axis (Activision) on X-Men 3, Maxis on The Sims 2, and Walt Disney Imagineering on ToonTown Online. Ira graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and master’s degrees in information systems management and entertainment technology. He is also a published puzzle designer and board game designer, including co-designing expansions for Agricola and Xia: Legends of a Drift System.

Caitlin Feeley

Caitlin Feeley designs and researches educational games and related technologies. Her areas of interest include participatory narratives, museums, STEM topics, and financial education. She was the project manager and co-designer for Vanished, a cross-platform science mystery game/event co-developed with the Smithsonian, which reached more than 6,000 players. Her other game design projects have included Energeo (environmental policy), Rx (pharma development), and Middle Galaxy (career development). She also co-designed the award-winning financial literacy games Farm Blitz and Bite Club for the Doorway to Dreams Fund. She was the 2016 Fellow in Museum Practice at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and holds a master’s degree in Technology, Innovation and Education from Harvard University.

Jennifer Gardony

Prior to coming to MIT, Jenny taught in the Boston area for ten years, in Cambridge Public Schools, Boston, and at the Community Charter School of Cambridge. There, Jenny served as a mentor for new teachers, a grade level leader, drama club founder, and even hosted a student teacher from STEP! Jenny earned her B.A. in Developmental Psychology from Tufts and her M.Ed. in Math Education from Cambridge College. Outside of work, Jenny loves baking, long walks with her dog, and spending time with her family.

Mary Cate Gustafson-Quiett

Mary Cate is a curriculum design manager for the STEP Lab and program manager for the Undergraduate Teaching Opportunities Program (UTOP). After earning her B.S. in Secondary Education and Mathematics from DePaul University, Mary Cate assisted, tutored, and taught in a wide range of schools including those in urban, rural, and suburban communities, in public, private, and charter settings. She went on to earn her Masters of Public Affairs from the Goldman School for Public Policy at UC Berkeley. For two years Mary Cate worked as a PLUS Research Fellow for UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities and Schools where she co-designed district policy recommendations with teachers and administrators. Mary Cate welcomes opportunities to flex her co-design, logic, and collaborative leadership skills to help create a more equitable and sustainable education system.

Brandon Hanks

Brandon is the lead developer on the Connected Learning Initiative. His development efforts focus on educational games and the technology to deliver them. Prior to joining MIT, built and managed development teams for a variety of start ups ranging from Android development to remote sensing. Brandon has bachelor degrees in math and physics, with a minor in chemistry.

Alex Hargroder

Hargroder came to MIT after ten years in public education as a high school English teacher, instructional coach, and assistant principal in Louisiana and Texas. He is a Teach For America alumnus and has experience developing curricula, training and coaching teachers, and has recently worked on projects involving wrap-around student support, trauma-sensitive and restorative practices, project-based learning, career-technical education, and community partnerships. His current interests are related primarily to issues of equity and creating transformational learning experiences for students and teachers. He holds a BA in English from Louisiana State University and an MEd in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jasmine Heyward

Jasmine Heyward is the Open Documentary Lab’s Communications and Events Production Coordinator, supporting outreach and operations. They were introduced to ODL’s work while studying Digital and Interactive Storytelling at the University of Westminster in London. During that MA, Jasmine produced rapid-prototyping demos for a game, an AR photography experience, a sound-based creative coding project, and a web doc. Their topical interests include the depiction of trauma and PTSD in media, marginalized community issues, exploring urban space, and youth internet cultures. As a researcher, their work often focuses on how representation of marginalized communities and experiences can foster empathy and increased allyship in majority-culture audiences.

Gabriella Horvath

Gabriella Horvath is CMS/W's Senior Financial Assistant. Her background includes front-of-house administration for a live theater and founding an independent cinema in Washington. Gabriella received an M.S. in Arts Administration from Boston University ('06). She has been an admin for MIT Venture Mentoring Service, the HyperStudio digital humanities lab, and the Electronic Literature Organization.

Elena Kallestinova

Elena Kallestinova is Director of the Writing and Communication Center at MIT and teaches Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication classes. She came to MIT after working for twelve years at Yale University, where she founded and expanded the Graduate Writing Center and served as Assistant Dean for Writing and Communication in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has trained, taught, and mentored diverse student populations for more than twenty years and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Consortium on Graduate Communication. With a Ph.D. in Linguistics and an M.A. in TESOL from the University of Iowa and an M.A./B.A. in Computational Linguistics from Moscow State Linguistic University, Elena has significant experience working with international and multilingual students and scholars. She seeks to promote written and oral communication programming to the MIT academic community.

Andreas Karatsolis

Andreas Karatsolis joined MIT in the Fall of 2013 as the Associate Director of Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication, after spending five years in Qatar with Carnegie Mellon University. His disciplinary training includes a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication with an emphasis on technical/professional communication in science-related fields, which is at the core of his teaching and research efforts. In his new role at MIT and as a member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Professional Communication Society, he is primarily interested in designing curricula and tools which can help engineers and scientists develop life-long competencies in communication. In the past seven years he has also been the Lead of co-Principal Investigator in projects related to the design, implementation and assessment of learning technologies, especially in the domains of language learning, health communication and public discourse. As a native of Greece (and a reader of Ancient Greek texts), he also enjoys conversations on Classical Rhetoric and its relationship to contemporary scientific communication.


Ladybird appears on campus frequently to greet visitors to 14N-338, herd lost graduate students, accept treats, and do tricks. She has studied Agility and Obedience, and considers herself a reasonably good frisbee dog. She likes peanut butter, chasing geese, and people who feed her.

Suzanne Lane

Suzanne Lane is Senior Lecturer in Rhetoric and Communication, and Director of the Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication (WRAP) program. As an undergraduate at MIT, she studied Chemical Engineering, and after working as a research engineer for a couple of oil companies, she studied writing in graduate school, at the University of Colorado (Master's), and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (PhD). Her dissertation research applied genre theory and discourse analysis to fugitive slave narratives and academic histories of slavery, and defined narrative forms of argumentation that enslaved Americans developed to counter the dominant justifications for slavery.

Before joining MIT, she taught at Harvard, where she was also a researcher on the Harvard Study of Undergraduate Writing. In that research, she explored how students learn discipline-specific genres and forms of argumentation, and transfer them to new locations.

Suzanne also co-directs ArchiMedia, a research lab that investigates how digital media is shaping professional communication practices, and how digital tools can be used (and designed) to teach professional communication.

Shannon Larkin

Shannon is the Academic Administrator for CMS?W. If you've got a question about academics - grad or undergrad - she is the right person to ask.

Zoom Drop-in Office Hours: MWF 3-4 and TR 9:30-10:30

Colleen Desrosiers Laude

Colleen's responsibilities are to supervise equipment inventory, organize lab events, and manage the Director’s calendar. Prior to joining MIT she spent over nine years working at Harvard University. She holds a B.A. in English and Theater from Goucher College and earned a Professional Graduate Certificate in Learning Design and Technology through the Harvard Extension School in 2018.

Camila Lee

Camila is an instructional designer at the Teaching Systems Lab.

Her past research experiences with the Wellesley College Human-Computer Interaction Lab and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Scheller Teacher Education Program have led her to design studies that seek to understand how to optimize learning with different model mediums such as immersive virtual reality. At the TSL, Camila works on projects that support teacher education through online learning experiences. Outside of the lab, she enjoys working on creative projects with her brother and playing badminton with her family.

Irene Lee

Irene A. (Anne) Lee is research scientist at MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education Program / Education Arcade. She is the founder and program director of Project GUTS: Growing Up Thinking Scientifically and Teachers with GUTS. The programs she develops enables participants to create computer models then use them to gain a scientific understanding of the world around them. Lee’s research focuses on students’ and teachers’ understanding of complex adaptive systems and their development of computational thinking skills. She is the Chair of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Computational Thinking Task Force and serves as a lead writer of the K-12 Computer Science Frameworks and the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards. Lee is past president of the Supercomputing Challenge and the Swarm Development Group, and past director of the Learning Lab at Santa Fe Institute.

Alice Liao

Alice comes from spending 10 years in and out of the classroom in public education as a high school history teacher in Wellesley, MA. Her career has focused on leading anti-racist training as well as public speaking workshops for young leaders. She is passionate about fighting for our youth--to empower our youth to be effective citizens of our world. In doing so, she has spent her last two years in public education centralized on creating and designing a project-based learning program at Wellesley High. Alice holds a B.A. in History from Simmons University, an M.A.T. in Secondary Education from Simmons University and a Masters in Public Administration and Policy from American University.

Grace Lin

As an assessment scientist, Grace Lin is particularly interested in measurement and playful assessments for and of learning. Her research centers around different areas of cognition and how games can be implemented to not just help people learn, but also measure elusive constructs. She received her PhD in Education from University of California, Irvine, an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in Psychology from New York University. At UC Irvine, she was trained as a Pedagogical Fellow and conducted teaching assistant and course design PD workshops for both first year graduate students and postdocs across various disciplines. Prior to joining MIT, Grace was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oregon, working with nonprofit organizations and on an early childhood measures repository.

Mary McCrossan

Mary McCrossan works as Events Coordinator for CMS/W and its Scheller Teacher Education Program. She comes from a background of Digital Media at Harvard Law Schools’ Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society’s Youth and Media team and as Event and Marketing Specialist at a Life Science Company in Cambridge, MA. At STEP, Mary’s work focuses on the development and deployment of social media for the STEP team and helps to coordinate events such as the Science Engineering Program for Teachers each summer and any events partnered with XQ Schools and the STEP team. Her work expands at the lab throughout the school year as STEP continues to co-design authentic learning experiences for teachers and students.

Kate Moore

Kate Moore is a research scientist who studies how to teach middle and high school students about systems and ethics of artificial intelligence and machine learning. She earned her doctoral degree at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she studied cooperative learning and collaborative problem solving, and worked part-time as a professional development coach for STEM teachers in New York City public schools with the Center for the Professional Education of Teachers (CPET). Before entering the world of research and design, Kate served as a middle school science and special education teacher for 10 years. She has worked in public, independent, and charter schools in New York City NY, Newark NJ, and Pittsburgh PA.

Scot Osterweil

Scot Osterweil is a research scientist and creative consultant to the Education Arcade and Game Lab. He has designed award-winning games in both academic and commercial environments, focusing on what is authentically playful in challenging academic subjects. Designs include the acclaimed Zoombinis series (math and logic), Vanished: The MIT/Smithsonian Curated Game (environmental science), Labyrinth (math), Kids Survey Network (data and statistics), Caduceus (medicine), and iCue (history). He is a founder, President, and Creative Director of Learning Games Network, where he lead the Gates Foundation’s Language Learning Initiative (ESL), and where he designed Quandary, named Game of the Year at the 2013 Games 4 Change festival. He co-authored the book Resonant Games (MIT Press) and served as the play consultant on the Emmy Award winning Amazon TV series Tumbleleaf.

Judy Perry

Judy Perry is Director of STEP/TEA, overseeing design, development, and research across the lab’s projects. Prior to serving as Director, Perry spent 15+ years in STEP as a Research Manager where her research focused on mobile and AR/VR educational games, simulations, and toolkits, and their integration into formal and informal learning settings. Her work included the TaleBlazer augmented reality (AR) software platform, CLEVR (Collaborative Learning Environments in Virtual Reality), pSims (mobile participatory simulations), and CLIx (the Connected Learning Initiative). Prior to joining MIT’s STEP lab, Perry’s work included television and web production, and content development for educational toys. Perry holds a BA in American Studies from Yale University and an EdM in Technology, Innovation, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dan Roy

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

Ilana Schoenfeld

Ilana Schoenfeld is a content strategist and producer with a passion for researching, designing, and developing educational experiences at the intersection of digital and physical spaces. She is particularly interested in translating science to story (via various media) to bring abstract concepts to life for diverse audiences. Over the course of her career, she has worked as an education researcher, executive science editor, distance-learning program evaluator, and museum exhibit developer. Schoenfeld holds a master’s in environmental science/social ecology from Yale University and a BA in Latin American History from Brandeis University.

Philip Tan

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

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

Thesis: Tensions in Live-Action Roleplaying Game Design: A Case Study with the MIT Assassins’ Guild

Jessica Tatlock

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

Angie Tung

Angie joined the lab with years of product management in public broadcasting followed by a brief stint in the corporate web production world. Early exposure to Tetris and Dr. Mario taught her the joys of putting things in proper order and that the completion of neat packages can efficiently shorten a task list. Games like D&D taught her to look outside those proverbial neat boxes for creative solutions to tricky puzzles, including complex projects with multi-layered dependencies. On a daily basis she helps to take care of tasks related to: development process, contracts, budget, schedules, scope, vendor relationships and other planning duties. Angie holds a BA in Music from Florida State University and a MA in Media Arts from Emerson College.

Sara Verrilli

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

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

Daniel Wendel

After taking several Scheller Teacher Education Program classes as an MIT undergraduate, Wendel officially joined STEP as a Master of Engineering student under Professor Klopfer’s supervision in 2005, taking on the task of rewriting StarLogo TNG’s terrain system and much of its 3D rendering system. After graduation and a brief stint as a systems engineer in the defense industry, Wendel returned to STEP as a staff member to help lead the then-newly-formed Imagination Toolbox project, which aims to increase student interest and ability in STEM subjects through the use of computer tools like StarLogo TNG. Wendel continues to work as a software developer, curriculum designer, and research manager for several projects in STEP and The Education Arcade, and also takes his role as a student supervisor and mentor seriously. He’s worked closely with more than 40 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and MEng students who’ve contributed in countless ways to STEP and The Education Arcade.

Sarah Wharton

Sarah joins the Scheller Teacher Education Program lab as a curriculum designer. Prior to joining the lab, Sarah spent three years teaching computer science to middle school students in Cambridge, where she crafted her own computer science curriculum. She is deeply invested in making computational thinking accessible, equitable, and exciting to students. Before teaching, Sarah was a STEP student, where she studied math education with the goal of getting all students to identify themselves as “math people.” She holds a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Literature from MIT.

Andrew Whitacre

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

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

Sarah Wolozin

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

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

Peter Woods

A recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s doctoral program in Design, Informal, and Creative Education, Peter J. Woods is an artist and scholar with a deep interest in communal approaches to creative and cultural production. As a researcher, his work focuses on how cultural contexts (ranging from experimental music communities to math classrooms) both produce and restrict forms of knowledge and creativity. Outside of his role as a researcher, Woods is a multi-media artist and noise musician who has performed around the world. He also taught high school mathematics for four years before attending graduate school. Additionally, Woods holds an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus on Education Policy and Management and a BS in Secondary Education and Mathematics from Marquette University.