Please pardon our appearance as we update our profiles for the '18-19 school year

Note: To locate a particular student, please use the "find" tool in your browser (usually under the "Edit" menu)

 

2018 Cohort

Coming Soon!

 


2017 Cohort

Anirban Mukhopadhyay        

  • Email: anirban3@illinois.edu
  • Cohort: 2017    
  • Research interests: I am interested in the history of communication/media technologies; media and space, race and media, resistance and social movements; media policies and critical information studies.  I am intrigued by how media affect cultural changes in the public sphere, build cultural citizenship and (re)produce frameworks of everyday life. I am driven by questions of “who has the power?”; “how power is manifested” through mediated systems and how the trajectory of (inter)national cultural, economic, political, technological forces get shaped by global communication network.    
  • Research Keywords: media history, space, social movements, policy, public sphere, critical theory, information studies            
  • What most people don’t know: I am obsessed with French impressionist painters; especially Monet and Renoir

Giang Pham        

  • Email: gvpham2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2017    
  • Research interests: My research interests include motivation, information processing, and media multitasking. More specifically, my work examines how different aspects of motivation, such as intrinsic and extrinsic, approach and avoidance, influence attention, resources allocation and information processing, especially in the context of advertising and social media. I am also interested in identifying different motivations for multitasking among media users, and how these motivations affect their performance.    
  • Research Keywords: Motivation, Information Processing, Multitasking, Advertising, Health Communication, Social Media    
  • Online resources:
  • https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZB2_d_M9a1EybgNctoL38N-lZlQ8eNt-/view?u...        
  • What most people don’t know: I enjoy watching advertisements and often try to explain to others the beauty of them. 

 


William Helmke    

  • Preferred name: Will
  • Email: whelmke2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2017    
  • Research interests: I am interested in the intersection between games, culture, and the representation of physical space. Focusing primarily on games from Japan, I seek to make connections between games and culture while also considering how physical space is reproduced in the games' virtual worlds. I am also interested in the role of controls in the video game experience.    
  • Research Keywords: Digital media, Game Studies, Video games, Japanese culture, Film    
  • Online resources:
  • https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a2ojeQpz5CjYup6OV488qNQpOjeKpUd7crzL...        
  • What most people don’t know: Before beginning my academic studies, I was a dairy farmer.

 


Yiran Gao        

  • Email: yirang3@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2017    
  • Research interests: Yiran Gao is a doctoral student at the ICR. Her general research interests include digital media technology and its relation to public culture and society, social networking on social media, media and identity construction, and local media in the era of media globalization. Her focus is on nationalism and social media in the contemporary context, using China as a case study. She aims to explore new formations of Chinese nationalism in the digital age, what mechanisms and dynamics Chinese social media engages in to drive these current forms of nationalism, as well as nationalism’s impact on social media.    
  • Research Keywords: Digital media and society, media culture and technology, social media, social network, nationalism, media globalization.        
  • Academic roles: Teaching Assistant    
  • What most people don’t know: Yiran collects one fridge magnet from every place that she visits.

 


Jingyi Gu        

  • Email: jingyig2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2017
  • Research interests: Jingyi Gu is currently a first-year Ph.D. student in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Jingyi received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Bachelor of Business Administration from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She also graduated with distinction from Georgetown University’s Master program Communication, Culture, and Technology. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of popular culture, science and technology, and interactive media. With special focus on the representation and embodiment of gender and sexuality, her research also takes on the critical and comparative cultural studies lenses in examining media technologies and sociotechnical systems. Jingyi is also interested in exploring new media technology's role in the formation of online/virtual communities in different cultural contexts.
  • Research Keywords: critical theory, gender, sexuality, science and technology, online community,  fan culture
  • Academic roles: GEO steward, contact me if you have union related questions!    
  • What most people don’t know: I'm a huge "flâneur", which means I love spending time walking around cities without any purpose and enjoy random encounters with people.  

 


Yanyun Wang    

  • Preferred name: Mia    
  • Email: wang518@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2017    
  • Research interests: My research interests center on virtual social identification and consumer behavior. Virtual environment is fueling new consumer trends now. It offers consumers a higher level of immersion, interactivity, and engagement than many other web-based technologies. The advent and development of VR/AR technologies greatly influence how brands communicate with consumers and change the way consumers perceive the content. Moreover, in the real world, the recipients of advertising are usually identifiable. But in virtual world, users can choose different identities. I'm interested in finding how the identities users choose in VR environment relate to their real life identities, how virtual reality affects the way people process information and how virtual experiences change people's perceptions and behavior. My recent research focuses on the effectiveness of advertising placement in VR game and the impacts of VR as a tool for cross-culture communication.
  • Research Keywords: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Virtual consumer behavior, information process, human computer interaction    
  • Online resources:
  • https://app.box.com/s/cm7lczijdkwnq8xcy7rv5uk6efw9bdae        
  • What most people don’t know: I'm a horror movie lover.

SeoYoon Lee    

  • Preferred name: Yoon
  • Email:seoyoon2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2017    
  • Research interests: My research interests are focusing on online anti-social behaviors and mental health issues in the current new media environment. My research centers on discovering psychological processes of anti-social behavior and psychological and technological factors that impact people's mental health in the new media environment. Also, I am interested in general audience behaviors in new media environment. I am trying to approach these issues from several perspectives: social psychology, social network, and personality.    
  • Research keywords: Audience Behavior in New Media Environment, Online Anti-Social Behavior, Mental Health Issues in New Media Environment    
  • Online Resources: 
  • https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rKULI-FcAtoDZRYQ3jtnfZwCN58WINLY/view?u...        
  • What most people don’t know: I love traveling around and also enjoy exotic food while traveling

 


2016 Cohort

David W. Ross     

  • Preferred name: David     
  • Email: davidwr2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2016    
  • Research interests: I engage with a wide variety of dynamics of organizational and public communication, particularly as mediated through the online space and particularly as applied to the contexts of the film industry, religious communities, or international (usually German-speaking) organizational collaboration. My specific current areas of interest include temporal appeals and perceptions in advertising and strategic communication, online logics of strategic communication, and ethical & pedagogical approaches to strategic communication discourse.     
  • Research Keywords: temporality, pedagogy, public relations, media logics, ethical strategic communication, film & advertising    
  • Online resources:
  • https://illinois.academia.edu/DavidRoss        
  • What most people don’t know: I have (however irregularly) performed in various contexts as a jazz saxophonist, and continue to engage with my own amateur musical projects whenever possible. 

Xiaoyu (Zoe) Xu    

  • Preferred name: Zoe    
  • Email: xiaoyux2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2016    
  • Research interests: I am a doctoral student in the ICR program. I received my B.A. of English and International Trade from Hefei University of Technology, and M.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from The University of Alabama. Broadly, my research interest lies in human-computer interaction with a focus on media psychology: That is, how interacting with computer-based technology influences human users psychologically, and in turn, what communication effects are resulted from the interaction. Currently, I am exploring how human users see minds in machines, and what communication effects are generated consequently.    
  • Research Keywords: media psychology, human-computer interaction, mind perception    
  • What most people don’t know: I'm a big fan of Hunter x Hunter, a manga which has been serializing since 1998.

Jiachen Yao    

  • Preferred name: Lulu    
  • Email: jyao13@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2015    
  • Research interests: I am interested in studying how people memorize and evaluate ads in a digital environment. Specifically, I would like to examine how people process ads when ads are not their attentional focus. For example, when people are reading a news article online, they probably will not process banner ads with full attention. In the age of information overload, digital ads are often being exposed when viewers are busy with other things in hand. I am exploring under these situations, how digital ads are processed consciously or unconsciously. My dissertation examines how media multitasking influences attentional allocation toward digital ads and furthermore, influences and memory, persuasion and attitude toward ads.     
  • Research Keywords: Advertising, Consumer Psychology, Media Multitasking, Individual Differences in Information Processing            
  • What most people don’t know: I am a photography enthusiast!

Kristy Hamilton
  • kristyh2@illinois.edu
  • Email:Cohort: 2016    
  • Research interests: I am interested in the psychological impacts of technological variables on human memory and cognition, particularly in human-technology dynamics related to digital self-extension: when we knowingly or unknowingly incorporate aspects of technology as parts of ourselves. My research program focuses on three inter-related components of self-extension—familiarity with technology, accessibility to information resources, and oneness between user and object. By studying self-extension in human-technology interactions, a major goal of my research involves thinking about ways to conceptualize and study digitally-mediated cognitive processes and behaviors in increasingly complex media environments.    
  • Research keywords: human-technology interactions, media psychology, media effects, human memory, cognition, digital self-extension    
  • Online Resources: 
  • CV
  • Technology and Social Behavior Lab Website
  • Academic roles: Advertising Research Participation System lab manager, ICR cohort representative, Technology and Social Behavior lab member, Human Memory and Cognition lab member    
  • What most people don’t know: I played college tennis at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX

2015 Cohort

Morten Stinus Kristensen        

  • Email: mkriste2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2015    
  • Research interests: My research interests are broad and emerge out of a critical cultural studies approach to the intersections of media representations and racial minorities. My dissertation research examines the racialization of Danish Muslims across legacy and new media. In my dissertation research, I consider the ways in which legacy media represent Danish Muslims and Muslimness in general as well as how Danish Muslims themselves engage various media practices to supplement, negotiate, or challenge these representations. I'm especially interested in new social media such as Facebook and whether these digital spaces may produce counterpublics that can serve as sources of political activism as well as personal empowerment for Danish Muslims and minorities more broadly.
  • Research Keywords: race, social media, Denmark, Cultural Studies, critical journalism studies, representation theory
  • Online resources:
  • https://illinois.academia.edu/MortenStinusKristensen    
  • Academic roles: ICR cohort representative    
  • What most people don’t know: I had a brief acting career from age 13-14 on Danish TV-show Taxa. 

elizaBeth Simpson

  • Email: ejsimpso@illinois.edu
  • Cohort: 2015
  • Research interests: elizaBeth Simpson studies the dynamics of collaboration, participation, social responsibility, and personal agency, especially as they intersect with cultural work. Her current research interests include participatory knowledge making, with particular emphasis on embodied and distributed cognition, political theater, and restorative justice. In addition to her work as a researcher, elizaBeth has been a facilitator and consultant for grassroots social justice organizations for over 18 years, and is also a performance and multimedia artist who specializes in collaborative projects with people who would not call themselves “creative.”
  • Research keywords: collaboration, small group decision-making, cultural organizing, restorative justice, intersectionality, critical race theory, disability theory 
  • Academic roles: 2018 Bailey Fellow, 2018 Tinker Fellow, 2015 and 2016 INTERSECT Seeing Systems Fellow, former ICR Cohort Rep (2015 and 2016), former GEO Communications Officer (2014)  former GEO Solidarity Committee Member (2017)
  • What most people don't know: I can spin fire, and I am about to complete an album. 

Yilin Ren        

  • Email: yren14@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2015    
  • Research interests: My broad interest falls in media psychology and my current research interests explore the processing and responses to advertisements on mobile devices and within different tasks. I am currently focusing on exploring whether, in certain situations, distractors might actually aid people’s information processing by reducing mind wandering. If so, what are the ramifications of this phenomenon in advertising and other strategic communication contexts?
  • Research Keywords: Cognitive Processing of Media Content, Mobile Advertising, Media Use and Attention, Content Design of Media Messages, Mind Wandering, Media Multitasking
  • Online resources:
  • https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yilin_Ren
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/yilin%EF%BC%88coco%EF%BC%89-ren-3a06227b/"
  • What most people don’t know: I have been playing badminton for 16 years.

Hye Soo Nah

  • Email: nah3@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2015    
  • Research interests: Social and psychological effects of media, media psychology, new media platforms, YouTube, celebrity studies, fandom research, parasocial interaction and relationships.     
  • Research Keywords: Media, Communication, Psychology            
  • Academic roles: I currently teach JOUR460 (section VP), which covers the fundamentals of visual storytelling and Adobe Premiere. 
  • What most people don’t know: Before coming to Illinois, I worked as a photojournalist, videographer and news reporter at news organizations in the U.S. and South Korea. 

Yayu Feng        

  • Email: yfeng42@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2015    
  • Research interests: I love theories. My research interests revolve around the normative aspects of media in general and journalism in particular. I explore how media and journalism should perform and what could improve the performance of the practices and the individual practitioners. I have a passion in connecting theories to practical matters, and in working with moral philosophies from both the West and the East. I am particularly interested in the virtue ethics framework and how the Western and Confucian virtue theories could build a guiding model for journalism ethics. Besides that, I am also interested in media criticism in terms of content and structure, such as deconstructing media texts to unveil their social and cultural implications with critical theories, and investigating how structural matters in media and journalism would affect its performance. In this line of research, I also like to incorporate international perspectives.    
  • Research Keywords: Virtue theory, journalism ethics, Confucianism, media criticism, moral philosophy, moral reasoning            
  • What most people don’t know: I love playing the violin!

Diana Leon-Boys        

  • Email: dleon6@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2015    
  • Research interests: My research is situated at the intersection of Media Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Girl’s Studies. I focus on the representation of girls of color in a post-network digital era against the backdrop of contemporary postfeminism and neoliberal frameworks, and interrogate the role(s) girls of color play as consumers and producers of media in the digital age.   My dissertation examines the limits and possibilities of Disney's intrinsically contradictory strategy to representation of ethnicity by using mixed-methods to explores the conglomerate's contemporary construction of Latinidad, specifically through their newest animated series, Elena of Avalor. Using a circuit of culture approach,  my dissertation will (1) analyze the production of Elena of Avalor along with Disney’s previous engagements with race and ethnicity in general and Latin American-ness and US Latinidad in particular; (2) provide a discursive analysis of three key episodes in the first season; (3) interrogate if and how Disney theme parks include and situate Elena and her fans at the park; and (4) examine online audience conversations through the Elena of Avalor Instagram page. 
  • Research Keywords: Girls' Studies, Latina/o Studies, Disney, intersectionality, cartoons, media    
  • Online resources:
  • https://docs.google.com/document/d/116fdu_JxMXUPOxGvr8lsTUWwZMqF7RZmuarC...        
  • What most people don’t know: I did voiceovers for commercials and radio shows for four years.

Shili Xiong    

  • Email: sxiong9@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2015    
  • Research interests: My research interest falls in the area of information processing and attention in new media, with a focus on how information processing style and attention can work interact to influence perceptions of media message, and how can cognitive processing and media technology interact to influence behavior. My current work deals with media multitasking, which is treated as an information processing mechanism (e.g. perception/selection/execution stages, etc) here. While most media multitasking research reports the detrimental effect of media multitasking on cognitive performance, my study explores situations where media multitasking be cognitively beneficial. Specifically, I study situations when a secondary task serves to 1) store extra cognitive resource so as to prevent irrelevant stimuli distraction, and 2) to balance an individual’s arousal state so that the individual can involve in the primary task without being too aroused or too bored. 
  • Research Keywords: Attention in Advertising, Media Multitasking, Information Processing, Human-computer Interaction, Cognition and Mobility, Media Psychology, Audience Analyses    
  • Online resources:
  • https://illinois.academia.edu/ShiliXiong/CurriculumVitae        
  • What most people don’t know: Each day, I take one picture of a scene that makes the day special compared to the other days.

Youngkwan Ban    
Preferred name: Ban    

  • Email: yban3@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2015    
  • Research interests: My main interest is the (re)formation of collective memory standing on/against media experience; more specifically, the cultural memory reconstituted after public funerals and obituaries have been broadcasted leading emotional and prosthetic remains. I am focusing on the interaction of different mediums and how it affects human perception, emotions, and feelings, which may lead to memory-changing or forgetting on a collective level.     
  • Research Keywords: Forgetting, Collective Memory, Digital Memory, Mnemotechnology, Cultural Studies, Media Philosophy    
  • Online resources:
  • https://uofi.box.com/shared/static/igavxnkm4wfmdd8jxu1mjcthqdqba7tk.pdf        
  • What most people don’t know: I am a regular practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga

2014 and Earlier Cohorts

Gabriel Malo    

  • Preferred name: Gabe or Gabriel    
  • Email: malo@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2014    
  • Research interests: I am interested in studying online communities in their (infra)structure, their formation, and their interaction with other media sources. My work exists at the intersection of science and technology studies, feminist/critical studies, and media studies. Recent research topics include the expression of gender and gender-centric communties on Reddit, consent in online fetish communities, Gamergate, and the interaction of online alt-right and other regressive/problematic communities with more traditional forms of media.    
  • Research Keywords: online communities, STS, online identities, alt-right, gender and sexuality      
  • Online resources:
  • http://www.antinormative.com    
  • ICR Cohort Representative (4 years), member of GEO Communications Committee.    
  • What most people don’t know: I am secretly a level 17 aasimar lore bard.

Regina J. Ahn        

  • Cohort: 2014
  • Email:rahn5@illinois.edu
  • Research interests: Regina studies children’s consumer socialization, particularly related to media literacy. In her dissertation, she will explore parental media literacy and their mediation practice for children's media use. Particularly, she plans to study two constructs in the context of transmedia storytelling and branding. Her study also includes designing media literacy intervention programs for parents and young children.    
  • Research keywords: Advertising, Children, Consumer Socialization, Parental Mediation, Media Literacy, Advertising Literacy, Transmedia Storytelling and Branding    
  • Online Resources: 
  • https://illinois.academia.edu/RAhn     

Claudia Lagos Lira        

  • Email: lagosli2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2014    
  • Research interests: My research inquires the interconnections between journalism, democracy, and the political economy of media with particular emphasis in Latin America.     
  • Research Keywords: Journalism studies; investigative journalism; gender, communication and journalism, with special emphasis in violence against women; freedom of expression; Latin America    
  • Online resources:
  • https://uchile.academia.edu/ClaudiaLagos        
  • What most people don’t know: I love soccer (fútbol) and used to play it when I was in college. 

Ke Li    

  • Preferred name: Angela    
  • Email: keli5@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2014    
  • Research interests: My research is situated at the nexus of political economy of communication and culture, science and technology studies, philosophy and theory of technology, and anthropology to contemporary China. My Ph.D dissertation is about the materiality and political economy of app-based platform economy in China. On the one hand, my dissertation examines  the processes and characteristics of the platform economy against the background of digital capitalism; on the other hand, it investigates the technological, material, and computational affordances of platformization in relation to their social-economic and cultural interests. I also write extensively on the following topics: the transition of legacy media in the digital era and political communication in China.
  • Research Keywords: Political Economy of Communication and Culture, Science and Technology Studies, Philosophy and Theory of Technology, Anthropology to Contemporary China, Chinese Journalism, Political Communication    
  • Online resources:
  • https://illinois.academia.edu/KeLi        
  • What most people don’t know: My dream is opening a Japanese-style bakery 

Susmita Das    

  • Email: das10@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2013    
  • Research interests: Interested in historical materialism, knowledge transfer in the field of advertising/marketing studies, advertising and consumer culture, media archaeology. My project looks at the development of the advertising institution/industry in India in the twentieth century.     
  • Research Keywords: advertising history, transnational media, production culture/studies, knowledge transfer, postcolonial theory,  critical theory, cultural studies     
  • Academic roles: ICR Cohort Representative    
  • What most people don’t know: I have dabbled in creating various forms of media: worked in advertising, owned a publishing company, made a movie, directed-acted-produced plays. 

Chamee Yang        

  • Email: cyang62@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2013    
  • Research interests: My research interest lies in the intersection of media and cultural studies, urban studies, and science and technology studies (STS). My dissertation project on the Smart City in Songdo, South Korea builds upon my observations of multiple determinations of the city co-shaped by technology in various forms including interface, protocol, infrastructure as well as technologies of the government that aims for hyper-rationalized, data-driven governance. My project demonstrates how, through a parallel shift in mediatization and urbanization, the multiple aspects of technology are interlinked with the ways in which we think and talk about the environment, security, and the citizenship today. My approach to this project is largely informed by South Korea’s modern history of developmental government, discursive formations of the city, and by ethnographic observations of sociospatial and temporal relations in everyday life in the city. Viewed through the lens of a broader history, current imperatives for the Smart City arguably elicits more continuities than ruptures, as the past continues to overlap and intersect with the present and potential future.     
  • Research Keywords: Smart City, Politics of Technology, Urban History, History of Developmental Government in Asia, Critical Security Studies, Media and Ecology, Globalization, Creative Economy      
  • Online resources:
  • https://uofi.box.com/s/ycr1qmo4ty1xjnwpu56lpfgc9z4phdhw        
  • What most people don’t know: I have a black belt in Taekwondo.

Ned Prutzer        

  • Email: prutzer2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2013    
  • Research interests: I research the work and practices (both online and offline) of open source mapping communities in matters of disaster management, environmental data justice, and grassroots activism. I explore this work through archival analysis of government documents relevant to the expansion of GPS, critical discourse analysis of community forums and publications, and participant observation in different mapping campaigns and events. These approaches ground these communities within genealogies of geospatial technologies as well as the political economy of terrestrial imaging, crisis informatics, and location-based data. I employ a critical framework to trace how emerging maps and mapping platforms are produced and what they communicate. Inspired by scholarship in Science and Technology Studies (STS), I also trace how different agencies, ecologies, and cultures of expertise shape and are shaped by them as sociotechnical systems. While my current projects focus on the production of maps within Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT), OpenStreetMap (OSM), and Public Lab specifically, my research prior to these projects includes critical analyses of locative art and the mediation of memory in both film and online communities.
  • Research Keywords: Digital mapping, online communities, media and democracy, Critical/Cultural Communications Studies, STS    
  • Online resources:
  • https://uofi.box.com/s/pjxmw76xektdl2bbeigzhmz83uac521b    
  • Research Assistant, Humanities Without Walls Innovation in the Global Midwest project; Affiliate, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory    
  • What most people don’t know: Before coming to Illinois, I worked in nonprofit communications and education reform in the DC area.

Rico Kleinstein Chenyek    

  • Email: rcheny2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2012    
  • Research interests: Rico Kleinstein Chenyek is an MD/PhD candidate in the Institute of Communications Research and the Medical Scholars Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Their major focus of study is in the social and cultural studies of science, medicine, and technology, with minors in Latina/Latino Studies, American Indian & Indigenous Studies, and Gender & Women’s Studies.  Rico is currently completing their dissertation, “Mediating Alterity: Transitive Indianness in U.S. Non-Normative Medicine,” the first comprehensive study of the institutionalization of what they  call "non-normative medicine" at the National Institutes of Health that centralizes the politics of (indigenous) alterity.  Rico is an affiliate with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and received a BA in Chicana/o & Latina/o studies from Pomona College in 2011.    
  • Research Keywords: social and cultural studies of medicine, science, and technology; medical humanities and social sciences; critical indigenous studies; critical ethnic studies, latinx media studies, gender and women's studies; queer of color critique     
  • Online resources:
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/ricokleinsteinchenyek 
  • https://illinois.academia.edu/RicoKC    
  • Academic roles: American Indian Studies INTERSECT Fellow;Gender and Women's Studies Smalley Fellow; Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory Affiliate    
  • What most people don’t know: In my earlier years, I was an avid stamp collector, language enthusiast, and gymnast.

Meghan Grosse        

  • Email: mgross23@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2012    
  • Research interests: Meghan’s current research focuses on new media histories and investigates the ways in which power is wielded in developing media systems. Meghan holds a B.A. in communication and politics from Lake Forest College  and a M.A. in communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her undergraduate thesis, “National Public Radio's Great Leap Forward: Space, Power, and Audience in NPR's Move Online focuses on concerns for localism and shifting perceptions of public interest in a new media landscape. Her master’s thesis, “Maturing or Dying?: Historicizing Contemporary Radio and Online Audio Delivery” emphasizes the degree to which new media are extensions of rather than replacements to old media, existing in an interconnected landscape of communication activity. Her concentration is on the intersection of new media, media history, and critical media theory. Currently, her primary research looks at the history of the 1990s internet, the Clinton administration policies that defined internet governance of that era, and the ways in which this policy was exported and understood internationally.    
  • Research Keywords: media history, political economy of communication, transnational media studies, new media, internet studies            
  • What most people don’t know: I have an uncanny ability to identify voice actors in animated programming

Andrea Ruehlicke        

  • Email: ruehlic2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2012    
  • Research interests: My research merges production, labor, and television studies. How format television is licensed globally and adapted to be nationally meaningful serves as my entry point into my dissertation. My main focus is on reality television and the contestants who appear on those programs. I examine the labor that Canadian reality contestants perform and the impacts of appearing in reality programming.  My work is qualitative in nature and I do that work through discourse analysis, textual analysis and in-depth interviews.  I received both my B.A. And M.A. in Popular Culture from Brock University. For my Master's project, entitled Wanna Be On Top?: Naturalizing Neoliberalism and Self-Branding on America's Next Top Model, I considered the types of labor that contestants were rewarded for on the program. I am continuing to work in this vein, considering the various ways in which contestants are encouraged to commodify themselves and the potential implications of this commodification.    
  • Research Keywords: Television Studies, Production Studies, Reality Television, Contestants, Labor     

Ann Strahle        

  • Email: astra2@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2012    
  • Research interests: I am interested in how the status of religion is used in national iconography and ritual, and how religion and religious messages are used to justify certain acts or attitudes of the individual and organizations. My work involves tracing the evolution of religious messages embedded in communication and media within these social institutions, and tracing how textual and visual messages are received by those members. I am also interested in how these groups show either acceptance or resistance to these messages. My research interests also include both historical and freedom of expression legal frameworks. By examining the First Amendment rights that are either challenged in courts, or through the public, we can begin to understand the responsibilities the press has to inform the public as well as the responsibilities courts have to protect freedom of speech; and the respect that is given to all forms of speech despite their inherent message.     
  • Research Keywords: media, religion, freedom of speech, religious symbolism        
  • Academic roles: Associate Professor of Communication at University of Illinois-Springfield    
  • What most people don’t know: I was a broadcast journalist for 16 years and transitioned to academia while working, teaching, and raising two sons.

Jonothan Lewis        

  • Email: jblewis3@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2012    
  • Research interests: How the media and other cultural industries took on their current structures, and the implications of those structures on content and society as a whole.    
  • Research Keywords: Political economy of media, media concentration, sports media, sports ownership
  • What most people don’t know: I run a somewhat popular sports website.

Chunfeng Lin       

  • Chunfeng 
  • Email: clin59@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2011    
  • Research interests: Chunfeng’s research focuses on propaganda, broadly defined as dissemination of ideological messages through the news media and popular culture, especially through non-traditional media forms such as social media. Chunfeng developed a conceptual framework that he refers to as the commodification of propaganda (CoP) to reveal the nexus between the state and the private sector in producing, popularizing, and disseminating “popular propaganda,” propaganda more prevailing, more penetrating, more interesting, and more powerful, but rarely realized or treated as such, for instance, the global circulation of racism, many forms of conservatism and extremism, etc. His research interests lie in many areas, including critical/cultural studies of popular culture, media history and political economy of communications. His work has been published in journals such as Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Asian Journal of Communication, British Journal of Sociology of Education, as well as in several anthologies. Having defended his dissertation in October 2017, he is an instructor, teaching media studies foundation courses at Illinois.     
  • Research Keywords: propaganda studies, normative press theory, media history, media theory, cultural studies, political economy of communication    
  • Online resources:
  • https://illinois.academia.edu/ChunfengLin/CurriculumVitae        
  • What most people don’t know: As a winner of the annual China Journalism Awards, I worked sixteen years at several Chinese major newspapers before joining ICR in 2011. 

Mandy Tröger        

  • Email: troger5@illinois.edu    
  • Cohort: 2009    
  • Research interests: I apply critical theory to the study of media and communication history, and communication research. My focus is Cold War and post-socialist media specifically in the German context. My overall goal is to underline the relevance of past experiences and struggles for current social realities.    
  • Research Keywords: critical political economy, media history, post-socialist media, critical theory    
  • Online resources:
  • www.mandytroeger.com        
  • What most people don’t know: In Urbana, I bought a 1996 Chevy van called Norman and took him across the country.

 

Recent Students: 

Stephanie BrownStephanie Brown

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  • Emailsbrown11@illinois.edu
  • Cohort: 2012
  • Research keywords: television, comedy, feminist media studies, new media, fandom, audience, media industries
  • Research Interests: My dissertation research draws on ethnographic interviews with comics in Illinois, television clips, fan conversations on Twitter, and a TV critics’ reviews to make visible the barriers women and non-binary comics face within the stand-up comedy industry from performing at local open mics to writing their own television shows.  While my focus in on stand-up, my conclusions are applicable to the lack of representation in media industries more generally. My other current project explores television fandom and fan community building online, particularly the ways in which online fandom often supplements services like mental health counseling or sex education.
  • Online resources: 
  • stephbrown.net

 


---Please pardon our appearance as we update our profiles for the '18-19 school year: Profiles below this line may have out-of-date information---


 

Regina Ahn photo

Regina Ahn

 

 

 


Sayuri Arai
sarai2@illinois.edu

Arais research interests include critical race theory, mixed race studies, cultural studies, visual culture, postcolonial theory, Asian American studies, and Japanese studies. Focusing on representations of race, nation, and gender in a wide variety of texts in the media, her research explores ideological struggles between different social groups. Her dissertation project seeks to provide insight into the ways in which national memories of World War II and the U.S. Occupation of Japan are reconstructed through representations of mixed race people in Japanese media and popular culture in the political, historical and social contexts of postwar Japan.

 

BanYoungkwan Ban

 

 

 

 

 


Leon-BoysDiana Leon-Boys

 

 

 

 


Rico Kleinstein Chenyek

Rico Kleinstein Chenyek

 

 

 


DasSusmita Das
 

 

 

 


Feng Yayu Feng
yfeng42@illinois.edu

Yayu graduated with a M.S. degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where she concentrated on media ethics research. Her thesis analyzed moral argumentation in newspaper editorial content about rape culture and developed an instrument to apply Kohlberg's moral development theory in critical discourse analysis. She is interested in exploring ethical issues from an in-depth philosophical approach, deconstructing media texts to unveil social and cultural implications of media with critical theories, and also incorporating environment-related discussions such as environmental injustice into the critical and ethical media framework.


Vernita Fort
vfort@illinois.edu 

Vernita Pearl Fort entered ICRs Ph.D. program after completing a diplomatic career with the United States Agency for International Development, United States Department of State. She worked in 40 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and managed some of the worlds largest development portfolios. She holds a Master of Science degree from Yale University in evolutionary biology and tropical ecology and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley in natural resource systems management. Before becoming a National Economics Association Doctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland, College Park, she completed the Economic Studies Program at the United States Foreign Service Institute. She also actively pursues film, dance, music and performance as avocations and tools of pedagogy. In 2014, the International Communication Association honored Vernita Pearl Fort with the Best Visual Display of Research Award at its annual meeting in Seattle. She views the translation of rigorous scholarship into multi-modal formats as important for making such content accessible throughout the public sphere and for bridging theory, policy and practice. In 2015 and at the invitation of the School of Music at the University of Illinois, she served as Stage Director for collaboratively repurposing and theorizing La Prpura de la Rosa, the first opera composed and performed in the Americas, specifically in 1701 in Lima, Peru.

  • Teaching Interests: Political Economy of Communication and Media; Communication Philosophy, Communication Ethics; International Communications; Media and the Environment; Music, Dance and the Brain; First, Second and Third Cinema Theory; Performing Critical Research
  • Dissertation Title: Music and Human Rights: Their Relationship through a Transdisciplinary Frame of Critical Ethnography, Critical Neuroepigenetics, and Political Economy
  • Personal website: http://pearl2013.wix.com/pearl2013
  • Advisers: Clifford G. Christians, Norman Denzin, Cameron McCarthy, Kent Ono, Pradeep Dhillon, Kathleen Howland (Berklee College of Music)

Meghan GrosseMeghan Grosse

 

 

 

 

 


Ran Ju
ranju3@illinois.edu

Ran Ju holds a B.A. from Fudan University (China) in journalism and a Master in International Affairs at Columbia University. Ran Ju's encounters with political and economic studies in both US and China have led her to value collaborative frameworks for research and writing in the field of communication study. In ICR, Ran Ju's current research is engaged with intersectional issues concerning new media technology and it relationships to the incremental transformation of political institutions in Asian countries. She centrally addresses the topics of public discourse in micro-blogging and Twitter and explores how it would reshape or reform the institutional development in transitioning societies. Collectively, Ran Jus research pertains to her longstanding interest in developing analytic and work from the multidisciplinary communication research and cross-cultural standard for the media today.

  • Teaching Interests: New Media and Culture, Political Economy of Media, Political Philosophy of Communication.

Kristensen

Morten Stinus Kristensen
 

 

 

 


Supathida Kulpavaropas
kulpava2@illinois.edu

Supathida received her B.B.A.(Accounting) with first-class honours from Thammasat University, Thailand and M.S. in mass communication from Iowa State University. Her research interests are media effect and audience psychology. Specially, she is interested in exploring the influence of advertising attributes on consumers' behavior and choice as well as the impact of mood and emotion on an individual's information processing.


Ke Li photo

Ke Li

 

 


Lin

Chunfeng Lin

 

 

 


Claudia Lagos Lira

 

 

 

 


maloGabe Malo
 

 

 

 

 


NahHye Soo Nah

 

 

 


Fabian Prieto-Nanez
prieton2@illinois.edu

I received my B.A. in history from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia and an M.A. in Social Communication from the same University. I'm a fellow researcher of the Learning to see systems Iniciative sponsored by the INTERSECT program at University of Illinois.
Before coming to ICR, I worked for Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. I collaborated with NTIC deployment for a social responsibility Foundation, and volunteered in a free software project on education. Also I worked in consultancy project, leading sistematization of experiences for two Colombian government programs. As a researcher, I worked on techno culture in Latin America. I studied the online communication practices of teachers and software developers for the OLPC project, and the role of mediators, from a perspective of feminist critique of design. Last year I conducted a research on the history of computer science in Universidad de los Andes. For my PhD I'm interested in focusing on design histories of communication systems in Latin America, specifically in Colombian during the seventies and eighties.


Ned Prutzer Photo

 

Ned Prutzer

 

 

 


Carolyn Randolph
crandol2@illinois.edu

Carolyn A. Randolph holds Bachelors of Arts in English and Communication & Cultural Studies from Indiana University. She is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. Her research interests center on race, gender, and health communication. She also has extensive experience in the areas of popular culture, sex and gender in popular media, environmental media studies, and interpretive ethnography. Her dissertation, How to communicate an epidemic: Black women, media, and the post-AIDS era, interrogates the contemporary representation of black women living with HIV/AIDS in traditional and digital media. In her spare time, she enjoys going to concerts, making arts and crafts, and producing original music along with her husband and son.

  • Dissertation Title: How to communicate an epidemic: Black women, media, and the post-AIDS era

Yilini RenYilin (Coco) Ren

 

 

 


Jessica RobinsonJessica L. Robinson
jrobins5@illinois.edu

Jessica L. Robinson is a doctoral student in Media and Cinema Studies (Institute for Communications Research) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work focuses on the politics and poetics of the life-making/saving practices of black girlhood. With specific focus on art making legacies of black feminisms, her research and artist practice interrogates black girl creations of soundscapes as well as analog and digital landscapes. Her work is made possible and nurtured by SOLHOT (Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths), a collective based in Champaign-Urbana, IL who she started working with as an undergraduate student in 2008. SOLHOT is a space with intention and focus on working in community with Black girls and those folks who love them, to creatively and collectively imagine the ways in which Black girlhood is an articulation of ideas such as genius, justice, love and freedom.
She is also a part of the multimedia band, We Levitate, which is a digital formation of SOLHOT. Her work is heavily influenced by the lessons of queer, Black feminist organizers and artists as well as women of color feminisms, grandmother/mama knowledge and black girl friendships.

 


Andrea Ruehlicke

 

 

 

 

 


Sann Ryu photo

Sann Ryu 
sryu11@illinois.edu

I am a first year PhD student in the ICR. I earned my B.A. (summa cum laude) in English Literature from Ewha Womans University in South Korea and M.S. in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My research interests involve the underlying mechanisms of how consumers respond to multiple media streams and to what extent they are influenced by environmental cues without their full awareness or intention. During my graduate career, I developed my research interests in the cognitive processes underlying attitudes and persuasion, and conducted experiments on how consumers selectively attend to advertising stimuli and form brand attitudes automatically when cognitively loaded. In particular, I have examined how people vary in the extent to which they chronically engage in media multitasking attend to substantive issues (i.e., argument strength) and peripheral information (i.e., endorser attractiveness) in advertisements when exposed to a media multitasking environment. I plan to expand my research in consumer behavior, especially in the context of selective attention and automatic evaluation. 


SimpsonelizaBeth Simpson
 

 

 

 


Ann Strahle
 

 

 

 

 

 


Mandy Tröger

 

 

 

 


 

Zongyuan Wang photo

Zongyuan Wang
zwang101@illinois.edu

I am currently a first year PhD student at ICR. I graduated from Nankai University with dual degree of economics and English literature/translation and recently graduated from the University of Illinois with M.S. in advertising. I have expansive interests in psychology, psychophysiology, neuroscience, design, computer technology, and economics, and am eager to connect the nodes in those disciplines to better understand communication. Having learned and practiced painting/drawing for more than 15 years, I still dream to be a designer, not only one that appreciates and creates design, but also one that understands the motivation and acceptance of design. My current research interests are two-fold: 1) to understand the complex visual environment in which media messages are processed or ignored; 2) to understand how technology and design are ingrained into our daily life. Recent research has appeared in Computers in Human Behavior, Journal of Interactive Advertising, and Social Science Computer Review.


Kerry Wilson

Kerry Wilson
kbwilso2@illinois.edu

Kerry Wilson received her master's degree in communication with an emphasis in women's studies in 2011 and a bachelor's degree in communication and a bachelor's degree in African American studies in 2009 from Saint Louis University. Her research focuses on African American women's mediated, popular, and cultural representations with a specific attention to the representation of African American motherhood. Current projects include looking at the representation of race and gender in youtube videos and examining the representations of white savior narratives in contemporary film. Kerry's master's thesis, "Yo' Mama's Been Misrepresented: Portrayals of African American Mothers in Film Between 1959-2009" traces the representation of African American mothers from before the release of the The Negro Family: A Call For National Action, also known as The Moynihan Report, to the release of Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. She situates her research at the intersection of race and gender, media, and cultural studies.


Shili XiongShili Xiong
 

 

 

 

 


Yang

Chamee Yang
 

 

 

 

 


Yao

Jiachen Yao
jyao13@illinois.edu

Jiachen (Lulu) Yao is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the ICR program. Jiachen got her bachelor degree in Communication Studies at South China University of Technology. She got her master degree in advertising at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jiachen is mainly interested in media psychology and information processing. Her research has looked into how attention and goals influence people’s processing of advertising stimuli and how mood influences people’s memory and evaluation of advertising stimuli. Currently, she is working on a project examining how personality differences influence college students’ mobile apps usage. Jiachen considers herself as someone who stands at the intersection of psychology and media studies. In addition, Jiachen is also keeping an eye on social media analytics and data science, since she believes this is an era of information and big data.


Kristy HamitonKristy Hamilton