Ph.D. Program Student Bios
See also Ph.D. Students on the Job Market
Prior to her enrollment in Columbia, Efrat Nechushtai spent eight years as an editor and writer at Haaretz, covering business and digital culture, working in various editing capacities, and taking part in Haaretz’s anti-trust and anti-corruption campaigns. Having experienced the adoption of social media sensibilities and strategies in a legacy newspaper, Efrat is interested in how the new media environment reshapes the production of news and transforms traditional relationships between journalists and readers. She is also fascinated by the potential impacts of new media on politics, as manifested, among other things, by official responses to political conversations taking place in social media and by fledgling initiatives to enhance political participation via internet-based tools.
Efrat holds an MA in Culture Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she studied the politics and poetics of Israeli hip hop, and has taken graduate classes in politics at The New School. She received her BA in Social Sciences and Humanities (with distinction) from the Open University of Israel.
Tracy is the author of the novel The Hopeful, which was published in 2015 and long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. In 2012, she was awarded the New York City Emerging Writers Fellowship by the Center for Fiction. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Granta, RollingStone.com, LitHub, theAtlantic.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Publisher's Weekly, the New Yorker's Sporting Scene blog, and Bookforum. She holds a B.A. in history from Connecticut College and an M.F.A. in fiction from the City College of New York, where she currently teaches. Research interests include the influence of social media on the discourse of the book review and the sociology of aesthetic values, the history of formal hybridization in nonfiction, and construction of authority through identity politics.
Rosalind is interested in the communication of climate change, especially the consequences of framing it as a national security problem--both for society and for scientific and political institutions. Before joining the PhD programme at Columbia, she was deputy editor of Carbon Brief, a fact-checking website focused on climate science and policy in the media. She also worked for several years as a reporter covering global antitrust. She holds an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA in French and Spanish from Cardiff University.
Shant’s research interests align at the nexus of communication, sociology and political economy, with a particular emphasis on the evolution of the media’s response to the global financial crisis. Key foci of his work include considering the extent to which narratives of neoliberalism and neoclassical economics are embedded within mainstream media frames, and investigating ways in which the media works to legitimize those narratives.
He completed a Bachelor of Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney, before attaining a Master of Arts in Journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). He subsequently worked as a print and radio journalist and news editor in Australia and east Africa, and later as a teacher in journalism and communication studies at UTS and TAFE NSW.
Caitlin studies Communications and brains. That is, her research addresses both (1) if and how the brain's natural language can be translated through modern neurotechnology and (2) the ways in which various communities (neuroscientists, journalists, engineers, laypeople) talk about neural activity. More broadly, Caitlin is interested in the life cycle of scientific "facts" and their movement between popular and scientific contexts. Not particularly inclined to move herself, Caitlin holds a BA in Neuroscience & Behavior and an MA in Science Reporting, both from Columbia. She has written for a variety of scientific and medical publications, most recently contributing to Scientific American Mind. Caitlin currently works as a reporter and content curator for Columbia's forthcoming Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute.
Before coming to Columbia, R.H. Lossin worked as a librarian and wrote essays on topics as diverse as Iraq's National Library, the artist Sherrie Levine and Facebook's capacity to capture social labor. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Jacobin, Jstor Daily, and The Huffington Post and she is a regular contributor to The Brooklyn Rail. She is interested in labor, machine sabotage, and the politics of industrial and post-industrial technology.
Malwina Lys-Dobradin’s research focus centers on the relationship between media and civic life. She is interested in how voluntary associations use new and traditional media to engage citizens, advance public discourse, foster government transparency, and shape policymaking. Prior to enrolling in the program, Malwina was a founding team member of two pedagogical experiments at Columbia University. From 2006 to 2010, Malwina served as Associate Director for President Lee C. Bollinger's Arts Initiative where she developed President Václav Havel's seven-week artist residency on the theme of arts and citizenship, created the Columbia Alumni Arts League, launched Arts Global, and worked on numerous other University-wide arts programs. In May of 2010, she was invited by Dean Mark Wigley to join Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and develop Studio-X, a global network of research laboratories and cultural centers for exploring the future of cities with locations in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Mumbai, New York, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo. Malwina holds three degrees from Columbia, a BA in Political Science and Creative Writing, a MS in Nonprofit Administration and Fundraising Management, and a MA in Sociology.
Lluis de Nadal
Lluis is interested in understanding the current clash between democracy and technocracy in Southern Europe. He is looking at the relationship between theories of democracy--the communication between will and opinion--and theories of human nature--the communication between judgment and desire. After receiving a B.A. in Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, he went on to work for Public Catalan Television, specializing in the convergence between television and digital media. He also founded the popular Catalan band Quart Primera, where he played the drums and the clarinet. Recently, he graduated from the Arts Journalism M.A. program at Columbia University, writing his thesis on an algorithmic theatrical production of Hamlet.
David Noell is interested in the space of opinion on news platforms, particularly cable news outlets, and their relationship with partisan politics and political movements. He studies the history of particular discourses found on these news outlets, tracing their origins and developments, to better understand those who use them today. His research thus far has focused on the conservative critique of a liberal mass media, tracing the history of this criticism through prominent conservative media figures and politicians. He graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a B.A. magna cum laude in Communication: Media Studies, before earning an M.S. from Northwestern University in Journalism: Interactive Publishing and Business Reporting. He then worked as a sports reporter in Chicago for online news outlets and the Chicago Tribune.
David came to New York to earn an M.A. in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University. At NYU, he wrote his thesis on how Billy Graham and Carl McIntire, both twentieth-century conservative radio preachers, contributed to the discourse regarding the liberal bias of the mainstream media. He plans to extend his research towards a fuller understanding of the role opinion plays today in the news, especially the efficacy with which various partisan media informs the electorate. He has a particular affinity for studying the influence of the conservative evangelical movement on partisan media.
Burcu's research interests broadly include the politics of communications policy, comparative media research, and journalism studies. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Bogazici University, Istanbul. Before arriving at Columbia, she studied Political Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, and completed her M.A. in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.
Gal Beckerman is interested in the intellectual history of communication, and specifically in the use of underground writing as a means of galvanizing dissident community. He received his B.A. from Reed College and completed the M.S. program at the Journalism school in 2003. Over the past decade, he has worked as a journalist and editor, with long stints at the Columbia Journalism Review and most recently as the opinion editor of the Forward newspaper. His research interests stem from a book that he wrote, When They Come for Us, We'll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010), which explored the political struggle for free emigration out of the Soviet Union. The book was named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker and the Washington Post, and received both the 2010 National Jewish Book Award and the 2012 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.
Maxwell Foxman is continuing to explore the nature of digital media in everyday life as a PhD candidate at Columbia University. As a Columbia undergraduate, Maxwell's concentration in American Studies provided the foundation for his graduate study of visual culture and cultural studies at New York University's department of Media, Culture and Communication. Focusing on social media and games, Maxwell's master's thesis examined the inherent motivations for engaging in gamified mobile media, specifically how the application Foursquare changed and motivated users' behavior. However, Maxwell's interest in the digital everyday extends beyond gamification. He has used social media as a frame of reference to speak about the environment, dating and even the celebrity spectacle at a number of conferences. While completing his Master's, Maxwell was also a high school teacher at his alma mater, the Rockland Country Day School in Congers, NY, where he helped found an Independent Studies program, which focused on students developing their own curricula based on their personal passions. See more about Maxwell at http://www.maxwellfoxman.info
Joscelyn is a freelance journalist and critic who has has worked as a reporter, editor and media trainer in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Egypt and as a print, online and television journalist in the US. She holds an M.A. in Journalism/Cultural Reporting and Criticism from NYU, an M.Phil in European Literature from Cambridge University, and a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. She was a creative non-fiction fellow at the Writers´ Institute at the Graduate Center, City University of New York in 2010-2011 and has taught journalism, literature, and interdisciplinary humanities courses at NYU and at several CUNY colleges. Her research interests include the history of literary journalism and foreign reporting and the history of photography, visual culture, and human rights reporting. She also has strong research interests in the media in transitional justice contexts and in media reform.
Charles studies how people use and think about written information systems like books, newspapers, and computers. Recent projects have focused on typography, cryptography, and data-driven storytelling as symbolic spaces in which aesthetic and political values are persistently negotiated. This interdisciplinary research draws from the literatures and methodologies of several fields: critical media studies, cultural sociology, digital humanities, linguistic anthropology, and social studies of science and technology. Charles is also an avid programmer and was awarded a Magic Grant from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation. At Brown, his team built SearchLight, a tool that enables investigative journalists to pinpoint cases of algorithmic bias in search engine results and advertisements. As a teacher, Charles focuses his work on the development of technological literacies in journalism and other disciplines that once emphasized writing alone. In addition to the Brown Institute, his work has been funded by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and the Knight Foundation. His academic work has been published in the Journal of Visual Culture. Before coming to Columbia, Charles studied journalism at Northwestern and philosophy at Michigan.
Citra's research interests include media and communication policy and political communication. Regionally, she is interested in Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia. Currently she is working on a research project that explores Indonesia's digital migration policy. Citra received a BSC. from Universitas Indonesia in 2006, and in 2011 an M.A. in Media Studies from New York University, where she studied on a Fulbright Scholarship. Citra was involved in several policy-making processes in Indonesia, including the Indonesian Broadcast Code of Conduct and the Broadcast Program Standards. Citra also actively writes about media policy for Kompas, one of Indonesia's biggest
national newspapers, and several other print media in Indonesia.
Andi Dixon is a fourth-year Ph.D student studying Communications. Her research concerns the intersection of public policymaking and media effects, with special interest in American privacy law, the contemporary history of government secrecy and public policies aimed at securing global cities. Previously, Dixon studied interview-based research methodologies, completing an M.A. in Oral History in 2011 at Columbia University. In 2006, she received her B.A. in Political Science from Emory University. Her previous work experience includes public media production and reporting for This American Life and Georgia Public Broadcasting."
Madiha Tahir researches liberalism, the politics of recognition and war. Her interests include biopolitics; ethics; religion/secularism; visual politics; and surveillance/public sphere. Her work explores these themes in the context of drone warfare in Pakistan and the surveillance of Muslims in the "war on terror." She holds an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from NYU and an M.S. from the Columbia Journalism School.
Katie’s interests include religion, media, and culture in 20th-century and contemporary America; the history and sociology of communications; media policy; surveillance; and global governance of the Internet. In the realm of religion and media, she examines the representation of religion through media; governmental surveillance of religious groups; the interface of human and digital religious communities; the negotiation of technology usage by religious organizations; and the triangulation of religion, secularism, and spirituality. Her academic interests are inspired by other work experience, including research on secrecy and national security at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law; research on platforms and Internet policy at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; and community building with Catholic and Protestant children in post-conflict Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she contemplated the effects of media on youth identity. Katie received her B.A. from Haverford College in 2009, where she studied English literature and sociology.
Soomin Seo’s current research focuses on the transformation of international news reporting, with a particular emphasis on digital tools and networked news routines. An ethnographer by training, she has spent time in newsrooms big and small, from the Associated Press and the Guardian of UK to Democracy Now! and NK News. She has also written about media policy, history of news, and news agency journalism in the US and Asia. From 2000 to 2008, she worked as a journalist in South Korea, frequently reporting on North Korea and the nuclear crisis and visiting North Korea a dozen times since 2000. She also reported from conflict zones like Darfur and northern Sri Lanka. Her work has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, the Straits Times, the Korea Times and the Hankyoreh. Soomin teaches at Barnard College’s pre-college summer program, and is a contributing writer for the Case Consortium at Columbia, creating curriculum for use in journalism schools. She has a B.A. from Seoul National University in South Korea and also holds a Master in Public Policy degree from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she was a Shorenstein Scholar and received the Jane Mansbridge Research Award in 2010. Her website is at: http://soominseo.com.
Tom Glaisyer is currently a Knight Media Policy Fellow at the New America Foundation, where he coordinates the Media Policy Program as part of their Open Technology Initiative. Through tracking media policy initiatives at the federal level, and innovative efforts in local communities across the country, Glaisyer reports on the successes and failures, along with their implications for the recommendations from the Knight Commission's recently published report, "Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age.” Mr. Glaisyer's research focuses in particular on policies to reform public media, increase independent reporting on issues of public interest, and help citizens access and engage with high-quality information. In his PhD research he focuses on the interplay between media and political processes and institutions.
Before joining New America he acted as a consultant and analyst leveraging online platforms for knowledge management as well as for building and sustaining advocacy networks. Prior to this he worked for more than fourteen years across Europe and the United States where his work centered on information technology implementation and organizational change. He holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and Economics from the University of Birmingham in England, and has passed the qualifying exams of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Reuben Abraham, Ph.D. '05
Reuben is with Cornell University’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at the Johnson School of Management and a visiting faculty member at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad. He is working with Cornell and the ISB to set up a Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and a Base of the Pyramid Learning Lab in India. He also founded and runs the International Private Enterprise Group (IPEG), a New York-based network of professionals, which promotes the role of the private sector, capital markets and technology in catalyzing economic development in emerging markets.
Before coming to Cornell, he earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University. For his doctoral research, he looked at the relationship between telecommunications and economic development in developing countries. Specifically, he examined whether telecommunications services, by virtue of their role as carriers of information, reduced the information asymmetries inherent in unorganized markets (read the abstract of his dissertation). During his time at Columbia, he was an Associate Fellow in Global Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, and also a Fellow at the Public Policy Consortium. He was a Sloan Foundation/CITI Telecommunications Fellow in 2000.
Earlier, he was a co-founder of the RISC (Rural Infrastructure and Services Commons) project. RISC/Deeshaa aimed to correct rural market inefficiencies by providing a shared infrastructure platform for user services in a commercially sustainable way by aggregating rural demand and coordinating infrastructure services. During the past six years, he has worked at three Columbia University research centers, including the Earth Institute, the Columbia Institute of Tele-Information (CITI), a telecom research center at the Business School, and the Interactive Design Lab. In addition, he did a consulting stint at the World Bank, where he evaluated the economic impact of telecom on countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Mercosur region, India, and China.
Reuben completed his M.A. and M.Phil from Columbia University. Before coming to Columbia, he finished a B.A. at Bombay University and a master’s degree in journalism at the Asian College of Journalism. He was co-founder of Just Another Magazine (J.A.M) and was later involved in another start-up in the telecommunications/content space. During his time in India, he was also a freelance writer, contributing to several leading newspapers.
Colin Agur, Ph.D. '14
Colin Agur is a Postdoctoral Associate in Law and Knight Law and Media Scholar at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Colin’s research bridges the history of telecommunications and contemporary mobile phone usage, and seeks to understand the unanticipated consequences of network development. His work focuses on the social and legal implications of mass mobile telephony, with an emphasis on surveillance and privacy. Regionally, he is interested in India (which was the subject of his doctoral dissertation) and other developing economies including China, and in the United States. He tweets at @colinagur and blogs at http://colinagur.com.
Karina Alexanyan, Ph.D. '13
Karina Alexanyan is a post-doctoral scholar and project manager with the industry-facing Stanford research group mediaX, which works at the intersection of human sciences and technology. She is also an affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, where she has published a number of research papers on the Russian Internet. Her bio and publications can be seen here. Additional publications include a chapter on Russian blogging in "International Blogging – Identity, Politics and Networked Publics," as well as articles on Russian social networking in Digital Icons and the Russian Analytical Digest. In 2008, with the support of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and Columbia’s Harriman Institute, Alexanyan organized the "Russia Online" Conference at Columbia University, bringing together scholars and practitioners from Russia, the U.S. and Europe.
Alexanyan received her M.Phil from Columbia University, and has a M.A. in communication from NYU and a B.A. in linguistics and modern languages (French and Russian) from the Claremont Colleges. She is the recipient of the John N. Hazard (2009) and Pepsico (2006) fellowships from the Harriman Institute at Columbia.
C.W. Anderson, Ph.D. '09
C. W. Anderson is an Associate Professor at the College of Staten Island (CUNY). He is the author of Rebuilding the News: Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age (Temple University Press) and the forthcoming Journalism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press) (with Len Downie and Michael Schudson.) He has edited the forthcoming SAGE Handbook of Digital Journalism (with Tamara Witschge, David Domingo, and Alfred Hermida) and Remaking the News (with Pablo Boczkowski) (MIT Press). He is currently at work on a historical and ethnographic manuscript tentatively titled Journalistic Cultures of Truth: Data in the Digital Age (Oxford) which examines the relationship between material evidence, computational processes, and notions of “context” from 1910 until the present.
Lynn Berger, Ph.D. '16
Lynn Berger's dissertation examined the intersection of science, law and commerce in the development of photography in 19th century United States. Conceiving of photography as a peer-produced, open source technology, it studied how the second generation of American photographic workers used organization, litigation, communication and innovation to give shape and direction to a new medium.
Lynn is a staff writer at De Correspondent , an online journalism platform based in Amsterdam that was launched in 2013, setting a world-record in crowdfunding for journalism, where she writes about technology and culture . She received a B.A. from University College Maastricht in 2005, and in 2008, a M.A. in American Studies from Columbia University, where she studied on a Fulbright Fellowship. She has worked in print and TV journalism and was a curatorial intern in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art.
Jonah Bossewitch, Ph.D. '16
Jonah works as a technical architect for Columbia's Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL). He is investigating the politics of memory, surveillance, and transparency and their intersection with corruption in the pharmaceutical industry. Jonah has over a decade of experience as a professional software developer and is an active free software contributor. He completed an MA in Communication and Education at Teachers College (’07) and graduated from Princeton University (’97) with a BA Cum Laude in Philosophy and certificates in Computer Science and Cognitive Studies. He blogs at alchemicalmusings.org.
Katherine Brown, Ph.D. '13
Katherine Brown is the Executive Director of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, a body authorized by Congress to oversee and promote U.S. Government activities that intend to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics. Dr. Brown began her career at The White House under the William J. Clinton and George W. Bush Administrations; under Clinton, she served as a Presidential Scheduling Coordinator from 2000-2001; under Bush, she served as an assistant to the National Security Advisor and the Deputy National Security Advisor from 2002-2003. From 2003-2004, she served as a communications advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, for which she was awarded a State Department Superior Honor Award. While serving as a communications manager with the San Francisco-based NGO, The Asia Foundation, from 2005-2009, Katherine worked throughout Asia and focused much of her time on media-related issues in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. In 2010, she served as a Professional Staff Member at the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the U.S. House of Representatives with responsibility for public diplomacy and international broadcasting oversight. The following year, she joined the original editorial staff for Bloomberg View, the opinion platform for Bloomberg News.
As a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia from 2007-2013, Katherine researched the intersection of international relations and the news media, with a particular focus on public diplomacy and journalism development in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She also served as an instructor of Conceptual Foundations of International Politics at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) for three years, and held teaching and research fellowships at the Journalism School, including the Cordier Teaching Fellowship and the Lynton Fellowship in Book Writing.
Katherine has a B.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University and earned her M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in communications from Columbia. She is a Truman National Security Project Fellow and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Pablo Calvi, Ph.D. '11
Pablo Calvi, the first non-native English speaker to receive a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship in the history of the Pulitzer Prizes, is an assistant professor at Stony Brook School of Journalism, where he teaches courses in multimedia journalism and Latin American literary journalism. He is the Associate Director for Latin America at the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting. Calvi received his Ph. D. from the Columbia University School of Journalism in 2011. He is a guest lecturer at the Columbia University/Universitat de Barcelona masters program in Barcelona, Spain, and has taught comparative Latin American and Anglo American narrative journalism at the Graduate School of Communications at Sorbonne University in Paris, France.
Calvi is an active, multilingual journalist and a published author. In the United States, he has worked for the New York Daily News, Grey Magazine, Men’s Journal, Latin Trade and Terra Magazine. His long-form journalism appears in The Believer. In Latin America he has worked for the Argentine newspaper Clarín, the Colombian-Mexican magazine Gatopardo and the Brazilian multimedia Terra. He was the recipient of the 2010 Greenberg Research Prize for Literary Journalism Studies and the winner of the 2010 CELSA-Sorbonne Writing Fellowship. He has authored a number of book chapters and academic papers on Latin American literary journalism. His main interests are Latin American narrative journalism, the genre known as crónica, multimedia journalism, and the correlation between democratic societies and the free press.
Joe Cutbirth, Ph.D. '11
Joe Cutbirth is an assistant professor in the Communications Department at Manhattan College. He studies the increasingly complex relationship between satire and news in American politics. His research examines The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and others, but it moves beyond genre studies and primarily looks at the changes to our journalistic and political systems that are causing Americans to look to satirists as legitimate sources of information. He's used that research to develop a trademark course, Fake News Politics & Popular Culture, which he teaches at the University of Virginia. He also has offered it at University of British Columbia, New York University and The New School. Cutbirth was a recurring analyst during the 2008 presidential campaign for Politics Live, the ABC News digital program with Sam Donaldson and Rick Klein. He has blogged about politics and media since 2006 for The Huffington Post. He is a former statehouse correspondent for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and was communications director for the Texas Democratic Party during Texas Gov. Ann Richards' 1994 campaign and the Clinton-Gore 1996 re-election effort. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in communication, culture and technology from Georgetown University.
Kristen Martin Daly, Ph.D. '08
Kristen has decided to refer to herself as an “independent scholar” as she felt “not applicable” would be an unsatisfactory response for “profession” when coming through customs in international airports. Her dissertation, “Cinema 3.0: How Computer and Digital Technology is Changing Cinema” focuses on how the experience, production, distribution, exhibition, aesthetics, style, narrative and uses of cinema has changed in the contemporary environment of ubiquitous, digital media. Kristen has worked in independent film production, documentaries, human rights video advocacy and film festivals. Her short “I Heart NY State” is a finalist in the “I Love NY” short-film competition. Her interests are in art, media and international development. In a previous incarnation, she was an option specialist on the American Stock Exchange and has a Masters in mathematics from Stanford University. She is a runner, outdoor enthusiast and failed dog trainer to her two non-calm-submissive rescue dogs.
Joost van Dreunen, Ph.D. '10
Joost van Dreunen's Ph.D. dissertation explores video games as an entryway to contemporary media culture. He is an affiliate researcher at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, a member of the Center of Organizational Innovation, founder of the New York chapter of the Digital Game Research Association, and teaches at the NYU Game Center.
Outside academia, Joost is a managing director at SuperData Research, which specializes in due diligence research on entertainment media and consumer technologies. Joost has over a decade of commercial research experience on the video game industry and new media projects, and previously worked as analyst for Nielsen Buzzmetrics and DFC Intelligence. He specializes in emergent forms of game play, including casual gaming, free-to-play gaming, micro-transactions, MMOs, mobile gaming, and digital distribution. Most recently, he wrote a primer on the business model for iPhone application developers and a white paper on the trading card game industry.
Gali Einav, Ph.D. '04
Gali Einav is a digital media expert well rooted in both business and academia. Most recently, she was Director of Digital Insights and Innovations Research at NBC Universal, overseeing strategic, business and consumer research across digital platforms. Currently, Gali is a Partner at TMT Strategic Advisors, a research and strategy firm focusing on the technology, media and telecom sectors. She also serves as a digital media consultant and Advisory Board member for emerging technology companies, assisting with the development of digital strategy an entertainment and research applications.
Building on her research at Columbia University’s Interactive Design Lab, Gali specializes in consumer usage of interactive media. Her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University analyzed the business, content and social implications of interactive television in the US and UK. She is the editor of “Transitioned Media – A Turning Point Into the Digital Realm,” Springer Media (2010), and author of many publications including "The Content Landscape of Internet Television" in “Internet Television," Noam, Groebel, Gerbarg eds, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (2004); “College Students: The Rationale for P2P Video File Sharing" in “P2P Video As a Distribution Medium,” Noam, Groebel, Gerbarg eds (2008); and co- author of “Consumer Behavior in the Digital TV Environment and Beyond,” in “Television Goes Digital,” Gerbarg (2009).
Gali is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and academic institutions including NYU, UCLA and Columbia. She served as Adjunct Lecturer at the Center for Design, Digital Arts and Film at NYU and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University in NYC and The IDC School of Communication in Herzliya, Israel.
Dr. Einav is a graduate of the PhD program in Columbia University's School of Journalism (2004). She holds an MPhil in Communications from Columbia University (2002) and an M.A. in Communications and Journalism from Hebrew University (1998). She is a member of NATAS and its New York Chapter Advanced Media Committee. Since 2003 she has been serving as Judge for the Emmy Awards at the Advanced Media Technology category.
Katherine Fink, Ph.D. '14
Kate Fink is an assistant professor in the Department of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts at Pace University. She is also a visiting fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project. In 2013-2014, Kate was a fellow at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, based at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford University's School of Engineering. Prior to earning her Ph.D., Kate worked as a journalist at NPR station WDUQ in Pittsburgh and CBS radio affiliate WINA in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Her research interests include news reporting technologies, media economics and journalism ethics. Kate's dissertation focused on how journalists used digital search tools to find and evaluate potential sources.
Kate also holds an M.B.A. from Duquesne University and a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Virginia.
Laura Forlano, Ph.D. '08
Forlano is an Assistant Professor of Design at the Institute of Design and Affiliated Faculty in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology, where she is Director of the Critical Futures Lab. She is currently an Affiliated Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and from 2012-2013 she was a Visiting Scholar in the Comparative Media Studies program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research is focused on the intersection between emerging technologies, material practices and the future of cities.
She is co-editor with Marcus Foth, Christine Satchell and Martin Gibbs of From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen: Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement (MIT Press 2011). Forlano’s research and writing have been published in peer-reviewed journals including Fibreculture, Digital Culture & Society, ADA, Journal of Urban Technology, First Monday, The Information Society, Journal of Community Informatics, IEEE Pervasive Computing, Design Issues and Science and Public Policy. She has published chapters for books including editor Mark Shepard’s Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space (MIT Press 2011) and The Architecture League of New York’s Situated Technologies pamphlet series and is a regular contributor to their Urban Omnibus blog. She received her Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University. For more information see her website.
Sasha Meltzer Goldman, Ph.D. '14
Sasha Goldman’s primary focus is on the interplay between news, narrative and myth in civic life. She is particularly interested in the relationship between scandal, "infotainment," fear mongering and public policy. She holds a B.A. in History from Columbia University. She has worked at WNYC, the New York City affiliate of National Public Radio, and at The Commonwealth Club, a public affairs forum in San Francisco.
Daniel Lucas Graves, Ph.D. '12
Lucas Graves, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is working on a book about the fact-checking movement in American journalism. His research interests lie at the intersection of media technology, political communications, and news; a main question is the contention over potentially disruptive media forms and practices. As both reporter and analyst Lucas has covered media and technology for more than a decade, with a particular emphasis on digital music and movies, mobile devices and applications, and Latin American markets. He's worked for various publications and research firms, including Jupiter Research; today he writes regularly for Wired magazine. Lucas received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an M.S. from Columbia's School of Journalism.
Sophie Guité, Ph.D. '11
Sophie Guité is an investment strategist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She researches global macroeconomic trends and helps to set investment strategy for the firm's Global Wealth Management division. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and a B.A. from McGill University. Dissertation title: "Hot Stocks and Cold Comfort: A Comparative Study of Optimism in Financial News and Household Participation in Equity Markets in the U.S., France, and Hong Kong, 1985-2008."
Hawley Johnson, Ph.D. '12
Dr. Hawley Johnson is the Project Manager for Global Freedom of Expression @Columbia, an initiative to advance the understanding of international and national norms and institutions that best protect the free flow of information and expression in an inter-connected global community. Hawley has over twelve years of experience in international media development both academically and professionally, with a focus on Eastern Europe. She recently worked with the award-winning Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project to launch the Investigative Dashboard (ID), a joint effort with Google Ideas offering specialized databases and research tools for journalists in emerging democracies. Previously, as the associate director of the Media and Conflict Resolution Program at New York University, she oversaw the implementation of over eight US government sponsored media development programs in eleven countries. In 2012 she completed her Ph.D. in Communications at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her dissertation – a study of the evolution of media development policies in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia – was grounded in extensive field research in the region. She has an M.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a B.A. in international affairs from American University.
Zohar Kadmon Sella, Ph.D. '14
Zohar Kadmon Sella is a partner at Nahum, Kadmon, Advocates, a Tel Aviv law firm specializing in media, entertainment and telecommunication law. Zohar represents Israeli and international clients in multi-platform audio-visual content deals, including in television, film and new media, and advises clients on issues of IP and media regulation.
Zohar's dissertation investigated the news presence of victims of political violence in their capacity as political pressure groups. Her paper “Terrorism Victims and the Media: Moral Authority as a Decisive Factor in Victims’ Media Treatment” won the 2006 New York State Communication Association Best Graduate Paper Award. A graduate of the Tel Aviv University Law School, Zohar earned an MA in Media Studies from Stanford University and clerked for the Honorable Justice Theodore Or, Deputy Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court. Until 2012 she was a Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Keshet Broadcasting Ltd.
Kadmon Sella, Z. "The Journey of Ritual Communication," Studies in Communication Sciences, 7/1 (2007) 117–138.
Philip Kay, Ph.D. '11
Philip Kay's dissertation, "'Guttersnipes' and 'Eliterates': City College in the Popular Imagination," is a study of "the poor man's Harvard" as a cultural icon and perennial site of social conflict. His interests include popular narratives of urban schools and youth; the metropolitan, student, ethnic, and alternative press; and the history and culture of New York City and American education.
From 2006 to 2009, Kay was an assistant professor and journalism program director in the City College of New York's department of Media & Communication Arts. Before that he was director of education programs at the New York Council for the Humanities. During the 1990s, he edited the monthly magazine New Youth Connections (circ. 80,000) and published three book-length collections of writing by New York City high schools students, including "Things Get Hectic: Teens Write About the Violence That Surrounds Them" (Simon & Schuster, 1998) and "Starting With 'I': Personal Essays by Teenagers" (Persea Books, 1997). Before beginning his doctoral studies, Kay was a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York, also at Columbia. He has an M.A. in Latin American Civilization and a B.A. in Dramatic Literature, Theatre History, and Cinema, both from NYU.
John Kelly, Ph.D. '10
John Kelly's research interests include design processes and the development of content for interactive television and mobile devices. During his twelve years as a sound designer and producer of film, music, video and digital effects, Kelly focused on the innovative adaptation of emerging digital technologies to the demands of professional media production. In 1995, he became Director of Digital Media for Columbia's School of the Arts, with the responsibility of integrating digital tools into the school's graduate programs in Film, Visual Arts, Theatre and Writing. That year he led the Film division to become the first graduate program in the nation to make nonlinear technologies part of basic training and helped the Visual Arts program make digital arts part of its core curriculum. In 1996, Kelly created the school's curriculum for interactive media, establishing Interactive Design as the school's newest area of study. In 1999, he shifted his focus from teaching to research, joining IDL to help develop the formal study of Interactive Design. Kelly received his B.A. from Columbia University.
— Kelly, Fisher, Smith (2005) "Debate, Division, and Diversity: Political Discourse Networks in USENET Groups." Working paper for: Stanford Online Deliberation Conference, 2005
Sangoak Lee, Ph.D. '04
Sangoak Lee's research interests center on the globalization of the media and telecommunications industries, with geographic emphasis on Asia. Before joining the doctoral program, he was an international marketing manager at the Korea International Broadcasting Foundation, a Korean television service for global viewers. He also worked as strategic planner at Samsung Entertainment Group after receiving a master's degree in Telecommunication in 1995 from Michigan State University. He published three articles on media economics and policy while he was working in the industry. The most recent one was "Satellite Television Broadcasting in Asia-Pacific Markets," published on the Spring 2000 newsletter of The Asia Pacific Satellite Communications Council.
Travis Mushett, Ph.D. '16
Travis Mushett studies contemporary America's ecosystem of independent intellectual, literary, and political publications. His interests include intellectual history, the relationship between art and politics, the history of the left, and the sociology of bohemia. Travis is the founder and editor-in-chief of Blunderbuss Magazine, a web magazine of literature, art, criticism, and "other bits of aesthetic shrapnel." Authentic Occupy, his e-book about Occupy Wall Street and the politics of authenticity, was published by Thought Catalog in 2013. Travis holds an M.A. from the Draper Program in the Humanities and Social Thought at New York University, and a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College.
Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Ph.D. '10
Nielsen's main research interest is the intersection between new technologies and old organizations, in particular in politics and the news media. He graduated with a PhD in Communications in 2010, and is now Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford (on leave from a position as Associate Professor of Political Communication at Roskilde University in Denmark). One strand of his work consists of ethnographic participant-observation research focusing on the wider ramifications of political campaigns mobilizing people on a large scale to use personal contact as a form of political communication-what he calls "personalized political communication"-working through things like canvassing and phone banking, and assisted by new social media and online-integrated database technologies. Another operates at a more institutional level and deals with the current convulsions in the commercial news business in much of the post-industrial world, confronted as it is with challenges rooted in long-term socio-political changes, technological challenges in the form of the rise of the internet, and cyclical problems related to the global recession. His first monograph, Ground Wars: Personalized Communication in Political Campaigns, was published in 2012 by Princeton University Press. His work has also appeared in a range of academic journals, including Information, Communication & Society, International Journal of Press/Politics, Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Critique, and New Media & Society, and has featured in various news media. In past lives, he has been a bureaucrat, an editor, and a college instructor. In addition to his Columbia Communications PhD, he holds degrees from the University of Copenhagen (BA, MA) and the University of Essex (MA), and has been a Fulbright-DAF student at the New School for Social Research. More information can be found at rasmuskleisnielsen.net.
Ruth Palmer, Ph.D. '13
Ruth Palmer is an assistant professor of Communications at IE University in Segovia, Spain. Her research uses qualitative methods, especially interviewing, to explore how individuals use communication tools to relate to their communities, and vice versa. Her dissertation, In the Funhouse Mirror: How News Subjects Respond to their Media Reflections, examined the experiences of private citizens who had appeared in the mainstream news. Her research on the experiences of being a journalism subject has also appeared in Journalism Studies and Literary Journalism Studies. She is a contributing writer and editor for the Case Consortium at Columbia, where she develops multimedia ethics curriculum for use in journalism and public health schools around the world.
While at Columbia, Palmer received a Mellon Interdisciplinary Graduate fellowship from Columbia's Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) and taught communication courses at Columbia's Teachers College and in Barnard College's pre-college summer program. Before pursuing her doctorate she earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Bryn Mawr College, and worked in the Artistic Department at the Metropolitan Opera.
Benjamin Peters, Ph.D. '10
Benjamin Peters is an assistant professor of Communication at the University of Tulsa, where he is advancing a book project on the history of the Soviet Internet. Fascinated by the ways media change over regimes of space, time, and power, he writes on media -- and especially digital media -- in their historical, critical, and transnational context. He brings area emphases on Eastern Europe, America, and the Middle East, where he recently lived during the Arab Spring as a Lady Davis postdoctoral fellow at Hebrew University. A teacher hooked on research, Benjamin has guest lectured at over a dozen international locations as well as at schools such as Harvard, Princeton, New York University, Columbia Business School, and Yale Law School, where he served as a fellow at the Information Society Project for several years. He also serves as associate editor and founding member, with Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, of the forthcoming International Collaborative Dictionary of Communication, a peer-produced, commons-based online register of keyword entries supported by the Social Science Research Council. Occasional publications, papers, and other details can be found at his website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Pooley, Ph.D. '06
Jeff Pooley (Harvard College B.A., social studies; Columbia University M.A., Ph.D., communications) is an associate professor of Media and Communication at Muhlenberg College. His research centers on the history of communication studies, as the field's emergence has intersected with the twentieth century rise of the other social sciences. He also writes about celebrity, the consumer culture and media policy.
Pooley’s dissertation (“An Accident of Memory: Edward Shils, Paul Lazarsfeld and the History of American Mass Communication Research,” May 2006 “with distinction”) traces the rise of a standard disciplinary memory for communication studies, a storyline that helped to legitimate the infant social scientific field in the 1950s and 1960s. Pooley’s ongoing work in the history of communication studies includes a study of Elihu Katz and Paul Lazarsfeld’s Personal Influence (“Fifteen Pages That Shook the Field”, Annals 2006), a treatment of Edward Shils’ wartime revision of his social thought (under review, American Sociologist), a survey and assessment of the recent wave of revisionist history of communication research (forthcoming chapter in J. Pooley & D. Park (eds.), Media Research and Its Histories: New Perspectives on the Contested Memory of the Field (Peter Lang)), a treatment of the 1990s Marshall McLuhan revival (to be submitted), and a study of James W. Carey’s thought.
Pooley recently created an online, searchable bibliography of published work on the history of communication studies.
Annie Rudd, Ph.D. '14
Annie Rudd completed her Ph.D. in Communications in June 2014. Her dissertation, "Posing, Candor, and the Realisms of Photographic Portraiture," was supported by a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. From 2014-16, she will be a postdoctoral Core Lecturer in Columbia University's Department of English and Comparative Literature. Her time on the Columbia faculty will be spent teaching Columbia College's signature course, Contemporary Civilization, and developing a book based on her dissertation, which examines conventions of posing in 19th-century portrait photography and discusses the emergence of an aesthetics--and a politics--of photographic candor in the early 20th century. Dr. Rudd's areas of research emphasis include media theory and history; the history of visual culture from the 19th century to the present, particularly vernacular portrait photography; documentary photography and film; and photojournalism. Before beginning her graduate studies, she received an honors B.A. with high distinction in English, American Studies, and Book and Media Studies from the University of Toronto in 2007.
Pavel Shlossberg, Ph.D. '08
Pavel Shlossberg is an assistant professor in the M.A. Program in Communication and Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.
A book based on his dissertation research, “Indian Arts and the Politics of Race and Culture in Central Mexico,” is under contract with the University of Arizona Press. Based on two years of ethnographic and oral historical research, it documents contemporary danzas, such as the pastorelas, and related masking customs in central Michoacan. These danzas discuss and depict faith, sin, and salvation, and they also comment upon the joys and struggles of everyday life in contemporary Mexico. The book also examines how knowledge about masks and masking has often been falsified in popular and scholarly work by repeating colorful myths that envelop the craft and by disavowing items produced for the tourist and curio markets as inauthentic and low-grade. Debates over the authenticity of tourist and curio arts shed light on how popular and elite, indigenous, mestizo, and Anglo actors in central Michoacan construct and contest relations of class, status, and inequality as they negotiate the meanings of “tradition,” “ethnic authenticity,” “globalization,” and “cultural change”. (A presentation based on this research is available as a podcast from the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico.
Before his appointment at Gonzaga, Pavel was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico and a lecturer at the University of Virginia. His work has appeared in various journals, including Cultural Studies, Visual Anthropology Review, and Souls. He has presented papers at ICA, NCA, and the American Anthropological Association. Pavel teaches communication theory, international and intercultural communication, Latin American studies, media studies, communication ethics, and diversity issues.
Petra Sonderegger, Ph.D. '08
Petra Sonderegger's research focuses on changes in innovative collaboration across large distances as people increasingly use telecommunications, such as e-mail, teleconferencing and webmeetings. She is interested in discovering how this affects the geographical distribution of innovation networks. Before coming to Columbia, Petra was a team leader and project manager for the idea factory BrainStore. She previously worked in management training and management development for the Swiss Post and Swisscom. Petra has a graduate degree in business management from the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Julia Sonnevend, Ph.D. '13
Julia Sonnevend is an assistant professor in Communication Studies at the University of Michigan (effective 8/2013) and a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Information Society Project and the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology. She has been named a Lady Davis Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smart Family Institute of Communications at the Hebrew University and an Associate Postdoctoral Fellow at the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace (both effective 12/2013).
Sonnevend's research examines the cultural aspects of global media, with a special focus on media events, rituals, performances, symbols and icons. Her dissertation, Global Iconic Events: How News Stories Travel Through Time, Space and Media, explored how news events can become lasting global symbols. Her research interests also include cultural history, political communication, comparative cultural sociology, and the intellectual history of communication research.
She received her Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and her Juris Doctorate and Master of Arts degrees in German Studies and Aesthetics from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Her website can be found here.
Olivier Sylvain, Ph.D. '10
Olivier is currently an associate professor of Law at Fordham University in New York City. His academic interests include the public lawmaking processes and communications law and policy. He teaches telecommunications law, Internet law, and administrative law.
His dissertation (Domesticating “the Great, Throbbing, Common Pulse of America”: A Study of the Ideological Origins of the Radio Act of 1927) is on the early intellectual and political development of federal communications regulation.
Before academia, Olivier was a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Jenner & Block, LLC where he worked on a variety of constitutional law and telecommunications related matters. Before Jenner, Olivier was the Marvin Karpatkin Fellow in the National Legal Office of the American Civil Liberties Union.