NOTE: This profile page is for current students. Alums, please check out the Department's alum page, where you can stay connected, fill out an alumni survey, and more.
Robin earned his BA from UNC Chapel Hill and MA from Simmons College. He earned his barista certification from the Specialty Coffee Association of America. He plans to earn his yoga certification in the near future. Figure skating has become a recent love of his and hopes to coach at some point. Oh..yes…academics…the prospectus seems like a life long struggle but he hopes to research how neoliberal policies impact class-consciousness within the local food system. He currently produces a local radio program titled Farm-to-Fork. The show is currently descriptive and pedagogical but the producers hope to balance this with a critical discursive tone in researching the food systems within the Pioneer Valley. Finally, he is the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) treasurer and will continue this post for the 2012-13 academic year. The officers of the GSS have questioned and challenged the role of University administrators to create policies unilaterally and their assumption that revenue generating is the best way to operate.
Stephanie is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication at UMass. She received a BA in Communication from George Washington University and a MS from the London School of Economics. Some of her previous work includes critical discourse analysis of gender roles in popular film and social semiotic analysis of race and news coverage of missing women. Her current research interests involve exploring the role of individual, diasporic, and institutional identities in cultural production and consumption behavior. She is currently working on a project which focuses on Portuguese-speaking communities in London and examines how postcolonial conflict is negotiated in cosmopolitan European spaces. This project examines the intersection of points of origin, race, legal status, and language, and explores the influence of European policies and discourses of migration and multiculturalism in the management of commodified ethnicities and creation of emergent Lusophone identities.
Currently pursuing her PhD at UMass, Xima was raised in National City, California, on MGM musicals, John Waters and Hitchcock films her parents checked out for her and her siblings from the public library. She did her undergraduate work in English Literature at UC Berkeley and then went on to receive her MA in Library and Information Science at the University of Arizona before becoming a film and media librarian at UC Santa Barbara and California College of the Arts. Her professional work lead her to pursue her second MA degree in Critical Studies at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. Her current research involves how sports fandoms affect and create identities and identity performance.
David Avishay, Esq.
Bryan Baldwin is currently Vice President for University Advancement and Strategic Planning at Bridgewater State University. Prior to assuming that position at BSU, he served as Chief of Staff to the University President and Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs. Currently striving (struggling?) to turn ABD into PhD, Bryan's research examines the democratic spirit and deliberative power of on-line discussion boards hosted by a variety of emerging and traditional news sites. In addition to being a PhD-wannabe, Bryan has a Master's in Political Communication from Emerson College and Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Political Science from UMass-Amherst. He has also completed post-graduate studies at Harvard University's Institute for Education Management (IEM) and was trained in public diplomacy at the Canadian Foreign Service Institute. HIs scholarly interests include public discourse, quantitative research methods, political communications and new communication technologies. As a professional, Bryan is actively involved in managing executive communications, media relations, speechwriting, and strategic planning. He has taught undergraduate and graduate students at Suffolk University, Emerson and Bridgewater, and has led numerous non-profit organizations in strategic planning exercises. In the few hours per year when he's not working, he's an avid SCUBA diver, hiker and traveler.
Felicitas is pursuing her PhD in Communication at UMass. She received a B.A. in Social Communication from Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City and a M.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College, where she was as a Fulbright scholar. Felicitas has worked as a videographer, editor, and TV producer in Mexico City and Boston. She has been a reporter for different media outlets covering sports, politics, immigration, and international conflicts. As a journalist Felicitas has worked for The Associated Press, and two news agencies from China and Mexico. Her research interests include the use of technology and new media to solve social inequalities; media, peace and justice; and the role of ethnic media in multicultural societies.
Greg received a B.A. in Communication from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2006, and an MA in Communication at the University of Arkansas in 2010. His principal research interest is media effects. Working from a quantitative, empirical perspective, he is interested in studying the social effects of the US military's involvement in the entertainment fields. He is also interested in interplay between media violence and portrayals of masculinity, and how these can impact thoughts, attitudes, and affect regarding aggression and gender roles. Additional areas of study include interactive media, political expression on the internet, and censorship.
Aliison Brzenchek holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University and a MSW from the University of Michigan. Prior to starting her work as a doctoral student, Alison worked for three years as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Michigan in the Communication and Women’s Studies Departments. Alison is the founder of RECLAIM Media Literacy Services and she has served on the Board of Directors for the Action Coalition for Media Education since the fall of 2000. Ms. Brzenchek has presented at regional and national conferences for organizations, such as: The American College Health Association, International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, American Sociological Association, Academy for Eating Disorders, Action Coalition for Media Education and Alliance for a Media Literate America, regarding her prevention research, media reform efforts and her media literacy, activism and advocacy programming. Additionally, Ms. Brzenchek has been featured as an expert on Public Radio based on her body image research at the University of Michigan. Alison’s current research interests include critical cultural studies and media literacy. In particular, she is interested in media portrayals of gender, media representation in reality television and the role political satire (e.g. The Daily Show) plays in public awareness of political, social and cultural issues.
I am a fourth year doctoral student at UMASS. My research deals with rhetorics of space, memory, and identity particularly with regard to sporting institutions. I recently had an essay on Fantasy Baseball come out in the Southern Journal of Communication. My dissertation deals with the retro trend in contemporary Major League Baseball parks.
Tovar split his undergraduate years between Dartmouth College and Eugene Lang College of the New School for Social Research, where he received his B.A. Over the next fifteen years, he worked as a carpenter, logger, and freelance writer. He was awarded a graduate school fellowship by UMass in 2009 and completed his M.A. thesis — Meat and Meanings: Adult-Onset Hunters' Cultural Discourses of the Hunt — in 2011. He is now enrolled as a Ph.D. student. His research interests include cultural discourse analysis, ethnography, food, hunting, and human relationships with nature. Tovar is also the author of The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance (2012).
Mariama M. Changamire Shaw
Mariama Changamire Shaw received both her B.A. (1996) and M.A. (2000) in Communication at DePaul University, with emphases in Mass Media, Multicultural Communication, and Organizational Communication. She also received undergraduate and graduate certificates in the Women’s Studies Program while at DePaul. Her research focus is on the study of global linguistic survival strategies, recasting these strategies as tools of empowerment toward facing the challenges of the expanding global economy. She believes that exposing linguistic hegemony is critical to the liberation and survival of the most underserved and disenfranchised world citizens, and is open to historic and dynamic possibilities of language and culture, scaffolding strengths revealed in communicative identities. Other areas of interest include the pragmatic voices of women of color, and the violence of silences in communities around gendered violence, incest, and rape, highlighting notions of dominance and power.
Su Young Choi
Ellen earned her B.A. in Human Communication from the University of California Monterey Bay and her M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Antioch University MacGregor. Her dissertation research explores the ethical and relational implications of assimilation in a racially/ethnically stratified society.
Diana M. Coryat
Matthew R D'Aprile
Interests: Culture industries, Cultural policy, Cultural production, Cultural economy, Music and music events, Neocolonial studies
Disciplines: Cultural studies, Political economy, Communication
Roles: Producer, Graduate student (ABD)
Location of Work: The Caribbean and its translocalities
Current Institutional Affiliations: Department of Communication (UMass-Amherst); Departmento de Comunicación Tele-Radial (Universidad de Puerto Rico-Arecibo, on leave)
Networks at UMass-Amherst: Mellon Mutual Mentoring Fellow (sponsored by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies); Association of Latin American and Caribbean Graduate Students (ALACS & Friends); WMUA-91.1FM Amherst
Gregory earned an M.A. in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University, where he also attended as an Undergraduate. His main interest is the maintenance and evolution of traditional folk music communities, specifically the Celtic music of Cape Breton Island. He has presented at the American Folklore Society national conference, as well as Folklore conferences in Europe. His interests are in rhetorical theory, memory studies, folk studies, and performance theory.
Matthew is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He earned a B.A. in Art History and Visual Culture from Bates College, and an M.A. in Film and Media studies from Ohio University. His research focuses on film, television, advertising, and sport with a particular emphasis on representations of primitivism, wildness, play, nature, and labor. Matthew has published in Flow TV, and most recently in the edited collection “Storytelling in World Cinemas.” He has presented his work at ICA, NCA, and the Flow Conference, among other venues. Matthew taught his first undergraduate course in 2003, and since then has taught many stand-alone courses (in the areas of film history and theory, media and society, video production, and research and writing methodologies) at Tompkins-Cortland Community College, Ohio University, Westfield State University, and UMass Amherst.
Taos G. Glickman
Fadia Hasan is currently a PhD student in the Communication Department at UMASS, Amherst. She earned her BA from Hampshire College with an undergraduate thesis titled, "The Politics of Femininity in Mainstream Indian Films". Her MA was in Communications from University of Massachussetts, Amherst. Fadia's focus in her Masters has been Global Consumer & Class Cultures and Alternative Economies. Her Masters thesis is titled, "Fair Trade Practices in Contemporary Bangladeshi Society: Community Development, Cultural Revival And Sustainability through a Participatory Approach."
Liliana L. Herakova
Dijana’s work lies at the intersections of cinema and critical cultural studies, as well as trauma, affect, queer and feminist theoretical approaches. Dijana holds an MA in Humanities and Social Thought from NYU, and a BA in English from the University of Banja Luka, Bosnia. Her doctoral dissertation concerns post-Yugoslav filmmaking, and particularly the role of film in establishing affective economies with which certain responses to trauma become legitimized through the prism of ethnic, as well as gender, class and religious divisions.
Liliya’s dissertation explores the rise of Muslim piety among Tatar women in the central Russian Republic of Tatarstan. She conducted her ethnographic research among Muslim Tatar women with the help of the IREX IARO research grant in 2009-2010. In her work, Liliya examines how Muslim Tatar women negotiate and perform their identities vis-à-vis Islam in the context of a post-Soviet Russia, where they are both an ethnic and religious minority. While Liliya focuses on examining the discursive and performative aspects of women's identities, her interest in the policy implications of her research led her to participate in the SSRC dissertation development workshop (2010) and IREX policy symposium (2011).
Steph is interested in intercultural group dynamics and group discourses as microsocial instantiations of macrosocial patterns. A U.S. nationally certified American Sign Language/English Interpreter, she focuses on the institutionalization of power relations through taken-for-granted assumptions about interpreter behavior, decision-making, and discourse. Steph has published in national and international interpreting journals and Critical Link 4: Professionalization of interpreting in the community (2007), and is always on alert for particular events theorized by James Cumming as “problematic moments” that present groups with the possibility of altering pre-established terms of interaction. Currently, Steph is researching the discourse of spoken language interpreters at the European Parliament, tentatively titled: A Discourse of Danger and Loss. One category in her weblog, Reflexivity, is devoted to teaching.
Stephanie C. Lawrence
Han earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In Chicago, he was a research intern for the HIVNET 015 EXPLORE! Study through Howard Brown Health Center. Han has participated in Association of Internet Researchers, National Communication Association, and International Communication Association conferences, and won first place for the 2004 Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award competition. He has recently published a book chapter titled “Queering Race in Cyberspace” in “Media Queered: Visibility and Its Discontents” (edited by Kevin G. Barnhurst and published by Peter Lang).
Sunny Lie received her B.A. in Communication and East Asian Languages and Cultures from University of Southern California, and a dual Master's degree in Global Media and Communications from USC and London School of Economics and Political Science. Before entering academia, she has worked in various international organizations such as United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Voice of America (VOA). She recently co-authored a book chapter along with Donal Carbaugh, Liene Locmele and Nadezhda Sotirova on ethnographic studies in intergroup communication. She's currently working on her dissertation which examines the communication of identity in a Chinese Indonesian Evangelical community in Boston, MA.
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Liene is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication at UMass Amherst. She received a Fulbright student fellowship and joined the department in 2009 after spending several years working for the PR industry in her homeland of Latvia. Liene is interested in interpersonal and intercultural aspects of human communication with a special focus on the communication of Latvian identity. Liene has a BA in Communication and Public Relations from Vidzeme University of Applied Science in Latvia, and an MA in Intercultural Communication from the University of Jyväskyla in Finland.
Camille L Martinez-Krawiec
Jillian A. Marty
Zach McDowell earned a B.S. in Communication Studies from Arizona State University at the West Campus, focusing on Rhetoric, Critical Theory, and the Philosophy of Communication. Zach earned his Masters Degree at Arizona State University as well, research and thesis focusing on Prophetic Advocacy, Language, and Being-in-the-World-Together. His current focus is in the area of advocacy, communication, and collaboration in a digital environment, especially the issues surrounding the Open Source / Free Software Movement, Digital Rights Management, Peer to Peer Sharing, and (Intellectual) Property. Zach has presented at NCA, ICA, CSA, and numerous other venues, as well as publishing numerous pieces in a variety of places. He is currently working on his dissertation, a media archeology of digital sharing technology. For more information please visit his website.
Prior to coming to UMass, Paige earned her BA from the University of California San Diego in Communication. Broadly speaking, she is interested in the relationship between globalization, technology, and power. Her previous research focused on the sociological implications surrounding marginalized youth and their interaction with new digital media. She hopes to broaden this research by further examining the use of new media among underserved populations on a global scale. Ultimately, she wants to focus on the construction of power in the global information society and seeks to understand what it means for emerging economies.
Kavita is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication at UMass. She received a BA in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan and an MA in Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Mass Media from Temple University, where she also earned a graduate certificate in Women's Studies. Her research looks at national and international phenomena of mediated-communication that highlight the construction, reproduction, and disruption of inequalities emerging at the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. Several of Kavita's papers have gone on to earn top paper awards, including "Reclaiming a Fallen Empire: Myth and Memory in the Battle over Detroit's Ruins," which she presented at the 2012 annual National Communication Association meeting, and "The Embodiment of Female Power: Vaseline's Interactive Advertising and the Transnational Commodification of Skin Color in African-American and Indian Women," which she presented at the 2011 Global Fusion Conference. In keeping with her high school motto, Mens Sana in Corpore Sano (or Sound Mind in a Sound Body), Kavita spends what little time doctoral life leaves running around Western Mass and training for her next race.
Eve Ng completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the State University of New York-Buffalo, for which she conducted fieldwork on the Algonquian language Passamaquoddy. In 2012 she completed an Advanced Certificate in Feminist Studies through the Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. Her research areas include digital media and cultural production; television studies; class, taste, and distinction; and queer representation. She has presented her work at venues including meetings of the American Anthropological Association, American Sociological Association, Console-ing Passions feminist media conference, International Communication Association, Flow TV, International Gender and Language Association, and National Communication Association, and published in Popular Communication and Flow.
An article for which I drew a cartoon!
Elena V. Nuciforo (Khatskevich )
Emily A. Polk
Fernando A. Rodriguez
Laras is a PhD student at the Department of Communication at UMass. Her research interest evolves around media and consumers, media and children, and media effects. Laras received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology with Cum Laude from the University of Indonesia, where she found her interest in the critiques of consumerism, which had led her to pursue an MS degree in Human Ecology with Consumer Behavior and Family Economics concentration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison through a Fulbright scholarship. She is currently working on cultivation research in family contexts, focusing on the role of television in cultivating materialism among parents and children. In addition, she also participates in the department's Media Literacy outreach/research annual program that introduces critical thinking skills in reading media messages to children in an elementary school in the Pioneer Valley area.
"Nimrod is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication at Umass…"
Drawing on phenomenology, hermeneutics and structuralism I consider the conditions of possibility for (re)formation as the coming of being into form. Lingering at a crossroads between the humanities and the social sciences, I attempt to develop a sort of interpretative ethnography that goes full circle in questioning its own modes of determination. Simply and straightforwardly, it is my way to relate to the ever present (western) urge to "know oneself…"
Or, in other words, I'm not sure where I'm aiming to.
I completed my MA at the University of Haifa, Israel in the year 2009. In this project (that keeps hunting me to this day) I focused on the testimonial discourse of Israeli soldiers, specifically on the notion of truth-telling as a speech activity and moral-political criticism. Together with Tamar Katriel, I published some stuff and presented at conferences, etc. The soldiers found our work entertaining but not very useful.
Keeping that in mind, I push onward towards my finitude.
Song Shi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication at UMass Amherst. His research interests include three inter-related fields: the influences of new media on social changes and development; digital divide, new media, and ICT; digital copyright. He is a junior fellow at the Center for Communication for Sustainable Social Change at UMass Amherst. He is currently working on his dissertation which examines new media for social change and development in China. In his research, he employs both qualitative method and quantitative methods. His co-authored papers have been published by International Communication Gazette and Development in Practice.
Before beginning the Masters program at UMass, Samantha received her B.A. in Communication from the University of San Diego. She is currently researching authenticity, sentiment, and personal branding in blogging. Her other interests include community formation, the crafts movement, and creative culture - with an over-arching theme of the connection between online involvement and offline lifestyles.
Natasha is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication at UMass, received a B.S. in Communication from UT Austin (Hook 'em!), and a Master's from the University of Illinois. Taking a social interaction approach to the study of communication, Natasha uses ethnography and discourse analysis to analyze the relationship between language, culture, and identity. Her specific interests include examining how the structure and meanings of 'everyday talk' constitute aspects of ethnic and gendered identities.
Razvan earned his B.A. degree in Journalism/Mass Communication from the American University in Bulgaria in 2001. Following graduation, he worked as a full-time political reporter for two Romanian publications. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at UMass Amherst (Communication) while working as a lecturer and chief undergraduate advisor in the Journalism Program. His Master’s thesis was built around the concepts of ideology & culture and “Romanian-ness.” Since 2003, he has taught more than 30 undergraduate classes as a stand-alone instructor, both in-class and online (e.g. Newswriting and Reporting, Media Ethics, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Media and Society, News Analysis, Cultural Codes in Communication) at UMass Amherst (Communication and Journalism) and Holyoke Community College. Raz’s academic interests include issues of identity, culture, and ideology; political communication; media & storytelling; and critical pedagogy.
Nadezhda M. Sotirova
Nadezhda (Nade) is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication at UMass, received a B. A. in Communication Studies and Psychology from Bridgewater College and a M. A. from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Through a social interaction approach, Nadezhda employs ethnography of communication and cultural discourse analysis to explore the connections between language, culture, and identity. Her specific interests include examining Bulgarian ways of speaking and their relationship to a specific national identity.
EunSook Sul Lowe
Timothy Sutton is a perpetual grad student with no plans of completing his Ph.D. in order to avoid paying back the massive loans he has accrued. He is interested in connections between critical pedagogy and DiY media with regards to media literacy and social movements. Timothy belongs to the Education Radio Collective, which produces a weekly podcast that participates in movement building and challenges the dominant discourse around neoliberal education reform.
Rachel L. Thibault
Todd J. Wemmer
Lisa D. Wortman
I got my B.A. from Peking University in China, with double majors in journalism and philosophy. Upon graduation, I came to the States for master study at University of Illinois at Chicago, major in communication. My master thesis was examining the unequal power relations embedded in news discourse on rural women and female migrant workers in contemporary China. Now I am a PhD student at UMass, and my current research interests include: media studies, critical culture studies, feminist theories, gender and women issues, and social inequalities in China. My research papers have been presented at national and international conferences like NCA, AoIR, and WAPOR.
Danbi Yoo is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication at UMass Amherst. She received a B.A. in Mass Communication from the Yonsei Univerisity in South Korea, and earned her M.A. in Communication at the Yonsei University as well, where her research explored how people interact through visual media in specific socio-historical or political-economic contexts. Currently, her research interests involve utilizing discourse analysis and governmentality studies to examine the influence of neoliberal change on our everyday lives. Other academic interests include art production and consumption in capitalist societies. Before coming to UMass, Danbi participated as a producer in independent theater and film projects, and worked as an assistant researcher of academic institutions in Korea.