Meet the new graduate students for 2016
Media Studies Doctoral Students
Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with English and a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Communication Studies. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the communications profession including public relations, advertising, strategic communications management, brand development and management, and strategic change communications. He has taught at various institutions in Ghana and has authored and co-authored publications on communications, sales, and marketing. He intends to study behavioral branding within the context of change management among selected Ghanaian organizations. He is also interested in analyzing various trends, issues, and problems in advertising, public relations, and brand development.
Kaitlin has a BA from California State University, Sacramento, and an MS from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has held internships in local television, public radio and a communications office. Her first media job was serving as a TV reporter in Bozeman, Montana. She enjoys visual storytelling and wants to help teach the next generation of journalists. Kaitlin’s research will focus on journalism ethics and the public perception of the journalism industry.
Becky Banks has a BA in Journalism from Webster University in St. Louis, and an MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University. She has working in various positions at newspapers, nonprofit organizations, and universities. Last year, she started teaching at various colleges in the Philadelphia area. Becky’s primary interest is teaching media theory and writing. Her research focuses on the representation of place — particularly rural locales — and television history.
Gubae has a BA and MA from Addis Ababa University. He has worked as a reporter, editor, translator, information assistant, educator, trainer, researcher, public relations officer and writer. He is interested in studying questions involving media freedom and freedom of expression in the digital sphere, particularly as they relate to his home country of Ethiopia.
Karikarn is originally from Thailand and has a BS from Prince of Songkla University and an MA from Birmingham City University. She joins the PhD program after spending a year in the media studies master’s program. Her research interests are in media and global crises, international and intercultural communication, communication for social change, media and Asian cultures, media and social justice, journalism history, participatory journalism and new media.
Layire earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cheikh Anta Diop University-Senegal and an MS from Drexel University, where he attended on a Fulbright Scholarship. He has extensive experience as a journalist and editor in chief at Senegalese National Broadcasting. His interests center around media ethics, specifically the ethical rules implemented in the TV newsrooms, the strategies undertaken by news organization to face ethical breaches, and the different types of censorship applied in the newsrooms by media organizations.
Rachel received her BA in Media Studies from Penn State University, where she focused on a critical examination of the Media Education Foundation films as educational tools. Her MA in Media Studies is also from Penn State and her work involved the political economy and issues of representation in film and television. Her thesis, a textual analysis of children’s films, examined identity portrayals of overweight and obese kids. Rachel worked for Teach For America, earned her elementary teaching certificate, and was a teacher in Baltimore. She continues to be strongly invested and vocal in pro-public education reform. Rachel will continue exploring the political economy of film and television and feminist theory.
Elim Hernandez was born in Mexico City, where he received his BA degree in Communication from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 2012. He completed a Master’s certificate in Media Relations and Strategic Communication degree at University of Texas-Pan American in spring 2015, and an MA in Communication from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in spring 2016. His research interests were first around empowering the Hispanic population with Type 2 Diabetes to have better health outcomes through the use of message framing. His current research interests focus on bilingualism, code-switching, and emotions. He is interested in studying the media portrayal of bilingual Hispanics in the US.
Cecilia Sumita Louis
Sumita has a BA from Delhi University and an MA from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She began her professional career as a trainee copy-editor with the Times of India, New Delhi. After a year, she was hired as the Business Correspondent for “Business Breakfast,” a morning business show, and was subsequently promoted to Editorial Director. She has since held several positions with Indian media outlets, most recently serving as Vice President for Digital Distribution for Star TV India. Her research interests include new media content and technologies in daily practice; media ownership and power; international media and effects of social networks; Internet and youth culture; new media and impact on education and local communities; and using data in journalism and audience engagement studies.
Jared earned an undergraduate degree in Visual Media Arts from Emerson College and a graduate degree in Public Communication from American University. He has worked in health communication for federal agencies, consulted internationally for non-profits, and served as a girls’ education and empowerment volunteer in the Peace Corps. Jared will explore the capacity of narrative to share information and transfer persuasive messages to affect behavior among diverse audiences. His long-term goals include developing expertise in cultural storytelling and decision-making.
Krystal has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois. She earned an MA from the SOJC concurrently with a JD from the UO Law School. She worked as an attorney in Washington state, as well as serving as a professor and program director at Central Washington University. Her research interests center on media coverage of gun violence, particularly how criminogenic media affects those with predispositions to crime, as well as those without criminal histories, to commit violent crimes.
Andrew Robbins recently completed his Master’s degree in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His Master’s thesis employed critical discourse analysis to examine American print media’s representation of female fertility, age, and egg-freezing — a recently commercialized Assisted Reproductive Technology. His current research interests include queer digital media cultures, embodied spectatorship, and transgender narratives. Andrew focuses on intersections of gender, race, and class, and is interested in questions about who has access to media discourse, who is permitted to speak or write to whom, about what, and within what contextual parameters.
Thipkanok (or “Ping”) earned her BA degree in International Business in Thailand, and an MA in International Journalism from Birmingham University in the UK. Her professional experience includes reporting, marketing, and teaching. Ping’s research interests include political economics, and the advertising and film industries.
Media Studies Master's Students
Hadil recently completed her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management at the UO. She worked for arts and culture nonprofit organizations in Palestine and is particularly interested in media portrayals of Arabs and Muslims and the role social media plays in affecting stereotypes and leveraging support in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She hopes to further study media representation of these and other marginalized groups.
Andrea is a Los Angeles native with a passion for poetry, particularly works by Latinx writers. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in English Literature and Classical Civilizations. She has become a dedicated advocate for literacy in underserved communities and hopes to research new ways of combining civic engagement with media platforms.
Spencer received a BA in Communication Studies from Temple University. He has worked on several research projects on augmented reality, written two book chapters, and served as an Editorial Advisory Board member for the recently released edited volume, Defining Identity and the Changing Scope of Culture in the Digital Age. Spencer plans to specialize on the effects of virtual worlds, specifically augmented reality, including human attitudes and behaviors, and interpersonal communication.
Jenn earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the SOJC. She has held communications positions for the Portland Trailblazers, Nike, the UO Alumni Association, Waggener Edstrom, and Oregon State University. She is interested in studying the role and value of ethics in journalism related to new technologies; sports and how the access to information about personal lives change hero/role models in sports; and crisis communications.
Phil has a BA from the University of Washington and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, where he was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow. He has served as writer-in-residence with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and taught screenwriting through the U.S. State Department in Myanmar (Burma). Phil has spent ten years writing for web and video in the creative, corporate, nonprofit, and academic fields. He is interested in examining traditional global storytelling techniques and conventions in film and emerging media.
Ann earned her undergraduate degree in Film and Media Studies from the University of Oklahoma in 2013. She interned for a local film festival, worked at an art gallery, and studied film in South Korea. Ann has also worked in Oklahoma’s film and TV production community. Her primary focus of study has been gender, sexuality, and feminist studies related to film and television.
Ahmad has a BA in mass communication from Kuwait University and a diploma in broadcast journalism from New York Film Academy. He has served as a magazine editor, media center coordinator, TV producer, and TV/radio news editor in Kuwait. His interests involve international media and globalization.
Shelby earned her BA in Individualized Studies from Miami University in 2013, where she developed an interdisciplinary thesis project titled “Digital Natives on Facebook: Mediating the Boundaries of Virtual Performance.” Her interests in psychology, philosophy, and education intersect at issues involving human relationships with technology and digital media, and she has presented two papers on these topics at conferences in the US. She plans to research youth media habits and the effects of ubiquitous presence of media in the modern digital era.
Riley Stevenson is a returning SOJC student, who currently works as a teacher in a program for unaccompanied minors. She hopes to combine her interests in nonprofit management and journalism through scholastic media initiatives.
Multimedia Journalism Master's Students
Mohammed is a graduate of the SOJC with a degree in journalism and media studies. He was a reporter and editor for the Torch, Lane Community College’s student newspaper, and also interned for the Eugene Weekly.
Shaeffer graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in communication and broadcast journalism. He has several years of experience as a journalist and has also worked in operations intelligence for the U.S. Air Force.
Grant Burgess attended Reed College, where he earned his BA in Literature in 2013. He has spent twenty years making short films, podcasts, and writing short stories. Grant also writes, produces, performs, and records music from many different genres (e.g., hip hop, folk, rock, and electronic). He is interested in non-fiction film narrative and radio/podcast production.
Alyssa has a degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota. She has experience working in media production and as a freelance web writer.
Whitney studied Journalism, Television, Film, Multimedia at San Diego State University, and earned a BA in Journalsim at the UO. She contributed to and helped launch the G.O.O.D.S. — a lifestyle and fashion magazine based in San Diego. Whitney seeks to improve her ability to create interactive data visualizations and to hone her photojournalism skills.
Viktoriia Haiboniuk is a Fulbright scholar from Ukraine. She has a BA in philology, with a secondary concentration in comparative literature. Her MA in media communications is from the Ukrainian Catholic University, where she emphasized visual and transmedia storytelling. Viktoriia worked as a videographer at the multimedia company MJoy Multimedia and taught Multimedia Technologies at the Ukrainian Catholic University. Her main research interest is visual journalism, specifically documentary photography and videography. She would like to produce a multimedia project, including photos, videos, and feature stories about extraordinary characters working in unusual professions.
Jose (Tony) Hernandez
Tony Hernandez completed his undergraduate degree in Journalism at the University of Houston. He has experience as a reporter for several newspapers, including most recently with the Oregonian/OregonLive.com in Portland.
Winnie JiaHua Huang
Winnie Huang was born in Shanghai and raised in Singapore. She studied advertising and minored in American studies, mathematics, and Chinese at Cal State Fullerton. Huang has worked at the The Daily Titan, Sports Illustrated, and the Orange County Register. She is currently a freelance art director and photographer in Southern California and Oregon.
Cassandra Profita is a mutimedia journalist at Oregon Public Broadcasting. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Her work in radio and television is focused on environmental issues and she is interested in improving her photography and video-editing skills.
Elayna holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. Her professional experience is in marketing, finance management, and business strategy consulting.
Strategic Communication Master's Students
Marlene earned a BA from Reed College. Her professional experience includes work as a community account manager for United Way. She is interested in social justice and finding ways to engage people across all age groups and social divisions in dialogue about political and social issues.
Keegan received a degree in Journalism from the UO. He is a freelance reporter and does work with non-profit organizations. He is interested in further developing his skills in non-profit management and strategy.
Timira is currently a communications consultant for African Road, a nonprofit organization working to lift communities out of extreme poverty in East Africa by providing start-up funds and culturally sensitive networking support to local community change-makers. Although she considers herself a Portland native, Timira spent most of her formative years in East Africa (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somaliland, Kenya) before returning to Portland.
Jenna is a graduate of the UO International Studies program. She has held several communications positions in New York and in the Portland area.
Laura has a degree in Liberal Studies from Oregon State University and 12 years of experience in the financial services industry. She is currently employed by M Financial Group, an innovative network of independent investment and executive benefit firms that serve the ultra-affluent market place. Laura oversees the day-to-day operations of the Investment Services area, the ongoing development of M Financial Group’s wealth management offerings, as well as the advisor education and training program.
Alexa currently works as the Web & Social Media Manager for The Salvation Army Cascade Divisional Headquarters in Happy Valley, Oregon, which serves Oregon and Southern Idaho. She manages over thirty social media accounts and websites for social service programs, churches and community centers. She would like to support global nonprofit communications teams, specifically those that do not have the human or material resources to create strategies.
Jill has a BA from Portland State University. She has served as a paralegal and a communications specialist on political campaigns.
Erin worked at a marketing/PR agency that serves wineries of the Pacific Northwest. She is currently a Marketing Communications Specialist at a local architecture firm.
Skye has a degree in advertising from the University of Florida. She currently works for an advertising agency in Portland.