Annenberg Alumni News, Fall 2018

The latest news from Annenberg School graduate alumni.

By Ashton Yount

We love to hear from our alumni! To share your news with us, please click here.


Anne Sceia Klein (M.A.C. '65) released the book On the Cusp: The Women of Penn C'64. She was also interviewed about the book by the Philadelphia Inquirer

Thomas Madden (M.A.C. '67), is the founder, CEO, and Chairman of the PR firm TransMedia Group, and he authors the blog Madden Mischief.

Edmond H. Weiss (M.A.C. '65) was ordained as a rabbi in June 2018.


Charles Goodwin (M.A.C. '77) published the book Co-Operative Action: Learning in Doing, Social, Cognitive, & Computational Perspectives (Cambridge University Press), which Emeritus Professor Klaus Krippendorff describes as, "a monumental summary of his research." Sadly, Goodwin passed away in March.


Julie Dobrow (Ph.D. '87) is the author of a new book, After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet (W.W. Norton & Co). Dobrow is the Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Tufts University. 

Jo Holz (M.A.C. '76, Ph.D. '81) gave a book talk at the Penn Bookstore on September 13 for her book Kids TV Grows Up: The Path from Howdy Doody to SpongeBob.

Carol Katzman (M.A.C. '83) sent in an amusing anecdote: "Decades ago, I was told by the faculty at Annenberg that I would end up working in whatever I wrote my thesis about, so choose carefully. My thesis was about computing in education, that computing does not make a difference, that excellence in education depends on excellence in teaching, in having reasonable funding and in good leadership. All these years later, I am still in higher education, but as Vice President for Information Technology at Barnard College. Sigh. I wonder if I can still make a difference?"


Michael Baron (M.A.C. '94) is a senior instructor at Cornell University in Data Analytics and Data Science and a Doctoral Candidate in Leadership and Learning in Organizations at Vanderbilt University. 

On election night, Kristen Conrad (M.A.C. '92) worked at the ABC News Decision Desk, helping to call the House of Representatives, which she has done in all but one election since 1994. By day, Conrad is Director of Custom Research for survey research firm LHK Partners. She was joined by Talia Jomini Stroud and Ken Winneg (see 2000s below). [READ MORE]

Chris Ferris (M.A.C. '95) recently joined Pierpont Communications as Vice President of Digital Strategy. He also teaches a self-designed course in digital marketing to MBA students at Rice Business and serves as a member of the Texas Medical Center (TMC) Innovation Institute Advisory Network.

Also on election night, Melissa Herrmann (M.A.C. '96) did exit polling analysis for CBS News. She is also the President of survey research firm SSRS

Amy Jordan (Ph.D. '90) was profiled by Rutgers University, where she is a Professor in the School of Communication and Information. Jordan also was interviewed by The Atlantic for the article, "Children Are Getting Great Practice at Being Sold to All the Time."

Nancy Morris (Ph.D. '92) is the translator of a new book, Thinking about Music from Latin America: Issues and Questions by Juan Pablo González. Morris is a Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production at Temple University.

Nikhil Sinha (Ph.D. '91) became a Partner at Global Silicon Valley, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. He also became the Chief Executive Officer of GSVlabs and will lead its global growth strategy.

Jeff Stanger (M.A.C. '96) has joined web agency Alley Interactive as partner and Vice-President of Interactive Services.


SSRS Executive Vice-President and Annenberg Lecturer Eran Ben-Porath (Ph.D. '08) worked at CBS News on election night, doing exit polling analysis. 

Brian Southwell (Ph.D. '02) recently organized a year-long grant competition to solicit ideas to curb the spread of misinformation. With funding from the Rita Allen Foundation and several other funders, the Misinformation Solutions Forum was held at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. Read more here. Southwell also did an episode about the forum on his public radio show, The Measure of Everyday Life.

Talia Jomini Stroud (Ph.D. '06) and Ken Winneg (M.A.C. '85, Ph.D. '09) worked with Kristen Conrad (see 1990s above) on the ABC News Decision Desk. Winneg and Stroud worked to call individual House races. Stroud is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Assistant Director of Research at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin, which recently interviewed her on how social media became dangerous for democracy. This was her first year on the Decision Desk. Winneg is Managing Director of Survey Research at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and a lecturer for the Annenberg School. He has been calling House races for ABC since 2006. [READ MORE]


Peter Busse (Ph.D. '11) won a grant from the International Research Development Centre — IDRC Canada.

Christopher J. Finlay (Ph.D. '11) — who recently received tenure at Loyola Marymount University! — published "The Right to Profitable Speech: Olympians, Sponsorship and Social Media Discourse" in Volume 6, Issue 6 of Communication and Sport

Michael Serazio (Ph.D. '10), an Assistant Professor of Communication at Boston College, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post entitled, "Nike isn’t trying to be ‘woke.’ It’s trying to sell shoes."

Adrienne Shaw (Ph.D. '10), Associate Professor at Temple University ran a successful Kickstarter to support the catalog of an exhibit she is co-curating at Schwules Museum in Berlin. The exhibition, Rainbow Arcade: A queer history of video games 1985-2018, will open on December 13 and run until May 13, 2019. 

Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt (Ph.D. '11), Associate Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, received an 1.5 million Euro European Research Council Starting Grant for her project, "Mediating the future: The social dynamics of public projections." The project aims to understand the complex social process of projecting and shaping collective futures within and through the media.

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