Annenberg Welcomes New Doctoral Students

This fall, the Annenberg School for Communication welcomes 15 new Ph.D. students to Philadelphia. 

Top row (L to R): Leah Ferentinos, Soojong Kim, Subhayan Mukerjee, David Larochelle, Jennifer Henrichsen, Pawel Popiel

Bottom Row (L to R): Megan Genovese, Helene Langlamet, Jazmyne Sutton, Revati Prasad, Dean Michael X. Delli Carpini, Douglas Guilbeault, Da Eun “Danny” Kim, Stefanie Gratale, John Remensperger

[Not pictured: Rui Pei]

They are already an accomplished bunch.

Before matriculating at Annenberg, David Larochelle was working for the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard and had previously been a software engineer. Jennifer Henrichsen, who spent time as a freelance journalist at the United Nations in Switzerland, was most recently working as a technology fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C. Subhayan Mukerjee joins Annenberg after a working as a data scientist for the analytics firm Abzooba Inc.

Around half of the group have earned masters degrees. Douglas Guilbeault, who has a Masters in Linguistics, is interested in studying “how message design influences the way information flows in complex, adaptive systems, including brains and social networks.” Stefanie Gratale and Revati Prasad both have Masters in Public Administration. At Annenberg, Gratale plans to study health communication and its persuasive ability to influence health behaviors, while Prasad will study the news media in developing countries.

Soojong Kim even has two masters degrees, one in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and another in Sociology. At Annenberg, he is interested in studying computational methods, social networks, big data, online communication, and collective behaviors and intelligence.

Megan Genovese joins Annenberg straight from her undergraduate years at Baylor University, and her areas of interest include feminist theory, queer theory, pop culture, celebrity studies, and fan studies.

While all 15 are experiencing their first semester at Annenberg, one student is already an Annenberg veteran of sorts. Da Eun “Danny” Kim got a Masters in Communication Management at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, concurrent with his Bachelor’s degree in interactive entertainment at the USC School of Cinematic Arts

A number of the cohort hail from overseas, representing Canada, Korea, Germany, India, China, and Poland. Meanwhile for Jazmyne Sutton, this is the first time living outside of California.

They confess to secret quirks.

One is a self-described “theater geek” who learned Diabolo ​—­ that’s Chinese yo-yo — while part of a circus arts troupe. Another says that in a fantasy world, he’d drop everything and become a novelist in Paris. One cites her pet peeve as “escalefters.” (We’ll leave you guessing about which quirk belongs to whom.)

Welcome, new Ph.D. students!