News & Notes from Annenberg Alumni: Summer 2023

An exciting batch of updates from Annenberg School's masters and doctoral graduates

By Julie Sloane and Hailey Reissman

We recently put out a call to all Annenberg alums: We would really like to hear from you! The responses were heartwarming to read: for some, it was a snapshot of their entire career. For others, a recent achievement, or just a quick update that they're out there and doing well. Thank you all for your responses. 

It was striking that many were connecting to Annenberg for the first time in a long time. We're so glad you've reconnected, and going forward, we are determined to build better connections among our alumni community. 

We would love to hear from you any time —about your career, what you're doing in your free time, or anything else you would like to share with your classmates. 

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Without further ado, we share with you all of the updates we received. Want to skip ahead? Use these links to jump to a decade:


Now retired, Dan Lerner (C ‘54, M.A.C. '61) was a member of the second class of graduate students at Annenberg. After earning his degree, he went on to work in radio for 40 years and owned several radio stations in the Northeast area. In 1982, he founded the Philadelphia radio station 100.3 FM, known originally as KISS-100, then as Y100. When he retired from the radio business in 2000, he retained ownership of the communication towers, which keeps him busy and active at age 90. His wife of 68 years, Lyn, sadly passed away last year, but Dan lives in “quiet contentment” in the house they built together 35 years ago outside of Philadelphia. Among their charitable activities over the years was supporting the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay, Maine, which opened in 2007. There you can visit the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses and the Lyn and Daniel Lerner Visitor Center. Also, to honor his 50th undergraduate reunion in 2004, Dan established the Lerner Family Endowed Scholarship to support Music or Communication majors at Penn.

Annenberg married couple Bonnie and Jerry Good (M.A.C. '62) have been focusing on volunteer work in their retirement. They have made several trips to Nepal, where Jerry taught communication to students at Malpi International College in Kathmandu and Bonnie visited medical organizations to explore fundraising opportunities. We recently had the chance to catch up with Bonnie and Jerry in person when they visited the Annenberg Alumni Breakfast at the International Communication Association’s annual conference in Toronto.

Before retirement, Joel Jacobson (M.A.C. '63) spent his career in the film industry. In 1974, Jacobson and his wife Sue opened one of the first video stores in the United States in Newington, CT.

Bonnie Eisenfeld (C.W. ‘63, M.A.C. '64) is currently a volunteer writer, photographer and contributing editor for Center City Quarterly, a mock hiring interviewer for JEVS Human Services, and Workforce Volunteer for Beyond Literacy.

Ken Gardner (M.A.C. '64) wrote in to reflect on how he came to Annenberg, and ultimately spent a long career in public television:

1983 newspaper clipping showing Ken Gardner in a TV studio with the headline "public television"
A 1983 newspaper clipping about Ken Gardner (M.A.C. '64) from the Kansas Business news. He is pictured in the studio of KOOD public television.

“In 1963 I applied at Annenberg, in part because the faculty included Charles R. Siepman who wrote a book, Radio, Television, and Society. As an undergraduate at Temple, I read Professor Siepmann’s book which explained the responsibility of broadcasters at the BBC and media in general to provide opportunities for a better and informed electorate. Gilbert Seldes was acting Dean and Lou Glessman, then the Art Director of Time magazine was also on the faculty. Our country was in the middle of the Vietnam war and there were three networks providing television for our entire nation and the networks resembled one another with similar programming. My impression [was that] television as a new medium was a valuable resource which could have social impact for good, a medium that could make a difference for an improved culture with better understanding with programming that could touch the lives of most Americans and make a meaningful difference in their lives.”

After graduation, Ken spent 10 years as a producer and director at the educational TV station WLVT in the Lehigh Valley, where among the many programs he created was one about archery, which was used convince the U.S. Olympic Committee to lobby for archery as an Olympic sport. He also was the founding CEO of Smoky Hills Public TV in Western Kansas, greatly expanding public media in Kansas. He later taught Film, TV, and Commnication at Desales University and Nova Community College. He is now retired and living in Florida. 

Joe Ruggiero standing behind a sofa holding a ceramic pot with various decor elements around him
Joe Ruggiero with some of his design work.

Joe Ruggiero (M.A.C. '64) is an interior designer, TV host, and a furniture/fabric designer. Over the scope of his career, he was Director of Advertising and Creative Director at Ethan Allen, Chief Design Consultant to the PBS series, “This Old House,” and Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director of Home Magazine.

After 60 years working in international communications, Larry Ott (M.A.C. '65) retired last March. Over the years, he worked with the U.S. Information Agency, the Department of Treasury, the Voice of America, and the U.S. Army, and was a media consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank, among others. In that time, he traveled to more than 80 countries, including his last international assignment was with USAID in Tanzania in 2019. He occasionally gets together with some classmates who live in the D.C. area, and in June, he and his wife, Mary, went sailing on the Hudson River with friend and classmate Howard Burkat (M.A.C. '65), and his wife, Iris.

Two men seated on a boat
Howard Burkat (left) and Larry Ott


Art Frank (M.A.C. ‘70) is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Calgary.  His most recent book, King Lear: Shakespeare’s Dark Consolations, was published in 2022 by Oxford University Press. It is part of the Press’s new “My Reading” series. In February 2023, he held a fellowship at the University of Ghent, lecturing on how Shakespeare’s presentations of anxiety in Measure for Measure are relevant to contemporary health care.

Thomas Madden (M.A.C. '70) is the Founder and CEO of TransMedia Group.

We were saddened to hear that Michael Richard D'Andrea (M.A.C. '75) passed away on October 7, 2021. His obituary can be read in The Washington Post.

Elliot Abhau (M.A.C. '71) is a horse trainer and massage therapist.

Since retiring from a career in education at Rutgers University and IEEE (an international professional association for electrical engineers), Peter Wiesner (M.A.C. '73) wrote a debut novel, Xtremus (Montag Press, 2015), a dystopian satire about the demise of high technology resulting from overreach. His next book, Bipolar Refugee, a memoir about his mother’s life as a Holocaust-era refugee who struggled with bipolar disorder, will be published by Amsterdam Publishers in September. In October, he will travel to Berlin to lay Stolpersteine for his mother and her parents, who died in the Holocaust. 

Wendy Ehrlich (M.A.C. '73) recently returned to Penn for her 50th reunion and her daughter's 25th undergraduate reunion. She and Rachel Greenberg (M.A.C. ‘72) have remained good friends. 

Eric Macey (M.A.C. '75) practices law part-time and teaches Business Law to undergraduates and M.B.A candidates at Indiana University.

View of New York City skyline
The view from Maria Rychliki's New York City apartment

Maria Rychlicki (M.A.C. '73) spent her career working for local and regional governments in Southern California. She is now retired and living in her hometown, New York City.

Craig Aronoff (M.A.C. '74) spent his career in academia researching and teaching about organizational communication, business communication, and public relations, first at Georgia State University and then at Kennesaw State University. At Kennesaw, he focused on the study, promoting, teaching and service to family-owned businesses and created the Family Enterprise Center, which runs programming to help family businesses. Now retired from teaching, he is the Co-Founder and Senior Advisor of The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.

Richard Chalfen (C ‘64, M.A.C. ‘67, Ph.D. ’74) is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Temple University. His newest book, Snapping and Wrapping –  Personal Photography in Japan, was published by Vernon Press in 2001. 

For more than 30 years, Filip Bondy (M.A.C. '75) was a sports reporter and columnist for the New York Daily News and The New York Times. Over his career, he has authored or co-authored eight published non-fiction sports books. Now semi-retired, he still writes about sports, but has more time for cycling.

Walter Lupan (M.A.C. '76) worked for Voice of America and State Department after completing his education at Annenberg. He then got a law degree and practiced law in the Boston area, first as a white collar prosecutor and then in civil private practice.  In retirement, he is using his Ukrainian and Russian language skills to help translate for wounded Ukrainian soldiers who come to Boston for prosthetic devices. 

Emerson Coleman (M.A.C. '78) has recently retired from Hearst Television. He is currently focused on a Communications Fellowship program —the Emerson Coleman Fellowship — coordinated by the National Association of Broadcasters and several major media groups, including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, Hearst, the CW, Warner Bros, and Sony, among others. 


Now retired, Beth Parke (M.A.C. '80), was the Executive Director of the Society of Environmental Journalists for 26 years. She is excited to see that the Annenberg School will host SEJ’s annual meeting in 2024. 

Peter Edwards (M.A.C. '81) has retired after a long career in film and television distribution. His company, Acorn Media, sold British mysteries and other scripted English productions to consumers in North America, the UK, and Australia via DVD and ultimately, digitally. In 2012, he sold the company and retired to Telluride, Colorado.

Carla Sarett (M.A.C. ‘78, Ph.D. '81) has published two novels and three books of poems. Her debut poetry collection, She Has Visions (Main Street Rag Press, 2022), is dedicated to her late husband, Professor Paul Messaris.

Elizabeth Bennett (M.A.C. '85) spent her career in the publishing industry with a focus on children’s books. She currently works as a literary agent at Transatlantic Literary Agency.

After a long career in entertainment, including working as the Executive Vice President of Worldwide Publicity at Paramount Pictures — where he led the publicity campaigns for the films “Titanic,” “Braveheart,” and “Forrest Gump,” among many others — and opening his own marketing and PR firm based on Maui and in Los Angeles, Blaise J. Noto (M.A.C. '85) moved to Chapel Hill, N.C. and taught at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He is now retired and returning to his native New York.

Stewart Hoover (M.A.C. ‘81, Ph.D. ‘85) is a professor emeritus in the Department of Media Studies and an adjunct professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. This spring, he spent time in Australia and New Zealand collecting information on the emergence of religious nationalist politics and gave a lecture hosted by the Media Studies Department at Monash University in Melbourne.

Michele Sims (M.A.C. '87) is currently the Vice President of Research Management at TRC Market Research.


Wren Bareiss (M.A.C. '90) is a professor of Communication at the University of South Carolina Upstate and an editor-in-chief of Qualitative Research in Medicine & Healthcare. Wren has a book on representations of suicide in popular culture under contract with Bristol University Press.

Derek Bouse (M.A.C. ‘89, Ph.D. '91) is now the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Azm University, Tripoli, Lebanon.

Karin Gwinn Wilkins (M.A.C. ‘87, Ph.D. '91) is now the Dean of the School of Communication at the University of Miami.

Cindy Carlson (M.A.C. '92) is the Director of Communications and Donor Relations at WMNR Fine Arts Radio in Monroe, CT.

Katharina Kopp (M.A.C. '92, Ph.D. ‘97) is the Deputy Director of the Center for Digital Democracy and Director for Policy at the Center for Digital Democracy.

Robert Krinsky (M.A.C. '92) is an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission. In his free time, he engages in painting, drawing, collage, and printmaking. 

Black and white intaglio print of tree bark by Robert Krinsky
An intaglio print called "Winter Woods" by Robert Krinsky, which was displayed in a national juried exhibit

Mariaelena Bartesaghi (M.A.C. ‘92, Ph.D. '04) is co-editor of the forthcoming book Disability in Dialogue. (See “Annenberg Alumni Bookshelf: 2023”) Mariaelena returned to the Annenberg School last October to deliver a touching speech memorializing her former advisor, Klaus Krippendorff

Peter Ginsburg (M.A.C. '94) has worked at NBA Entertainment since 1997, first as a writer for the Saturday morning show “NBA Inside Stuff” and more recently as a VP of Production, overseeing editors and storylines for its Original Content division. 

Joohan Kim (M.A.C '94, Ph.D. ‘97) is currently a professor at Yonsei University's Department of Media and Public Relations. He previously served as the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism and Public Relations at the university. His YouTube channel, dedicated to guided meditation, has 125,000 subscribers. 

Doug Battema (M.A.C. '95) is Professor of Communication at Western New England University and chair of the Department of Communication at the university.

Chris Ferris (M.A.C. '95) currently works as VP of Digital Strategy at Pierpont Communications and teaches a digital marketing class to MBA students at Rice University.

David Greenberg (M.A.C. '95) is the Founder and CEO of digiTALE entertainment, a firm dedicated to the development, production and marketing of digital media.

Tony Pals (M.A.C. '95) is Director of Communications at the American Educational Research Association. He leads the organization's efforts to build public awareness of the value of education research and to connect researchers to broader audiences.

Bill Mikulak (M.A.C. ‘87, Ph.D. '96) reported that in June, a group of Annenberg alums got together in London, thanks to a WhatsApp group organized by Milton Mueller (M.A.C. ‘86, Ph.D. ‘89). The group included Aine Ni Shuilleabhain (M.A.C. ‘91) (who did much of the organizing), Rob Drew (M.A.C. ‘87, Ph.D. ‘94), Nina Ferencic (M.A.C. ‘85, Ph.D. ‘89), Jelena Grcic-Polić (M.A.C. ‘88, Ph.D. ‘93), Henrik Dahl (M.A.C. ‘88), and Pam Inglesby (M.A.C. ‘88). They took in a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre, walked across Tower Bridge, and took a boat down the Thames to Westminster. 

A group of people in front of the Globe Theater
(L to R): Martin Dale, Rob Drew, Nina Ferencic, Aine Ni Shuilleabhain, Milton Mueller and his wife Debra, Jelena Grcic-Polić, Dan Finnegan and his wife Kathy (Photo Credit: Bill Mikulak)

Jessica Davis Ba (C ‘93, M.A.C. '97) is the U.S. Ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire. We have a video profile of her in the works, so look for that shortly! 

Caty Borum (M.A.C. '98) is Executive Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact and Associate Professor of Communication at American University. Her latest book, The Revolution Will Be Hilarious: Comedy for Social Change and Civic Power, was published by NYU Press in February. (See “Annenberg Alumni Bookshelf: 2023”)


Yael Warshel (M.A.C. '00) is Assistant Professor of Telecommunications and Media Industries and African Studies at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State. Her book Experiencing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict also won the 2022 Sue DeWine Distinguished Scholarly Book Award from the National Communication Association and an honorable mention in 2023 from the International Communication Association’s Activism, Communication and Social Justice interest group.

As of 2022, Alice Hall (M.A.C. ‘96, Ph.D. '01) is the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Miller was previously the chair of the Communication and Media department at the university, and retains her faculty appointment as a professor there.

Brad Linder (M.A.C. ’01) has had a long career in radio and online journalism. He runs the tech news website and is the Radio News Managing Editor for PhillyCAM, Philadelphia's community-access media channel.

Marc Ostfield (C ‘87, G.E.D. ‘87, Ph.D. '01) is the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Paraguay.

Joyce Garczynski (M.A.C. '02) is the Assistant University Librarian for Communication & Digital Scholarship at Towson University.

Jennifer Stromer-Galley (Ph.D. '02) is the Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. In June, Stromer-Galley edited a special issue of the Journal of Communication on social media studies.

Brian Southwell (M.A.C. ‘97, Ph.D. '02) is Lead Scientist for Public Understanding of Science at the nonprofit RTI International. He is an adjunct professor of Internal Medicine at Duke University and co-founder of the Duke Program on Medical Misinformation as well as an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Delaware. Since 2015, he has hosted a public radio show called “The Measure of Everyday Life,” on WNCU, a station based at North Carolina Central University.

Claire Wardle (Ph.D. '04) is the co-founder and co-director of the Information Futures Lab at Brown University and is Professor of the Practice of Health Services, Policy and Practice at the Brown School of Public Health.

Lemi Baruh (M.A.C. ‘03, Ph.D. '07) and his family recently made a big move: They left Istanbul, Turkey for Australia, where Lemi is now a Senior Lecturer at the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland. Currently, he is working on a project called debias, a multilingual platform with tasks and videos designed to reduce the impact of cognitive biases in education settings.

Matt Carlson (M.A.C. ‘02, Ph.D. '07) was recently promoted to full Professor at the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Congratulations, Matt! 

Mihaela Popescu points as she speaks. A woman sits in the background, and a video with a woman's face is on a large TV screen
Mihaela Popescu on her recent return visit to Annenberg, pictured with one of the graduate students from her program

Zhan Li (Ph.D. '07) is the founding chair of the Department of Communication in the School of Journalism & Communication at Xiamen University, and served in that role from 2009 until 2019. Zhan is currently an associate professor at the School, teaching and supervising master students. She also enjoyed running into Mihaela Popescu (M.A.C. ‘01, Ph.D. ‘08) at IAMCR in Madrid. Mihaela was herself recently back at Annenberg as a co-organizer of a new student exchange program between California State University San Bernardino, where she is a professor of Communication Studies, and the Annenberg School. 

Jody Madeira (L ‘03, Ph.D. '07) has a new named chair: the Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law at Indiana University Bloomington. She is also the Co-Director of the Center for Law, Society & Culture at the University.

Kelli Lammie Maxwell (M.A. ‘03, Ph.D. '07) is the Associate Dean for Student Success in the Dietrich College for Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.

Kimberly Meltzer (M.A. ‘03, Ph.D. '07) was recently promoted to full Professor at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. She is also Director of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Co-Director of the Marymount Satellite Center of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication.

Danna Young (M.A. ‘01, Ph.D. '07) is Professor of Communication and Political Science at the University of Delaware. Her second book, Wrong: How Media, Politics, and Identity Drive Our Appetite for Misinformation will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in October. (See “Annenberg Alumni Bookshelf: 2023.”)

Paul Falzone (Ph.D. '08) is the Director of Peripheral Vision International (PVI). PVI’s science TV show for kids, “N*Gen: Next Generation Television,” was nominated for a 2023 Peabody Award. We also did a video profile of Paul not long ago. 

Se-Hoon Jeong (Ph.D. '08) is currently a professor at Korea University and serves as the director at the Institute for Information and Culture at the university. Se-Hoon recently brought a group of students on a tour of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, which included a stop at Annenberg. He was kind enough to sit down for a Q&A with us. Check it out! 

Jasmine Nichole Cobb (Ph.D. '09) has been promoted to full Professor of African & African American Studies and of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University. Congratulations! 

Since 2020, Jason Tocci (Ph.D. '09) has been a Senior UX Research Manager at CVS Health. He lives in Arlington, Mass. with his wife, daughter, and “an inordinate array of playing cards and dice” which he uses to make hobbyist games in his spare time. 

Chul-joo "CJ" Lee (Ph.D. '09) is Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Communication at Seoul National University. CJ is also a co-editor-in-chief for the Journal of Communication.


Dan Berger (Ph.D. '10) published his newest book Stayed on Freedom: The Long History of Black Power Through One Family's Journey in January. (See “Annenberg Alumni Bookshelf: 2023”) He is a professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Scholarship in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. He curates the Washington Prison History Project, a digital archive that documents the history of prisoner activism and policy in Washington state.

After 13 years on the faculty of Bellarmine University in Louisville, K.Y., Moira O'Keeffe (C.G.S. ‘03, Ph.D. '10) recently took a job as Senior Learning Designer at Humana Inc. Her husband is busy renovating their cinder block fixer-upper where they live — “like real Kentuckians” — with their two hound dogs. 

Last July, Jessica Piotrowski (Ph.D. '10) was appointed Professor of Communication in the Digital Society at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

A. Susana Ramirez (Ph.D. '10) is Associate Professor of Public Health at University of California Merced. In 2022, she joined the editorial board of the Journal of Communication in Healthcare (JCIH).

Michael Serazio (Ph.D. '10) is an Associate Professor of Communication at Boston College. His forthcoming book, The Authenticity Industries, will be published by Stanford University Press in November. (See “Annenberg Alumni Bookshelf: 2023.”)

Adrienne Shaw (Ph.D. '10) is an Associate Professor in Temple University’s Department of Media Studies and Production and a member of the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication graduate faculty. She is also serving as Chair and Conference host for the 2023 Association for Internet Researcher's Annual Conference to be held in Philadelphia this October.

Joel Penney (Ph.D. '11) is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. His second book, Pop Culture, Politics, and the News: Entertainment Journalism in the Polarized Media Landscape, was published by Oxford University Press in 2022.

Aymar Jean Christian (Ph.D. '12) has been busy! He is an associate professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Media and Data Equity Lab at Northwestern University. He closed a $2 million round of funding for his nonprofit, OTV, from a variety of foundations, and received a $500,000 grant from the Wallace Foundation to study the Midwest BIPOC film and TV ecosystem. He is also the co-investigator on a $4 million NIH grant to study vaccine messaging. A.J. also recently launched a podcast, Reparative Media, where he will interview scholars and practitioners using media and tech to heal culture. If all that weren’t enough, he also finished his first year as a Peabody Awards juror. 

Heidi Khaled (Ph.D. '12) conducts market research full-time for a spate of clients across industries — namely in the realms of entertainment and consumer products and services — through her company, Khaled Insights. 

Lauren Kogen (Ph.D. '12) recently received tenure in the Department of Media Studies and Production at the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University.

Christopher Ali (Ph.D. '13) is the Pioneers Chair in Telecommunications and Professor of Telecommunications in the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State. He is currently working with U.S. states and counties on managing funding for broadband internet.

Khadijah Costley White (C.G.S. ‘02, Ph.D. ‘13) is an Associate Professor at Rutgers University. Her new immersive listening installation — This is Not a Drill — explores the impact of active shooter drills on students, parents, teachers, and the general public.

View of Diamond Head with various tropical foliage
View of Diamond Head from Tim Fallis's backyard. We are all available for house swaps, Tim. 

Tim Fallis (Ph.D. '14) is currently the Learning & Development Specialist at Par Hawaii Refinery and teaches at Hawaii Pacific University. He and wife Leticia will be celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary this fall, and their home on Oahu has a jaw dropping view of Diamond Head. (See photo)

Holli Seitz (Ph.D. '16) is Associate Professor of Communication at Mississippi State University and leads the Message Laboratory at the university. Her research on health communication and message effects recently received a grant to promote adult vaccine education among older, rural adults. On the personal front, her daughter recently turned 8, and their rescue pup is turning 2! 

Laura Silver (Ph.D. '16) was recently promoted to be the Associate Director for Global Research at the Pew Research Center, where she has worked since 2017, previously as a Senior Researcher. She lives in DC with her 3.5 and 1.5 year old and is enjoying being settled there now. But, she did enjoy more than a year living in an RV during COVID, traveling around the country with her husband, mean dog, then sub-one year old and a really good lapdesk. Her cat, Plum, adopted from Professor Diana Mutz, was spared the journey and went to live with a good friend. Let her know if you're in D.C. and/or ever want to chat about global public opinion surveys.

RV in a parking lot with gorgeous desert rock formation in the background
Laura Silver's home on wheels during COVID. 

Andrew Daniller (Ph.D. '17) is currently a Research Associate at Pew Research Center, studying public opinion on U.S. politics and policy.

Jiaying Liu (Ph.D. ‘17) is on the move from her former role at the University of Georgia to become an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California Santa Barbara. She was recently awarded a Federal R21 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to support a neuroimaging project investigating tobacco use among young adults.

Doron Taussig (Ph.D. ‘17) is an Assistant Professor at Ursinus College and a fellow with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. He’s been writing lately about the relationship between conservatives and journalism. Read his writing in the Columbia Journalism Review

Josh Becker (Ph.D. '18) is an Assistant Professor at University College London’s School of Management and was recently listed as one of the "Best 40 Under 40 MBA Professors" by Poets & Quants.

After five years at the University of Leeds, Nour Halabi (Ph.D. '18) recently moved north to become an Interdisciplinary Fellow at the University of Aberdeen. Her fellowship offers three years off from teaching, and so she is working on a second book, which will broadly be about mediated nationalism.

Corrina Laughlin (Ph.D. '18) is an instructor of Communication at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her debut book, Redeem All: How Digital Life Is Changing Evangelical Culture was published by University of California Press in 2021.

Christin Scholz (Ph.D. '18) is a tenured Assistant Professor in Persuasive and Health Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam. She is the director of the Communication, Brain & Society Lab at the school and is living in Utrecht with her husband and 2-year-old. 

Aaron Shapiro (C ‘08, Ph.D. '18) is an Assistant Professor of Technology Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina. He is working on a second book project about the subscription business model, and is a father of two boys: one 3-and-a-half and the other almost 1! Aaron’s family is close with that of Lee McGuigan (Ph.D. '19), who works nearby as an assistant professor in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (Aaron claims that he humors Lee’s bad puns, but word has it they are some of the finest puns made by a Canadian in all of the research triangle.) Lee is also an associate at Cornell Tech's Digital Life Initiative. His new book, Selling the American People, was published by MIT Press in July. (See “Annenberg Alumni Bookshelf: 2023.”)

Kecheng Fang (Ph.D. '19) received the 2022 Exemplary Teaching Award from the Faculty of Social Science at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. 

Danny Kim (Ph.D. '19) is a Data Scientist for Marketing Analytics & Insights at Sony Pictures Entertainment. He recently began studies to earn an MBA from Boston University and was chosen as one of Forbes’s “30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment” in 2022.

Eunji Kim (Ph.D. '19) is also on the move, recently leaving Vanderbilt to become an assistant professor of Political Science at Columbia University. For the upcoming academic year, she is one of the visiting fellows at the Russell Sage Foundation.

Allie [Volinsky] Levin (C ‘13, Ph.D. '19) is an assistant teaching professor at Villanova University. She was recently named a finalist for the Lindback Award at Villanova, which is given to a professor who “excels in undergraduate teaching.”

Yilang Peng (Ph.D. '19) is Assistant Professor in Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics at the University of Georgia. In 2022, he received a National Science Foundation grant to study misinformation in visual formats. 

John Vilanova (C ‘09, Ph.D. '19) was recently promoted onto the tenure track at Lehigh University, where he is Professor of Practice, Journalism, & Communication and Africana Studies. His family, which includes a 2-year-old son, now resides outside of Philly. 

And last but definitely not least: Jasmine Erdener (Ph.D. ‘19), who was briefly back in Philly this summer, is starting her fourth year as an assistant professor in the Department of Media and Visual Arts at Koç University in Istanbul. You can follow along with her on her website

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