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Meet Our Students

Doctoral Students

Maral Abdollahi

Maral Abdollahi
Maral Abdollahi is a fourth-year doctoral student at HSJMC. She studied journalism and communication science as well as English and Spanish (M.A.) at the University of Vienna, Austria. Her research interests focus on computational advertising, influencer marketing, and the role of consumers’ affect in relation to various ad effects. She has published one peer-reviewed journal article in the Journal of Children and Media and presented her work at the American Academy of Advertising (AAA) and Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). She has been a graduate instructor for JOUR 1501: Digital Games and Society.

 

 

Folasade Adesanya

Folasade Adesanya
Folasade Adesanya (she/they) is a first-year doctoral student and DOVE fellow at HSJMC. She earned a Master of Mass Communication from the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University in 2017. Her research interests involve the media's impact on social movements, with particular interest in the ways leftist activists use social media to organize and share information, why they rely so heavily on social media, and the barriers they face (i.e. surveillance and censorship). She also founded a nonprofit organization called The Black Syllabus in 2021, which aims to promote literacy and higher education in the Black community. In addition to her nonprofit and a career in academia focused on research, Folasade is interested in becoming a fiction and auto/biographical author.

 

Jonathan Anderson

Jonathan Anderson
Jonathan Anderson is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Jonathan studies access to information and its implications for society and democratic governance. His research principally focuses on legal rights of access, namely through public records laws, and the role of journalism in the flow of information. His research has been published in the Journal of Media Law and Ethics, the Journal of College and University Law, and the Mitchell Hamline Law Review. He has presented research at ICA, AEJMC, AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, NCA, Popular Culture Association, the Media Law and Policy Scholars Conference, and the National Freedom of Information Coalition FOI Summit. Jonathan has taught Media in a Changing World (JOUR 1001) at Minnesota and Media Law (COMM 3800) at Marquette University.

 

Bugil Chang

Bugil Chang
Bugil Chang is a second-year doctoral student at HSJMC. He earned his MA from Seoul National University, Korea. His research interests are in organizational crisis communication. His current research explores how organizational crisis spills over to other organizations and how to respond to it in the nonprofit and for-profit contexts. He has published two peer-reviewed journal articles in Public Relations Review and the Journal of Cyber Communication Academic Society (Korea). He has presented research at international conferences and earned two top paper awards and a 2nd place top-student paper award at the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC), Korean Society for Journalism and Communication Studies, and Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC).

 

 

Yuming Fang

Yuming Fang
Yuming Fang is a third-year doctoral student in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication minoring in Public Health. Prior to HSJMC, she earned her MS in Journalism from the University of Southern California (2019). Her research interest involves health communication, media effects, and computational communication in the digital and social media contexts. Her current research focuses on the automation and amplification of vaccine-related misinformation on social media and whether online influences of health misinformation has an offline influence in individuals' health behaviors outside of digital environments.

 

 

Chloe Gansen

Chloe Gansen
Chloe Gansen is a first-year doctoral student at HSJMC. She previously earned her BA and MA in Health Communication from the Hubbard School. Her research interests are in health communication, specifically the effects of conflicting messaging and misinformation. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked for several years in applied health communications roles at the National Cancer Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital. 

 

 

Katie Kim

Katie Haejung Kim
Katie Haejung Kim is second-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School. She earned her BA and MA in communication studies at Seoul National University. Her research interests are in public relations, specifically internal communication and CSR management. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Public Relations Review, and presented at several conferences, including International Communication Association (ICA) and International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC). She also received the First Place Top Student Paper Award in the Public Relations Division at Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Prior to pursuing her academic career, Katie worked as a public relations manager at Hyundai and Kia Motors group.

 

Eunah Kim

Eunah Kim
Eunah Kim is a doctoral candidate at HSJMC. Her research interest focuses on the effects of digital advertising on new media, such as mobile advertising,  advertising on social media, and ad viewing behaviors on digital video-sharing platforms. Her research was presented at various global conferences including AAA, ICORIA, and AEJMC and will be published in the forthcoming edition of the Advances in Advertising Research. Her dissertation explores consumer responses to advertising on digital video-sharing platforms with a focus on voluntary ad-viewing behavior. Kim taught JOUR3201: Principles of Strategic Communications as a graduate instructor. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked in the advertising industry for about a decade. 

 

Andrew Locke

Andrew Locke
Andrew Locke is a third-year doctoral student at HSJMC. He received his MA in Liberal Studies from The New School For Social Research. His interests include digital news ecosystems, critical media theory, populism, and the political economy of communications. In particular, his research goals center around the influence of digitalization in journalism and media, and its effects on audiences and the publishing industry. These issues are explored using qualitative research methods, particularly by employing grounded theory and critical discourse analysis. Andrew taught JOUR1501, "Digital Games and Society" at HSJMC. His BA (English) is from Creighton University. 

 

 

Inam Mahfuz

Inam Mahfuz
Inam Mahfuz is a first-year doctoral student at HSJMC. She earned her MA in Mass Communication in Jamia Millia Islamia, India (2013) & an MA in Strategic Communication from the Hubbard School (2020). Her research involves social media activism in middle-class protest movements in India, social movements against fascist governments, social media firestorms, movements against police brutality, challenges protesters face during a pandemic, journalism, media studies, and social media advocacy. Professionally she has worked as an Executive Producer for a Bengali regional channel, a freelance researcher, a content writer for a celebrity portal and an E-learning Associate at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

 

Nick Mathews

Nick Mathews
Nick Mathews is a rising third-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School. He previously earned his undergraduate degree and master’s degree from the University of Missouri. His research interests are in journalism studies, specifically exploring media in rural spaces. Nick has solo publications in peer-reviewed journals Journalism and Journalism Studies. He has presented research at global conferences, including the International Communication Association (ICA) and the Association for education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC). He has earned numerous top paper honors at those conferences -- including the No. 1 top student paper two consecutive years in the ICA Journalism Studies division (believed to be a first) and the top student paper three consecutive years in the AEJMC Community Journalism Interest Group (believed to be a first). Nick also earned a top overall paper (open division), with second-author Christopher Ali, in the AEJMC Mass Communication and Society division. Nick previously taught as an adjunct professor at James Madison University. Nick had a two-decade professional journalism career, including time as a senior editor at the Houston Chronicle and time as a regional editor-in-chief, overseeing the news operations of three daily newspapers and three weekly newspapers in Central Virginia.

 

Clara Juarez Miro

Clara Juarez Miro
Clara Juarez Miro is a fourth-year doctoral student at HSJMC minoring in Political Psychology. She earned her MA from the Hubbard School (2018). Her research involves political communication, journalism, populism, identity politics, and online communities. Her dissertation will examine how populist supporters form communities that address specific social-psychological needs, based on their interpretation of messages by populist elites. Juarez Miro authored the book Identity Discourses about Spain and Catalonia in News Media: Understanding Modern Secessionism. Her research has also been published in Journalism and The Annals of the ICA, and presented at international conferences, including ICA, ISA and the Future of Journalism Conference at Cardiff University. She has taught JOUR 3751: Digital Media and Culture and JOUR 3796: Media and Politics.

 

Allison Steinke

Allison Steinke
Allison J. Steinke is a fifth year doctoral student at the Hubbard School. She is a mass communication scholar focused on solutions journalism, social and mobile media, and social justice with an emphasis on the anti-human trafficking movement. She is a recipient of the Hubbard School’s Ralph D. Casey Dissertation Award and is a 2021-22 University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellow. She has published peer-reviewed journal articles in Mass Communication and Society and Journalism Studies; a white paper on media consumption habits in partnership with the Star Tribune and the News Media Alliance; and an encyclopedia article on mobile applications and journalistic work in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. She has served as a Graduate Instructor of Record for JOUR 3751: Digital Media and Culture and JOUR 1501: Digital Games and Society. She is an active member of the International Communication Association (ICA), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and eSports Research Network. She regularly presents her work at global conferences including AEJMC, ICA, and the Cardiff University Future of Journalism Conference.

 

Le Wang

 

Le Wang
Le Wang is a first-year PhD student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is interested in media effects and health communication. Specifically, he focuses on cancer communication. His thesis will look into the effects of hedging in cancer-related news stories on the general population's attitude, perceptions, and behaviors towards cancer treatment and detection tool such as colonoscopy. Le earned his BA in Marketing from Jinan University, China and his MA in Mass Communication at HSJMC.

 

 

Sarah Wiley

Sarah Kay Wiley
Sarah K. Wiley is a doctoral candidate at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Knight News Innovation Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. Her research examines the relationships and institutional dependencies between technology companies and news organizations. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Digital Journalism, the Journal of Civic Information, and the Journal of Media Law and Ethics. She has presented her work at several conferences and has won top paper awards at the International Communication Association (ICA), the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). She is currently a research assistant at the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law and earned her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2016. 

 

Hao Xu

Hao Xu
Hao Xu is a doctoral candidate at Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His research spans multiple areas in corporate communications, including corporate social responsibility, corporate social advocacy, and crisis management. His research has been published in Corporate Communications: An International Journal, International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, and presented at global conferences, including International Communication Association (ICA), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC). He has served as instructor for JOUR 1001: Media in a Changing World and JOUR 3201: Principles of Strategic Communication. Prior to pursuing his academic career, Hao worked as a senior executive for Merck & Co.’s communications department.

 

Nicole Zhang

Nicole Zhang
Nicole Zhang is a first-year PhD student at HSJMC. Her research focuses on international communication and journalism. Zhang also received her bachelor's degree (with distinction) in journalism and communication studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2019 and her MA in Mass Communication at HSJMC in 2021. 

 

 

 

Danford Zirugo

Danford Zirugo
Danford Zirugo is a third-year Zimbabwean doctoral student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is interested in discourse and journalism practice in post-colonial societies. Danford is also a product of the Erasmus Mundus program (2016-2018 cohort) through which he acquired a dual MA in Journalism, Media and Globalization from Aarhus University (Denmark) and City, University of London (UK) where he specialized in financial journalism. His work has been published in Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice and Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. He has also presented work at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the International Communication Association conferences. Danford has also been a Graduate Instructor of Record for Information for Mass Communication. Previously, Danford has worked as a journalism lecturer in Zimbabwe (2010-2016).

Master’s Students
 

Kendal Aldridge

Kendal Aldridge
Kendal Aldridge is a first-year MA student at the Hubbard School. She is interested in topics related to journalism, public apology, and racial reconciliation. Before coming to the Hubbard school she worked  as a research professional at the public relations agency FleishmanHillard. Aldridge is originally from Huntsville, Alabama and graduated with a BA in Public Relations at the University of Alabama in 2020. In her free time Aldridge enjoys spending time with her dog Clark and all things thrifting and antiquing.

 

 

Serena Armstrong

Serena Armstrong
Serena Armstrong is a first-year Master's student at HSJMC. She is a mass communications scholar interested in studying children's comprehension around complex and "adult" topics as well as the evolution of the law regarding media technology. Serena also obtained two bachelor's degrees from the University of Minnesota in 2017 in Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance, as well as Psychology and mass communications and neuroscience minors. She hopes to go onto teach and conduct research at the college level earning a PhD in coming years.

 

 

Frank Funwi

Frank Funwi
Frank Funwi is a second year graduate student at the HSJMC. He earned his BA in Mass Media with an emphasis in Public Relations from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2018. He also served as an athletic communications intern at the Athletic Communications office at MSU Mankato. Currently, he is undecided in his research, but he has interest in media law and athletic communication. When not watching sports of any and every form and yelling at referees through the tv, you can find Frank watching anime or taking runs across campus.

 

 

Tania Ganguli

Tania Ganguli
Tania Ganguli is a second-year masters student at HSJMC. Her research focuses on newsroom diversity, coverage of marginalized communities, social movements, media ethics and political psychology. Her work has been accepted to global conferences by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and Cardiff University for its 2021 Future of Journalism Conference. Prior to returning to graduate school she spent 15 years as a sports journalist. She spent four years reporting for the Los Angeles Times, primarily as the paper’s lead Lakers beat writer, where she reported from inside the NBA Bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before joining The Times, she worked at ESPN as the only female reporter on ESPN’s inaugural NFL Nation group. She has also worked for the Houston Chronicle, Florida Times-Union, Orlando Sentinel and The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., covering breaking news, social issues and a wide variety of sports.

 

Helena Gunderson

Helena Gunderson
Helena Gunderson is a second-year master’s student at the HSJMC. She is studying mass communication with a focus on political communication. As an undergraduate student she attended the University of Minnesota, double majoring in professional journalism and women’s studies. 

 

 

 

Tracy Gunapalan

Tracy Gunapalan
Tracy Gunapalan is a first-year masters student at HSJMC with a passion for journalism studies. She earned her undergraduate degree in strategic communication here at the Hubbard School in 2020 before going on to spend a year working part-time as a social media strategist. While pursuing a professional career in the strategic communication field, Gunapalan also found herself working as a photojournalist and content strategist for the local, independent newshouse The Neighborhood Reporter. The time she spent working in both fields informed her research interest: how social media has shaped the digital news landscape, and how it has facilitated public trust in independent news outlets over mainstream organizations. As she pursues a masters degree in journalism studies, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how news organizations can and should utilize social media to spread meaningful content that translates into positive societal impact.

 

Jacob Gustin

Jacob Gustin
Jacob Gustin is a first-year masters student at the Hubbard School. He is interested in political communication, namely media literacy and polarization. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota in December 2020, double majoring in Journalism and Political Science, and served as the Vice President of News for the video production student group StudioU.

 

 

 

Christina Harisiadis

Christina Harisiadis
Christina Harisiadis is a first-year master’s student at HSJMC. Her research interests include crisis communication - how media talks about long standing crises, such as the climate crisis, sociology and media as well as the various uses of social media in daily life. She received her BA in strategic communication with minors in Spanish and sociology from the University of Minnesota in 2021 and is excited to be continuing her education here. In her free time, Christina enjoys taking dance classes, and reading when she can.

 

 

Ting He

Ting He
Ting He is a first-year master’s student at the HSJMC. Her research involves mobile communication and social media. Specifically, she is curious about how Chinese underrepresented and underprivileged groups seek help from social media to solve problems in daily life, such as interpersonal relationships, career development, and health issues. Before coming to the University of Minnesota, she worked in a game company for a year. As a big fan of MOBA games, she is also interested in the behavioral study of players in mobile MOBA games. She gets a lot of pleasure from doing research and playing games.

 

 

Rowan Cheng

Rowan McMullen Cheng
Rowan McMullen Cheng is a second-year MA student at the HSJMC. She is a qualitative journalism studies scholar focused on sociology of work and technology. Her thesis work focuses on journalistic distributed labor. She has presented her work at global conferences, including the annual Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference and the bi-annual Cardiff University Future of Journalism conference. She has also served as a TA and an RA. Prior to pursuing her academic career, Rowan worked in private and nonprofit Communication teams. 

 

 

Trevor Zaucha

Trevor Zaucha
Trevor Zaucha is a second-year master’s student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His research interests relate to the political economy of new media, emerging finance, gambling, and the intersection of video games, digital media, and fandom. Prior to his enrollment in the Hubbard School, Zaucha received his Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2016) and worked for a number of years at a marketing technology company in Austin, Texas.