Maral Abdollahi is a doctoral candidate at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has a master's degree from the University of Vienna. Maral studies consumers' perceptions and responses regarding virtual influencers. Her research lies at the intersection of influencer marketing, advertising, and communication technology. Her research has been published in the Journal of Children and Media, Journal of Public Relations, Games and Culture, and in the forthcoming edition of Advances in Advertising Research. She has presented her work at various global conferences, including the American Academy of Advertising (AAA), the International Conference on Research in Advertising (ICORIA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). She has been a graduate instructor for JOUR 1501: Digital Games and Society, JOUR 3201: Principles of Strategic Communication, and JOUR 3741: Diversity and Mass Communication at Minnesota.
Jonathan Anderson is a doctoral candidate 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 is a Ph.D. candidate at HSJMC. 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 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Contingencies and Crisis Management and Public Relations Review. He has presented research at international conferences and earned top student/faculty paper awards in Public Relations division at AEJMC, IPRRC, and Korean Society for Journalism and Communication Studies. He has been a graduate instructor for JOUR 3004: Information for Mass Communication and JOUR 3251: Strategic Communication Research and Analytics.
Monica Crawford is a first year doctoral student at HSJMC. Her research involves representations of gender and queer identities, sports journalism, and political activism from a feminist media studies perspective. She has published a peer-reviewed journal article in Communication and Sport and a book chapter in The Handbook on Religion and Communication. She has presented her work at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and International Communication Association (ICA) conferences and the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium. She also serves as the Book Reviews Editorial Assistant for Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. Monica is from North Carolina and received her MA at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Elliott Edsall is a first-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School. He earned his MA in sociology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. His research examines the sociology of right-wing media and American conservatism, focusing on social class, political identities and the relationship right-wing outlets have with their audiences. This interest ties directly into a wide array of literatures and disciplines, spanning political communication, sociological, social, and cultural theory, theories of populism, nationalism, and social psychology. Elliott is currently a research assistant for Dr. Joan C. Williams of the UC-San Francisco Center for WorkLife Law and has worked in the past with Dr. Reece Peck, author of ‘Fox Populism: Branding Conservatism as Working Class.’
Yuming Fang is a doctoral candidate at the Hubbard School. Her research interests include health messaging for health promotion and ill prevention, health misinformation effects and correction, and health equity. Her dissertation tests whether misinformation message features affect the magnitude of effects of perceived familiarity with health misinformation. She has presented her work at various conferences, including International Communication Association (ICA), the International Conference on Research in Advertising (ICORIA), the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and the National Communication Association (NCA). She has been a graduate instructor for JOUR 1501: Digital Games and Society.
Chloe Gansen is a third-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She earned her MA from HSJMC. Chloe studies health communication with a particular interest in how information in the media environment contributes to vaccine hesitancy. Her current research examines media messages that politicize science and health information by associating the topics with controversy and or partisan conflict, and the effects of this messaging on perceptions of public health initiatives and institutions. Chloe has presented work at ICA and served as a graduate instructor for JOUR 3745: Mass Media and Popular Culture. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked in applied health communications roles at the National Cancer Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Ting He is a first-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her research interests involve gender, the gig economy, digital labor, and online games. Her current work focuses on work and labor in the gaming industry. Before starting her PhD, she pursued a master's degree in Mass Communication at HSJMC. In her free time, she is a fan of K-pop, video games, films, and photography.
Jiacheng Huang is a first-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School. Prior to HSJMC, she earned her MS in media science from Boston University (2023). Her research focuses on computational methods and corporate social responsibility/advocacy. She has presented research at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the International Communication Association (ICA).
Katie Haejung Kim
Katie (Haejung) Kim is a doctoral candidate 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 Journal of Public Relations, Public Relations Review, and International Journal of Strategic Communication, 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 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. She has served as an instructor for JOUR 3275: Digital Strategy in Strategic Communication and JOUR 1001: Media in a Changing World.
Nicholas Levine (Sarafolean)
Nicholas Levine (née Sarafolean) is a second-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School. He earned his MS from the Tombras School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Tennessee. Nick is a strategic communications scholar focused on privacy issues, with an emphasis on smart home devices and advertising avoidance. He has presented work at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the American Academy of Advertising (AAA) conferences. Nick has five years of industry experience as a marketing copywriter and spends his free time cooking, studying Swedish, and exploring the Twin Cities by bike, bus, and train.
Andrew Locke is a fifth-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.
Michael Ofori is a first-year doctoral student at the HSJMC pursuing the Political Communication track. He earned his MA degree in International/Intercultural Communication from Bowling Green State University. His research focuses on the interplay of media and politics from global perspective. He researched "Role of Political Alliance in Global News Framing and Source Attribution Strategies: A Comparison of US, UK, China and India’s News Coverage of the Russia-Ukraine War" for his master's thesis. Michael has gotten his individual/co-authored research papers accepted and presented at various communication conferences including at the 2023 ICA Conference, 2022 and 2023 AEJMC Conferences, the 2022 NCA Conference. He will present his research in this year's NCA Conference in Maryland. Michael has co-authored papers in the Internet Research and Online Media and Global Communication. He is currently a teaching assistant for the JOUR 3006: Visual Communication and JOUR 3745: Media and Pop Culture.
Rongwei Tang is a second-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Prior to HSJMC, Rongwei received her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising from Fudan University (2020) and earned her Master of Arts in Anthropology and Education from Columbia University (2022). She is interested in media literacy, misinformation, and health communication. Her current research explores how to debunk misinformation and investigate strategies to help people improve their media literacy.
Namuun Tsegmid is a first-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She obtained a Master's degree in Advertising and Public Relations from Michigan State University. Her research interests revolve around public relations and non-profit communication. She presented her collaborative project at the Broadcast Education Association conference. She has also worked as a communication practitioner in non-profit and international development organizations.
Le Wang is a third-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 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 earned her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2016.
Trevor Zaucha is a second-year doctoral student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His research concerns the political economy of emerging media, money, gambling, game studies, and labor. Zaucha received his Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2016) and Master of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota (2022). He has published twice in New Media & Society and has a forthcoming book chapter. He has presented his work at the ICA Game Studies Preconference. Additionally, he has been a graduate instructor for JOUR 1501: Digital Games and Society during his time at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his enrollment in the Hubbard School, he worked for a number of years at a marketing technology company in Austin, Texas.
Audrey D. Anchirinah is second-year MA student. Audrey's current research interest is the evolution of Mass media in Ghana since independence. Audrey is also interested in the decline of local news sources in small towns or communities in the U.S. Audrey graduated with a BA in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Applied Computing in Art from Claflin University in 2018. Audrey's work experience includes working at Bloomberg QuickTake as an associate news producer as well as working as a freelance producer for Business Insider.
Kailey Blunk is a first year Master's student at HSJMC. Her research involves diversity in media with emphasis on gender and sexuality representation, and social activist trends on social media. She received her BA in Communication Studies and Public Relations and minors in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Creative Writing in 2022 from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After graduating from her undergraduate program, she spent a year in grassroots marketing before starting her MA program here at the University of Minnesota.
Adam Castella is a first-year Master's Student who is passionate about research in public relations. He is proud to have earned his Bachelor's Degree at the University of Minnesota. Beyond academics, he enjoys indulging in the hobbies of hiking, reading, creative writing, and cooking. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering and helping local communities.
Ted Colling is a second-year MA student. His thesis is centered primarily around the college students and their wearable technologies, particularly the usability of smartwatch technology, the perceived norms associated with smartwatches, and individuals' willingness to utilize smartwatch technology to its fullest capabilities. Ted is a husband, a father, and a Catholic whose aim is to love humans and understand humanity.
Isaac Conrad is a first-year masters student at HSJMC. He is an environmental communication scholar focused on strategic environmental messaging strategies; more specifically, he investigates theory-driven messages aimed at shifting public opinion and changing behavior to better align with bold climate policy. Isaac graduated with a BA in Communication and Biology from the University of Minnesota Duluth.Isaac’s paper titled ‘ A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Climate Change Opinions, Beliefs, and Risk Perceptions in Morocco and the United States’ was published in the interdisciplinary undergraduate journal, Aisthesis, and he holds multiple top paper awards for papers presented at the University of St. Thomas Undergraduate Communication Research Conference and the University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Communication Colloquium.
Zhiya Gao is a first-year master student at Hubbard School. Her research interests focus on public relations -- psychological attributes of communication process, as well as outcome evaluation of organizational communication. She conducted an honors thesis titled "How Meaning and Social Capital Are Created: A Case Study of Social Media Engagement During the COVID Age."
Gabriel Garlough-Shah is a second-year MA Student at the Hubbard School. His research is focused on addressing questions within the field of advertising, specifically related to those concerning the use of social media, virality and algorithmic change. More directly, he aims to use computational methods to uncover relationships between these emerging phenomena and consumer behavior. His prior work explores how news satirists leverage the hybrid media system to amplify and diffuse messages, spurring expression on social media platforms like Twitter. This work was accepted to, and virtually presented at, the 2020 International Communication Association Annual Conference.
Cydney Grannan is a first year MA student at the Hubbard School. Her research interests involve journalism studies and political communication, including audience trust in news, journalism practice, and how technology impacts media and political ecosystems. Grannan is a former journalist at WAMU 88.5, the D.C. area’s NPR station, where she produced a local talk show, reported stories for radio, and served as a fill-in host for local programs.
Nicole Marie Klevanskaya is a second-year master’s student at the Hubbard School. Her research will be centered on propaganda and governments’ use of media to shape public perception during the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Klevanskaya has a Russian to English translation published in the Russian Language Journal, the official refereed journal of the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR). She received a B.S. in Strategic Communications, a B.S. in News and Information and a B.A. in Russian from the University of Kansas. Before attending the Hubbard School, she reported for multiple newspapers, including the Wichita Eagle, and also worked as a social media and communications assistant for the KU Department of Chemistry.
Jingren is in his second year of the MA program. His areas of research cover social media advertising, AI/computer-mediated communication, and quantitative methods. He has presented his paper at annual conferences including the International Communication Association (ICA) and the American Advertising Academy (AAA). Prior to joining HSJMC, he studied Advertising at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and worked at Tencent Games as an Internal Communication Manager for three years.
Rhys Moger is a second-year MA student at Hubbard planning to minor in Communication Studies or Sociology. Their research interests include: popular culture, Internet culture, media effects/psychology, and critical cultural studies. In March of 2022, they presented their undergraduate honors thesis, “Betas, Bimbos, and Beckys: Internet Memes in Contemporary US Cultural Politics,” at the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Research Conference. They are entering HSJMC after recently graduating summa cum laude with departmental honors from Union College, where they received a BA in Political Science.
Caitlin Neal is a second-year master’s student at the Hubbard School. She is a political communication scholar focused on public opinion, partisan identity, and public policy. She previously earned a professional master of arts degree from the Hubbard School in strategic communication. In partnership with her co-researchers, her work has been presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference and she is currently contributing to a book chapter on misinformation, identity, and correction. Caitlin is also the recipient of the 2023 Sig Mickelson Family for Media Ethics Fellowship.
McKenna Premus is a second-year master’s student at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests lie primarily in media literacy education (MLE) and mental health communication. She conducted an independent research study for her undergraduate honors thesis on Understanding the Teaching of Media Literacy in Higher Education Environments, which she presented at the 2022 Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (MassURC). McKenna has also presented her research at the 2023 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Midwinter Conference and the 2023 AEJMC Conference, where she received the Second Place Top Student Paper Award in the Scholastic Journalism Division. She earned her BA in Journalism and BS in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she served as the Managing Editor of The Massachusetts Daily Collegian.
Kaiyi Yu is a first-year master's student at the University of Minnesota, pursuing her studies in the dynamic field of media law and policy. She holds a master's degree in Law from Zhejiang University, where her thesis focused on China's internet press licensing system. Her work included a comprehensive discussion on how the law should meticulously define who is authorized to publish news on the internet in the complex context of China. Kaiyi has also worked as a freelance journalist for Modern Weekly magazine's business section.
Rongjin Zhang is a first-year master's student at the Hubbard School. Her research interests encompass advertising, influencers, social media, algorithms, and human-computer interaction. Her previous research endeavors have been accepted at conferences including the Ethnography Division of the NCA and the Digital Divide Division of the IAMCR. Prior to joining HSJMC, Rongjin earned her Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree in Communication Science from the University of Amsterdam (2023), with a minor in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Her undergraduate thesis featured an experimental study exploring the effectiveness of virtual influencers in social media advertising to persuade consumer behavior.