Graduate

Meet Our Students

Doctoral Students          

Maral Abdollahi

Maral Abdollahi 
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.

 

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 fifth-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 third-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 fourth-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 second-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 third-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 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 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.             

 

Nick Levine

Nicholas Levine (Sarafolean) 
Nicholas Levine (née Sarafolean) is a first-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

Andrew Locke
Andrew Locke is a fourth-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. 

 

 

Rongwei Tang

Rongwei Tang   
Rongwei Tang is a first-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. 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                       

Le Wang

Le Wang
Le Wang is a second-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 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 communication. His research has been published  in Journal of Marketing Communications, Corporate Communications, 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, JOUR 3201: Principles of Strategic Communication, and JOUR 3005: Mass Media Effects. Prior to pursuing his academic career, Hao worked as a senior executive for Merck & Co.’s communications department.

 

Trevor Zaucha

Trevor Zaucha
Trevor Zaucha is a first-year doctoral 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.

 

 

Danford Zirugo

Danford Zirugo 
Danford Zirugo is a fourth-year PhD student at the Hubbard School. He is a journalism studies student interested in journalism practice in post-colonial societies. He has published five peer-reviewed journal articles in the following journals: Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, African Journalism Studies. He has also presented his work at global conferences including the International Communication Association (ICA), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

Master’s Students
 

Kendal Aldridge

Kendal Aldridge
Kendal Aldridge is a second-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 Fleishman Hillard. 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 second-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.

 

 

Audrey Anchirinah

Audrey Anchirinah
Audrey D. Anchirinah is first-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.

 

 

Ted Colling

Theodore Colling
Theodore Timm Colling is a first-year MA student at HSJMC. His research interests include Health Communication, media effects, understanding the implications of technology in the home, as well as media technology and addiction. He is a transfer from the University of Central Florida, where he began his graduate education; he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is thankful for his former professors and mentors, Dr. Aaron Boyson, Dr. Ryan Goei, and Dr. Jennifer Sandoval for their profound influence on his education. He also thanks his wife, daughter, and family members for their unwavering support and unconditional love.

 

 

Tracy Gunapalan

Tracy Gunapalan
Tracy Gunapalan is a second-year masters student at the Hubbard School. She is a journalism studies student who is passionate about understanding social media’s role in public engagement and knowledge acquisition. Her research will seek to address how current journalistic practices are continually failing to engage with marginalized communities and how digital environments can interrupt this cycle. She is also interested in examining the declining trust in news and the role new journalism formats including alternative/independent media might play in changing this phenomenon. 

 

 

Jacob Gustin

Jacob Gustin
Jacob Gustin is a second-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 second-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 second-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.

 

 

Nicole Klevansakya

Nicole Klevanskaya 
Nicole Marie Klevanskaya is a first-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 Li

Jingren Li
Jingren is in his first year of MA program. His areas of research cover emerging media technologies in Marketing Communication and Advertising, mental health communication and media psychology. He has also presented his work at global conferences including the American Advertising Academy Annual Conference(AAA). Prior to joining HSJMC, he studied Advertising in the Chinese University of Hong Kong and worked in Tencent Games in Shenzhen, China for three years.

 

 

 

Caitlin Neal

Caitlin Neal
Caitlin (Buckvold) Neal is entering her first year in the mass communication MA program and her third year at the Hubbard School. Prior to pursuing a career in academic research, Caitlin worked as a publicist and earned her master’s in strategic communication, where her graduate capstone involved developing a strategic plan for a digital news startup. Her research interests lie in digital media effects, news audiences, and how people represent themselves and their opinions online. Her hobbies include sleuthing popular culture and discovering great writers.

 

 

 

McKenna Premus

McKenna Premus
McKenna Premus is a first year Master’s student at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests lie primarily in media literacy education (MLE) and media psychology. She conducted an independent research study for her undergraduate honors thesis on Understanding the Teaching of Media Literacy in Higher Education Environments. She presented her research at the 2022 Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (MassURC), and hopes to conduct further research pertaining to MLE during her time at HSJMC. 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 and worked as a communications assistant for the Commonwealth Honors College.