Meet the Doctoral Students

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2014

  • A Kansas transplant to D.C. via Albuquerque and Pittsburgh, Katy June-Friesen is interested in how media shapes our understanding of regional culture and politics, often in ways that simplify instead of complicate our understanding of who people are, how they live and what they believe. Her master’s thesis at the Missouri School of Journalism, The Sounds of Red and Blue America: Dissecting Musical References to “Red State” and “Blue State” Identity in Print Media During the 2004 Presidential Campaign, looked at how media used music to represent regional culture. She presented a related paper at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference. Previously, she received a master’s in cultural studies from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s in English from Bethel College (Kansas). She's written about arts, history, culture and the outdoors for Humanities magazine, Smithsonian magazine/, The Washington Post Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and the late No Depression music magazine, among other publications. She was an associate editor at Current, the biweekly newspaper about public radio and television, and a researcher/writer for documentaries that aired on PBS. She was also the writer for a National Park Service website and mobile app about Chesapeake Bay history. Her website is
  • April Newton is a journalism student, professional and teacher. Inspired by the Clinton impeachment trial, she returned to school to study journalism, ultimately finishing a master's degree at Syracuse University. Since then, she has worked as a local television news producer, winning a regional AP award, and as a freelance journalist for local publications. She has also taught communication and journalism courses at several universities, most notably at Marquette University, where she worked with students to create television news shows that have been nominated for (and sometimes won) regional Emmy awards. April's research interests are in broadcast journalism, visual journalism, and online and social media and journalism.
  • Allissa Richardson is an award-winning journalist and college professor. She has taught her unique brand of mobile journalism to youth in the United States, Europe and Africa. Students in Prof. Richardson’s global classroom learn to report news using only smartphones, tablets and MP3 players. She calls her high-tech reporters ‘mobile journalists’ or ‘MOJOs.’ At age 25, Richardson joined the faculty of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. She served as coordinator of its journalism program, and launched and directed the Morgan MOJO Lab in 2010. Under her leadership, Morgan State became the first and only historically black college in the country to offer mobile journalism courses. By April 2011, Richardson was vetting invitations to expand her MOJO Lab project globally. She traveled to South Africa to teach HIV-positive girls how to report news using only an iPod Touch. In the wake of the Arab Spring revolts, Richardson was invited to Morocco to train Muslim women to become MOJOs too. The National Association of Black Journalists said Richardson empowered her students around the globe “to speak truth to power using new media.” In spring 2012, NABJ recognized her as its Journalism Educator of the Year for her international work. In 2013, Apple, Inc. inducted Richardson into its elite Distinguished Educator program for her innovative uses of its products. In 2014, Harvard University selected her for its prestigious Nieman Foundation Journalism Fellowship.

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2013

  • Ron De Munbrun served as a career federal employee who was an advisor to government officials counseling them on a wide variety of issues related to the dissemination of (Web and non-Web-based) information to the media and the public.  He holds a B.A. in Radio, Television and Film and M.A. in Mass Communication from California State University Northridge.  His interests include the relationship between the media and public policy, in particular anti-hunger policy in America. Ron is completing his dissertation.
  • James Gachau comes from the East African country of Kenya. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of Nairobi and an M.A. from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. Having lived in his native home of Kenya during the oppressive regime of President Daniel arap Moi, and seeing how members of the press sacrificed life and limb to give voice to the frustrations and privations experienced by the majority of the population, Gachau says he is persuaded that journalism should always and everywhere play the role of watchdog against the powers that be. This is why he is pursuing a Ph.D. at the Merrill College of Journalism. His goal is to become a journalism educator and researcher who helps mold and turn out a new cadre of professionals given to the democratic function of a free press. In recognition of his potential, the Foreign Press Association has awarded him a third-place prize scholarship for their 2013 annual FPA Scholarship Fund Competition. The majority of populations in the Global South remain voiceless amid government corruption and the hegemonic globalization of dominant Western cultures. James hopes his PhD will help him open up avenues for articulating the yearnings and dreams of such populations.
  • Pallavi Guha Pallavi Guha has been a professional journalist and media educator for a decade. Pallavi has worked internationally for leading media organizations including BBC News and television in London and The Times of India in India. Pallavi has been a teaching assistant and taught courses on gender, race and class in media, Images of journalists in films and Media Literacy. Pallavi’s academic background is in international relations, politics, communication and women studies. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals on intersections of gender, social media and politics. Pallavi frequently presents her work at academic and professional conferences. Currently, Pallavi is working on multiple research projects including sexual harassment of women journalists in Indian newsrooms, implications of social media for voter engagement in India. Pallavi's research interests include social media communication, gender, politics and media in India and US. LinkedIn - Twitter

    Areas of expertise: India, social media, politics and feminist activism in India

  • Carole Lee served as editor and publisher of city magazines in southern markets both before and after completing her M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her professional experience also includes a stint as press secretary for a U.S. Senator and five years directing communications for The Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy, a Washington, DC-based think tank that seeks to inform and influence health policy initiatives at local, state and national levels. Throughout her work in journalism and communications, Carole has maintained a strong interest in understanding how media influence and reflect their cultural contexts. Her academic work includes an extensive study of the coverage of evangelist Billy Graham throughout the first forty years of his career. Her ongoing research interests include the relationship between media and religion, the role of free media in the development and survival of democracy, and the history and significance of the changing nature of media delivery and consumption.   
  • Rob Wells is a former Deputy Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires in Washington, D.C., moved into the academic world in 2012. He was a 2012 Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, where he helped build its business journalism program. Wells first began teaching in 2010 at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism as an adjunct lecturer; he’s taught basic and intermediate news reporting and business journalism classes at College Park. As part of his transition to academia, Wells in August 2013 earned a master’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, where he studied political science, literature, philosophy and history. As a doctoral student, Wells is interested in studying media coverage of the 2008 financial crisis, among other issues. Prior to his academic career, Wells reported for Bloomberg News, The Associated Press and newspapers in California. He and his wife, Deborah C. St. Coeur, live in Crownsville, Md.
  • Amy Wu is an expert in health journalism and has particular interest in social media and mobile. She specializes in examining the use of social media/mobile in communicating health news to readers and audiences. She has 20 years of professional journalism experience and has worked at Time magazine, Institutional Investor, and The Deal LLC, and worked on projects for Facebook and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). She spent six years working in Hong Kong as a journalist and educator; between 2011-2013 she was a full-time lecturer teaching mobile journalism at Hong Kong Shue Yan University. She earned her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in history from NYU.  LinkedIn - Twitter

    Areas of expertise: Health journalism, social media/mobile, health literacy, global health communications with focus on Asia-Pacific region

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2012

  • Tetyana (Tanya) Lokot has an M.A. in journalism from National University Kyiv Mohyla Academy in Kyiv, Ukraine (2004) and a B.A. in management from International Christian University (2002). Upon receiving her M.A., she became AssistantProfessor and Head of New Media Sequence at Mohyla School of Journalism (NaUKMA,Kyiv, Ukraine) and has taught Radio News Production and New Media and Online Journalism courses for masters-level students. Tetyana has worked as journalist for radio, online and print media, most recently covering technology; she has also served as Development Director at Media Reform Centre, a Ukrainian media NGO. She has also acted as media trainer in projects for Westminster Foundation for Democracy and USAID Parliamentary Development Project in Ukraine. Tetyana has been a Consultant in Eastern Europe markets and social media for Webbmedia Group. In this capacity she has served on the judging panel for the ONA 2011 Online Journalism Awards (Non-English entries). She has also conducted new media trainings in Belarus newsrooms for ICFJ. As of 2012, Tetyana is in charge of researching the Ukraine chapter for the Freedom House “Freedom on the Net” report. Her research interests include: online protests, digital activism and political participation online, impact of internet communities on political decisions, social media platforms and social/political change, post-Soviet online spaces.
  • Antonio A. Prado was a journalist for two decades, working as a reporter at a number of newspapers - including Investor's Business Daily and The Orange County Register - and more recently was an assigning editor for 10 years at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo, California. In 2011 he completed his master's degree in Communications at California State University, Fullerton, where he completed his bachelor's degree in Communications in 1993. His research interests include the restoration of collective contemplation made possible by contemporary communications technology, the portrayals of people with disabilities in the news media, and convergence culture's effect on the news. His master's thesis, "Collective Contemplation and Issues in the News: Why Citizens Gather Online to Share and Debate," explored what motivates people to discuss and comment on news stories online. His roots in newspapering go back to when he decided at age 8 to become a journalist and when he got his first delivery route for the local afternoon daily newspaper at age 10.
  • Boya Xu earned an M.S. in Journalism from West Virginia University where she received a graduate assistantship in the television journalism department and also worked as the Assistant Producer and Government/Politics reporter for WVU News, a weekly newscast produced by WVU’s Reed College of Media (formerly Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism). She interned at CBS News’ Washington D.C. bureau with the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” team in the summer of 2010, and served public relations effort with the China Performing Arts Agency during the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Originally from China, she earned her B.A. in English and Literature from Yanshan University where she was a producer and program host for the on-campus English radio station. In China, she was actively involved with English parliamentary debate events, English speaking tournaments, and the Yanshan University’s international programs and foreign delegations. Boya Xu has presented research at a number of national conferences throughout her masters and doctoral studies, and is the recipient of an AEJMC top paper award and the Aylward award at Merrill. Using primarily a quantitative approach, her main research interests include media effects, audience studies, public sphere in the digital era, and political communication. She currently works as an adjunct instructor at the Merrill College.


Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2011

  • Saranaz Barforoush earned her M.S. degree from Southern Illinois University in 2011, where she wrote a thesis on the news production of Persian television channels broadcast from Britain and the United States. During her studies at SIU she also worked as a PR officer for SIUE’s School of Business and its Emergency Operation Center. She completed an M.A. degree in Cultural Studies and Media from the University of Tehran in 2008, where she studied the social effects in Iranian popular cinema before and after the 1979 Islamic revolution. After gaining her BA in journalism from Allameh Tabatabai University she worked as a journalist and translator for a number of high profile Iranian newspapers and weekly magazines. In addition to her journalism experience, she has worked as a PR manager for well-known IT organizations and news publications in Iran. Her research interests include: international journalism, diasporic media production and use, conflict coverage in the media, and freedom of the press. 
  • Justin Hudson graduated with an M.A. in education from the University of California-Berkeley in 2009.  He earned his B.A. from Rice University in 2008, where he majored in history. At Rice, he was a sportswriter for the Rice Thresher and worked as a sport marketing intern for Rice's athletic department. He continued his work in sports communications at Berkeley, where he interned for the athletic media relations office. Since graduating from Berkeley, he has been a copy editing intern at Bleacher Report and currently works as a writer for LA Focus, a monthly newspaper in his hometown of Los Angeles. His research interests include examining historic and contemporary media representations of African American male athletes, as well as broader issues dealing with sports, media, and society, media history, media and race, and media literacy.
  • Joanna Nurmis earned her MA in International Relations from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris in 2010, where she pursued a dual research program in conjunction with Freie, Humboldt, and Potsdam Universities in Germany.  She earned her BA in Philosophy and Sociology in 2007 from the Université Paris X Nanterre.  She interned at the Communications department of Agence France-Presse in 2008 and spent her last months in Europe working as a photo editor at the International Herald Tribune. Her research interests lie at the vast, but vastly under-researched, cross-section of photography/visual journalism and international politics. She is also keen to explore the role of the still image in today’s increasingly virtual and video-based media landscape.
  • Rachel Buchanan O'Hare worked as a news reporter at the Raleigh News & Observer and Charlottesville Daily Progress.  She earned her master's degree from Columbia University and undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.  For over five years, Rachel taught news writing as an adjunct at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and an introductory journalism course at Towson State University.  Besides newspapers, she has written for magazines and radio.  Her research interests are American history and journalism, especially slavery and the civil rights era.
  • Yacong Yuan graduated with an M.S. in Journalism from Ohio University in June 2011. After earning her B.A. degree in Economics English from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in 2007, she worked as a market researcher at Infineon Technologies AG and as a communication specialist at TynTec GmbH in Munich, Germany. As an undergraduate, she worked at China Radio International English Service in Beijing covering China’s railway system reform and management buyout reform at State-Owned Enterprises. She also produced investigative news reports as an intern for Shennong TV Station in Beijing.  As a master’s student at OU, she assisted individual faculty members researching topics such as comparative international news coverage and globalization of cultures. She is curently a quantitative researcher interested in media psychology, cross cultural communication, and social network analysis.

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2010

  • Stine Eckert earned her Master’s of Science in journalism from Ohio University after studying Journalism, Media and Communication Studies as well as American Studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany. She worked as producer and reporter for Leipzig radio station mephisto 97.6, San Francisco station Radio Goethe, radio and TV reporter, producer, and anchor for NRP-affiliate WOUB in Athens, OH. She also travelled to Bangladesh as a Student Fellow for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to cover the situation of women. More recently she produced interviews for Al Jazeera English. Her research interests include international comparative work; the intersection of media, culture, and gender; and the democratic potential of new media. You can find her full CV on where you can also read about her most current work, teaching experience, and publications. Follow her at @stineeckert
  • Jacqueline Soteropoulos Incollingo, the 2010 Scripps Howard Doctoral Fellow, was a newspaper reporter for 12 years, including six years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Previously, she was a Washington correspondent for The Tampa Tribune. Her beats have included Philadelphia criminal and juvenile courts; federal and state courts in Florida; local and national politics; and U.S policy towards Cuba. She has a B.A. in history and government from Connecticut College and an M.A. from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Her research interests include how evolving technology will allow traditional media to become more interactive with consumers. Jackie served as the Annapolis Bureau Chief for the Merrill College's Capital News Service during the 2013-2014 school year. Jackie successfully defended her dissertation in August, 2014. She took a tenure-track position teaching journalism at Rider University in Lawrence, NJ.
  • Michael Koliska worked as radio reporter for the last 10 years in Germany, the US and China. He has a MA degree in Sociology and English from Magdeburg’s Otto-von-Guericke University in Germany, where he worked for a private radio station, a local newspaper and then Germany’s largest broadcast network. He then joined an NPR affiliate in Illinois as news anchor/ reporter while pursuing a MS in Journalism at the University of Illinois. His latest assignment was as editor for China Radio International in Beijing, China. Koliska successfully defended his dissertation May 27, 2015 and will take a tenure track position as an assistant professor in Auburn University's School of Communication and Journalism.
  • Klive (Soo-Kwang) Oh successfully defended his dissertation in June, 2014. His research interests include audience engagement with online news, digital culture, journalism roles, media effects, pedagogy, and intercultural communication studies. He has several research publications and conference presentations regarding various aspects of journalism and mass communication. He has won numerous top paper awards and is the recipient of the Aylward Award and the Hiebert Journalism Travel Award. Before devoting himself to journalism studies, he worked in the marketing/PR field at Samsung Electronics. As a journalist, he worked as a convergence reporter for the Missourian, KBIA Radio and KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO. He also worked at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, employing social media techniques for its communications strategies. As an instructor, Klive has taught courses such as media literacy, journalism history and understanding audiences at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. With his successful teaching experience, he has been chosen as a Lilly Graduate Teaching Fellow at the Center for Teaching Excellence. Originally from Korea, Klive graduated from Korea University with a B.A. in English Language and Literature and received a Master's in Journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism. Click here to read his CV. Dr. Oh began his full-time teaching career at William Paterson University in New Jersey in fall, 2014.
  • Elia Powers successfully defended his dissertation in April, 2014.  Dr. Powers main research interests are media, news, information and health literacy; journalism pedagogy with a focus on assessment and learning outcomes; audience engagement with digital media; and perceived credibility of news outlets. He has published articles about media literacy pedagogy and nonprofit news audiences in academic journals such as Journal of Media Business Studies and the Journal of Media Literacy Education. He is the winner of the college's 2013 Graduate All-S.T.A.R. award, given to the top journalism graduate student. As lead instructor for Maryland's undergraduate media literacy course, he was named a distinguished teaching assistant in 2012 by the Center for Teaching Excellence. As the instructor of record, he teaches news writing, journalism history and media literacy to students at Maryland.  He served as a research assistant on a grant project that investigated the health information needs of Latinas in the neighborhoods surrounding College Park. During this semester he helped arrange interviews with focus group participants, analyzed survey results and co-wrote a study report. As part of this assistantship, he also helped put together an event in Knight Hall in which researchers presented study findings and discussed how to better serve the Latina population with health information. Powers is also president of the Merrill Graduate Student Association. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, he received his master’s degree in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a contributor to American Journalism Review. He previously covered higher education, health, business, sports, the environment and the arts for print publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Inside Higher Ed and the St. Louis Beacon.

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2009

  • Jing Guo Jing Guo was trained as a bilingual broadcast journalist at a top broadcast journalism program at the Communication University of China. She served as an intern with the China Central Television in Beijing to produce one of their largest TV documentaries, The Lancang-Mekong River, and later served as a part-time reporter and video editor for Fortune China, a nationally televised program by Hunan Media Corp. While working on her Master’s degree in Mass Communication at Miami University-Oxford, she produced daily news for a public radio station in the Cincinnati area. Recently, Guo joined the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. and is conducting public opinion research projects in more than 40 countries across the globe each year. As a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Guo has served as both a teaching assistant and an instructor, teaching undergraduate courses in journalism and media studies. She was an International Teaching Fellow with the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Maryland and the Editor for the Center’s online publication, Teaching and Learning News. In 2012, Guo was named a Distinguished Teaching Assistant by the Center for Teaching Excellence for her strong teaching performance." Guo has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented at several international, national and regional academic conferences. Her research interests include: media psychology, cross-cultural communication, gender and media, and new media technologies.
  • Richard G. Jones, the 2009 Scripps Howard Doctoral Fellow, was a reporter for 15 years, including seven years at The New York Times, where he covered politics, the New Jersey legislature, and the National Football League. In 2003, he and a colleague were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for their investigation into the failings of New Jersey's child welfare agency. At the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rich wrote a daily metro column, covered public schools and held a three-year posting as a national correspondent based in Atlanta. Rich holds a B.A. in English/journalism from the University of Delaware and a M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where he was awarded a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship. His research interests include race, politics and the media, journalism history, and digital media and the evolving business model for journalism. Please visit
  • Stanton Paddock has worked as a photojournalist and multimedia reporter. He holds a B.A. in Classics and Egyptology from Emory University and M.A. in Visual Communications and Photojournalism from Ohio University. His multimedia work has won awards from the National Press Photographers Association, College Photographer of the Year and New Hampshire Press Association. He has taught multimedia reporting, photojournalism, and digital and darkroom photography as an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland (College Park and University College) and Frederick Community College. His interests include researching how academia can develop best practices to prepare or retrain reporters with multimedia storytelling skills.
  • Raymond McCaffrey worked for more than 25 years as a journalist, including eight years as a staff writer and an editor at The Washington Post. His career also includes work as a reporter, columnist and writing coach at the Colorado Springs Gazette. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Fairfield University and an M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. His master’s thesis examined mental illness among the homeless, a population he had written about extensively as a reporter. He is also drawn to research exploring how media has evolved with advances in technology and contributed to vast cultural changes.
  • Andrew Nynka earned an M.A. in journalism from New York University and a B.A. in political science and economics from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa. In 2004, he covered the Orange Revolution in Ukraine as Kyiv bureau chief for The Ukrainian Weekly, a US-based English-language newspaper. At the Weekly, he also covered the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and reported from The White House, Congress, the United Nations and from inside a prison in Eastern Europe. Andrew worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record in Parsippany, N.J., and later as an education beat reporter for another Gannett daily. His research interests include the future of journalism and its impact on democracy and public discourse, and journalism history. Andrew spent the 2012-2013 school year in Ukraine as a Fullbright Fellow. In September, 2014 he was named a 2014-2015 Graduate School-TLTC Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Maryland. He has also taken on additional duties as the executive director for the Society of Features Journalism, which is based at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2008

  • Jim Baxter has a B.A. in English from Guilford College (1975). More recently, he earned two degrees from Syracuse University's Newhouse School: an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism (2007) and a M.S. in New Media (2008). He has worked as a copywriter and media buyer for an advertising agency (1977-1980), as a writer and designer for an alternative newsweekly (Spectator, 1980-1985) and at a competing alternative newsweekly (The Independent, 1985-86 and free-lance). Jim began a biweekly gay/lesbian community newspaper in North Carolina in 1979 (The Front Page), and continued as publisher and editor until 2006. In addition, from 1986-2006, he was manager and later buyer for a local gay/lesbian bookstore. His interests include First Amendment issues and how the press covers them; the LGBT community and its press, and the history of early broadcasting (radio and television). He currently teaching JOUR479G, Historiography of Broadcasting, at Merrill. For more information, please visit
  • EunRyung Chong worked for the Dong-A Ilbo, the oldest newspaper in Korea for 17 years as a reporter and editor until 2007. She had mainly covered socio-cultural issues internationally as well as domestically. In 2000-2001, she won the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at University of Michigan. During the fellowship year, she conducted independent research observing editorial conflict and cooperation between the print and online staff at The New York Times newsroom and its online operation. She received her MA in journalism from Yonsei University in Korea in 2007; her BA is in anthropology from Seoul National University. Her master’s thesis focused on Korean newspaper reportersÂ’ attitudes toward political diversity of opinion. Now she is interested in online public sphere as a potential reservoir of deliberate democracy, interrelation between online discourse and socio-political involving and journalism ethics.
  • Sergei Golitsinski has a degree in Journalism from St. Petersburg State University, Russia, and two master's degrees from the University of Northern Iowa: MA in communication and MS in computer science. He started his career as a translator and newspaper reporter, covering local politics. Later, he moved on to business, where he went from selling Fords at one of the first dealerships in the country to managing sales and marketing, launching start-ups, and, eventually, moving on to advertising and public relations, which he later taught at St. Petersburg State University. His pursuit of knowledge led him to communication studies and computer science. Today, his research is focused on applying computational approaches to problems in communication, journalism and media studies. Coming from the fields of software development, information retrieval and information extraction, Sergei believes that computer science can complement research in mass communication through investigating and modeling parts of reality, which may help understand how people communicate. In April, 2013 he accepted a tenure-track job as Assistant Professor in Interactive Digital Studies at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Northern Iowa.
  • MiHee Kim worked for internet portal site, Yahoo! Korea Media Team. Cooperating with about 80 major mass media including daily newspapers, broadcasting companies, and news agencies, she was in charge of a news service that delivers about 10,000 news reports a day. She edited online news. As a reporter for the internet version of Korea’s leading press, Kyunghyang Daily, MiHee reported exclusive news for the website. Her undergraduate major is history and masterÂ’s thesis was about international area studies. Her research interest is the role of internet in setting political and social agenda and the impact of internet on making social relationship.
  • Jessica Roberts has a B.A. in English and Spanish from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California. She spent three years working as a teacher in Czech Republic and Thailand, with shorter stints in Ecuador and Spain. She worked at the Cape Times in South Africa, the Santa Monica Daily Press in California and the Santiago Times in Chile. Her research interests are journalism and citizenship and the changing ways new technologies allow citizens to become more engaged in public life, as more active consumers, producers and distributors of information; the legal structure that may develop as a result of this change; and especially various means by which citizens become active in monitoring the world and institutions of authority.
  • Jason Scanlon has worked in television news for more than 20 years-- as cameraman, engineer, director, editor and producer. He worked for two ABC affiliates in Texas KSAT TV and KLTV TV. Having moved to Washington DC, he worked for the C-SPAN network, where he covered the White House, Capitol Hill, the State Department and the Justice Department. For over 10 years he has worked for the Fox News Channel. He has also freelanced for CNN and ESPN. Jason has an undergraduate degree in Film from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and an MBA in International Business from the University of Baltimore. His research interests include international reporting and the impacts of new technologies on journalism, journalists, and reporting practices.
  • Robert (Woody) Woodruff has a BA from Dartmouth College in 1964 and an MA in journalism from here, at Maryland. His graduate school study of medieval and renaissance comp lit at Columbia University was interrupted by Army service in Vietnam and Korea. He then worked as editorial director of a family-owned group of weekly newspapers in Florida; editor of Publishers Auxiliary for the National Newspaper Association; copy editor at the National Journal; and teaching writing (later, basic reporting) at Prince George’s Community College. He moonlighted as a copy editor at the Prince George’s Journal daily paper; until the Journal group imploded in 2002, he was its full time opinion page editor while still teaching at PGCC. He now is a part-time copy editor for Patuxent Publishing in Howard and Baltimore counties and adjunct professor as well as student newspaper advisor at PGCC. His research interests are journalism history, especially its pre-history. He successfully defended his disseration "Foretelling the Everyday: Early Modern English Almanacs Prepare a Public for News" on September 29, 2014.

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2007

  • Bill Bryant graduated from the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in the 1960s. He worked as a reporter for the Newport (RI) Daily News and the Providence (RI) Journal in the 1970s. Then U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) recruited him and Bill served two decades as his press secretary, legislative aid and federal projects officer. When the Senator retired in the 1990s, Bill became a consultant focusing on communications. His work included groups ranging from Greenpeace to the American Bar Association and DODÂ’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
  • Arielle Emmett has been a professional journalist and teacher since beginning her career as a correspondent for Newsweek in the 1970s in Taiwan. A graduate of the University of Michigan in East Asian studies and pre-med, Arielle served as The New York Times intern for columnist William Safire before working as a correspondent and free lance journalist in the Far East. Later she became a science and features reporter for The Detroit Free Press and The Scientist. She has held several magazine editor-in-chief positions and has written books and scripts on technology, science, and East Asian culture. Emmett holds a masterÂ’s degree from the University of Washington in advanced writing. In recent years she served as a journalism lecturer at Temple University, specializing in magazines, New Media, and visual communications.
  • Jeff Lemberg has worked as an editor and reporter at various print publications for the past 13 years, the past three as managing editor of PRESSTIME. He is a former journalism fellow at The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, worked as a correspondent for The Boston Globe, and served as managing editor of SchoolSports magazine. Jeff also has spent years working as an adjunct professor, teaching at Boston University, American University, the University of Maryland and a variety of state schools in Massachusetts. He received his master's degree in journalism from Boston University and his bachelor's degree in advertising from the University of Bridgeport. The 2007 Scripps Howard Doctoral Fellow, Jeff also will teach in the College.
  • Robbie Morganfield, a veteran newspaper journalist and journalism educator, most recently served as executive director of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He previously worked at daily newspapers in Fort Lauderdale, Detroit, Tulsa, Houston and Fort Worth, holding positions as a reporter, editor and columnist. He also has taught journalism at the University of Arkansas, Texas Christian University, University of Texas at Arlington and St. Augustine's College. He has won awards for both his reporting and teaching. Robbie, who is an ordained minister, received his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi, master's degree in journalism and educational policy/leadership from The Ohio State University and master of divinity from Texas Christian University. He will assist the Merrill College with diversity initiatives and teach courses in multicultural reporting, and religion and media. The focus of his doctoral studies will be race, religion and media.
  • Xiaoyan Pan graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, with a bachelorÂ’s degree in journalism, and then worked as a reporter and editor for several years for Baosteel Daily in Shanghai. Xiaoyan won several national awards for covering the people whose life was affected by radical economic reforms in China. She helped launch a national human resources magazine, SmartFortune, and was its vice Editor-in-Chief. In 2002-2003, she conducted media research at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC-Berkeley as a visiting scholar, before undertaking masterÂ’s study at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Xiaoyan is interested in online communication, gender issues, and comparative study in general. Her first book, Office Politics, published in 2003, focused on how communication skills help people establish harmonious relationships in a competitive working environment.

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2006

  • Matt Bates, active in the labor/alternative press since the 1960s, worked as a daily reporter for Connecticut's Manchester Journal-Inquirer during the 1980s. For 15 years, he handled internal and external communications for the Machinists’ international union, before becoming Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department in 2003. With a B.A. in Communications from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. in Labor Studies from the University of Massachusetts, he is studying class and the U.S. news media. He is a teaching assistant with Dr. Susan Moeller’s media literacy course.
  • Merrilee Cox successfully defended her dissertation in April, 2014. Before coming to the Merrill College, she was a veteran broadcast journalist and manager, serving most recently as Washington Bureau Chief for ABC News, Radio. During more than 20 years with ABC, she traveled extensively and was directly involved in coverage of news events including the war in Iraq, U.S. elections and political conventions, the Millennium Celebration and numerous Olympics. She received her master's degree from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and her bachelor's in political science from American University. The most recent Scripps Howard Doctoral Fellow, she also will teach in the College.
  • Megan Fromm holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with an emphasis in news/editorial from Mesa State College in Colorado. She has worked as a reporter and copy editor at newspapers in Colorado and California and has interned at the Washington Times and the Student Press Law Center. While an undergraduate, she was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists' Sunshine Award and the Colorado Press Association's Friend of the First Award for pursuing open government and freedom of information principles. Interested in media law and ethics, she is a teaching assistant with Dr. Susan MoellerÂ’s media literacy course.
  • Sonia Pedrosa Pereira has worked as a reporter and editor for twenty years in Brazil, mainly in the coverage of economic issues. As part of her mater's degree in communication, she wrote a thesis about the coverage in Brazilian newspapers of labor and workers. During her masters, she was a trainee teacher at the College of Communications of Rio de Janeiro State University. Studying at Maryland under a Fulbright Fellowship, she is particularly interested in analyzing the international coverage by American newspapers of Latin American issues, especially those related to Brazil.
  • Lindsey Wotanis received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where she served as the managing editor of the university's newspaper. In 2006, she received her master’s degree in rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was research assistant to Dr. Linda Flower and a workshop teacher for Take Back the Hill, a community youth newspaper program for inner-city teens. She is a teaching assistant with Dr. Susan MoellerÂ’s media literacy course.

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2005

  • Eric Easton is an associate professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he teaches media law, legal writing, and torts. From 1972 to 1993, he was a reporter, editor, and ultimately publisher of Business Publishers, Inc., a Washington newsletter publisher. He holds a B.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.
  • Ray Gamache, an associate professor of communication before entering the doctoral program, taught journalism and communication theory for 18 years at Saint Anselm College and Notre Dame College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Author/editor of three books, including The Water Is Wide: Notre Dame College's Journey 1976-2000 (2002), he has bachelor's and master's degrees from West Virginia University. He assists Penny Bender Fuchs with the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors.
  • Shuling Huang is from Taiwan, where she obtained her B.A. and M.A. degrees in sociology at National Taiwan University. She has worked for the Liberty Times as a reporter and editor in Taipei, covering ecological and educational issues among others. She plans to focus her doctoral studies on media reform. She assists College faculty on individual research projects.
  • Andrew Kaplan received his master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and his bachelor’s degree from Yale University. Prior to joining the doctoral program, he worked as an online producer for the Epilepsy Foundation and has run his own communication consulting company. He plans to study the media’s impact on society, as well as political communication. He assists Professor David Broder.
  • Wenjing Xie, who is from China, received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Shandong University in China and master’s degrees from Renmin University of China and Hong Kong Baptist University. She has interned as a journalist in CCTV and at Economic Daily in China and is interested in the impacts of global communication flows and new technology. She assists College faculty on individual research projects.

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2004

  • Natalie Hopkinson writes for the Style section of the Washington Post. She received her master's degree from the Merrill College in 1999 and has been an adjunct professor. She has the Scripps Howard doctoral fellowship and continues to write regularly for the Post while she pursues her doctoral study.
  • Norm Lewis has been editor of three papers in the Pacific Northwest. He was a Knight Fellow at the College several years ago and became excited then about becoming a journalism professor. Norm assisted Gene Roberts and also helped with the new Media Literacy course. 2013: Professor Lewis was granted tenure at the University of Florida in Gainesville and named Teacher of the Year for the university in 2010.

  • Svetlana Markova is from Moscow and has worked in both journalism and public relations. Her master's degree is from Moscow State University.
  • Priyanka Matanhelia is from India, where she has been a writer and teacher. She teaches three discussion section of the Media Literacy course for her assistantship.
  • Indira Somani entered the Ph.D. program after serving as an assistant professor at American University’s School of Communication. She has worked as a producer for ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates and for CNBC. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Journalism at the School of Communications, Howard University in Washington, DC where she teaches broadcast journalism courses. She studies effects of satellite television on the Indian diaspora, specifically the generation of the Asian Indians who migrated to the U.S. between 1960 and 1972, and their media habits and has produced award winning documentaries about her research. She completed her Ph.D. in May, 2008. For more information, go to:

Ph.D. Cohort Entering 2003

  • Marlene Cimons. Cimons, the third recipient of the Scripps Howard Doctoral Fellowship, is a former award-winning Washington correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. She holds a political science and journalism degree from Syracuse (N.Y.) University.
  • James Matthew Giglio. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program, Giglio was a research assistant at the Center for Media Education in Washington, D.C. and a graduate teaching assistant at Virginia Polytechnic Institute where he studied communication studies. He plans to study news media and youth civic education during his time at Maryland.
  • Jad Melki. Melki has a unique blend of technical and journalistic skills with degrees in computer science from the University of Balamand in Lebanon and journalism and mass communications from Kent State University in Ohio. He has worked as a news producer for WTVR in Richmond, Va., Web site researcher and designer for “Nightline” and “ABCNews” and a multimedia producer for The Digital Journalist online. 2013: Jad is working to create a new digital and media literacy academy in Lebanon.
  • Paul Mihailidis. Mihailidis, a media and publishing studies graduate from the University of Stirling in Scotland, was a production editor at Pearson Education, Allyn & Bacon, before joining the doctoral program at Maryland. He plans to study media and society with a cultural focus during his doctoral career.
  • Bu Zhong. Zhong was an editor at CNN and earlier a reporter and chief copy editor of China Daily in Beijing before joining the Merrill College’s doctoral program. He holds journalism degrees from China School of Journalism and the University of Missouri.


  • Carlos Agudelo. An associate professor for the School of Communications at the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, Agudelo plans to return there after earning his doctorate degree to further expand the university’s journalism program.
  • Jared Ball. A graduate of Cornell University and Frostburg State University, Ball is the co-founder, editor and contributing writing of NuExodus, a pan-African magazine based in Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Chunying Cai. Cai was editor in chief of Wenzhou University Newspaper and program director and host of Ouhai People’s Radio Station in China before joining the Ph.D. program at Maryland.
  • Tamara Henry. Henry, the second recipient of the Scripps Howard Doctoral Fellowship at Maryland, was a national education correspondent for USA Today and earlier The Associated Press before joining the Ph.D. program in September. In 2014, Dr. Henry is an adjunct professor at the Merrill College teaching Journalism Ethics, News Coverage of Racial Issues and Theories of Journalism and Public Communication.


  • John Kirch. A graduate of American University’s School of Communications and the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Kirch was an adjunct professor at American University in Washington and earlier an associate editor of Security Management Magazine and a reporter for several daily newspapers throughout New England. In 2014 Dr. Kirch is an assistant professor of journalism and new media at Towson University.


  • Ira Chinoy. Chinoy, the first recipient of the Scripps Howard Doctoral Fellowship at Maryland, teaches computer-assisted reporting at the Merrill College as a visiting professor from Harvard College in Massachusetts. 2014: Dr. Chinoy is Associate Professor & Associate Dean at the Merrill College of Journalism, with plans to go on sabbatical in the spring, 2015 before returning to the classroom.



  • Tracy Lucht. An alumnus and former teaching assistant at Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism, Lucht was as a reporter and copy editor for The Des Moines Register and The Storm Lake (Iowa) Pilot-Tribune. 2014: She is an assistant professor at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, Iowa State University



  • Stacy Spaulding. Spaulding was a content producer for and a coordinator of the journalism program at Columbia Union College before joining the Ph.D. program in September 2001. Today she is an assistant professor teaching journalism and new media at Towson University. She has experience in print, broadcast and online journalism. Her academic research focuses on Baltimore's journalism history. 2014: She is now an associate professor at Towson University with a speciality in reporting, writing, social media, and literary journalis.



  • Dr. Kevin SwiftKevin Swift. Swift, a master’s graduate and former teaching assistant of Duquesne University, was a writer and producer of WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, Pa. before pursuing his doctoral degree at Maryland. Dr. Swift successfully defended his disertation in July, 2013 and is a senior lecturer in broadcasting at Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri.


  • Lane Williams. An alumnus of Ohio State University and Brigham Young University, Lane was a journalism professor at BYU-Idaho and earlier a managing editor of Enrich Magazine. Today Williams writes a regular column as the Mormon Media Observer for the "Mormon Times" and teaches journalism and communications at BYU-Idaho.