I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests center on the evolving dynamics of collective action within the new media ecology. I study participatory and networked uses of emerging digital and mobile media platforms, with an emphasis on the ways which environmental activists employ information communication technologies (ICTs) to enact social change. Methodologically, I am interested in how social network analysis and related digital methods can enrich traditional quantitative and qualitative communication research methods.
I am a member of the International Communication Research Group advised by Hernando Rojas, where I collaborate on ongoing research into the relationship between mobile media use, political participation and expressive communication in Colombia. In addition, I have recently conducted a comparative network analysis of the Occupy and 15M movements.
In my dissertation research, I am studying the ways in which environmental nongovernmental organizations (ENGOs) cross-nationally navigate the environmental and scientific controversies surrounding the oil and natural gas drilling technologies hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and horizontal drilling, as well as how those controversies are manifest on online. I am honored to be a recipient of a Louis and Elsa Thomsen Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) for the 2013-2014 academic year.
I have taught social media, radio production, composition and public speaking, as well as introduction to communication theory. In the fall of 2010 and 2012 I had the opportunity to co-teach a radio production course, as part of a UW-Madison First-Year Interest Group (FIG) “Representing Self Through Media.” It was especially gratifying to work with first-year students and help foster a supportive learning community within the context of a large research university. In addition, in the fall of 2010 I co-coordinated an interdisciplinary graduate seminar addressing issues of science and communication in the twenty-first century. In recognition of my commitment to teaching excellence, I was inducted as one of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Academy’s Future Faculty Partners in 2011.
My professional experience includes social media marketing, radio production and grant writing. In the summer of 2013 I concluded a two year stint as a Digital Media Strategist for the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before attending graduate school I worked in community and alternative media, including as News and Public Affairs Director for WORT 89.9 FM in Madison, Wisconsin and Development Director for The Progressive magazine.
I also occasionally provide media training for nonprofits and activist groups looking to more strategically engage in media relations activities.
Outside the Classroom: Media in Action
Outside of the classroom, I was a member of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA) media team for a year and a half during and following Wisconsin’s historic labor protests of February and March 2011. We actively managed the TAA’s public image, garnering press coverage statewide, nationally and internationally. Our communication efforts through Defend Wisconsin and @defendwisconsin were recognized with citizen-choice awards from the Milwaukee Shepard Express for runner-up “Best Politics Blog” and “Best Twitter” from Madison’s Isthmus in 2011. We also ran an election monitoring site for Wisconsin’s June 2012 recall elections, “Report the Recall,” using the Kenyan platform Ushahidi, to help track voting rights violations.
I enjoy cooking with whatever vegetables come in my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box each week, biking around town and being on-the-air whenever I come across an open radio microphone.