I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I study participatory and networked uses of emerging digital and mobile media platforms, with an emphasis on the ways which environmental activists and organizations 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 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 and political participation in Colombia. In addition, I have conducted a comparative network analysis of the Occupy and 15M movements.
In my dissertation research, I study a transnational movement against hydraulic fracturing and shale development. The core question, which drives my research is: In what ways are environmental activists using new media technologies to challenge socio-political power structures? I submitted a draft of my dissertation in August 2014 and will defend it during the fall 2014 semester. An abstract of my dissertation is available here.
I was 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 currently work as a consultant and workshop trainer in the UW-Madison DesignLab, a digital media lab and design consultancy with the mission of improving students’ digital communication skills.
I have taught social media, radio and video 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 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. I worked as a Digital Media Strategist for the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for two years. 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.