Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud
Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is the founding and current Director of the Center for Media Engagement and Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Her book, Niche News: The Politics of News Choice, received the Outstanding Book Award from the International Communication Association, and inspired the early development of the Center. Her research examines the use and effects of political news content.
Gina Masullo Chen
Gina Masullo Chen (PhD, Syracuse University) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the online conversation around the news with a particular interest in both uncivil debate and how these conversations influence social, civic, and political engagement. She is co-editor of “Scandal in a Digital Age” (2016/Palgrave Macmillan) and author of “Online Incivility and Public Debate: Nasty Talk” (2017/Palgrave Macmillan).
Jessica Collier (MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is a doctoral student in Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the influence of media effects, digital technologies, and partisan bias on political attitudes and behavior. She is especially interested in how these factors affect citizens’ perceptions of both politics and media.
Alex Curry (MA, Brigham Young University) is a doctoral student in communication studies and an assistant instructor at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include political communication and civic engagement, and he is particularly interested in how politicians use their own personal involvement with sports as a way to connect with voters. From 2005 to 2010, he served as a writer for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. When he’s not studying, Alex enjoys hiking with his wife and four children.
Emily Van Duyn
Emily Van Duyn (M.Ed., Southern Methodist University) is a doctoral student in communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Some of her research interests include the interaction of online news with deliberative democracy and the influence of media framing on constructions of gender and race. Prior to her doctoral work, she received a master’s in Education specializing in multicultural literacy.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr. Jennings studies the capacity of citizens to effectively participate in politics and his work draws on the fields of political psychology, public opinion, and political communication. His dissertation and recently published article investigates religion’s role in shaping democratic citizens. He joins us from Philadelphia, PA where he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Temple University. While at Temple he was the project manager for the Pennsylvania Policy Database Project and an affiliated researcher at the Behavioral Foundations Lab. You can read more about Dr. Jennings’ research and background by visiting his website.
Yujin Kim (MA, Seoul National University) is a doctoral student in communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests are in political communication, mass political behavior, and politics and media. She is also interested in statistical methodology, computational programming, and data analysis.
Faculty Research Associate
Ashley Muddiman (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies department at the University of Kansas. Ashley is broadly interested in political media effects and specifically interested in political conflict and incivility. Her current research projects study the role media coverage plays in shaping citizens’ perceptions of political incivility, explore how citizens interact with online news depicting incivility, and investigate tactics, such as fact checking, that have the potential to diminish the effects of incivility.
Faculty Research Associate
Cynthia Peacock (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies department at the University of Alabama. She is interested in political communication and news use. Her most recent research investigates the contexts in which people express and avoid expressing their political opinions, and the ways in which diverse opinion expression and disagreement take place in political discussions.
Faculty Research Associate
Joshua M. Scacco (PhD, The University of Texas at Austin) is an Assistant Professor of Media Theory & Politics in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. He also serves as a Research Associate for the Center for Media Engagement (CME). He is interested broadly in the communicative role elites and organizations, including political leaders, journalists, and news outlets, play in American political life.
Ori Tenenboim (MA, Tel Aviv University) is a doctoral candidate in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests center on digital journalism, political communication, and media economics. Tenenboim examines how journalists and news organizations hybridize older and newer behaviors, norms and forms in different contexts, such as political conflicts and campaigns. He also investigates factors that contribute to different types of user engagement (e.g., commenting and sharing) with news-related content and political messages in the digital media environment. His work has been published in Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, International Journal of Communication, Digital Journalism and Journalism Practice.
Caroline Murray is a research associate at the Center for Media Engagement. She previously worked as an undergraduate research assistant for the CME before graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Her past work includes positions with KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR member station, the Public Affairs department at UT Austin’s College of Liberal Arts and Brunswick Group in San Francisco.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Alex Purcell is an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Center for Media Engagement. She is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing a degree in Corporate Communication and Rhetoric & Writing. She has previously written for The Shorthorn Newspaper at The University of Texas at Arlington, Longhorn Life Magazine, and Burnt X. After graduation, she would like to get her master’s degree in Communications.
João Gonçalves (MA, University of Minho, Portugal) is a doctoral student and a collaborating teacher in communication studies at the University of Minho. His research interests include political participation and media engagement, specifically he focuses on how citizens participate through the media during election campaigns. He also has expertise in the fields of game theory and machine learning. Besides his academic experience, he worked as a journalist for two years for a Portuguese regional newspaper.
Antonis Kalogeropoulos (PhD, University of Southern Denmark) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism of the University of Oxford. His research is focused on news media consumption, political communication, and journalism. He is a co-author of the Digital News Report 2017, a survey of news consumption patterns in 36 countries. His doctoral work focused on the effects of exposure to economic news on political attitudes, economic expectations, and citizen’s sophistication.
Ivan Lacasa-Mas (PhD, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) is an Associate Professor in the College of Communication at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona, where he has been Dean (2009-2015) and Associate Dean (2008-2009, 2015-2016). After focusing on communication research history, now his interests are centered on news media management and user engagement, as well as on the impact of technology on journalism, politics and culture. His most recent projects analyze the consumer-based brand equity of news media firms, and how digitalization and new media affect Opera and its audiences.
María Victoria-Mas (PhD, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya) is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Her main area of study is media management. She is also interested in media consumption and audience perceptions of media. Her most recent research focuses on measuring the consumer-based brand equity of news media firms. Specifically, Victoria-Mas examines news media brand factors that contribute to increasing audience’s trust, loyalty, and engagement.
Grants & Business Administrator
Melody manages administration and grants for the Center for Media Engagement. Previously, she worked with procurement and budgets in Undergraduate Education in the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, managed programming and business affairs for a local Austin house museum, and interned in digital education programming at the British Museum in London, England. Melody received her B.A. from Texas State University at San Marcos and M. Liberal Arts in Humanities from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas.
Marissa Alviar serves as the Administrative Associate for the Center for Media Engagement. In this role, she supports the vision of the Center by providing administrative and accounting support to the CME team. Prior to joining the Center for Media Engagement, Marissa provided administrative support to the Development team at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. During her time at the School, she oversaw event planning and execution, travel coordination, gift and donor database management, donor relations and stewardship, and special projects. Marissa holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design from Texas State University.
Student Administrative Assistant
Julia Lane serves as a Student Administrative Assistant for the Center for Media Engagement. Her position offers administrative and organizational support to the center. She is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Julia plans to attend graduate school and complete her masters in Speech Pathology.
Jerry is a designer and developer from Northeast Missouri. Before that, he and his wife started an organic, bike delivered bakery and a nonprofit permaculture education center. Since then, he’s worked on websites for 150+ clients all over the world, including nonprofits like GoodWill and the Ronald McDonald House. Jerry’s older than he looks, and has more kids than you’d guess.
Josh Rachner (joshrachner.com) is a Technology Consultant based in Austin, Texas. With a background in Computer Science and Business from the University of Texas and a decade of programming experience, Josh enjoys spending his time helping organizations design, develop and deploy software solutions in various industries. In addition to focusing on technology strategy and implementation, Josh plays on a competitive, traveling, masters water polo team named Team of Texas.
Student Technology Assistant
Levi Villarreal is the Student Technology Assistant for the Center for Media Engagement. He is a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing a degree in Computer Science as well as a minor in Science Communications. He has 4 years of web design and development experience and assists in aiding researchers with all of their technological needs.