Researchers

  • Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud

    Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud
    Director
    tstroud@austin.utexas.edu

    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.

  • Anthony Dudo

    Anthony Dudo
    Program Director of Science Communication
    dudo@utexas.edu

    Anthony Dudo, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the UT Austin Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations. Building on prior research from the National Science Foundation, Dudo is working with scientists and media organizations to improve public engagement with science.

  • Scott R. Stroud

    Scott R. Stroud
    Program Director of Media Ethics
    sstroud@austin.utexas.edu

    Scott R. Stroud, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at UT Austin and has been running the Media Ethics Initiative since 2016. The Initiative creates case studies, hosts symposia, and works with students to consider ethical questions in the new media environment.

  • Gina Masullo Chen

    Gina Masullo Chen
    Assistant Director
    gina.chen@austin.utexas.edu

    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).

  • Kayla Brown

    Kayla Brown
    Graduate Research Assistant
    kayla.brown@austin.utexas.edu

    Kayla Brown is a Graduate Research Assistant for the Center for Media Engagement, providing support in administrative tasks including event planning and execution, grants and contracts management, and vendor relations. She is a second year at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and is pursuing a Portfolio in Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship. Kayla holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts Management from the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

  • Kelsey Whipple

    Kelsey Whipple
    Graduate Research Assistant
    kelsey.whipple@utexas.edu

    Kelsey Whipple (MA, University of Missouri) is a doctoral student at UT’s School of Journalism, where she holds the school’s first Dallas Morning News Graduate Fellowship for Journalism Innovation. Her research focuses on depictions of gender, gender identity and class in the media and the influence of technology on mass communication and media audiences.

  • Martin J. Riedl

    Martin J. Riedl
    Graduate Research Assistant
    martin.riedl@utexas.edu

    Martin J. Riedl (M.A. Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, M.A. Humboldt University of Berlin) is a doctoral student at UT’s School of Journalism, and an associate researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin, Germany. His research interests include content moderation, media sociology, internet governance, and social media.

  • Tamar Wilner

    Tamar Wilner
    Graduate Research Assistant
    tamar.wilner@utexas.edu

    Tamar Wilner (MA, University of Missouri) is a doctoral student in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on misinformation, media trust, and news literacy, with a particular interest in health news. Prior to starting at UT, Tamar was a journalist for 15 years, writing about the media, the environment, and urban planning.

  • Tinu Thomas

    Tinu Thomas
    Undergraduate Research Assistant
    tinuthomas@utexas.edu

    Tinu is an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Center for Media Engagement. She is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a degree in Journalism. She is currently an Associate Editor at The Daily Texan and has previously written for The Austin Chronicle, The University Star and ORANGE magazine. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in audio journalism and hopes to uplift the voices of underrepresented communities through her work.

  • Jessica Collier

    Jessica Collier
    Graduate Research Assistant
    jrcollier@utmail.utexas.edu

    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 misinformation, digital technologies, and partisan biases on political attitudes and behavior. She is especially interested in how these factors affect citizens’ perceptions of both politics and media.

  • Alex Curry

    Alex Curry
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    alexcurry@utexas.edu

    Alex Curry (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Media Engagement. His research interests include political communication and civic engagement, and he is particularly interested in how sports tie people to their community and to each other. From 2005 to 2010, he served as a writer for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. When he’s not working, Alex enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife and kids.

  • Emily Van Duyn

    Emily Van Duyn
    Graduate Research Assistant
    emilyvanduyn@utexas.edu

    Emily Van Duyn (M.Ed., Southern Methodist University) is a doctoral student in communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research explores the intersection of digital media, political discourse, and community. In her work at the center, she focuses on how news media can engage diverse audiences and encourage political discussion and community engagement. Her doctoral research focuses on the reasons why people don’t express their political opinions in public and where they may go to express those opinions in secret.

  • Jay Jennings

    Jay Jennings
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    jay.jennings@austin.utexas.edu

    Dr. Jennings studies the media’s role in how citizens engage in politics and his work draws on the fields of political communication, public opinion, and political psychology. He joins us from Philadelphia, PA where he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Temple University. His research has been published in Political Communication, Political Research Quarterly, Public Administration Review, and American Behavioral Scientist. You can read more about Dr. Jennings’ research and background by visiting his website.

  • Yujin Kim

    Yujin Kim
    Graduate Research Assistant
    yujin.kim@utexas.edu

    Yujin Kim (MA, Seoul National University) is a doctoral student in communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests explore political polarization, mass political behavior, and media effects. She is also interested in statistical and computational methodology, particularly at the intersection of machine learning and natural language processing in political linguistic discourse.

  • Ashley Muddiman

    Ashley Muddiman
    Faculty Research Associate
    ashley.muddiman@gmail.com

    Dr. Ashley Muddiman (University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D.) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, as well as a Faculty Research Associate with the Center for Media Engagement. Her research explores political media effects, specifically those related to digital news and political incivility. She has studied how people select news stories to read in digital news and social media spaces, has examined incivility in The New York Times comment section, and has explored ways to encourage people to overcome partisan biases when engaging with digital news. She also enjoys developing innovative research designs, including a new method researchers can use when analyzing large amounts of texts.

  • Cynthia Peacock

    Cynthia Peacock
    Faculty Research Associate
    cpeacock@ua.edu

    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.

  • Joshua Scacco

    Joshua Scacco
    Faculty Research Associate
    jscacco@purdue.edu

    Joshua M. Scacco (PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 2014) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida. He also serves as a Faculty Research Associate with the Center for Media Engagement. He specializes in political communication, media content and effects, and quantitative research methods. Josh’s research is focused on how emerging communication technologies influence established agents in American political life, including news organizations and the presidency. Before joining USF, Josh served on the faculty at Purdue University, worked in public relations at the state and federal level, and worked for a member of legislative leadership in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as well as a U.S. senator.

  • Ori Tenenboim

    Ori Tenenboim
    Graduate Research Assistant

    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

    Caroline Murray
    Research Associate
    carolinemurray@utmail.utexas.edu

    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.

Visiting Scholars

  • Claudia Wilhelm

    Claudia Wilhelm
    Visiting Scholar
    claudia.wilhelm@uni-erfurt.de

    Claudia Wilhelm (PhD, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena) is a Post Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Erfurt. Her research interests focus on media consumption, deviant behavior in digital media contexts and gender stereotypes in communication and media use. Her most recent research projects analyze the effects of deviance characteristics and counter speech in online comments on reporting behavior as well as the influence of web metrics and user comments on the selection of news content in social media.

  • Per Oleskog Tryggvason

    Per Oleskog Tryggvason
    Visiting Scholar
    per.oleskog.tryggvason@som.gu.se

    Per Oleskog Tryggvason is a PhD candidate at the department of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Gothenburg. His dissertation focuses on how media’s publications of opinion polls influence different aspects of the democratic process. Per is also affiliated with the Swedish National Election Study Program and some of his research interests include news media’s use of opinion polls, opinion formation and electoral behavior.

  • João Gonçalves

    João Gonçalves
    Visiting Scholar
    id5322@alunos.uminho.pt

    João Gonçalves (MSc, University of Minho, Portugal) is a lecturer at Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands). His research interests include political participation and media engagement, specifically on how citizens participate through the media during election campaigns. He also has expertise in the fields of machine learning and computational methods. He also worked as a journalist for two years for a Portuguese regional newspaper.

  • Antonis Kalogeropoulos

    Antonis Kalogeropoulos
    Visiting Scholar
    antonis.kalogeropoulos@politics.ox.ac.uk

    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

    Ivan Lacasa
    Visiting Scholar
    lacasa@uic.es

    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

    María Victoria-Mas
    Visiting Scholar
    mvictoria@uic.es

    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.

Staff

  • Melody Avant

    Melody Avant
    Grants & Business Administrator
    mavant@austin.utexas.edu

    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.

  • Katalina Deaven

    Katalina Deaven
    Marketing Specialist
    katalina.deaven@austin.utexas.edu

    Katalina manages marketing strategy and execution for the Center for Media Engagement. Previously, she was the Marketing Manager for CBS 21 in Harrisburg, PA. Her accomplishments at CBS 21 include spearheading the award-winning “Proudly Pennsylvanian” campaign and managing CBS 21 Cares, a program that engaged staff in charitable community activities.

  • Alex Purcell

    Alex Purcell
    Research Program Coordinator
    alex.purcell@austin.utexas.edu

    Alex Purcell is the Research Program Coordinator for the Center for Media Engagement. She is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, having received a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies. She assists with marketing and event planning for the center and its related programs.

Technical Staff

  • Chris Nunes

    Chris Nunes
    Student Technology Assistant

    Chris is a student and developer at the University of Texas at Austin. He is pursuing a degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Big Data. He has 3 years of web development experience, and works on the side as a freelance web developer. Outside of classes and work, he enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and piano.

  • Jerry Jones

    Jerry Jones
    Designer/Developer

    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

    Josh Rachner
    Technical Consultant

    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.