The 2019 NAMLE Conference will feature a diverse group of educators, practitioners, researchers, and organizations who have built a career intersecting their profession with media literacy.

Peter Adams
Senior Vice President, Education
The News Literacy Project

Peter Adams is the News Literacy Project’s senior vice president of education. He began his career in education as a classroom teacher in the New York City schools. He has also worked as a trainer with the NYC Teaching Fellows Program, a youth media after-school instructor in Chicago and an adjunct instructor at Roosevelt University and Chicago City Colleges.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because information is the foundation for personal and civic empowerment.”

Connect with Peter on Twitter: @PeterD_Adams

Joy Amulya
Senior Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation Advisor

Joy Amulya has worked domestically and internationally for over 15 years to strengthen the practice and impact of community, health, education, and international development initiatives through evaluation and learning.

Jimmeka Anderson
Executive Director
I AM not the MEdia, Inc.

Jimmeka Anderson is a Doctoral student in the Urban Education program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a focus on adolescents and media. She received her master’s degree in Educational Media with a focus on New Media Literacies at Appalachian State University. Currently, Jimmeka resides in Charlotte, NC where she has served as the Founder and Executive Director of I AM not the Media, Inc. for eight years, a non-profit organization for teens that empowers youth through media literacy and media creation.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy matters to create equitable opportunities for ALL children!”

Connect with Jimmeka on Twitter: @iamnotthemedia

Gillian “Gus” Andrews
Producer, The Media Show

Gus created the media literacy series, The Media Show. Her research on digital security informed policy at the US State Department and the EFF, and she speaks on it regularly at West Point. Her forthcoming book, Keep Calm And Log On (MIT Press, Spring 2020), guides non-techies through privacy, security, and disinformation.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Right now? Disinformation is a global epidemic.”

Connect with Gus on Twitter: @gusandrews

Lauren Arend, PhD
Assistant Professor
Early Childhood Education
University of Missouri

Dr. Lauren Arend is Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Missouri. Currently, she serves as the program coordinator for the early childhood education program.

Why does media literacy matter?
“For the future lives of children.”

Connect with Dr. Arend on Twitter: @LaurenEArend

Anabel Astbury
Head of Education
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Annabel Astbury is the Head of Education at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia’s pubic broadcaster. In response to a family visit to the Newseum in Washington in 2017, she returned to Australia and set out plans for the national broadcaster’s inaugural Media Literacy Week and led the concept and content development for ABC Education’s Media Literacy website.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy empowers aspects of our social, political, cultural and economic lives. With it, we are better.”

Connect with Anabel on Twitter: @annabelastbury

Chelsea Attwell
Digital Lead Learner
Toronto District School Board

Chelsea Attwell is a Hybrid Teacher – Digital Lead Learner with the Toronto District School Board in Ontario Canada. In this role she teaches Kindergarten at H.J. Alexander Community School and regularly hosts exploration classrooms for Kindergarten to grade 12 educators. Her exploration classrooms focus on inquiry based learning in the early years with a focus on Media and Technology. Chelsea also supports the Toronto District School Board’s Digital Lead Learner program with a focus on Global Competencies professional learning. Chelsea is a Director with the Association for Media Literacy, a subject association to that supports Media Education in Canada. Chelsea is a life-long learner who enjoys working collaboratively with her colleagues to plan innovative learning opportunities for her students and colleagues.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media Literacy is how we read our world.”

Connect with Chelsea on Twitter: @ccatwell

Abigail Beech
Student, Tufts University

Abigail Beech is an undergraduate student at Tufts University, majoring in Child Study and Human Development and Biopsychology. Her interest in media research stems from her work with the Children’s Television Project at Tufts University, which studies racial and gender stereotypes in children’s television shows.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy matters because children learn from the media.”

Macaela Bennett
Director, News Literacy Partnerships

Macaela researches, writes, and edits NewsGuard’s Nutrition Label reviews of news and information websites in addition to collaborating with educators and librarians in teaching news literacy skills through hosting webinars and in-person workshops. Before joining NewsGuard, Macaela reported on politics and business at local and regional newspapers across the U.S.

Why does media literacy matter?
“So people learn skills to evaluate information. “

Connect with Macaela on Twitter: @Macaela_

Drew Emanuel Berkowitz, EdD

Dr. Berkowitz’s research explores socio-cultural connections between the media literacy education practices developed by literacy educators working within publicly-funded US institutional environments and the recreational peer-learning practices that characterize the discourses of contemporary media fan cultures.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy transforms popular culture into public education.”

Sofia Branco
Journalist, Lusa

Journalist for 20 years, now working in news agency Lusa, with a Masters degree on Human Rights. Several times awarded for journalistic reporting, both national and internationally. Professor of Ethics in universities and journalism training centres. Author of the nonfiction books Cicatrizes de Mulher, on female genital mutilation, and As Mulheres e a Guerra Colonial, on women during colonial war. Currently president of the journalists’s union.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Only media literate people will understand the importance of free, independent, credible and vigilant media.”

Sarah Brandt
Vice President of News Literacy Outreach

Sarah Brandt is Vice President of News Literacy Outreach for NewsGuard, where she coordinates NewsGuard’s partnerships with librarians and educators. Originally from Minnesota, she currently lives in Chicago. She graduated from Yale University.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because a free press depends on it.”

Spencer Brayton
Library Manager
Waubonsee Community College

Spencer is library manager at Waubonsee Community College, where he works to support library operations. He holds an MA in library and information studies, and an MS in management. Spencer’s research focuses on the convergence of critical media literacy and critical information literacy. His blog, ‘Converging Spaces’, is at

Why does media literacy matter?
“It has the potential to create collaboration across disciplines.”

Connect with Spencer on Twitter: @brayton_spencer

Dr. Kara Brisson-Boivin
Director of Research

Dr. Kara Brisson-Boivin is the Director of Research at MediaSmarts, Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy. Kara oversees all of the planning, methodology, implementation, and dissemination of key findings from original MediaSmarts’ research studies. She researches the various impacts of digital technology and digital culture on Canadians broadly and youth in particular. Kara’s current research projects examine digital citizenship and the intersections of digital publics and democracy, digital well-being among families, and what life online looks like for young Canadians. Kara also holds an appointment as an Adjunct Research Professor in the Sociology Department at Carleton University.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because it lays the foundation for ethical digital citizenship.”

Maria José Brites, PhD
Associate Professor
Lusófona University of Porto

Dr. Maria José Brites is Associated professor at the Lusófona University of Porto (ULP) and researcher at Centre for Research in Applied Communication, Culture, and New Technologies (CICANT).

Why does media literacy matter?
“It promotes empowered citizens.”

Connect with Maria on Twitter: @britesmariajose

Samuel Burton
Student, Brigham Young University

Samuel was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He did volunteer humanitarian work in New York City for two years before pursuing a degree in media arts at Brigham Young University. He is a student instructor for introductory-level film classes and a teacher’s assistant. He will graduate in April 2020.

Judy Burke Bynum
Development Associate
South Carolina Humanities

Judy is the Development Associate at South Carolina Humanities. Her work has primarily supported the arts, public broadcasting and the humanities. A former reporter and magazine editor, Bynum has an ABJ from the University of Georgia and a MA from UNC-Chapel Hill. She lives in Spartanburg, SC.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is a critical foundation of informed decision making.”

Dr. Michelle Cannon
Lecturer, Digital Media in Education
University of London

Michelle Cannon is a Lecturer in Digital Media in Education, at UCL Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Her research focusses on the relationships between practical film and media-making in schools, popular culture, new literacies and new media pedagogies. She regularly collaborates with the British Film Institute on their schools programming.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is about capacity for critical creative sociocultural participation.”

Connect with Dr. Cannon on Twitter: @shelleuk

Natasha Casey, PhD
Associate Professor of Communications
Blackburn College

Natasha is an associate professor of communications at Blackburn College, Illinois. She holds a Ph.D. in communication studies from McGill University. Her research interests include critical race theory and critical media and information literacy. “No Silos”, a blog about media and information literacy, is at

Why does media literacy matter?
“Might as well ask ‘does it matter if humans think’?”

Connect with Natasha on Twitter: @NatashaCaseyIRL

Denise Chapman, EdD
Monash University

Dr. Chapman is a passionate digital media-creator, spoken word artist, and critical autoethnographer who lectures at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Denise uses oral stories, children’s literature, and interactive digital content as windows for critical thinking and emancipatory opportunities. Her research spotlights creative and narrative methods for social change.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Inequities bred and fester within the dark, silent, unchallenged media.”

Connect with Dr. Chapman on Twitter: @DrDeniseChapman

Yoo Kyung Chang
Teachers College, Columbia University

Yoo Kyung Chang is a lecturer in the Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research and design interest lies in the use of technology to support and understand learning and human development. Her current research focuses on the cognitive, affective, and metacognitive implications of data-driven design in diverse contexts.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It shapes our world.”

Michelle Ciccone
Technology Integration Specialist
Foxborough High School

Michelle is passionate about digital literacy, media literacy, and digital citizenship. She is the Technology Integration Specialist at Foxborough High School in Massachusetts, serves on the NAMLE Leadership Council, and works as a Research Assistant on the Youth and Media project at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy matters because… it helps us take our world seriously.”

Connect with Michelle on Twitter: @MMFCiccone

Scott H. Clarke
Associate Professor of Digital Media
Black Hills State University

I teach media literacy and media production courses at Black Hills State University. My research focus is on religion and media. I completed my graduate work at Michigan State University.

Why does media literacy matter?
“So consumers can make informed media choices, and separate fact from opinion.”

Cory Collins
Senior Writer
Teaching Tolerance

Cory is the senior writer for Teaching Tolerance. He has experience in both the newsroom—as a former sports journalist—and the classroom, where he has provided reading intervention and tutoring for K–6 students from rural Kentucky to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Why does media literacy matter?
“We cannot achieve an equitable, cooperative democracy without media literacy.”

Connect with Cory on Twitter: @cococorycollins

Marilyn A. Cohen, Ph.D.
Director, Northwest Center for Media Literacy
Executive Director, Action for Media Education

Marilyn A. Cohen, Ph.D., Director, Northwest Center for Media Literacy, College of Education, University of Washington (UW) is also Executive Director of Action for Media Education, a Washington-based nonprofit celebrating its 28th anniversary. Marilyn, an Emeritus Professor in the UW’s College of Education was a recent recipient of the National Telemedia Council’s Jessie McCanse Award.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is imperative to the survival of our democracy.”

Connect with Marilyn on Twitter: @Action4MediaEd

Madison Crabill
Student, Executive Producer

I have been enthralled by all things film ever since taking videography during my junior year. I am now in charge of my school news show, Wolf TV, and enjoy making short films in my spare time. I will be majoring in film at NYU in the fall.

Why does media literacy matter?
“There cannot be peace and understanding without a means to communicate.”

Miguel Angelo de Sousa Crespo
MSc in Communication
PhD student

Journalist, editorial consultant, and digital communication teacher @ISCTE-IUL, IPAM, Cenjor & Etic. Media researcher @CIES-IUL & Executive manager @ New Media Management MSC @ISCTE-IUL. Interested in media literacy and education, new media innovation and business models & digital storytelling.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is the key to understand the world.”

Connect with Miguel on Twitter: @mask1967

Alexander Cuenca, PhD
Assistant Professor
Curriculum & Instruction
Indiana University

Dr. Cuenca is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University. Currently, he serves as the program coordinator for the middle and secondary social studies education program.

Why does media literacy matter?
“The future of democracy. “

Connect with Dr. Cuenca on Twitter: @alexandercuenca

Sherri Hope Culver
Associate Professor
Temple University

Sherri serves as Director, Center for Media and Information Literacy at Temple University where she is Associate Professor at Klein College of Media and Communication. Sherri is three-time past president of NAMLE. She is an experienced TV producer and media executive. Sherri regularly presents internationally on media literacy and children’s media.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Everything I do is connected to media literacy.”

Connect with Sherri on Twitter: @sherrihope1

Ricardo Castellini Da Silva
Dublin City University

Dr. Ricardo Castellini da Silva is a media educator and a PhD researcher at Dublin City University. Over the past years Ricardo has been teaching undergraduate and graduate classes both at Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin. He has a chapter with media education workshops published in the e-book ‘MICOOL Best-Practices’.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because it helps people make sense of the reality around them.”

Connect with Ricardo on Twitter: @ricardoccsilva

Michael Danielson

Michael Danielson is the chair of the advocacy group Action for Media Education, a Washington-based nonprofit organization. He teaches media literacy classes at Seattle Preparatory School where he also works as an EdTech specialist and Yearbook Adviser.

Why does media literacy matter?
“The definition of literacy today cannot be considered complete without addressing the role media play in our students’ lives.”

Rhys Daunic
The Media Spot

Rhys has consulted with K-12 public schools since 2001 to modernize school visioning and curricula through media literacy and has specialized in collaboratively producing media through a media literacy framework within K-16 education and progressive organizations. His work is available at

Why does media literacy matter?
“Three words: progressive, disruptive, flexible.”

Connect with Rhys on Twitter: @themediaspot

Andrea DeGette
Educator and Filmmaker

Andrea DeGette is an educator from Hillsborough, NC whose passion for media literacy has informed her curriculum for high school Videography for the past 25 years. After graduating from NYU film school she embarked on a mission to bring digital literacy to her students in an effort to change the world, one student at a time!

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is the cornerstone of education in our age.”

Connect with Andrea on Twitter: @DryMoonShine

Liz Deslauriers
LX Designer
Media Education Lab

Liz Deslauriers presents programs and workshops to promote film and media literacy in her role as a learning experience designer at the Media Education Lab. Liz’s speciality in children’s media stems from experience in the toy industry, writing and creating brand storytelling and marketing content for toys and games.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because it powers possibilities for creative learning and expression.”

Connect with Liz on Twitter: @lizdeslauriers

Laura Deutch
Education Director

Laura Deutch is a media artist and educator working in Philadelphia. As the Education Director at PhillyCAM, she oversees the development of programming for PhillyCAM Latinx and PhillyCAM Voices, a community news program and has helped shape the Tech Lounge, a vibrant space for youth and education workshops.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy reveals how systems shape our values and imagination.”

Connect with Laura on Twitter: @phillycam

Cristin Dickey
Student, Brigham Young University

Cristin, a storyteller, grew up in the forests of Maryland filming shorts, adventuring outdoors with her family and friends, and writing her own novels long past witching hours. She graduated this April from Brigham Young University with a degree in media arts and an emphasis in critical studies and screenwriting.

Bobbie Eisenstock
Adjunct Professor
California State University, Northridge

Bobbie Eisenstock, Ph.D. specializes in the social-psychological effects of convergent media technologies and strategies for educating and empowering youth in the digital culture. She is on the faculty at California State University, Northridge where she serves on the Advisory Board for the Office of Community Engagement and directs civic engagement initiatives with NewseumED and the Center for Media Literacy.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media Literacy is critical thinking for the Digital Age.”

Michal Eskayo
Associate Professor
City College of Chicago

I have been teaching reading and writing to ESL students for 25 years. I began my career at St. Augustine College and now am at the City College of Chicago. Around three years ago, I began teaching News Literacy.

Lesley S. J. Farmer, PhD
Coordinator, Teacher Librarian Services Credential
Professor, Educational Technology & Media Leadership
California State University (CSU) Long Beach

Dr. Farmer, Professor at California State University (CSU) Long Beach, coordinates the Librarianship program. She also manages CSU’s ICT Literacy Project. A frequent presenter and writer for the profession, she has received several awards, and is a Fulbright scholar.

Why does media literacy matter?
“One must comprehend format to understand information.”

Connect with Lesley on Twitter: @lesleyfarmer

Caroline Fitzpatrick, PhD
Associate Professor of Communications
Alvernia University

Caroline (Carrie) Fitzpatrick holds a BS in Secondary English & Speech Education, an MA in Communication Studies, an MS in Educational Technology, and a PhD in Rhetoric and Linguistics. Her teaching and research interests explore digital humanities and communications; first amendment law and ethics; the rhetoric of advocacy; and cultural and gender studies.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is a fundamental skill for navigating information effectively in the 21st Century.”

Nathaniel Frederick II, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communication
Director, African American Studies
Winthrop University

Dr. Nathaniel Frederick II is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communication and Director of African American Studies at Winthrop University. His research focuses on media history and cultural studies in African American-produced media. His teaching interests include media law, media literacy, and representations of minorities in media.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is concerned with cultivating critical media consumers.”

Connect with Nathanial on Twitter: @Nate_Frederick

Dr. Elizaveta Friesem
Media Education Lab

Elizaveta Friesem is a media scholar and practitioner of media literacy education focusing on issues of diversity, bias, and empathy; an affiliated faculty of the Media Education Lab; a Leadership Council member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education; and a co-editor of the Journal of Media Literacy Education.

Why does media literacy matter?
“To better understand ourselves and the world we live in.”

Connect with Elizaveta on Twitter: @lisafriesem

Megan Fromm
Educational Initiatives Director
Journalism Education Association (JEA)

Megan is a high school journalism teacher and educational initiatives director for the Journalism Education Association. A former professor and journalist, Fromm regularly writes about scholastic journalism, student press rights, media literacy, and student empowerment. She is also the curriculum lead for the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because solving today’s problems requires more than our best guess.”

Connect with Megan on Twitter: @megfromm

Kelly Glasscock
Executive Director
Journalism Education Association (JEA)

Kelly is the executive director of the Journalism Education Association, which has its national headquarters at Kansas State University. He also teaches journalism in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications with an emphasis in photojournalism, reporting and magazine production.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because progress means each generation must build upon sound knowledge.”

Connect with Kelly on Twitter: @klgdigital

Dominique Nogueira Gogolevsky
Media Teacher

Media teacher in a third sector Brazilian school, building a new media course based in Reggio Emilia pedagogy for high school students.

Why does media literacy matter?
“To better understand our world and their relations. “

Connect with Dominique on Twitter: @domigogolevsky

Elias Gold
Student, Brigham Young University

Born and Raised in New Mexico on the Navajo Reservation. Majoring in Media Arts and Minoring in American Indian Studies. Avid artist and has received many awards in the past ten years. Has ambitions to contribute to indigenous media.

Alan Goldenbach
Assistant Professor of Journalism
Hood College

Since joining the Hood College faculty in 2015, Alan Goldenbach has taught mass media courses including media writing, law, ethics and public relations, in addition to his new media literacy course, The Art of Skepticism. He spent 12 years as a reporter for The Washington Post.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Have you spent 10 minutes on the internet lately?”

Connect with Alan on Twitter: @GoldieWrite

Olga Gould, PhD
EAL Assistant Professor, SUNY, Erie
“Visual Language Intermodal Relations Data Analysis”

Dr. Gould is an EAL Assistant Professor at SUNY, Erie. She is an alumna at SUNY, University at Buffalo. Her interests include multimodality, reading comprehension, social semiotics, and socio-cultural constructivism.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy matters because new generations are inseparable from media.”

Connect with Dr. Gould on LinkedIn.

Silke Grafe
University of Wuerzberg

Silke Grafe is a professor and director of the Media Education and Educational Technology (MEET) Lab at the University of Wuerzburg.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy enables people to act in an adequate, self-determined, creative and socially-responsible way in a mediatized world.”

Connect with Silke on Twitter: @sg-media

Kelsey Greene
Manager of Professional Development and Promotions
Project Look Sharp

Kelsey is a producer, educator and scholar who combines her creative talents and academic knowledge to advance instructional practices, learning experiences and organizations’ media outreach. She is currently the Manager of Promotions & Professional Development for Project Look Sharp at Ithaca College.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is the most nuanced approach to cultivating critical, curious, and compassionate individuals in our digitally saturated, fast-paced world.”

Connect with Kelsey on Twitter: @kelseylgreene

Vanessa E. Greenwood, PhD
Professor of Communication & Media
Montclair State University

Dr. Vanessa E. Greenwood (formerly Domine) is a full professor in the School of Communication & Media at Montclair State University. She holds BA and MA degrees in Communication Studies and a PhD in Media Ecology. She is the author of Rethinking Technology in Schools: A Primer and Health Teens, Healthy Schools: How Media Literacy Education Can Renew Education in the United States. Her research intersects the fields of communication, technology, and media literacy education.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because education is about teaching humans HOW to think NOT what to think.”

Connect with Dr. Greenwood on Twitter: @VanessaEGreenwd

Jessica Harvey
Associate Professor of Communication
Saint Vincent College

Jessica Harvey is Associate Professor of communication at Saint Vincent College and has served as a board member for Action for Media Education, as well as taught media literacy courses. Her research investigates the role of media literacy education in secondary classrooms and home environments of adolescents.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It’s an essential part of a healthy democracy!”

Troy Hicks, PhD
Professor of English and Education
Central Michigan University

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks explores the teaching of literacy in our digital age.

Why does media literacy matter?
“With literacy and learning for all, media literacy keeps us human(e).”

Connect with Dr. Hicks on Twitter: @hickstro

Eveline Hipeli, PhD
Lecturer, Educational and Social Sciences
Zurich University

Dr. Hipeli is a Media and Communication Scientist, Author, and Lecturer at Zurich University of Teacher Education, and Founder of Media Guidance Ltd.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media is everywhere – and so must Media Literacy.”

Connect with Eveline on Twitter: @evehipeli

Renee Hobbs
Director, Media Education Lab
Professor of Communication Studies
University of Rhode Island

Renee Hobbs is an internationally-recognized authority on digital and media literacy education. Through community and global service and as a researcher, teacher, advocate and media professional, Hobbs has worked to advance the quality of digital and media literacy education in the United States and around the world.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because we use media for nearly every part of daily life.”

Connect with Renee on Twitter: @reneehobbs

Jessi Hollis-McCarthy
Outreach Educator
Newseum Education

As part of the Newseum Education team, Hollis-McCarthy’s work focuses on bringing their resources on history, civics, media literacy and the First Amendment to audiences around the world through virtual and in-person programs. Prior to joining the NewseumED team, Hollis-McCarthy worked developing and programming for a variety of museums in the D.C. area.

Why does media literacy matter?
“A better world starts with access to information and communication.”

Connect with Jessi on Twitter: @NewseumED

Jennifer Howerter
Education Programs Consultant
California Department of Education

Jennifer Howerter, with nine years of teaching experience, is currently a literacy consultant at the California Department of Education, focusing on media and secondary literacy, and supporting efforts in civics, social emotional learning, and global education.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It helps us become empowered, informed, and compassionate citizens.”

Connect with Jennifer on Twitter: @CAProfLearning

Shu-Yi Hsu
PhD Student
Teachers College, Columbia University

Shu-Yi Hsu is a doctoral student in the Instructional Technology and Media program at Teachers College Columbia University. Her research interest includes online learning, Self-Regulated learning, and educational games. She has over 10 years of teaching experience before she started her graduate program and she is an instructional designer at Columbia University.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Not spreading fake news is a civic duty.”

Connect with Shu-Yi on Twitter: @shuyi

Barbara Huth
Education Program Manager
Common Sense Education

Barbara Huth is the Education Program Manager for Common Sense Education in the D.C. Metro area. She partners with school districts in DC, Maryland, Virginia and beyond to help educators and parents build the foundational digital citizenship skills for kids to utilize technology safely, responsibly and meaningfully.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Identifying credible & trustworthy information is essential for making informed decisions.”

Connect with Barbara on Twitter: @Barbara_Huth

Jiow Hee Jhee, PhD
Assistant Professor

Dr. Jhee has lectured and trained over 40,000 students, parents, government officials and leaders on media literacy topics, both locally and internationally. His research looks into the impact of media on the family, cyber wellness and cybercrime, and he has presented academic papers on cybercrime, parental mediation and video gaming. Prior to obtaining his PhD, Dr Jhee helped set up Singapore’s first Cyber Wellness Centre in 2006 and was also involved in developing a body of cyber wellness values, ethics and best practices, to promote cyber wellness in schools, and was known as a pioneer of the cyber wellness movement in Singapore. Dr Jhee currently serves as a member of the Media Literacy Council and Films Consultative Panel in Singapore.

Why does media literacy matter?
“This is the world we live in.”

Ioana Literat
Assistant Professor
Teachers College, Columbia University

Ioana Literat is Assistant Professor in the Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research examines creative participation in online contexts, with a particular focus on the social, educational and civic aspects of online creativity.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy matters because… we’re all in this together.”

Connect with Ioana on Twitter: @ioanaliterat

Mary Kate Lonergan
Social Studies Teacher

Mary Kate Lonergan has empowered students to critically engage with information for eleven years as a social studies teacher in New York State. In addition to her published research, has presented at many conferences and served as a FPRI teacher-research fellow. Mary Kate is also a News Literacy Project ambassador.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy empowers!”

Connect with Mary Kate on Twitter: @ms_lonergan

Antonio Lopez, PhD
Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies
John Cabot University, Rome

Antonio Lopez, Ph.D. has a research focus on bridging sustainability with media literacy. He has written numerous academic articles, essays and books. His most recent book is Greening Media Education: Bridging Media Literacy with Green Cultural Citizenship (Peter Lang). He currently teaches at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media teach how the world works; we teach how media work.”

Connect with Dr. Lopez on Twitter: @mediacology

Della Ludwig, MS
ELA Teacher

Della has 25 years experience in education, serving as an English Language Arts teacher, an Instructional Coach, and a Technology Coordinator. Always seeking authentic opportunities for students to express themselves in writing and speech, Della worked with Common Good Radio and Young Audiences of Rochester to guide students as they launched a digital radio station that is now heard around the world.

Why does media literacy matter?
“We must promote positive citizenship in our ever changing digital community.”

Connect with Della on Twitter: @LudwigDella

Diana Maliszewski
Toronto District School Board

Diana Maliszewski is a teacher-librarian and media literacy educator in Toronto, Canada. Diana presents at conferences throughout North America on topics such as gaming, graphic novels, popular culture, and children’s literature. Read her thoughts at and

Why does media literacy matter?
“Do fish know they swim in water? Media = ‘environmental awareness!'”

Connect with Diana on Twitter: @MzMollyTL

Sissel McCarthy
Distinguished Lecturer
Director, Journalism Program
Hunter College

Award winning international business journalist Sissel McCarthy is a Distinguished Lecturer and director of the Journalism Program at Hunter College. She has been teaching news literacy and multimedia reporting and writing for more than 14 years at Hunter College, NYU and Emory University following her career at CNN and CNBC.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It gives citizens the tools to be free and self-governing.”

Connect with Sissel on Twitter: @sisselmccarthy

Lily McCormick
Student, Saint Vincent College

Lilly McCormick is a rising junior at Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania. A communication major, children studies minor, and Fred Rogers Scholar, Lilly is interested in reaching a greater understanding of media literacy through the work of Fred Rogers. She hopes to help find new ways of making goodness attractive.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Without it, one would be unequipped to encounter the world.”

Tracy A. McNelly
Assistant Professor of Education
Saint Vincent College

Tracy is Assistant Professor of education at Saint Vincent College. Prior to teaching in higher education, she worked in public education as a teacher and administrator, serving as an Assistant Superintendent for 10 years. Her research investigates the impact of technology on literacy.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It’s ensures all perspectives are critically examined and understood!”

Connect with Tracy on Twitter: @McnellyTracy

Aimee Pavia Meader, PhD
Assistant Professor
Winthrop University

Dr. Aimee Pavia Meader’s research focuses on political media, such as twitter, and the ability to detect fake news. She is an assistant professor at Winthrop University. As a journalist, Dr. Meader produced a two-hour weekday newscast with breaking news reports, like the Shuttle Columbia disaster and the Ronald Reagan processional.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Democracy requires an informed public, able to detect news deception.”

Connect with Aimee on Twitter: @ameader1

Jad Melki, PhD
Associate Professor & Chairperson
Department of Communication Arts
Lebanese American University

Jad Melki, Ph.D., is associate professor of journalism and media studies and chairperson of the Department of Communication Arts at the Lebanese American University (LAU), where he also directs the Institute of Media Research and Training. Melki is also a visiting faculty at the Salzburg Academy and an affiliated researcher with ICMPA at the University of Maryland. His research is at the intersection of digital media literacy, journalism, war, and gender studies, and focuses on Arab media education.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media Literacy empowers communities to fight oppression and liberate themselves.”

Connect with Jad on Twitter: @jmelki

Mary Moen
Assistant Professor
University of Rhode Island

Mary Moen is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the School Library Media program in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Rhode Island. Her research interests include professional development, digital badge programs, and school library trends.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy matters so we can disempower the dark aspects of the web.”

Connect with Mary on Twitter: @mary_moen

Timothy Molina
Discipline Coordinator, Mass Communication
Northwest Vista College

Timothy teaches Mass Communication and Speech Communication at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas. His areas of interest include Media Literacy Education, Global and International Communication, Identity and Digital Media.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy can empower us, our communities and our families.”

Pamela L. Morris, PhD
Assistant Professor of Communication
Indiana University-Purdue University – Columbus

Dr. Pamela Morris is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Indiana University-Purdue University at Columbus. My research interests are media law, technology adoption, and uses and effects of technology on communication processes. I am passionate about media literacy education and making students good digital citizens.

Why does media literacy matter?
“So you control the media, rather than it controlling you.”

Sarah Morris
Head of Instruction and Engagement
Emory University Libraries

Sarah is a librarian and an educator and currently works as the Head of Instruction and Engagement at the Emory University Libraries.

Why does media literacy matter?
“To me, media literacy is about empowering people with the skills they need to navigate increasingly complex modern media ecosystems.”

Connect with Sarah on Twitter: @nucleusatx

Erin Murrock
Technical Advisor

Erin Murrock applies over eight years of experience developing and implementing M&E systems to strengthen training and programmatic outcomes for international media and journalism training programs.

Tyler W. S. Nagel
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

Tyler is an instructor in the Journalism program at SAIT in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The focus of his teaching is online journalism: working with students to transition traditional print journalism skills to an online context while preserving the nature, spirit, and ethics of the journalism profession.

Why does media literacy matter?
“If you can’t read and understand, you can’t better society.”

Connect with Tyler on Twitter: @tylerwsnagel

Amy Nelson
Senior Producer, Strategist
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Amy is Senior Producer and Strategist for ABC Education. She has worked in digital media production, research and development and design for the past 20 years. With Astrid Scott, Amy was responsible for the delivering ABC Education’s Media Literacy Week website.

Isabel Nery
Journalist and Author
PhD Student

Journalist with several reporting awards and researcher in Literary Journalism, author of the nonfiction books: The Prisoners – Mothers Behind Bars (2012), Death Essay (2016), both adapted for short film, and the biography Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (2019). Graduate in International Relations, Master in Communication and Phd student in Communication.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Without media literacy the future of free information is at stake.”

Dr. Jocelyn Nettlefold
Manager, Media Education Partnerships
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Dr. Joce Nettlefold is Media Education Partnerships manager for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, focused on local journalism, community engagement, innovation and media literacy. She has more three decades’ experience in journalism and media leadership, with her work recognised by numerous awards, including a UN Peace Prize.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy enables and empowers you and your community.”

Connect with Dr. Nettlefold on Twitter: @jocenettlefold

Jane Nickerson
Gallaudet University

Jane Nickerson has taught media literacy, composition, reading, and literature and film courses at Gallaudet University, a liberal arts university for the Deaf located in Washington, D.C., for 36 years. She enjoys teaching a general studies course that focuses on having students capture their stories on videos.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy enables us to become critical thinkers about media.”

Sharon Pajka, PhD
Professor of English
Gallaudet University

Dr. Pajka is a Professor of English at Gallaudet University. She enjoys teaching courses in adolescent literature, vampires in literature and film, and dark tourism. On off-hours, she gives historical cemetery tours, and runs the Goth Gardening blog, using “gardening” as a metaphor for living a more gothy life.

Why does media literacy matter?
“We must know Truth and Beauty. “

Megan H. Pankiewicz
English Teacher
Teacher Leader, Doc Academy

Megan is a National Board Certified Teacher with over ten years of experience teaching high school English. She is a co-author of The Language of Composition, 3rd ed. and a former President of the Florida Council of Teachers of English. Currently, she teaches at Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Without media literacy, we’re just characters in a Bradbury story.”

Connect with Megan on Twitter: @MeganPank

Joanne Parsont
Director of Education
California Film Institute

Joanne Parsont is the Director of Education at the California Film Institute, overseeing a year-round program of screenings, events, seminars, and hands-on workshops for more than 10,000 students and community members each year. She is a film educator and film festival programmer specializing in youth media, documentary, and children’s film.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Our democracy depends on it. Our society demands it.”

Connect with Joanne on Twitter: @jojofest

Bert Pieters
Staff Member Training and
Practice Development

Bert works for Mediawijs, the Flemish Knowledge Centre for Digital and Media Literacy in Belgium. Bert trains teachers to enhance their media literacy skills, gives workshops to parents to introduce them in the world of vlogging and gaming and has cooperated with various organizations to launch pilot projects in media literacy in non-formal and formal education.

Why does media literacy matter?
Media are changing the world, so we better pay attention.

Connect with Bert on Twitter: @MediawijsBe

Rachel Powell, PhD
Senior Program Officer
Adjunct Professor

Dr. Powell is a public health professional with experience working at the federal government, a non-profit and other settings. Rachel’s educational background includes a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior and a Master of Public Health. Rachel is currently a Senior Program Officer, an independent consultant, and an adjunct professor.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy matters because media influences our intentions and behaviors.”

Connect with Rachel on Twitter: @POW_R

Elia Powers
Assistant Professor
Towson University

Elia is an assistant professor of journalism and new media at Towson University. As a journalist for more than 15 years, he has covered higher education, health, business, sports, media and the arts for publications such as The Los Angeles Times, Inside Higher Ed and MediaShift. His research interests are audience engagement and the impact of journalism; youth civic engagement and news/media literacy; and media and disability. He recently published an article about measuring the impact of solutions journalism.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Critical thinking is crucial in the digital age.”

Connect with Elia on Twitter: @eliapowers

Joanna Rabiega-Wisniewska, PhD

Dr. Rabiega-Wisniewska is an academic teacher and an e-learning specialist. She workw both with K-12 teachers and young students who develop and improve their IST competencies. Her goal is to pass on the knowledge and skills of how to be a real creator not only a recipient of modern culture.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy opens a universe of creativity and wisdom to us.”

Connect with Dr. Rabiega-Wisniewska on Twitter: @JoannaCereza

Mohammed Mizanur Rashid
Doctoral Student
School of Arts Technology and Emerging Communication
University of Texas – Dallas

Mohammed is a PhD student at the School of Arts Technology and Emerging Communication (ATEC) at the University of Texas in Dallas, and works in the multidimensional intersections of media technology, media psychology, social inequality, oppression, stereotyping and media literacy. He also works as a Research Assistant at the Laboratory of Media Psychology (LaMP) at the School of ATEC.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media Literacy is an active engagement against the evils of media stereotyping and manipulation.”

Connect with Mohammed on Twitter: @TrueIcaRash

Evanna Ratner, PhD
Gordon Academic College
Haifa University, Israel

Dr. Ratner is involved in teaching and research in teacher preparation and media literacy, Expert in “Dialogue through Media”, Peace Education and teaching and learning studies. She is the Coordinator of Media Studies at the Ministry of Education in Israel and a Teacher in Carmel Zvulun High School. She is involved in the ERASMUS+ project “Curriculum Development on Immigrants and Refugees Lives.”

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is a rebellious activity since it is promoting critical thinking skills.”

Connect with Evanna on Twitter: @evanna40

Theresa Redmond
Associate Professor
Media Studies and Teacher Education
Appalachian State University

Theresa is Associate Professor at Appalachian State University teaching in Media Studies and Teacher Education. Her research focuses on curriculum and pedagogy in teaching and learning with, through, and about media and technology, with emphasis on cultivating students’ preparation, fluency, and empowerment in digital environments through creative inquiry and expression.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is a thread connecting all learning through life.”

Connect with Theresa on Twitter: @TeachKnowlogy

Guy Reel, PhD
Winthrop University

Dr. Guy Reel is chairman and professor of the Department of Mass Communication at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. A former newspaper reporter and editor for The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Reel teaches journalism and mass communication and has written extensively about journalism and communication history. 

Why does media literacy matter?
“Democracy cannot survive if people cannot think critically about news.”

Connect with Guy on Twitter: @guyreel

Milton Reynolds
Outreach Consultant
Doc Academy

Milton Reynolds is nationally recognized for his expertise in equity, inclusion, diversity, and communication. He is a strategic thinker, thought leader, and community activist who works with non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and organizations to promote change, critical thinking, and improve the lives of others.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Decoding narrative structure is an increasingly critical skill.”

Connect with Milton on Twitter: @leftcoastpa

Wendy Rivenburgh
Senior Associate
Education Development Center

Wendy Rivenburgh, Senior Associate with the global nonprofit Education Development Center, is a specialist in project-based learning and media literacy with twenty years of experience. Through YouthLearn, Adobe Youth Voices, and other programs, Wendy designs professional development and curriculum for educators with an emphasis on civic engagement.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is the gateway to independent thought.”

Connect with Wendy on Twitter: @Wcreates

Eduardo Rivera
Reference & Instruction Librarian
New York Institute of Technology

Eduardo Rivera currently serves as a Reference/Instruction librarian at New York Institute of Technology and previously served as the Head of Reference Services at LIU Post. A graduate from the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Ed also earned a Masters’ degree in Education from Hofstra University as well as two double Bachelor degrees from SUNY Stony Brook, the first in Sociology and Social Science and the second in English and History. Professor Rivera is also the author of several articles in the fields of Library Science.

Michael RobbGrieco
Director of Curriculum & Technology Integration
Windham Southwest Supervisory Union

Michael RobbGrieco, Ph.D., is a researcher, teacher educator, and multimedia artist dedicated to media literacy education. He currently serves as Director of Curriculum and Technology Integration for K-12 public schools in Windham Southwest, Vermont, U.S.A., and as affiliated faculty with the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is the new humanities, key to intellectual curiosity.”

Connect with Michael on Twitter: @MikeRobbGrieco

Jeff Rogers
Media Integrator
Lycee Français de New York

Jeff Rogers is the Media Integrator at the Lycée Français de New York, a bilingual French international school in Manhattan.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is essential for civic engagement.”

Connect with Jeff on Twitter: @jffrgrs

Frank Romanelli
Senior Lecturer, Writing and Rhetoric Concurrent Enrollment Coordinator
University of Rhode Island

Frank Romanelli teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of Rhode Island. He coordinates the concurrent enrollment program, facilitates faculty development in project-based learning, technology and learning, and digital literacy and directs the writing and rhetoric production lab. He is also a faculty staff member of the Media Education Lab.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Success is knowing how to connect with each other.”

Connect with Frank on Twitter: @fromanelli41

Kristy Roschke
Managing Director, News Co/Lab
Arizona State University

Kristy Roschke is managing director of the News Co/Lab at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has a Ph.D. in journalism focused on media literacy. Roschke has taught journalism at the high school and university level for more than 15 years.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy empowers us to navigate our complex information ecosystem.”

Connect with Kristy on Twitter: @roshkekj

Virginia Mae Rowland
Media Production Teacher

Virginia teaches media production in Austin, TX. She works in the field as well as the classroom and believes teaching media production and literacy is one of the most important thing she’s ever done. Virginia enjoys working with youth media makers and exploring, with her students, personal expression through media literacy.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy matters because we are surrounded by media and its messages.”

Connect with Virginia Mae on Twitter: @lamar_media

Evelien Schilder
Learning Designer

Evelien Schilder is an (e-)learning designer at the RIPE NCC, a non-profit organization aimed towards shaping the future of the Internet. Her research efforts focus on media literacy assessment, combining her background in media (BSc and MSc in Communications) and education (PhD in Instructional Design & Technology).

Why does media literacy matter?
“It changes how we see and live in this world”

Connect with Evelien on Twitter: @evelienschilder

Sydney Schoff
Student, Saint Vincent College

Sydney Schoff is a member of the Saint Vincent College class of 2019. After getting her degree in communication with focuses in videography and children’s studies, Sydney is continually looking for ways to make the ever-changing media landscape (and the general public) a better place for the next generation.

Why does media literacy matter?
“We are able to see ourselves in what we create.”

Connect with Sydney on Twitter: @sydney_schoff

Astrid Scott
Senior Producer, Strategist
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Astrid is Senior Producer and Strategist for ABC Education. She has worked in the museums and galleries sector, digital media production and research and development over the past 20 years. With Amy Nelson, Astrid was responsible for the project delivery of ABC Education’s Media Literacy website.

Alyssa Serre
Student, Anchor

Alyssa Serre is a sixteen-year-old aspiring filmmaker and actress. She was born and raised in North Carolina and is a senior in high school. At her school, she is involved in Videography Club in which she co-anchors with her twin sister on her school’s news, Wolf TV.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It helps to bring up important issues.”

Connect with Alyssa on Twitter: @AlyssaSerre

Rachel Serre
Student, Anchor

I am a movie fanatic, especially since becoming a member of my school’s videography club and news show during my sophomore year. I started as a writer and now I am an anchor. I will be in charge of the show next year.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Times are changing.”

Connect with Rachel on Twitter: @rachel_serre

Jeff Share
Faculty Advisor
Teacher Education Program

Jeff Share’s research and practice focuses on preparing educators to teach critical media literacy in K-12 education, for the goals of social and environmental justice. Writing with Douglas Kellner, they have a new book coming out in 2019 called, The Critical Media Literacy Guide: Engaging Media and Transforming Education.

Why does media literacy matter?
“These are essential tools for democracy & justice.”
” Critical media literacy can empower students to understand and change their world.”

Connect with Jeff on Twitter: @CritML

Jaclyn Kahn Siegel
History Coordinator
Winston Preparatory School

Jaclyn is the history coordinator at Winston Preparatory School in New York City, and has been teaching for the past ten years. She is on NAMLE’s leadership council, and is the New York chapter leader for Media Literacy Now. Currently, she is working with an assembly member to pass media literacy legislation within New York state.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It matters because it impacts our lives on a daily basis.”

Connect with Jaclyn on Twitter: @jkSiegelmedia

John Silva, NBCT
Director of Education
The News Literacy Project

John is a former classroom teacher with 13 years in Chicago Public Schools. At NLP, he develops curriculum and education programs as well as professional development for educators.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because young people believe false things too easily.”

Connect with John on Twitter: @mrsilva

Amy Sindik
Associate Professor
Central Michigan University

Amy is an associate professor in the School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University. She teaches Media Law and Media Entrepreneurship courses. Her primary research interests include student understanding of the First Amendment, FCC policy development and administrative law.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It’s how you view and understand the world. “

Julie Smith
Webster University

On the faculty at Webster University in St Louis, author of Master the Media, have been teaching media literacy since 1997.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Our democracy depends on it.”

Connect with Julie on Twitter: @julnilsmith

Ali Soken
PhD Student
University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Ali is a PhD student of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies at UMass Amherst. His research interests are media literacy, teacher education, informal learning and computational thinking.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy is essential to transform society because we need it more than ever before.”

Connect with Ali on Twitter: @alisoken

Michael A. Spikes
PhD Student, Learning Sciences
Northwestern University

Michael has been teaching aspects of news media literacy for more than a 15 years. He is currently a Learning Sciences Ph.D. student at Northwestern University. He previously has worked with the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University, the Newseum and the DC public & public charter schools.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because Critical Thinking is a vital 21st century skill. “

Connect with Michael on Twitter: @iammikespikes

Samantha Stanley
PhD Candidate, University of Hong Kong
Lecturer, Hong Kong Baptist University

Samantha researches journalistic professionalism and education in the 21st century. She has studied and taught journalism and news literacy in Hong Kong for the last three years and will be a visiting scholar at the University of Rhode Island’s Media Education Lab for the second half of 2019.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Understanding influence in today’s digital media landscape can be tricky!”

Connect with Samantha on Twitter: @samarie82

Pam Steager
Senior Writer and Presenter
Media Education Lab

Pam Steager is a senior writer and presenter at the Media Education Lab. Her prior thirty-year career was in the education and human service fields. After completing the Media Literacy Scholars program in 1999, she directed the Media SmART! Project in Providence Public Schools. She has trained more than 3000 educators, librarians, journalists and students.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because it’s the most needed literacy for the 21st century.”

Connect with Pam on Twitter: @psteager

Michael Stoepel
User Services Librarian
American University – Paris

Michael Stöpel is the User Services Librarian for the American University of Paris. Originally from Munich (Germany), he joined AUP in 2001. He received his MA in Library and Information Science (MLIS) in 2010 from the Information School at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Because it just matters ! :)”

Man Su
PhD Student
Arizona State University

Man Su is a PhD student at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. She got her masters degree in Bilingual and Bicultural Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on the design, development, integration and evaluation of immersive learning experience.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Why? It prepares youth for civic engagement in the digital era.”

Connect with Man on Twitter: @EchosuTC

Darrel Swann
Sr. Faculty and Program Designer
Jacob Burns Film Center

After a BA from Boston College, Darrel studied at New York Film Academy. He’s been at the JBFC for 10 years after starting as a volunteer. Darrel’s perfect movie would be a musical coming-of-age story where a con artist forms a band. He enjoys curling up with a good audiobook.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Many can read images, few can “write” them.”

Connect with Darrel on Twitter: @MediaVader

Kyoko Takahashi
Professor, Journalism and Media Literacy
Waseda University, Tokyo

Kyoko Takahashi is a full-time professor teaching Journalism and Media Literacy in the Journalism Program at the Graduate School of Political Science, Waseda University, Tokyo. Since 2003 Takahashi has been active in the Media Literacy movement in Japan as a directors of the FCT Media Literacy Research Institute.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media Literacy can help people engage actively in the media.”

Connect with Kyoko on Twitter: @KTakahashilabo

Ariel Taylor
Youth Media Coordinator

Ariel Taylor, Youth Media Educator with 12 years experience in youth development, media literacy, and curriculum creation. Currently she works at Philadelphia’s Public Access TV Station where her students have learned to analyze and dissect media by producing thought-provoking work for their monthly show “Youth Powered Media” along with creating several radio pieces for our station WPPM 106.5 FM.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media literacy matters because it gives us control over our own narratives.”

Connect with Ariel on Twitter: @phillycam

Benjamin Thevenin
Associate Professor of Media Arts
Brigham Young University

Benjamin Thevenin is an Associate Professor of Media Arts at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Benjamin’s studies focus on the relationships between youth, media and politics, and in particular, how we can better prepare young people to become thoughtful citizens, consumers and creators of media. Benjamin teaches classes on creativity, children’s media, new media, and media education. Benjamin serves on NAMLE’s Leadership Council and as Associate Editor of the International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy. He lives with his wife Emily and three boys in the beautiful Wasatch mountains.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Ours is the search for truth in the most realistic of ways–the making of things”

Erika Thorsen
High School English Teacher

Erika Thorsen has been teaching English for 24 years. In addition to a variety of classes, she currently teaches a Media Studies elective, which she proposed and developed for her district. Erika recently completed her library media endorsement and looks forward to sharing information literacy skills with a wider audience.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Critical thinking is critical to the health of a society.”

Benjamin Thurn
Senior Program Officer for Media Programs
American Councils

Benjamin is a Senior Program Officer for Media Programs at American Councils, where he helps organize international camps, workshops and teacher trainings that focus on media creation. He is passionate about media education and emerging storytelling technology like augmented and virtual reality. He has taught in South Korea, Turkey, and India.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Analyzing and responding to media messages is an invaluable skill.”

Connect with Ben on Twitter: @benthunderbolt

Vitor Manuel Nabais Tomé, PhD

A professor at Autonoma University of Lisbon, professional journalist, and researcher at CIES-University Institute of Lisbon, Vitor Tomé is currently acting as an international expert (Dialogue EU-Brazil; Digital Citizenship Education – Council of Europe), a scientific coordinator (Ministry of Education, Portugal) and a researcher in several national and international projects.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Understanding the World: Media Literacy is the message!”

Connect with Vitor on Twitter: @vitortome

Tom Toomey
Program Administrator for the Executive Vice President’s Office
American Councils

Since 1994, Tom has worked for American Councils in countries such as Russia, Afghanistan, India, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Senegal. The focus of his work is educational programming for youth with emphasis on English language and critical thinking development and building digital literacy skills. Tom enjoys inspiring a new generation of independent thinkers to help them shape their future.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It is the modern way of sharing ideas and communication.”

Connect with Tom on Twitter: @toomey_tom

Durgesh Tripathi Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Coordinator Ph.D. Program
University School of Mass Communication
Indraprastha University, New Delhi 

Katherine Trouem-Trend
Youth Services Librarian
Hartford Public Library

Katherine Trouern-Trend is a librarian at the Hartford Public Library in Hartford, CT. She designs and facilitates STEM learning and literacy opportunities for youth and teens in the library and at Hartford Public Schools. Katherine received her MLS from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Questioning information leads to insight and growth.”

Connect with Katherine on Twitter: @kttrend

Alexis Romero Walker
Doctoral Student
UNC-Chapel Hill

Alexis Romero Walker is a doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill in the School of Media and Journalism. Alexis received her masters in media literacy and social justice from Sacred Heart University and now focuses her research on Critical Media Literacy and modes of representation in film media in relation to feminist, critical race, and queer theory. Alexis is passionate about media literacy, social justice, and making sure marginalized communities are represented honestly in fictional spaces.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Media Literacy matters because everyone should be treated with empathy. “

Connect with Alexis on Twitter: @AlexisRomWalker

Tariq Warren

Tariq is a Hartford native, who currently engages in music, apparel design and hosts his own podcast focused on topics that circulate within current media. Tariq’s goal is to be a business owner and open his own clothing store.

Why does media literacy matter?
“It helps people gain information to make necessary life choices.”

Nygel White

Nygel is a talented creative who focuses on photography and videography, while remaining a dedicated youth mentor in his hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. Nygel is motivated to positively impact the youth, because he sees their potential, but also sees the lack of support they receive.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Knowledge is power & the youth need more of both.”

Ryan Whitfield
Student, Story Producer/Editor

I’m a lead editor and producer of our weekly high school newscast. I’m from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and have been fascinated by video production since playing with point-n-shoot camcorders and Windows Movie Maker as a kid. I’m a fan of subversive, surrealist comedy and incorporate that into my work.

Connect with Ryan on Twitter: @whitty_rl

Tess Wilson
Outreach Librarian

Tess Wilson is a public librarian who loves talking loudly about data literacy and online privacy. She currently serves as the YALSA blog manager and was an ALA Emerging Leader. Beyond her library work, she is an arts educator and an advocate for mentorship. She’s a collector of many things, from small rocks to big books.

Why does media literacy matter?
“Our world will only become more media-driven as time goes on.”

Connect with Tess on Twitter: @tesskwg

Tyrus Wilson

Tyrus is a musician who is skilled in rapping, as well as music engineering and production. Tyrus is currently working on developing a HOMAGO Music Group at YOUmedia Hartford; and his ultimate goal is to own a music production company.

Why does media literacy matter?
“As an artist, I would like to be represented correctly as I pursue my career.”

Melda N. Yildiz, EdD
Associate Professor and Chair
Instructional Technology
New York Institute of Technology

Melda N. Yildiz is a global scholar, assessment and curriculum consultant, instructional designer, author, and edupreneur. Yildiz served as a Fulbright Scholar in Turkmenistan (2009) and Azerbaijan (2016), teaching and conducting research integrating new media and technologies in P16 classrooms. She worked as a media specialist and the director of media services at Northfield Mount Hermon School and taught media literacy and production to grades 9-12.

Why does media literacy matter?
For our health, children and democracy.

Connect with Melda on Twitter: @myildiz