About Us

The Graduate Student Caucus is an initiative of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. First formed over coffee in March of 2005, our caucus is now an all-volunteer organization specifically designed to serve the particular needs of a new generation of emerging media literacy scholars. Together, we are striving to create an online community that can bridge the vast geography separating our respective institutions. Our resource-based network pools relevant information that nurtures our academic pursuits and career aspirations. We are, in short, a support group. Get to know us. Did you know that caucus rhymes with raucous?

Maria Filomia is a Ph.D student in the Dipartimento di Scienze Umane e della Formazione, at the Università degli Studi di Perugia. She has been an educator, an expert in family education, and she has taught in the Media Education laboratories at the Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione. Maria’s research area is in media education, with a particular interest in the relationship between families and media. She also investigates school activities and the dynamics of interactive whiteboards.
Sarah Bordac is a doctoral student in Library and Information Science at Simmons College. For the past three years, she has coordinated communications and instructional design at the Brown University Library and is always looking for ways to improve services for students, faculty and staff. She received her B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in visual media from The American University and her M.A. in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. She has worked for the Center for Media Literacy, the Museum of Tolerance, and numerous technology-enhanced learning environments. Sarah's research area is the relationship between media literacy skills, a person's communication need, and interaction design, with particular interest in undergraduate student needs.

Michael RobbGrieco became a student again in 2006 entering Temple University's Mass Media and Communication doctoral program. Originally from Baltimore, MD, Mike taught public high school English and ESL for six years in New Hampshire after earning a Master of Arts in Teaching from UNH and a BA in English from Bucknell University. Over the years, occupational meanderings in publishing, film, music and nuclear power have given way to a focused career interest in practicing and promoting K-12 media literacy education. You can read about some of Mike's media literacy teaching exploits in Dr. Renee Hobbs' new book Reading the Media: Media Literacy in High School English. Mike is most interested in helping pre-service and practicing teachers weave media literacy inquiry into their curricula to motivate learners.

Finishing her term on the NAMLE Board of Directors, Jill Fellow is also graduating in August with a masters of Instruction Psychology and Technology with an emphasis in media literacy at Brigham Young University. Hailing from California, she is a retired news reporter who teaches media literacy and news writing at Utah Valley State College. Her broad research interests include teaching teens about the media production process to encourage critical thinking and self-esteem, but her most specific and important project is raising her beautiful three month old daughter and teaching parents to fight back against marketing to children. She has abandoned her former dreams of the Peace Corps and is now a professional roadie for her husbands rock band Chris Merritt. Check them out!!!

Kelly Mendoza is a Ph.D. student in the Mass Media & Communication program at Temple University. Since receiving an M.A. in Communication from the University of Colorado at Denver, she has taught communication courses at several universities and worked as a research assistant on multiple media literacy projects. Kelly has also helped to develop, implement, and evaluate two online game projects promoting media literacy: 1) TEAM: deconstructing tobacco representation in film; 2) My Pop Studio: an online play experience for adolescent girls. Having provided media literacy workshops to tweens and parents, Kelly aims to further educate parents about different mediation techniques and media literacy solutions. She currently works on media literacy initiatives at Temple's Media Education Lab.

Michelle Kistler Arganbright  is a PhD student in Communication at the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University. She has a B.A. in Business Administration and received her M.A. in Human Development in 2004. Her media literacy interests revolve around tween and adolescent pop culture (music videos, magazines, fashion, etc.) and its impact on self-concept and sexual attitudes/behaviors. She hopes to work on program development and evaluation, including the development of a parent-child family-based media literacy program. She has also started dabbling in responses to sexual media using psychophysiological techniques. Michelle resides in Pullman with her two children: Emily age 5, and Evan, age 3. You can download Michelle's CV here.

Paul Mihailidis is a Doctoral Student at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. He is originally from Boston, MA. He completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Masters in Media/Publishing studies from Stirling University, Scotland. Thereafter, he worked for two years as an editor at Allyn & Bacon Publishing house before returning to school. His research area is on Media Literacy in Higher Education.

Colleen Sheehy
is a 4th year doctoral student in the University of
Central Florida's College of Education Curriculum and Instruction
program. Hailing from Michigan, Colleen earned a BA in Middle School
Education from the University of Kentucky where she was also a member of the UK Gymnastics team for four years. After graduation, she moved to
Orlando, FL, where she earned her MA from UCF in Instructional Systems
Design in 2002. She has been a teacher for 9 years and currently
teaches 10th grade English at an Orlando high school. She will defend
her dissertation in Fall 2007. The title of her dissertation is: The
Impact of a Media Literacy Education Plan on the Florida Comprehensive
Assessment Test (FCAT) Reading Scores of 9th and 10th Grade Students.

Sara Keenan is a Masters student in the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University.   For the past three years, Sara taught language arts to middle school students in Chicago, integrating media literacy and video production into her curriculum. After observing the powerful impact that media education had on her own students, she became committed to extending media education for all students. Sara is a Reynolds Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship at NYU and will be researching organizational models that inspire classroom teachers to become leaders in the media education movement.

Sarah Walkowiak is working on her Masters of Science in Professional
Communication at Clark University with a focus on Media Literacy, and
completed her Bachelor of Science in Technical, Scientific and Professional Communication at WPI. She is currently working in the field of educational technology. Her primary areas of interest are media literacy for emerging technologies, representation of women in the media, and extending the field of media literacy beyond the k-12 space to the adult population. Sarah's interest in media literacy began when her high school newspaper was abolished because of the principal's disagreement with one of her articles.

Jiwon Yoon is a first year doctoral student at Temple. She received an M.A. in Media Ecology from NYU, and a B.A. in Mass Communication from Handong University in South Korea where she was a media educator in alternative high schools for underprivileged students and North Korean refugees. After moving to Philadelphia, Jiwon taught for the Digital Media Training Program in Youth Empowerment Services. Her current research interests include media literacy, self/identity development and cultural learning in multiple media environments. She hopes to someday apply all these studies to examine media usage of North Korean adolescents and develop appropriate media education programs and curricula.

Christopher Boulton is a PhD student in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Originally hailing from the Midwest, Chris has worked for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, taught documentary film production in Ecuador, and written scripts for Travel Channel, CourtTV, and Discovery. Inspired by the emerging media reform movement, Chris re-entered the academy to research media literacy and consumer culture. You can watch his thesis defense here.