Discussants & Guests

Panel 1: Visual Communication Discussants


Jill Walsh

Postdoctoral Fellow, Sociology, Boston University

Jill Walsh is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Mobile Communications. She obtained a PhD in Sociology from Boston University in 2014. Her dissertation is entitled The Highlight Reel and Real Me: How adolescents construct the Facebook fable. Her research also considers the potential impacts this public self dialogue may have for youth development. She has presented her research at national conferences and has earned several financial awards to support her work, including a dissertation writing fellowship.


Michelle Goodwin

Managing Supervisor, Digital/Social Media, FleishmanHilllard

Michelle Goodwin provides counsel on digital and social media strategy. She also brings expertise in measurement and community management. In addition to her previous agency roles, Goodwin has worked as an in-house publicist for two independent record labels

Panel 2: Platforms & Participation Discussants


Lei Guo

Assistant Professor, Division of Emerging Media Studies, Boston University

Dr. Lei Guo earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. Her research focuses on the development of media effects theories, emerging media technologies and democracy, and international communication. Her studies have been published in a number of leading peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Guo has also been invited to write book chapters about journalism and communication in the United States and China. Her recent work includes co-editing a book The Power of Information Networks: New Directions for Agenda Setting published by Routledge.


Maggie Griffith Williams

Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Maggie Griffith Williams earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012. Her research largely focuses on social uses of new and mobile media in various communities, with occasional explorations into critical-cultural studies of popular culture texts. Her research has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, including Mobile Media & Communication and First Monday. In September 2015, Dr. Williams will join Northeastern University’s Department of Communication Studies as a Post Doctoral Teaching Associate.

Panel 3: Civil Society Online Discussants


Linda Gallant

Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director, Department of Communication Studies, Emerson College

Dr. Gallant’s teaching and research interests include the application of research methods to social computing and the maximization of information and communication technology (ICT) to advance human communication in multiple contexts – healthcare, politics, and the workplace. She brings a disciplinary background in communication studies to burgeoning area of user experience design. Her studies have been published in various prestigious journals.

Jain - B&W Profile Pic

Anshul Jain

Consultant, Keystone Strategy

Anshul Jain is a political scientist whose research has centered on political communication in the age of new and emerging media platforms.  He is the co-author, with James Katz and Michael Barris, of The Social Media President: Barack Obama and the Politics of Digital Engagement, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.  He has published a number of other articles, presented at numerous conferences in the field, been interviewed in print and on television, and will be defending his dissertation this summer.  Most recently, Anshul joined Keystone Strategy, a business consulting firm in Cambridge, MA where his works involves tactical research and advising for a variety of Fortune 500 clients, as well as for leading high-technology, industrial and manufacturing start-ups.

Panel 4: Gatekeepers and Borders Discussants


H. Denis Wu

Associate Professor, Communication, Boston University

Denis Wu started his academic career after earning his Ph.D. in Mass Communication in 1998. His research focuses on media effects, international communication, and political communication. A recipient of several top faculty paper awards, he has won multiple research grants, delivered more than fifty academic and professional presentations and published more than thirty refereed articles and book chapters. He has co-authored three books: Media, Politics, and Asian Americans (with Tien-Tsung Lee, 2009), The Media Are Ill: The Symptoms and Solutions of Taiwanese News Environment (with Emily Lin, 2013), and Image and Emotion in Voter Decisions: The Affect Agenda (with Renita Coleman, 2015).


Al Petras

Senior Vice President, Bank of America

For the last ten years, Al Petras have been splitting time between the United States and Asia as part of a team that manages the relationship with a major partner bank in China. Prior to current role, ran large, technology infrastructure projects in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Featured by CIO Magazine as one of most successful Y2K project managers for efforts at RR Donnelley and Sons.

Other Attending Industrial Professional


Phil Redman

Senior Manager, Mobility Strategy, Accenture Digital

An enterprise product marketing and strategy specialist with broad, global expertise and 15 plus years experience in the technology business, specializing in product management, strategic planning, go-to-market, branding and assessments for wireless communications and next-generation data (4G/5G), wireless carriers, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), mobile software, mobile security, device management and IT outsourcing. An accomplished presenter and speaker, he brings the vision of mobility to thousands of professionals worldwide.