Panel 1: Visual Communication

Kate Mays



Kate is a M.A. Candidate of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University. Her interests include media convergence, and the effects of emerging media on individuals and their relationships. Her current research examines young people’s use of Facebook in identity construction and self-presentation during the transition from high school to college. In Fall 2015, Kate will be continuing her studies in the Emerging Media Studies PhD program at BU.

Presenting Paper: The Facebooked self from high school to college: Do online representations of the self shift when the offline context changes?

Lei Chen

Lei is a M.A. Candidate of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University. Her research interests are based on how new media content shapes user’s perception on social concepts. Her current project studies how Instagram posts influence user’s understanding on the idea of clean eating.

Presenting Paper: Clean Eating on Instagram

Kate Hoyt

Kate Hoyt

Kate is a Graduate Teaching Instructor in the Communication Studies department with a specialization in virtual and digital communication at the University of Denver. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Emergent Digital Practices from the University of Denver and is working toward her PhD. She is interested in affect, the body and technology-human hybridity. More specifically, her work examines the role of the body within virtual spheres of communication.

Presenting PaperThe Visual Affect of the Hashtag: #HandsUpDontShoot and the Body in Peril

Panel 2: Platforms & Participation

Brittany is a M.A. Candidate of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University. Her research interests include media psychology, cultural studies, user experience, and visual rhetoric.  Her current project explores the perceptions of wearable technology in the medical field and the diffusion of medical technology.

Presenting Paper: Google Glass and the Diffusion of Wearable Medical Technology

Brittany Andersen



Zach is a PhD candidate (ABD) in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts. He received his B.S. and M.A. from Arizona State University, both in Communication Studies. Zach’s primary interests focus on how media technologies influence how we communicate and produce culture, particularly in regards to collaboration in digitally mediated cultural production. Zach is the Managing Editor and co-founder of the Open Access Journal communication +1, a Wikipedia Teaching Fellow, and a Doctoral Fellow at the National Center for Digital Government. His website can be found at zachmcdowell.com.

Mike is a Lecturer in Communication & Media Studies at the University of New Hampshire. He received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and his M.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, both in Communication. Mike’s research interests generally focus on digital media and politics, and lately has focused on how digital platforms and spaces can function as a public good or commons. He also has a background in media policy advocacy and research, having been a Media Policy Fellow at Free Press. He lives locally, in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston.

Presenting Paper:Monetizing a Meme: YouTube, and the Harlem Shake

Zach McDowell

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Michael Soha


Lauren is a M.A. Candidate of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University. Her research interest is focused on civil and social changes as they unfold on social media platforms. Her current project explores active and passive Tweets within two major social movements- privacy rights and climate change- and how these message can have an impact on offline activism efforts.

Presenting Paper: Activism Movements on Twitter: Active and Passive Users

Lauren Sale


Panel 3: Civil Society Online

Jen Filiault


Jen came to the Emerging Media Studies at Boston University with an interest in the relationships between political/social movements, new communication technologies and social media.  After graduating from the University of Vermont in 2007, Jen began community organizing work in Massachusetts to build support for renewable energy in her hometown on Cape Cod.  She incorporates her EMS studies into her work to help grassroots organizations implement strategic communications, broaden public education and coordinate activist campaigns through new media platforms.

Presenting Paper: Mediation’s Impact on Climate Change Activism Among Massachusetts Mothers

Sarah Forman


A native Washingtonian, Sarah is a recent graduate of Boston University. Caught somewhere between a techno-phobe and a techno-fan, she hopes to be a part of and a contributor to the critical engagement with the developing technological landscape. A Communication major and Philosophy minor, she is particularly interested in policy development, identity formation and meaning making in mediated and technological cultures, as well as the role of individual media in creating and informing context. Sarah will be moving to Shanghai in July, where she will be teaching Middle School English Language Arts, though she plans to pursue graduate level education in the future.

Presenting Paper: Google: A Look Inside Technological Corporate Culture

Kiran Seth


Kiran is a M.A. Candidate of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University. Her research interests are based around the use of new media by non-profits and the impact of media on how gender-based issues are framed. Her current projects explore how social media is used within university environments based on strategic communication principles, and how controversial issues such as same-sex marriage are framed in new and traditional media platforms.

Presenting Paper:  How Social Media is Used Within Universities: Student Group v. University Organizations

Panel 4: Gatekeepers and Borders

Muira is a Beinecke Scholar, former Turkey Fulbrighter, alumna of Carleton College, and current M.A. candidate in Translation Studies at UMass-Amherst. She probes the corners and crevices of cyberspace to better understand the political, legal, ethical, spatial, and ideological challenges involved in translating Tweets. Her research interests lie at the intersection of law, politics, and translation, primarily focusing on prison libraries and the complexities of multilingual cyberspace. This summer, she’s also working as a research assistant at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Presenting PaperTranslating Tweets: A Challenging Feat for Activists 

Muira McCammon


Andrew is a PhD student in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests surround the role of the Internet, particularly social media, in conflict and politics. Prior to MIT, he worked at the Council on Foreign Relations’ Center for Preventive Action as a research associate and assistant director. He has field experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone, among other conflict-affected states.

Presenting Paper: #DictatorErdogan: How Online Censorship Can Backfire

Andrew Miller

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Bio coming soon..

Presenting Paper:
#Revolution and Reaction: Digital Culture and Rabbinic Authority

Hayyim Rothman

Guest Speakers


fiedler_tomThomas Fiedler, Dean, College of Communication, Boston University








James E. KatzFeld Professor of Emerging Media; Director, Division of Emerging Media Studies, Boston University








Opening Remark


Jacob Groshek, Assistant Professor in the Division of Emerging Media Studies at College of Communication, Boston University









tsay_minaMina Tsay-Vogel, Assistant Professor in the Division of Communication at College of Communication, Boston University

The psychological and interpersonal impact of emerging media: Bridging academia and practice 

Dr. Tsay-Vogel will be discussing the impact of emerging media with particular focus on long-term psychological and interpersonal effects. She will address how and where academic research and industry practices intersect to produce the most effective synergy in emerging media studies. Further, avenues for future research in emerging media studies and their implications for human communication will be presented.