Media Ethics Initiative Research Scholars (2019-2020)
Emma Carr is a senior from Houston, Texas studying advertising with a minor in business foundations at the University of Texas at Austin. She has past experience assisting companies with various marketing needs, specifically expanding and growing social media presence. After learning about the Media Ethics Initiative through a current research scholar, she became interested in their work and wanted to use her past advertising experience to get involved. Emma is excited to work with the Media Ethics Initiative team to help spread more awareness of their work.
Claire Coburn is an undergraduate research assistant at the Center for Media Engagement. She is currently a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Michelle Collins is an advertising intern for the Media Ethics Initiative. She is pursuing a B.A. degree in Advertising and a minor in Business at the University of Texas at Austin. She is interested in expanding the reach of the Media Ethics Initiative’s educational content.
Neha Dronamraju is a public health junior at UT Austin. She is interested in health communication as it relates to media narratives — presenting health-related messages as stories instead of statistical facts and figures. As a Media Ethics Initiative research scholar, Neha hopes to explore topics at the intersection of bioethics, health communication and modern media.
Kathryn Galanis is majoring in Corporate Communication with a minor in Business. She is from Dallas, Texas and became interested in the Media Ethics Initiative after writing a case study for Dr. Stroud’s Communication Ethics class. Her case study analyzed the privacy issues involved in COVID-19 tracing, which sparked her interest in media ethics. As a Media Ethics Initiative research scholar, she is excited to delve into more media ethics issues, especially those relating to privacy and social media.
Romi Geller is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in Hebrew at The University of Texas at Austin. She is an undergraduate research assistant for the propaganda program at the Center for Media Engagement and she is excited to expand her research into media ethics as part of the research scholars program.
Nhu Nguyen is a biology and Plan II double major at The University of Texas at Austin. As a Media Ethics Initiative research scholar, she looks forward to exploring the different ethical dilemmas in the media and their implications.
Dakota Park-Ozee is a Graduate Research Associate for the Media Ethics Initiative. She is a doctoral student in Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in political communication. Her research focuses on press-state relations, political intermediaries, and socio-political crisis and controversy. She holds a B.A. from the University of Alabama and an M.S. from the University of Utah. She is excited to focus on cases on media ethics in South Asia in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin’s South Asia Institute.
Justin Pehoski is a graduate research associate assisting with editing and administrative responsibilities. He is a doctoral student in Communication Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include media ethics, pragmatism and rhetoric, public discourse, and philosophy of communication. He holds B.A. degrees in Psychology and Journalism from California State University, Chico, and an M.A. degree in Communication Studies from UT, Austin. For two years he served as assistant managing editor of the Paradise Post which twice won the California Newspaper Publishers Association first-place award for general excellence. Justin is also the editorial assistant for Media Ethics.
Cammie Prostko is a senior advertising major with a minor in business foundations who grew up in Austin. She fell in love with advertising after taking a class on the Psychology of Advertising and also learned about the Media Ethics Initiative through a peer who had taken Dr. Stroud’s Communication Ethics class and loved it. Cammie also took an Advertising/PR Law and Ethics class that made her realize the great impact that media can have on society and the importance of a company to have a strong ethical foundation. She is excited to spread awareness for the Media Ethics Initiative and hopes to create affecting resources for the program during her time as an intern at MEI.
Amanda Russell is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Radio-Television-Film. She’s interested in exploring the ethics of certain practices within the entertainment industry. Amanda likes to focus on the art and entertainment space on the internet and the implications emerging artforms present on the current industry and culture.
Bassam Syed is a senior Government major at the University of Texas at Austin. Bassam became interested in media ethics, particularly health communication, during the COVID-19 pandemic where he saw the importance of providing factual information to the public in order to make them better informed and safer. As a Media Ethics Initiative Research Scholar, Bassam hopes to research the ethical implications of political influence on health communications and its effect on public opinion.
Ishana Syed is majoring in neuroscience with a minor in philosophy, with hopes of attending graduate school to conduct research in cognitive and computational neuroscience. After taking the communication ethics course with Dr. Stroud, she found an interest in researching the ethics behind the all too often phenomenon of false reporting of current events. Ishana is excited to utilize the Media Ethics Initiative to conduct case studies that further examine such instances, with hopes of playing a small role in redirecting the goal of many current media outlets and journalists to report with accuracy, rather than reporting for recognition, to mitigate the spread of misinformation across societies.
Sebastian Valdez-Oranday is a senior journalism major at The University of Texas at Austin. He became interested in media ethics after taking a communication ethics course. He is interested in media coverage of government and politics. As a Media Ethics Initiative Scholar, Sebastian plans on researching ethical questions that arise in media coverage of politics. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a career in law.
Madi Thomason is a senior studying Journalism and Political Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. She became interested in being a part of the Media Ethics Initiative while taking a course on communication ethics. Madi is fascinated by politics and how journalistic organizations act as framers for the national conversation. As a research scholar, she wants to explore the ethical implications of the media’s influence on politics and public opinion.
Michaela Urban is a Sustainability Studies and Iberian/Latin American Languages and Cultures double major at the University of Texas at Austin. After taking Dr. Stroud’s Communication Ethics class, she became interested in exploring and applying moral theories, such as those proposed by Kant, to expose the ethical issues of diverse situations. She hopes that the MEI internship will strengthen her critical writing skills and she is particularly interested in connecting issues in communications with current issues facing the environment.
Chloe Young is a journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin. She studied digital reporting and audience engagement under journalists at D Magazine and the Dallas Morning News. As an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Media Ethics Initiative, she hopes to encourage broader understanding and engagement surrounding the pressing ethical dilemmas that shape American media. She also seeks to create and promote tangible tools that best aid students and educators, media institutions, and citizens in incorporating democratic, ethical media practices into their everyday lives amidst a divided, and often hostile, digital landscape.
Hailey Wammack is a Communication and Leadership major at The University of Texas at Austin with a minor in Media and Entertainment Industries. She learned about the Media Ethics Initiative from taking Dr. Stroud’s Communication Ethics class. Through Dr. Stroud’s class, she recognized her curiosity of ethics. She is looking forward to improving her writing skills and gaining knowledge about ethics within topics that she is passionate about.
Kat Williams is a Graduate Research Associate for the Media Ethics Initiative. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in rhetoric and language. Her research interests include ethics, political communication, and social movements. She holds a B.S. in Communication Studies and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.