Lichen Zhen

Lichen Zhen is a Ph.D. student at Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining Annenberg, she received her B.A. in Journalism from Wuhan University and her M.A. from the Radio, Television and Film department at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests lie at the intersection of social network analysis, online group collaboration, and organizational communication. She is especially interested in how individuals use technology to form groups,… Read More » “Lichen Zhen”

Juan Ortiz Freuler

Juan Ortiz Freuler is an incoming PhD student at Annenberg, and an Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center. Juan explores how political systems can be affected by design choices at the internet and web layers of the stack.
Juan is also Co-Initiator of the Non-Aligned Tech Movement, an Associate at JustLabs and a member of the Tierra Común network of researchers. Between 2017 and 2020 Juan was a Senior Policy Fellow at the Web Foundation, where he provided support to Tim Berners-Lee,… Read More » “Juan Ortiz Freuler”

Soyun Ahn

Soyun is a Ph.D. student at USC Annenberg. Her research explores how information technologies, communication practices, and political systems interact to bring about social change.
Prior to USC, she earned her MA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and BA in Law from Yonsei University in South Korea. In between, she worked for a tech company building a social media platform for four years…. Read More » “Soyun Ahn”

Olivia Gonzalez

Olivia Gonzalez is a PhD student at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of San Diego with a B.A. in Communication Studies. Her honors thesis, “‘Mom and dad don’t get it’: Investigating Adolescents’ Motivations for Participating in the Internet Meme Genre”, explored how adolescents utilize Internet memes in their digital communication practices to shape their interpersonal relationship and identity formation.
Olivia is a Ronald E. McNair scholar, and a member of the Lambda Pi Eta and Phi Beta Kappa national honor societies…. Read More » “Olivia Gonzalez”

Paulina Lanz

Paulina Lanz is a PhD student at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication. She identifies in buildings and urban place a source of memoirs and nostalgia, which are essential to media foundations. Alongside her academic background with a BA in Communications and an MA in Art Studies from Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City), cities have led her to research a convergence among culture and media studies at the hand of film. The theoretical immersion to an empirical method of approaching film and cultural studies through an aesthetic perspective stimulated an interdisciplinary commitment from former disciplines to present endeavor;… Read More » “Paulina Lanz”

Hoan (Sarah) Nguyen

Sarah Nguyen is a PhD student at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication. Her research interests lie in the field of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Society, with a focus on technology for social change, digital humanities and (in)equalities. Her studies investigate the role technology and new media, such as the mobile phone and Internet, play in transnational migration processes, the empowerment of underserved populations, as well as various forms of socio-political changes. She is also interested in issues of power,… Read More » “Hoan (Sarah) Nguyen”

Kurt Daum

Kurt is a first-year PhD student in Urban Planning and Development at the Price School of Public Policy, and is currently studying the implications of the digital divide in Skid Row and beyond with ARNIC. More broadly, his research interests lie in the areas of homelessness, community planning, critical GIS, and recently, queer studies. Kurt received his BA in geography from the University of Miami where he researched and published on the electronic waste trade in West Africa…. Read More » “Kurt Daum”

Cerianne Robertson

Cerianne Robertson is a first-year PhD student in communications at USC-Annenberg. She researches the media narratives, discourses, and practices that sustain power relations, as well as the opportunities available to disrupt and change them. She is particularly interested in the stories we tell about cities. Cerianne previously worked as the Editor and Media Monitoring Coordinator for, a Rio de Janeiro-based media platform that emerged to amplify favela resident perspectives and monitor urban transformations in the build-up to the 2016 Olympics…. Read More » “Cerianne Robertson”

Sierra Bray

Sierra Bray is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Annenberg School of Communication. Passionate about bridging the principles of organizational communication with critical and cultural theory, Sierra’s research areas include the social construction of power in organizations, the effects of gender dynamics and gender stereotypes on group members, and the relationship of technology to historically marginalized communities. Prior to Annenberg, Sierra graduated summa cum laude from the University of Portland with a B.S. in Organizational Communication and Spanish…. Read More » “Sierra Bray”

Thai V. Le

Thai, currently a Ph.D. student at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC), is studying the causes and effects of institutionalized inequities on community development and social mobility. His work and research have included the intersection of mental health and homelessness, disaggregating Asian American Pacific Islander data, the efficacy of social impact bonds on relieving homelessness, food security in low-income communities, and post-natural disaster development among marginalized groups. Prior to his time at USC,… Read More » “Thai V. Le”

Andrea Alarcon

Andrea’s interests lie in the intersection of ICTD and cultural internet studies, as well as transculturalism and multilingualism on the web. She is particularly interested in the appropriation of social media in developing countries, especially as gateways to the web, and the influence of socioeconomic background and entrenched inequalities on the online experience. She received her MSc degree from the Oxford Internet Institute, and her BSc in online journalism from the University of Florida. She also worked as a Research Assistant with Microsoft Research’s Social Media Collective…. Read More » “Andrea Alarcon”

Anna Loup

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Anna Loup focused her undergraduate research on cooperative development, ICT, and gender. Her undergraduate thesis studied the interactions of female immigrant cooperative members with technology within the private and public spheres.
Her current research looks at the social, political, and economic implications of the Internet’s policy and technical structures. A former researcher at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Anna managed data collection and publication for the Generic Top-level Domains Program (gTLD)…. Read More » “Anna Loup”

Nahoi Koo

Nahoi Koo received her B.A. in Communication Studies and Economics from Northwestern University. She also has a minor degree in Chinese Language & Culture. During her undergraduate years, she spent her summers studying abroad at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. She has also completed internships at Edelman PR agency and South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which led to her interests in studying discourse that involves state-to-state and state-to-public communication in the context of globalization and modernity…. Read More » “Nahoi Koo”

Sarah Clayton

A proud “northerner” from the UK, Sarah Clayton earned her BA in New Media and her LLM in Cyberlaw from the University of Leeds. Her undergraduate thesis examined the IPTV regulatory landscape and her focus shifted to human rights, intellectual property, and access to knowledge during her LLM. While at university, she coauthored a book chapter: Social Media Marks: Adapting Traditional Rights Protection to the Evolving Communications Landscape, represented the UK at the United Nations-funded New Media Summer School: The Web of Tomorrow is Yours in Stockholm,… Read More » “Sarah Clayton”