Current Student Profiles

  • Majed AlharthiMajed Alharthi

    Majed Alharthi is an international student from Saudi Arabia who has worked in academic institutions for more than 10 years. Prior to joining the CMIT PhD program, Majed taught communication courses at King Abdul-Aziz University in Saudi Arabia. He also previously served as both director of student affairs and director of the training department in King Fahd University. Majed’s research focus on cross-cultural communication within multinational organizations. His current research aims to examine and improve the quality of internal communication within organizations that have employees from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

    Mark BeekmanMark Beekman

    Mark Beekman has worked in commercial television for 28 years in a variety of technical capacities. After leaving the industry in 2014, Mark joined the CMIT program to continue his academic work. His research interests lie in new digital media and its effects on our abilities to multitask and learn. Additional research interests lie in intercultural communication and American urban social justice issues. Mark’s interests in social justice and media ethics have led him to do work with the National Communications Association and to conduct a qualitative study with non-government organizations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The ever-changing world of TV broadcasting is also a continuing area of interest to Mark, as traditional TV is further “married” to the Internet and multiple digital platforms of communication.

    Thomas CornwellThomas Cornwell
    Curriculum Vitae

    Tom Cornwell has worked in the field of radiation oncology for more than 20 years as a medical dosimetrist and radiation therapist as well as an adjunct instructor at Gwynedd-Mercy College. Tom has witnessed first-hand the challenges cancer patients face accessing and understanding information about cancer care. Tom’s research interests are situated in health communications, and his dissertation work is development of user-centered criteria for creating an online social network community for kids with cancer. Tom’s career focus is to combine his training as a social scientist in the communications field with a focus on qualitative research and his clinical expertise in oncology in the health care industry. He aims to bring together medicine, research, patient communication, and human-centered design technologies to advance treatment and improve the lives of cancer patients.

    Greg DavisGreg Davis

    Greg Davis is an assistant professor of music at California University of Pennsylvania and a PhD candidate at IUP. At Cal U, Greg teaches courses in music history, music production, and audio engineering. His undergraduate training as a musician and composer serves as the cornerstone of his research interests—technology’s impact upon the artistic process, artistic identity, and technological determinism. Outside of the academic environment, Greg continues to compose electro-acoustic music, freelances as an audio engineer, and spends as much time as possible with his growing family.

    Hamdi EchkaouHamdi Echkaou

    Hamdi Echkaou is a post-graduate researcher at Mohamed V University of Rabat, and was a member of the 2012 Franco-Allemand Dialogue. He has been an affiliated researcher with Centre Jacques Berque in Rabat since 2012, and was also a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania for the 2014-2015 academic year. Hamdi’s previous research includes work on online Islamist discourses, field studies of urban youth culture in Morocco, and a study on Atlas mountain dwellers, a project that was supported by the Orientalisch Institute of Leipzig University in Germany. Hamdi’s current research examines online discourses of contemporary protest movements.

    Kimberly FlandersKimberly Flanders

    Kimberly’s research interests include the effects of social media on social capital, the effects of media on the portrayal of individuals with special needs, as well as a variety of topics related to pop culture. Kim has spent the last twenty years in the financial services industry in a variety of capacities. She currently works for Reliance Bank in Altoona, PA serving as the Administrator for the branch network, as well as the Bank Security Officer. Kim earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing as well as her MBA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  She serves as an active member of the community, serving as the auction chair for the March of Dimes, and raising funds for the Central Cambria Education Foundation. Upon graduation, Kim aspires to become a permanent faculty member in Communications Media and Instructional Technology.

    Randy Goin, Jr.Randy Goin, Jr.

    Randy's research interests include the intermediary role of new media and their affect on governance and public policy. He serves as chief of staff and senior policy advisor for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education—leading the public affairs team and working closely with university, government, and business leaders to advance the mission the state’s 14 public universities. He previously served in a similar role for the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the nation’s second largest university system. Randy launched his career in the private sector before moving into communications and management roles in higher education at Florida Atlantic University. His professional interests include higher education policy and management, marketing, brand management, corporate communications, public relations, graphic design, and editing.

    Krista HessKrista Hess

    Krista Hess is currently a full-time doctoral student in the CMIT program and graduate assistant for the Liberal Studies Department. There, she handles incoming curriculum proposals from IUP’s undergraduate programs. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and her Master’s of Education degree in Instructional Technology with a concentration in classroom integration from East Stroudsburg University. Her experience as program director for ESU’s college radio station, WESS, inspired her long-term aspiration to become a professor of radio broadcasting. Krista has experience as an adjunct professor of speech communication at Northampton Area Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Her research interests include radio broadcasting, production, and history; the portrayal of women in media, and American and British pop culture.

    Laurie LawrenceLaurie Lawrence
    Curriculum Vitae

    Laurie Lawrence’s principal research interest is in human trafficking. Her primary attention is related to media responsibility, as well as game theory as a method of educating young adults on issues of modern-day slavery. Other interests include developing on-campus classes and interdisciplinary minors that consider various forms of communication disciplines, in an effort to educate with regards to social responsibility. Laurie graduated from Edinboro University with a Master of Arts degree in International and Intercultural Communications and with a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management. She was the graduate speaker for her class and currently attends IUP on a full graduate assistantship. She has presented at several conferences on the subject of human trafficking, and aspires to consult for the United Nations or other government organizations.

    Shian-Li McGuireShian-Li McGuire LinkedIn
    Shian-Li is a PhD candidate whose research interests include media ecology, advertising cultures, and creative strategy. She has over 10 years of professional experience directing marketing efforts on both the agency and client side, with an emphasis on developing powerful brands. She is currently director of Brand Marketing for Field & Stream at Dick’s Sporting Goods and serves as vice president of the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation. She teaches courses specializing in advertising, IMC, media, technology, and culture. Shian-Li has an MBA and an MA in Journalism and Mass Communication from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and earned her BS in Advertising and Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, in New York City.

    Annaliese PirainoAnnaliese Piraino
    Curriculum Vitae

    Annaliese Piraino is a Pennsylvania-certified Secondary English teacher who has worked as a high school and college level instructor over the past five years. Currently working as temporary faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, her teaching focus has been in English, communications media, research methodology, and English writing. As a PhD student, Annaliese’s research interests include women’s issues in American and British pop culture, as well as English education methodology and pedagogy.

    Sharon StorchSharon Storch

    Sharon is a PhD candidate entering the dissertation phase of the program. Her research interests focus on mobile devices and their subsequent influences on professional, educational, and personal relationships. She has been actively involved in scholarly presentations and publications within these areas, and also within advertising and pop culture. The CMIT program has been a good fit for Sharon as it expands on her professional experience while creating rich learning opportunities within the production area. She spent more than 10 years in a marketing/management career and more than 14 years as a K-12 Business, Computer, and Instructional Technology (BCIT) educator. Upon completion of the program, Sharon aspires to offer her well-rounded background, solid education, and enthusiasm to students at the college level as a professor.

    Ramy Shaaban Ramy Shaaban

    Ramy Shaaban earned his MD in Egypt in 2009. At that time, his passion was to incorporate technology into medical education. In pursuit of these interests, he worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Medical Education at Alexandria Faculty of Medicine in Egypt, and founded the Alexandria Virtual School of Medicine, a Khalifa-awarded project for the best innovative educational programs in the Middle East. He came to the United States to pursue his advanced degrees in instructional technology. To that end, he earned his MA in Adult Education and Communication Technology from IUP in August 2015. Directly following, Ramy Joined the CMIT that fall to continue his studies. To date, Ramy’s research focuses on healthcare communication and instructional design for online virtual patients.

    Alessia Zanin-YostAlessia Zanin-Yost

    Alessia Zanin-Yost has worked in the field of information science for over 10 years as a reference and instruction librarian. She is currently an associate librarian at Penn State Libraries where, among other duties, she assists faculty in the implementation of information, media, and visual literacy in the curriculum. She has widely published and presented on these topics. Other areas of interest include pedagogy, using technology in the classroom, self-efficacy, information ethics, and media responsibility. Within the CMIT program, Zanin-Yost is interested in exploring how students in higher education find, use, and produce information through the theories and applications of media literacy. Before joining the program, Zanin-Yost received her master’s degree in library information sciences from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in art history from University of California–Davis. She is currently the Assistant Editor for the Journal of Communications Media Studies