Christopher M. Dobmeier
Chris Dobmeier is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Media, Technology, and Society program, by way of the SUNY University at Buffalo (B.A., M.A. in Communication). Generally, he is interested in the strategies by which persuasive messages are designed, delivered, and evaluated. In particular, Chris studies the cognitive and affective mechanisms that influence how we seek, digest, and act upon information circulated primarily through news and entertainment media, public service announcements (PSAs), and by our in-person and online social networks. His past research has looked at the role of humor in testicular self-exam PSAs, and how cultural factors affect humor's impact. Chris has a growing interest in using his scholarship to help historically disenfranchised groups such as the LGBTQ+ and incarcerated populations, as well as the aging population, which is facing a mountain of challenges both old and new.
Michael A. Spikes
Michael A. Spikes is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Learning Sciences at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. His research focus concerns connecting cognitive, social, and learning environmental design theories to news media literacy education and interventions. Before coming to Northwestern, Michael worked for the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University where he developed curriculum and training in news literacy as the director of its Digital Resource Center and Illinois News Literacy & Civic Learning Project. Michael has also held positions as a Media Studies and Production teacher in both public and public charter schools in Washington DC; as a member of the Newseum’s educational advisory team; and as a media producer and editor for numerous organizations including NPR, the PBS NewsHour, and the Kellogg School of Management.
Camille J. Saucier
Camille Saucier is a second-year student in Northwestern’s Media, Technology, and Society doctoral program. Her research interests include public opinion formation, attitude change, and decision-making in the domains of health, political, and science communication. She is particularly interested in mis/disinformation and the persuasive strategies available to correct these narratives. Prior to joining COM-PSI, she worked as a research specialist with the Media Impact Project and Hollywood, Health & Society under the Norman Lear Center. She holds a BA in Psychology, MA in Communication Management, and Certificate in Sustainable Policy and Planning from the University of Southern California.
Sapna Suresh is a second-year doctoral student in the School of Communication at Northwestern University and is affiliated with the Center of Media Psychology and Social Influence. Her research interests center primarily around message delivery and persuasion; namely, how knowledge is constructed, as well as the implications for broader audiences’ attitudes, preferences, and behaviors. In particular, she hopes to use the outcomes of my experiment-based research to facilitate positive decision-making and socio-behavioral outcomes in the domains of science, health, and the environment. Her past experiences include interning with the research team at Population Media Center, an entertainment-education non-profit (Summer 2020) and consulting at an organizational design firm (2018-2019). Sapna holds a BA from Rice University in environmental engineering and policy studies.
Julia Relova is a graduate student in the MS Leadership in Creative Enterprises program. Her research interest includes the use of entertainment-education to promote prosocial outcomes, the persuasive power of strategic storytelling, and the effect of mass media on adolescents. In undergrad, her research looked at the role of gender in the field of clinical psychology, the effectiveness of trigger warnings, and the effects of diversity statements on discrimination detection. Julia holds a BS in Psychology from Davidson College.