RTF Doctoral Graduates

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RTF Doctoral Graduates

UT Radio-Television-Film doctoral alumni are producing valuable research, publishing innovative work, contributing to academic and policy debates on key communication and media issues, and inspiring better media practices. The professional placement for scholars from the Department of Radio-Television-Film graduate programs is second to none. Below is a list of recent doctoral graduates, their dissertation titles, and when available, where they are presently teaching and researching.


Melissa Santillana
Dissertation: Destrúyelo todo: The Women behind the Mexican Feminist Spring
Position: Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University

Daelena Tinnin-Gadson
Position: Assistant Professor, English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina


Kathy Cacace
Position: News Writer and Editor, World News Digest for Facts on File

Jaewon Choi
Dissertation: “Exploring the Surveillance Culture in the Context of Smart Health: A Cross-Cultural Comparison Between South Korea and the U.S.”
Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Medill Spiegel Research Center, Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications, Northwestern University

Selena Dickey
Dissertation: “Fringe Access: Mapping Local Television Distribution, 1952-1978”
Position: Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, Furman University

Nathan Rossi
Dissertation: “The Mediated Identities of Central American Adoptees: Community Building and Resistance in Digital Spaces”
Position: Assistant Professor of Instruction, Screen Cultures, Northwestern University

Brett Siegel
Dissertation: “Protecting the Shield: How the NFL Navigated Institutional and Ideological Crisis in the Trump Era”
Position: Assistant Professor, Communication, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Maria Skouras
Dissertation: “Soft Power and Strategic Communication: @america in Jakarta, Indonesia”

Jing Wang
Position: Assistant Professor, Film and Media, Emory University


Briana Barner
Position: Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Communication, University of Maryland

Kate Cronin
Dissertation: “’News, In Pictures if Possible!”: The Material Flow of Early Television Newsfilm”
Position: Program Manager, Code Nation (Chicago)

Richelle Crotty
Dissertation: “Mobile Networks of Power”
Position: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Technology and Information Policy Institute (TIPI) and Consultant for the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA)[2021-2022]. Technical Assistance Advisor for Digital Equity, National Telecommunications and Information Administration [2022-]

Soyoung Park
Position: Research Professor, Humanities Research Institute at Chung-Ang University (Seoul, Korea)


Gejun Huang
Dissertation: "New Frontier of Digital Media and Entertainment: Exploring Entrepreneurship in Chinese Digital Game Industry"
Position: Assistant Professor, School of Communication at Soochow University

Daniel Mauro
Dissertation: "Locating the Politics of Amateur Media"
Position: Curatorial Assistant, Glenstone Museum

Morgan O'Brien
Dissertation: "Rejecting Nostalgia: Retro Jamming in Devolver Digital’s Independent Video Games"
Position: Quality Assurance Tester, Aspyr Media and Instructor, Central Texas College

Tim Piper
Dissertation: "Transition Game: Television and the National Basketball Association During the Multichannel Shift, 1970-1984"
Position: Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, Oglethorpe University

Alexis Schrubbe
Dissertation: "Homework Gaps and Connectivity Canyons: Education, Broadband, and the Shattered Myth of the Network Society"
Position: Director, Internet Equity Initiative at the University of Chicago Data Science Institute

Ramna Walia
Dissertation: "Intertwined Networks of Travel: The Located Mobility of Malegaon Media Culture"
Position: Assistant Professor, School of Modern Media, UPES

Lesley Willard
Dissertation: "From Hobby to Side Hustle: Fan Artist Professionalization in the Post-Network Era"
Position: Assistant Professor, Visual and Media Arts, Emerson College


Nick Bestor
Dissertation: "Playing in Licensed Storyworlds: Games, Franchises, and Fans"
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of English, University of Nevada, Reno

Jinsook Kim
Dissertation: "Contesting Hate: Online Misogyny and Anti-Hate Feminist Activism in South Korea"
Position: Assistant Professor, Film and Media, Emory University

Annie Major 
Dissertation: "Not Streaming Near You: Specialty Film Distribution and Marketing in the Digital Age"
Position: Assistant Professor, Film, Television, and Digital Media, TCU

Paul Monticone 
Dissertation: "For the maintenance of the system: institutional and cultural change within the motion picture producers and distributors of America, 1922-1945"
Position: Assistant Professor, Rowan University

Michael O'Brien
Dissertation: "Third Cinema in the United States, 1960-67"

Jacqueline Pinkowitz
Dissertation: "Reel South: Race, Region, and the American Film Industry in the Era of Black Civil Rights, 1954-1976"
Position: Assistant Professor, Journalism and Media Studies, Mercer University

Hogeun Seo
Dissertation: "Platform rules: a case study of Samsung’s failure in the smartphone platform industry"
Position: Assistant Professor, Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, Belmont University, Nashville, TN


Laura Felschow
Dissertation: "Wonder Women: Gender and Production in the Superhero Genre"
Position: Assistant Professor at SUNY (State University of New York) at Oneonta

Jennifer Minsoo Kang
Dissertation: "Unboxing Television: The Rise of Korean Web Dramas and Expansion of Independent Production Companies in the 2010s"
Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Digital Media Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Peter Kunze
Dissertation: "Staging a Comeback: Film and Theater Convergence at Disney, 1982-1998"
Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Tulane University

Xiaoqian Li 
Dissertation: "Social network site use, social capital, and acculturation: a comparative study of Facebook and Renren.com use by Chinese international students in the United States"
Position: Assistant Professor of Communication, Illinois Institute of Technology

Lucia Palmer 
Position: Assistant Professor, Media Studies, Middle Georgia State University



A PhD from UT Austin has succeeded in helping many of our alums to obtain faculty positions at top universities across the U.S. and around the world.

Doctoral graduates of RTF have obtained jobs at the following universities

Arizona State University
Bahcesehir University
Bellarmine University
Boston University
CEGEP (Canada)
Callifornia State - Fullerton
Chung Ang University (Korea)
Columbia College - Chicaco
Columbia University
De Paul University
Elon University
Emerson College
Ewha Woman's University (Korea)
Federal University de Bahia (Brazil)
Ft. Lewis College in Colorado
Georgia State University
Hankuk University (Korea)
Hannam University (Korea)
Hanyang University (Korea)
Howard University
Illinois State University
Indiana University – Bloomington
Indiana University - Purdue
Kookmin University (Korea)
Lehigh University
Lewis & Clark College
Mardin Artuklu University (Turkey)
McGill University
Miami University
Middlebury College
Old Dominion University
New York University
Oakland University
Queens University of Charlotte
Queensland University of Technology
Salisbury University (Maryland)
Sejong University (Korea)
Seoul National University of Science & Technology (Korea)
Stockholm University
Texas A&M University
Texas Christian University
Texas Tech Univeristy
University College Dublin
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of California - Irvine
University of Chicago
University of Colorado – Denver
University of Florida
University of Georgia – Athens
University of Leeds
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
University of Miami
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
University of North Texas
University fo Notre Dame
University of Singapore
University of South Florida – St. Petersburg
University of Sydney
University of Texas at Austin
University of Toronto
University of Virginia
University of Washington – Tacoma
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Whitman College – Washington