What’s Next for USC Annenberg PhD Graduates?

Though USC Annenberg’s recent graduates will be missed, a number of them have already found exciting jobs and research opportunities all over the country.

Russell Newman, whose research at USC Annenberg focused on the connection between the media and political economy, was recently hired at the new Civic Media Initiative at Emerson College. USC Annenberg Professor and Vice Dean Larry Gross said the job is “a perfect match for [Newman] as a scholar as well as a committed activist in pursuit of social justice and equity, and as an engaged and engaging teacher.” Gross co-chaired Newman’s dissertation with USC Annenberg and University Professor Manuel Castells.

While at USC Annenberg, Inna Arzumanova was an Annenberg Fellow and her research looked into racial performances throughout global arts and culture industries. She was recently hired as an Assistant Professor in the Media Studies department at the University of San Francisco. “[Arzumanova’s] work at Annenberg has been a stellar example of interdisciplinary, critical, and cultural Communications studies,” said USC Annenberg Associate Professor Josh Kun.

Katrina Pariera accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at George Washington University in the fall. USC Annenberg Professor Sheila Murphy, who chaired Pariera’s dissertation on parent-child sexual communication, described her as a “dream graduate student.” Pariera left USC Annenberg with eight first-author publications under her belt, five of which she was the sole author of.

After spending the past year finishing her dissertation at Michigan State University, Jingbo Meng was offered teaching positions in two of the school’s departments. She accepted a position in the Department of Communication, with affiliate status in the engineering and healthcare programs. The position is referred to as “the trifecta,” according to Meng’s dissertation chair, USC Annenberg Professor Margaret McLaughlin. Meng’s research at USC Annenberg looked at social influences on the health and fitness social networking site FatSecret. Nancy Chen graduated from the PhD program last year, but stayed at USC Annenberg an additional year as a Postdoctoral Scholar. She recently accepted a position at California State University, Channel Islands as an Assistant Professor in Health Communication.

“I was drawn to this position because they were looking for someone who's interested in researching and teaching about health communication with diverse populations,” said Chen, adding that her time at USC Annenberg allowed her to experience and investigate the diverse communities of Los Angeles.

Sandra Evans completed her dissertation on organizational change within public media groups and will be working as an Assistant Professor of Organizational Communication at Cal Poly Pomona in the fall. While at USC Annenberg, Evans was a teaching and research assistant to USC Annenberg Associate Professor Patricia Riley.

“[Evans] is amazing because she is extremely competent at both quantitative and qualitative research and that is very rare,” said Riley. “She manages to do everything well which is more astonishing for the mother of a one-year old!”

After he completes a year of Postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, Benjamin Stokes will start an Assistant Professor position at American University. At USC Annenberg, Stokes’ research focused on how social change can be brought about by closing the gap between online and offline participation in video games and mobile media.

Kevin Driscoll is headed to Cambridge, Mass. to do research for Microsoft. His research at USC Annenberg looked at popular technical culture in the United States, hobbyist telecommunication networks and personal computing history.

USC Annenberg Professor Henry Jenkins was the chair for both Stokes’ and Driscoll’s dissertations.

“They embody some of the traits I most admire about Annenberg's Communication PhDs and they have ended up in jobs which fit them like a glove,” said Jenkins, adding that they were his first two PhD students and he’s “so proud of what they have accomplished.”