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Cronkite Doctoral Student Bios

Jay Alabaster

Jay Alabaster

Jay Alabaster returned to his hometown of Phoenix in 2015 to join the Cronkite Ph.D. program and pursue a graduate certificate in Japanese studies. He previously worked in Japan as a reporter for The Associated Press and Dow Jones and as a software developer. He received his master's degree from Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University.

Talal Alshathry

Talal Alshathry

Talal Alshathry is a Saudi journalist who has worked at several newspapers in his home country. The most recent was as part-time editor and a member of the developmental team at the daily newspaper Al-Jazirah. His full-time job in Saudi Arabia is as a journalism lecturer at King Saud University. Alshathry’s research interests focus on political communication and news framing. In 2015, he received his master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University.

Paisley M. Benaza

Paisley M. Benaza

Paisley M. Benaza is a global brand strategist and talent manager with more than 15 years of experience. She earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California and her master’s degree from Georgetown University.

Evan Billingsley

Evan Billingsley

Evan Billingsley earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Arkansas. Billingsley is interested in research examining copyright law and First Amendment issues. He has teaching experience from the University of Arkansas as well as various English programs in South Korea.

Michael Bluhm

Michael Bluhm

Michael Bluhm is a full-time instructor at ASU’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, where he teaches courses about the intersection of media with politics, sociology and technology. Before coming to Arizona, Bluhm spent seven years as a newspaper journalist and journalism teacher in Lebanon. His research focuses on politics, the Middle East and how individuals construct the uses of various media technologies.

Sonia Bovio

Sonia Bovio

Sonia Bovio was a senior vice president at a global public relations agency, and director of corporate communications for a Fortune 500 company. She conducts research on corporate communications, public relations and public radio. Bovio holds a master’s degree in corporate communications from Ithaca College and a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Florida.

James Bowen

James Bowen

James Bowen is veteran of magazine writing and corporate communication. Before coming to Arizona in 2016, he resided in Salt Lake City where he completed a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah. His research interests are rooted in public policy/local politics and where they intersect with the media.

Joseph Camporeale

Joseph Camporeale

Joseph Camporeale is a professional photographer for USA TODAY, and has worked as a photographer for more than a decade. He also teaches photojournalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Camporeale earned his bachelor’s degree from William Paterson University and his master’s degree from Arizona State University.

Abdulaziz Faqihi

Abdulaziz Faqihi

Abdulaziz Faqihi is a journalist and educator with more than a decade of experience. He worked as both a reporter and editor for various newspapers and television stations throughout Saudi Arabia and taught journalism at King Saud University. Abdulaziz earned his master’s from Murray State University. His doctoral research focuses on strategic communication and media framing.

Ali Forbes

Ali Forbes

Ali Forbes worked as a sports journalist before returning to school to further her education. While attending Troy University for her master’s degree, Forbes also worked as a color analyst for ESPN3. Before ESPN3 she was a story editor for SportsCentre in Toronto.

Joe Fortunato

Joe Fortunato

Joe Fortunato graduated from Yale University before heading to Los Angeles where he enjoyed a 15-year career in the entertainment industry as a development executive and television writer before entering higher education. He is now a full time faculty member at ASU teaching film and screenwriting. His latest published article is "The Gaze and The Spielberg Face: Steven Spielberg's Application of Lacan's Mirror Stage and Audience Response."

Shuo Gao

Shuo Gao

Shuo Gao worked in social media for an advertising company and has significant experience in marketing, advertising, public relations. Gao conducts social media research focusing on Facebook, Twitter, Weibo and WeChat about brand social networking site pages.

Ashley Gimbal

Ashley Gimbal

Ashley Gimbal is an instructor at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. Prior to coming to ASU, Gimbal taught broadcast journalism and video production at San Francisco State University. Gimbal's research interests are focused on broadcast journalism and terrorism, specifically ISIL.

Guy Harrison

Guy Harrison

Guy Harrison worked in collegiate athletics media relations, where he publicized a variety of varsity sports teams. His duties included writing news releases, post-game recaps and feature stories, as well as pitching news stories to media outlets and public address and play-by-play announcing. Harrison's research examines constructions of gender and race in sport media and journalism education.

Stephen Kilar

Stephen Kilar

Stephen Kilar is interested in research and theory related free expression. In addition to being a Cronkite Ph.D. student, Kilar is the communications director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. Before joining the ACLU, Kilar was a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He studied English at Brown University, received a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and then earned a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Madeleine Liseblad

Madeleine Liseblad

Madeleine Liseblad worked in public relations for 15 years prior to entering academia. However, the bulk of her experience has been as a journalist in television and radio, newspapers, magazines and online media. The Swedish native has worked extensively in both Europe and the U.S. Liseblad has taught at Oregon State, Point Loma Nazarene and Ashford, in addition to ASU. She conducts primarily historical research, focusing on television broadcasting and international journalism.

Thomas Lutes

Thomas Lutes

Thomas Lutes is a public relations expert who worked in the field for 10 years before coming to the Cronkite School for his doctorate. His research focuses on the social interaction between society and the media. Lutes earned his master’s degree from Indiana University.

Kirstin Pellizzaro

Kirstin Pellizzaro

Kirstin Pellizzaro is an experienced broadcast news producer who teaches producing at the Cronkite School. Pellizzaro also acts as a producing instructor for Cronkite News, a daily student-run news broadcast that airs on Arizona PBS. Pellizzaro has conducted several studies on the decline of parasocial interaction due to a fragmented audience. Her research also focuses on the changes to traditional journalistic norms due to the advent of social networking.

Patricia Piburn

Patricia Piburn

Patti Piburn graduated from the Cronkite School in 1995 and then worked in TV news as an anchor/reporter for about 20 years. She earned her master’s degree in journalism and communications from South Dakota State University. Piburn also taught journalism at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she was the adviser for the college’s student run radio station.

Brian Rackham

Brian Rackham

Brian Rackham is an educator, national award-winning multimedia journalist, and news executive with over 30 years of experience. He is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Northern Arizona University and Director of the Media Innovation Center. His research focuses on journalism innovation and change. Rackham’s professional background includes being an anchor and desk editor at Associated Press Radio Network, news director at KKTV and KOB-TV, and a field producer for NBC NewsChannel.

Gail Rhodes

Gail Rhodes

Gail Rhodes is an adjunct professor at the Cronkite School with more than 16 years of professional experience working as a television reporter. She worked for the Fox Sports Network in Chicago and helped to launch the Comcast Sports Network. Rhodes and been an adjunct professor for Cronkite since 2014, where she teaches advanced television sports reporting.

Kristy Roschke

Kristy Roschke

Kristy Roschke is a digital media instructor at the Cronkite School. In addition to her doctoral work, Roschke is executive director of SPOT 127, the youth media center of KJZZ, NPR's Phoenix affiliate. She has experience in public relations and high school journalism education. Roschke conducts research on media literacy and scholastic journalism. Her work has been published in the Journal of Digital and Media Literacy and Southwest Mass Communication Journal.

Abdulsamad Sahly

Abdulsamad Sahly

Abdulsamad Sahly has worked as journalist for several newspapers in Saudi Arabia. He had taught several courses in journalism department, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia, before moving to the U.S. to pursue his M.S. and Ph.D degrees. Sahly received his master’s in mass communication from University of Central Florida before joining the Ph.D journalism program at the Cronkite School. His research interests focus on political discourse and terrorism as well as social media and sociopolitical activism.

Chun Shao

Chun Shao

Chun Shao earned his master’s degree from Central Michigan University, where he also worked as a teaching assistant. His doctoral research focuses on social media use and its effects on consumers. Shao plans to explore the social and psychological effects of various media content and interactive media technologies, and the motivations that cause people to interact in certain ways online.

Wafa Unus

Wafa Unus

Wafa Unus has significant experience as the owner of a small local newspaper, reviews editor for the Journal of Radio and Audio Media and as a graduate writing consultant. Unus received her M.A. in science reporting from the University of Southern California and worked as a science reporter prior to pursuing her doctorate. Her research interests are rooted in the history of journalism and the pivotal moments that contributed to contemporary practice.

Weiwen Yu

Weiwen Yu

Weiwen Yu is a journalist with experience working in a multitude of news agencies, both with network television and newspapers. She earned her master’s from East China Normal University. Her research at the Cronkite School is on the evolution of international media and communication between larger countries in the context of network and globalization.