Faculty & Staff Directory

Photo of  Brian  Winn

Brian Winn

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor

Work Phone: (517) 353-5497 Work Fax: (517) 353-5498

Brian M. Winn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Information and Director of the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University. Winn designs, creates, and researches interactive media design, including game design, digital game-based learning and interactive health communication.

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Brian M. Winn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Information and Director of the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University. Winn designs, creates, and researches interactive media design, including game design, digital game-based learning and interactive health communication.

Photo of  Jillian  Winn

Jillian Winn

Adjunct Faculty

Jillian Winn is an entrepreneur, experienced technology strategist, and user experience designer passionate about using and creating online tools to make life not only easier, but to increase the quality of life for others.

Jillian co-founded a technology-based startup, called Signing Savvy (http://www.signingsavvy.com). With over 12 million unique visitors since launch,…Read More

Jillian Winn is an entrepreneur, experienced technology strategist, and user experience designer passionate about using and creating online tools to make life not only easier, but to increase the quality of life for others.

Jillian co-founded a technology-based startup, called Signing Savvy (http://www.signingsavvy.com). With over 12 million unique visitors since launch, Signing Savvy has grown to become the most comprehensive online sign language resource for educators, interpreters, students, or anyone interested in American Sign Language. The site provides tools to enhance sign language education and assist in day-to-day sign language communication needs.

She has taught several classes at Michigan State University, including CAS100, CAS204, MI349, MI458, MI490, MI491, MI493, and MI890.

Photo of  Amber  Wise

Amber Wise

Administrative Assistant

Work Phone: (517) 355-2314
Photo of  Gwen M. Wittenbaum Ph.D.

Gwen M. Wittenbaum Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Work Phone: (517) 353-8120 Work Fax: (517) 432-1192

Dr. Wittenbaum’s research interests and publications have focused on cognitive and communication processes in decision-making groups, group performance, and social ostracism. She is currently Associate Editor of Social Influence and serves on a diverse set of editorial boards, such as Group Processes and Intergroup Relations and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Along with Joann…Read More

Dr. Wittenbaum’s research interests and publications have focused on cognitive and communication processes in decision-making groups, group performance, and social ostracism. She is currently Associate Editor of Social Influence and serves on a diverse set of editorial boards, such as Group Processes and Intergroup Relations and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Along with Joann Keyton and Laurie Weingart, she created the annual conference of the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research (INGRoup), which unites group researchers from various nations and disciplines.

Courses
COM 340 Leadership and Group Communication
COM 803 Introduction to Quantitative Methods
COM 325 Interpersonal Influence
CAS 892 Group Communication

Key Research Interest
Interpersonal and small group communication

Photo of  Susan P. Wyche Ph.D.

Susan P. Wyche Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Work Phone: (517) 884-4536 Work Fax: (517) 355-1292

Susan Wyche is an Assistant Professor in the Department of  Media and Information at Michigan State University. She is also affiliated with MSU’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation funded by USAID in their Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN). Her research focuses on information and communication technologies and development (ICTD). Wyche received her Ph.D. in…Read More

Susan Wyche is an Assistant Professor in the Department of  Media and Information at Michigan State University. She is also affiliated with MSU’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation funded by USAID in their Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN). Her research focuses on information and communication technologies and development (ICTD). Wyche received her Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech, an MS from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University.

Awards, Honors and Recognitions
Google Faculty Research Grant (2013)

Courses
Human Computer Interaction and Experience Design, Spring 2013. Information and Communication Technology For Development, Fall 2012

Key Research Interest
Human Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Information Communication Technology and Development, Design

Special Projects
Social Media Use in the Developing World

Project Title & Source
Google Faculty Research Grant (2013), “Motivations for Code-switching in Social Networking Sites:Focus on Urban Kenyan Youth

Selected Publications

  • Wyche, S.P., Forte, A. and Schoenebeck, S.Y. “Hustling Online: Understanding Consolidated Facebook Use in an Informal Settlement in Nairobi,” Proc. ACM SIGCHI Conf. on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘13), Paris, France, Pgs. 2823-2832. (Acceptance Rate: 20%). (Awarded Best Paper Honorable Mention, Nomination Rate: 5%)
  • Wyche, S.P., and Chetty, M. “’I want to imagine how that place looks:’ Designing to Support Connectivity Between African Migrants and Home,” Proc. ACM SIGCHI Conf. on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘13), Paris, France, Pgs. 2755-2764. (Acceptance Rate: 20%)
  • Wyche, S.P. and Murphy, L.L. “Powering the Cellphone Revolution: Findings from Mobile Phone Charging Trials in Off-Grid Kenya,” Proc. ACM SIGCHI Conf. on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ‘13), Paris, France, Pgs. 1959-1968. (Acceptance Rate: 20%)

Selected Grants

Google Faculty Research Award, Susan P. Wyche, PI, $40,000

Photo of  Aleksandr  Yankelevich Ph.D.

Aleksandr Yankelevich Ph.D.

Quello Research Assistant Professor

Work Phone: 517-432-8002

Dr Aleksandr Yankelevich has been appointed to a new Research Assistant Professor position in the Quello Center, effective 1 October 2015. Aleks is joining us from his position as an Industry Economist working for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireless and Wireline Telecommunications Bureaus. At the FCC, he has provided economic expertise on…Read More

Dr Aleksandr Yankelevich has been appointed to a new Research Assistant Professor position in the Quello Center, effective 1 October 2015. Aleks is joining us from his position as an Industry Economist working for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireless and Wireline Telecommunications Bureaus. At the FCC, he has provided economic expertise on various rule makings, mergers, and secondary market transactions involving the allocation of electromagnetic spectrum for mobile use. In 2013, he received the FCC’s Excellence in Economic Analysis Award.

Aleks’ primary research is in the field of industrial organization, where he focuses on firm price discrimination and vertical interactions between competitors. His current research focuses on information services, including subscription and dedicated access services. Aleks received his Ph.D. in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011 and Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and in Management (Summa Cum Laude) from SUNY Binghamton in 2003.

At the Quello Center, Aleks will be contributing to the Network Neutrality Impact Study, and developing new research proposals and projects. One of his early interests is a new stream of research on regulation around the provision of special access services by local exchange carriers, such as for the provision of enterprise services for business customers.

Photo of  J. Scott  Yaruss

J. Scott Yaruss

Professor

J. Scott Yaruss comes to MSU with an overarching goal to help speech-language pathologists improve their ability to provide meaningful and lasting support for people who live with stuttering.

The professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders brings nearly 20 years of experience from the Stuttering Center of Western Pennsylvania, as well as extensive connections within…Read More

J. Scott Yaruss comes to MSU with an overarching goal to help speech-language pathologists improve their ability to provide meaningful and lasting support for people who live with stuttering.

The professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders brings nearly 20 years of experience from the Stuttering Center of Western Pennsylvania, as well as extensive connections within the research and support communities for people with fluency disorders. While at the center, Yaruss built and directed a strong clinical program that combined research, education, service and support for people who stutter, their families, and clinicians.

Yaruss holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and psychology from the University of California Berkeley, and a master’s and doctorate in speech-language pathology from Syracuse University. He has been an assistant professor and director of Stuttering Programs at Northwestern University, and most recently, an associate professor and director of the Master’s Degree Programs in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. He has also worked as the Coordinator of Clinical Research for Speech-Language Pathology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Yaruss has served in various posts for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Special Interest Group for Fluency Disorders and on the Board of Directors of the National Stuttering Association. He has maintained a private practice since 1993 and has been active in the stuttering self-help community for nearly 20 years. In 2011, he co-founded Stuttering Therapy Resources-a specialty publishing company focused on providing practical materials for helping speech-language pathologists help those who stutter.

Yaruss plans to relocate from the Pittsburgh suburbs to greater Lansing with his wife, Virginia, in early 2017. He has two grown daughters, three dogs, and three turtles that put him in a peaceful frame of mind. Yaruss is an amateur photographer, an even more amateur backyard astronomer, and he loves to scuba dive.

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Yaruss researches and specializes in fluency disorders such as stuttering and cluttering. His goal is to enhance clinical and didactic opportunities to help student and community clinicians develop their skills for working with individuals with these and other communication disorders. He will collaborate with his MSU colleagues to create a research and treatment center for fluency disorders that combines effective communication, cutting-edge technology, and the latest research-based treatment approaches.

KEY RESEARCH INTEREST
Yaruss considers himself a life-long learner, and continually seeks to expand his knowledge and understanding of communication disorders through ongoing research and new partnerships with scientists and educators. His primary goal is to collaborate with his MSU colleagues in building a world-class department for educating speech-language pathologists.

RECENT WORK
Yaruss considers one of his primary scientific contributions to be a comprehensive assessment tool for documenting the impact of the stuttering disorder on people’s lives. The Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering [AK1](OASES; Yaruss & Quesal, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2016) is used by clinicians worldwide, and is increasingly becoming the standard tool for evaluating treatment outcomes across a range of treatment approaches.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
Yaruss has published nearly 70 peer-reviewed articles and more than 110 other papers, chapters, and books, often in collaboration with colleagues from around the world. His diagnostic protocol, the “Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES),” has been translated into approximately 30 languages.

RECENT GRANTS

Yaruss and one of his doctoral students recently received a small grant from the National Stuttering Association to study neural pathways associated with language formulation and speech production in people who stutter. He has several other projects that will soon be submitted for funding, including a study designed to enhance an automated speech recognition system so it can decode stuttered speech.

RECENT PUBLIC TALKS
Yaruss has been invited by educational units and professional associations from 47 states in the U.S. and 17 nations to provide about 400 continuing education workshops to more than 25,000 speech-language pathologists.

Although the goal of each workshop is to educate clinicians, Yaruss says he comes away from each session with a keen sense of the “state of the field” in clinical practice and scientific advancement. He draws upon those experiences in his teaching, writing and research as he works to build on the foundation of understanding in the field of communication disorders.

RECENT AWARDS
* Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
* Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh
* Finalist for the University-Wide Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Pittsburgh
* Fulbright Senior Specialist
* PsyLife Visiting Fellowship at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia
* Honored Professor of South West University “Neofit Rilsky” in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
* Speech-Language Pathologist of the Year, National Stuttering Association
* Two Editor’s Awards from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for publications in the journal Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders

Photo of  Maral  Zakharia

Maral Zakharia

Assistant Professor

Work Phone: (517) 884-6668

Maral Minassian’s multidisciplinary work covers all kinds of visual communication for a number of clients in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Prior to moving to the United States, Minassian worked in Beirut, Lebanon for five years as a senior art director for clients such as the Saudi Royal Family and Lebanese members…Read More

Maral Minassian’s multidisciplinary work covers all kinds of visual communication for a number of clients in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Prior to moving to the United States, Minassian worked in Beirut, Lebanon for five years as a senior art director for clients such as the Saudi Royal Family and Lebanese members of Parliament. She has worked as a self-employed web and graphic designer, taking on projects such as information architecture and website design for Loyola Marymount University’s various divisions, among many others. Minassian is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York City, where she earned a master of fine arts in design and technology. While at Parsons, she was awarded an ICT Fellowship by the Open Society Institute, as a result of which she traveled to Kyrgyzstan to support a non-governmental organization called Mental Health & Society. Her role focused on implementing new communication practices in information design and advocating for the causes of the NGO while working closely with the UNDP in Bishkek.

Photo of  Geri Alumit Zeldes Ph.D.

Geri Alumit Zeldes Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Director of Journalism Graduate Studies

Work Phone: (517) 432-1413 Work Fax: (517) 355-7710

Geri Alumit Zeldes, Ph.D., a tenured associate professor and graduate studies director in MSU’s School of Journalism, has seven best paper awards from international communication associations and more than two dozen honors for her documentary films and other creative scholarship that include an RTDNA Unity award, two Broadcast Education Association Best of Festival Awards, Top…Read More

Geri Alumit Zeldes, Ph.D., a tenured associate professor and graduate studies director in MSU’s School of Journalism, has seven best paper awards from international communication associations and more than two dozen honors for her documentary films and other creative scholarship that include an RTDNA Unity award, two Broadcast Education Association Best of Festival Awards, Top 25 Public Vote in ArtPrize, an AAJA award, a Telly, two regional Emmys ®, two SPJ and MAB awards. Zeldes won grants from the Michigan Humanities Council, Ruth Mott Foundation and others, and was invited to speak at two Tedx events. In spring 2015, for her social justice work, she was one of 50 faculty featured on an MSU billboard for the “Spartans Will” campaign.

Courses

JRN 108 Honors section

JRN 815 Media, Society & Theory

Key Research Interest

News coverage of race, ethnicity and religion; documentary filmmaking

Special Projects

“Imported from China,” a half-hour film that follows several Chinese international students on MSU’s campus as they grapple with academic and cultural issues. “That Strange Summer,” an hour-long version of “U.S. v. Narciso, Perez & the Press.” “Tailgating: Where Michiganders Love to Gather,” a film led by Professors Sue Carter and Lucinda Davenport

Project Title & Source

“That Strange Summer,” an hour-long version of “U.S. v. Narciso, Perez & the Press.” “Tailgating: Where Michiganders Love to Gather,” a film led by Professors Sue Carter and Lucinda Davenport”

What are three things you want your students to know about you?

1. I was born in the Philippines. 2. I grew up in Flint. 3. I play (depending on the season) on a basketball team primarily made up of Filipino women over age 40.

Favorite Quotation

“You need to paddle your own canoe.” Tommy Alumit (my dad)

Describe in one sentence what you hope your students learn from you, your scholarly work or teaching

Race, gender and religion as separate variables slightly to profoundly impact our selective processes.

Describe yourself in five words or less.

Mama of four, wife, teacher

Faculty Voice: Geri Zeldes: Documenting “Newness”

Photo of  Jie "Jackie"  Zhuang

Jie "Jackie" Zhuang

Research Associate

Work Phone: (517) 355-2165

Jackie works as a post-doc researcher in the department of communication after completing her doctorate degree at MSU. She conducts research in two general areas–health and intercultural communication. More specifically, she specializes in emotional appeals in persuasion, stigma coping, and cultural dynamics that affect responses to emotion-evoking persuasion messages. She also conducts research in smoking…Read More

Jackie works as a post-doc researcher in the department of communication after completing her doctorate degree at MSU. She conducts research in two general areas–health and intercultural communication. More specifically, she specializes in emotional appeals in persuasion, stigma coping, and cultural dynamics that affect responses to emotion-evoking persuasion messages. She also conducts research in smoking intervention/prevention in China and investigates new indicators for cultural differences.

Ph.D. Department of Communication, Michigan State U (2014)
M.A. Health & Risk Communication, Michigan State U (2009)
B.A. Fudan University, P.R. China (2007)

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