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Meet SOC's PhD Students: Fall 2012

SOC PhD student Kenneth Merrill

Kenneth Merrill

Kenneth Merrill's research focuses on the politics of internet architecture and its effects on society and culture. His masters thesis examined the privatization of intellectual property enforcement. As a research assistant for the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University he concentrated on the intersection of law, politics, and the media providing frequent commentary on the Tully Center's Free Speech Zone blog. His other research interests include media and diversity, the social-psychology of computer mediated communication, cultural memory, and ethnographic research. He received his bachelors degree from The University of Virginia where he studied foreign affairs with a concentration on South Asian politics. A native of Miami, Florida he worked as a contributing editor for Home Miami Magazine where he covered art, architecture, politics, sports, food, and culture.

SOC PhD student Tatevik Sargsyan

Tatevik Sargsyan

Tatevik Sargsyan’s research interest is the influence of media technologies on young people’s political behavior, engagement/disengagement from civic life, and perceptions of dutiful citizenship. In her native Armenia, Tatevik worked for a USAID funded program where she managed election initiatives and implemented projects geared towards media independence, professional and financial development, and on-line presence. Tatevik also has experience in executing polling and marketing projects, reporting for magazines, and teaching. She taught oral Italian and Russian at Fairfield University and worked as a TA of an internet culture course at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for four semesters. Tatevik has a Diploma in English and Italian from Yerevan State Linguistic University and a Master’s degree in Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

SOC PhD student Tijana Milosevic

Tijana Milosevic

Tijana Milosevic’s research interests revolve around the studies of media effects. She is currently working as a research assistant on media framing of climate change in the US mainstream media under the guidance of Prof. Lauren Feldman and Prof. Sol Hart. Tijana’s MA thesis at the George Washington University looked into media framing of geostrategic outcomes of the Iraq War. Dignity studies is an emerging area of interest that Tijana is hoping to develop in the field of communication as she looks into framing of cyber-bullying in the mainstream media, as well as the issue of online censorship. She has previously worked at the Public Diplomacy Council in Washington DC, and has lectured in media psychology at a private university in Belgrade, Serbia, her home country. In her free time Tijana blogs at the Huffington Post and is finishing a documentary film - The House that Jack Built - about underground urban dance culture in Washington DC.

SOC Theo Plothe PhD

Theo Plothe

Theo Plothe’s research focuses on the intersection of video games and remix culture. His current projects include an investigation of gaming culture as represented through video remixes and in the television program The Big Bang Theory. Other academic interests include social media, mimetics, and sports communication. He currently works as a research assistant for Dr. Deen Freelon's big data and social media projects. For his master’s thesis at Northern Illinois University, Theo investigated NFL players’ use of Twitter. Theo has previous training in linguistics at Ball State University and has taught English at Ball State as well as in Japan and Korea.