This site is a project for the Social Media Research Lab, which is a class in the School of International Service at American University.

Kristen Blandford is an International Politics student at American University, focusing on transnational crime, corruption, and development. She has worked in security, anticorruption, and publishing.

Rosemary D’Amour is a second-year MA candidate in the International Media Program at American University. Her research interests include media’s role in sustainable international development, particularly in the realm of social media and citizen journalism through information and communication technologies (ICTs), as well as analyzing the legal and cultural structures of communication and free speech. She has worked as a media development blogger for the World Association of Newspapers, a social media engagement reporter at TBD.com, and most recently as a reporter for the Inter Press Service, a non-profit news organization that focuses on news and information from the perspective of the Global South.

Katie Leasor is a second year MA IM candidate with a focus on using information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) and its intersection with international development and Latin America. Last year she interned as a the lead blogger for the Democracy and Governance sector for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) ICT-focused, Global Broadband and Innovations Program. Currently, Katie is part of the STEP program at the U.S. State Department in the Bureau of Public Affairs coordinating their Hometown Diplomats Program, and editing films for COTLECO to use for informational and promotional purposes. With the completion of her IM degree she aspires to help international organizations communicate their mission and goals effectively through compelling multimedia platforms.

Allison Terry is a second-year graduate student in the International Media program at American University. Her academic interests include the impact of social media and ICTs on development, particularly in the sub-Saharan Africa region, as well as the role of journalism and freedom of the press in good governance and transparency. Last year, she was an intern for National Geographic and the International Women’s Media Foundation. She also worked as a graduate research assistant for the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a non-profit online journalism organization connected with the AU’s School of Communication. Prior to graduate school, she served for three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana.

Isadora Vigier de Latour is a second-year graduate student in Comparative and Regional Studies. Her regional concentration focuses on Latin America – particularly Mexico and the Andean region. She has chosen International Communication as her related field; an area of increasing interest, especially exploring how ICTs can further economic development. She also works full-time in the Language and Foreign Studies department at AU where she actively organizes events pertaining to language and culture. Before joining AU she worked as a contractor at the Asian Development Bank’s regional office in Washington DC.


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