Graduate Students

We are pleased to introduce our incoming class of graduate students in M.S. in Global Media and Cultures and M.S. in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies.

M.S. in Global Media and Cultures 

Chinese Concentration

Ci Song: Ci Song holds a Master’s degree in Journalism and Communication, and a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast and TV Editing, both from China. Her research interest lies in the discipline of media and communication, and she wants to work in an international internet company after graduation.  

French Concentration

Shaidah Herron: Shaidah Herron has recently obtained her B.S. in Psychology from Berry College in Rome, GA. This liberal arts education has exposed to her a variety of work environments within the mental health field such as in rehabilitation, education, outreach, and community enhancements. With her cultural heritage and interest in cultural diversity, she is interested in the cross-cultural analysis of mental health healing with the intent of developing innovative ways to serve an underserved population.

Stephen Norris: Steven Norris studied broadcast journalism and international relations at the University of Alabama and currently oversees Georgia Tech's social media program after an award-winning career in journalism covering stories ranging from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to President Obama's inauguration. He has also worked with Coca-Cola, Publix, and the Public Relations Society of America providing consultation and training on best social and digital media practices. His past research projects have explored women and the accession of political power in post-Soviet republics and cultural representation in America's broadcast designated market areas. He is interested in global perspectives on broadcast events and popular culture, the geopolitics of the Eurovision Song Contest in particular.

Leighton Rowell: Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Leighton was a producer for On Second Thought, the PRNDI award-winning public affairs radio program from Georgia Public Broadcasting. Leighton's previous reporting has appeared on NPR,, WSB-TV, The Trace and in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She has also worked in Brazil as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. An Atlanta native, Leighton holds bachelor's degrees in History and Romance languages from the University of Georgia, where she graduated summa cum laude. She speaks Portuguese and French.

Meredith Stickels: Meredith is a recent graduate of Berry College with a degree in French, specifically focusing on 19th and 20th century French literature. Her interests include foreign languages, digital art, and linguistics. She hopes to study either dialectal and linguistic differences within the Francophone world, and is also interested in teaching and working with underprivileged children in her career.


German Concentration

Kestra James: Kestra James earned a bachelor's degree in German and English from East Carolina University. She is interested in the experience of minority groups in Germany, specifically refugees and people of African descent.  After organizing an alternative spring-break trip to help refugees in Munich, Germany, James began researching the depictions of refugees and minority groups in literature and media, including but not limited to cinema, broadcast media, the internet, and plays and musicals.

Cassidy Whittle: Cassidy Chreene Whittle graduated from the University of West Georgia with degrees in Mass Communications and Foreign Literatures & Language. In 2017 she completed an internship with the IPS program in the German Bundestag, and began working at the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta in 2018 as the Educational Outreach Assistant. Her primary area of interests include the role of the media in the former German Democratic Republic, journalists' rights during the newsgathering process, and relations between three of the world’s major players: Germany, Russia, and the United States.

Japanese Concentration

Ying Ying Choi: Ying Ying Choi holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering as well as a minor in Japanese from her undergraduate program in Georgia Tech. She is currently participating in the MS-GMC program as a graduate research assistant. Her interests include Computational Media and Linguistics.

Camden Hine: Camden is a recent graduate of Georgia Tech with degrees in Mathematics and Applied Language and Intercultural studies, with a concentration in Japanese. During his undergraduate program, he participated in two study abroad programs in Japan; LBAT Japan (Language for Business and Technology) and YSEP (Young Scientist Exchange Program). His main interests are translation and localization.

Xinying Lin (Xin): Xin has a B.S. in Global Economics and Modern Languages from Georgia Institute of Technology. After studying the global economy, international affairs and some foreign languages, she learned that her primary interests lie in media and culture. She is interested in relationships between China, Japan and United States and hopes to do research in this area, to find out how media can dissolve misunderstandings between these countries.

Nathania Nah: Nathania completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science at Georgia Tech. She has a strong interest in Japanese language and culture and will be studying in the Global Media and Cultures program with a Japanese specialization. While completing this program, she will be finishing a Master's in Computer Science with a specialization in Interactive Intelligence.

Jialin Zou: Jialin Zou double-majored in Communications and International relations at Wesleyan College. During her undergraduate study, cross-cultural communication courses, as well as the process of communicating with diverse student groups, taught her about how cultural differences may lead to misunderstandings in communication. She was born in a coastal city in southern China, Guangzhou, where she grew up experiencing the process of Chinese traditional culture and foreign culture intermingling with each other. The rapid development of multinational enterprises in China has motivated her to study intercultural communication, including Chinese localization marketing.

Russian Concentration

Bryant Beadles (Campbell): Campbell is from Thomasville, GA, and a recent graduate of Georgia Tech. While completing a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Operations and Supply Chain Management at Tech, he completed a minor in Spanish, a minor in German, and a certificate in Russian. He is interested in Russian culture and media, particularly media analysis and US-Russia relations.

Johnathan Little (Alex): Alex Little graduated from Rutgers University in 2018. He has spent the 2018-2019 year studying Russian at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia. As a student in the MS-GMC, he plans on working on his Russian in order to become confident enough to use it professionally in his future career.


Spanish Concentration

Pablo Fernández: Pablo Fernández is an award–winning documentary filmmaker and journalist with over 20 years of experience. He was born and raised in Argentina, and now lives in the United States. He co–directed and co–produced the documentary The Voice of the Mapuche, which was selected at over 30 international film festivals and won awards in the categories of Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, Environment, and Cultural Diversity. The Voice of the Mapuche was acquired and broadcast by Al Jazeera Documentary Channel (Middle East and North Africa), ARTV (Chile), and Canal Capital (Colombia). Pablo holds a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literature from William Paterson University and a Graduate Degree in Translation and Interpretation from Georgetown University.

Oriana Indira Valencia: Oriana Indira Valencia focuses on the migratory routes, heritage and identity of Sephardic and crypto-Jewish communities in the Southeast US. Her research lies in the negotiation between performance and memory that is passed down through generations. She received her M.A. in Romance Languages: Spanish and Italian from the University of Georgia and is currently interning with the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.


M.S. in Applied Language and Intercultural Studies


Samantha Bay (Sam): Sam recently graduated from the University of Georgia, where she triple majored in Spanish, International Affairs and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Her senior capstone project analyzed the relationship between art and politics in twentieth-century Latin America, with a focus on Frida Kahlo and the Mexican-American political relationship of the time. Through the ALIS program, she hopes not only to further explore the Spanish language and the many different cultures it is a part of, but also work toward securing her place in the working world by identifying a career path.

Selena Harris: Selena is a graduate from Augusta University in Augusta, GA. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language (Spanish). She currently works in customer service and aspires to be an Occupational Therapist with a concentration in pediatrics. Her passion lies in helping people, and she believes learning a second language is essential to really helping others.

Neta Kanny: While speaking English, Hebrew, and Portuguese fluently, Spanish is Neta Kanny's main focus of interest. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Spanish and Portuguese. Her most recent jobs include teaching English in a bilingual elementary school as an Auxiliar de Conversación in Jaén, Spain, and training as a Spanish Literacy Promoter with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. Neta's academic interests broadly include applying Spanish into the areas of linguistics, international affairs, and policy, and her professional goals are inspired by her passion for using language to connect with and help others through the diplomacy and global development sectors.

Alaina McLarin: Alaina McLarin is from Newnan, Georgia and is graduating from the University of North Georgia with a double major in Spanish and History. While at UNG, she worked as a teaching assistant for three years in the Dahlonega Language Lab. She is interested in a variety of topics, and particularly in how politics and history impact societal norms and culture in Latin America today. She is also interested in the cross-cultural dynamics of gender norms and expectations, for example among women who migrate from Latin America to the United States.

Carolina Mauersberg: Carolina Mauersberg received her degree in the Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and political science at Georgia State University in May 2018. During her undergraduate career, she held the Goizueta Foundation Leadership Pipeline Scholarship and studied abroad in South America. She has worked in the immigration office and as a translator. Her interests include the experiences of Latinos in the U.S., particularly under the forces of globalization.

Emily Wright: Emily double majored in International Studies and Spanish Language and Literature, receiving her B.A. in three years from Flagler College, where she spent a summer in southern Spain and graduated magna cum laude. Until now, Emily served as an Educational Outreach Coordinator for GoSTEM and GoSTEAM at CEISMC at Georgia Tech. She managed an outreach program for Latino students in Gwinnett County, working on strengthening the pipeline into post-secondary education in STEM fields at various USG institutions through events, community development and resources for students and families. She has served on Georgia Tech’s Employee Engagement Committee, Health and Well-Being Committee, and the Faculty and Staff Advisory Council. Emily seeks to continue to increase her language skills and cultural content knowledge, as well as refine her communication, leadership, and human management skills through her GRA position, engagement on campus, volunteer opportunities, and elective courses.