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NYC: Exploring Media Literacy with the Children’s Media Industry

November 2, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EST

Exploring Media Literacy with the Children’s Media Industry

Explore media literacy with an interactive workshop for the children’s media industry!

The Children’s Media Association, the National Association for Media Literacy Education, and Fordham’s Department of Communication & Media Studies will participate in Media Literacy Week (November 2-6) with an interactive workshop connecting media literacy and development of children’s media content.

The workshop will begin with a presentation from NAMLE leaders on “what is media literacy and how can we be mindful to use good practices when creating and producing great content for kids?” After the presentation, guests will break into small groups and participate in a media literacy activity. Using a case study format, attendees will practice enhancing children’s media content by incorporating media literacy principles into existing popular content.

The workshop will be facilitated by Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, Executive Director of NAMLE and Sherri Hope Culver, NAMLE Past-President and Director of the Center for Media and Information Literacy at Temple University.

DATE & TIME: Monday, November 2, 2015, 6:30 to 8:30pm

LOCATION: Lowenstein Hall Cafeteria Atrium
Fordham University – Lincoln Center Campus
113 West 60th Street at Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023


Members & Non-Members: FREE
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More about our speakers:  

Michelle Ciulla Lipkin – Executive Director of NAMLE

Michelle Ciulla Lipkin has been the Executive Director of NAMLE since September 2012. After graduating from NYU’s Film School in 1994, Michelle began her career in children’s television production, working for Nickelodeon from 1995 – 2000. Michelle returned to NYU to earn her graduate degree at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Michelle focused her graduate work on children and television while also continuing to do freelance television production. Since earning her graduate degree, Michelle has been lecturing and doing workshops for parents and children on media use and digital citizenship. Michelle also worked as a facilitator for The LAMP (Learning about Multimedia Project) from 2010 – 2013 teaching media literacy and production classes from Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade. Michelle is an active parent in the NYC school system. Michelle currently serves as President of the Parent Association M.S. 245, The Computer School. Michelle lives in New York City with her husband, son and daughter and Co-Chair of The Calhoun Benefit.


Sherri Hope Culver – Director of the Center for Media and Information Literacy (CMIL) at Temple University; Author, Survival Guide and The Media Career Guide.

Sherri serves as Director of the Center for Media and Information Literacy (CMIL) at Temple University where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production. Sherri serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Media Literacy Education; serving as its president for three terms and regularly presents internationally on media literacy and children’s media issues. She is co-editor of the UNESCO Yearbooks for 2015, 2014 and 2013 on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue and author of the books, The Television and Video Survival Guide and The Media Career Guide. Sherri regularly consults with children’s media companies and has served as an educational consultant for Sprout, WGBH and PBS Kids.




More about our facilitators:  


Laura Brown, Ph.D. – President, Laura Brown Consulting. Curriculum, Research and Consultation for Children’s Educational Media.

Dr. Laura Brown is the president of Laura Brown Consulting. A licensed psychologist, Laura is an early childhood expert who has been shaping media properties for over twenty years. Her goal is always to support children’s social and emotional development and early learning skills while inspiring and engaging them. She develops curricula and provides formative research and consulting services for clients like Sprout, Nick Jr, Disney Junior, PBS Kids, Silvergate Media, Brown Bag Films and Discovery Kids.

A long time Nickelodeon advisor, she was most recently the Director of Research and Curriculum on “Wallykazam!” and she crafted an educational pedagogy and curriculum for the Nickelodeon Preschool brand. Laura was the Director of Research at Little Airplane Productions for nine years where she led the formative research and curriculum on “The Wonder Pets” and “3rd and Bird”. Other credits include “The Adventures of Napkin Man”, “Peter Rabbit”, Ni Hao, Kai -Lan”, “The Backyardigans” and “Blue’s Clues”.

Laura is increasingly involved in educational games. She is currently Head of Curriculum for an educational virtual world for elementary school aged children and a Developmental Expert for a health care related game in development for the National Institutes of Health. Laura holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. Before her involvement in children’s media, she had a private practice focused on learning disabled children and their families. She is herself the mother of three children and gets great satisfaction in developing quality educational properties for children.


Natascha Crandall, Ph.D. – Children’s Media Educational Consultant; President, Crandall Consulting, LLC

Dr. Natascha Crandall is a psychologist and educator with a special interest in enhancing children’s growth and development through research and the power of media. She is the founder of Crandall Consulting, LLC ( She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Developmental Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and continued her studies in Rehabilitation Counseling at The University of Maryland. After obtaining her Master’s degree, Natascha worked as an Addictions Therapist for young mothers in economically depressed areas near Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. She then chose to further her education and received her Doctorate in School Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. It was there that her love of educating children through media began.

Natascha has extensive experience in curriculum development, script review, and formative research for leading shows including: Sprout’s, Driftwood Bay, The Floogals, Nickelodeon’s Peter Rabbit, Zack and Quack, Bubble Guppies, The Backyardigans, The Wonder Pets, DreamWorks Animation’s Noddy, CBeebies’ Bing Bunny, The Octonauts, Sesame Tree, and many Sesame Workshop international co-productions.


Edie Demas, PhD – Executive Director, Jacob Burns Film Center

Edie Demas joined the JBFC as executive director in May 2014. Previously, she collaborated on the creation of GRoW with The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. She also was part of the team that designed the center’s first full season of kids and family programming and outreach initiatives for schools and the community. Before that, she was director of education at New York City’s New Victory Theater for 10 seasons. While under her direction, the theater’s education programs were honored with the Americans for the Arts annual award for Arts Education and Demas herself received a BAXten award in recognition of her work with teaching artists and young audiences. Edie holds an MA and PhD from New York University’s Program in Educational Theatre, where she was a member of the adjunct faculty (1990–2010). She served on the board of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable for five years and was a contributing writer to New York City’s Blueprints for Teaching and Learning in the Arts: Theater and an advisor on its Moving Image Blueprint. Edie’s experience also includes several years in Ireland, where she worked as Education Officer with Graffiti Theatre Company, a leading producer of theater for young audiences; founded UnReel, an international film festival for young people; developed scripts/projects for children’s film and television; and served as an Associate Artist with the Education and Outreach Department at The Abbey, Ireland’s National Theatre.


Laura Lundgren – Vice President Brand Strategy and Marketing, Nickelodeon

Laura Lundgren attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies with a concentration in Film. Her career began at Nickelodeon in 1998 where she joined the team as a Production Assistant on a day part called, Nick in the Afternoon. From there, Laura has remained at Nickelodeon as a key creative figure in the network’s brand communications. A specialist in defining channel identity, Laura was tapped by Nickelodeon to launch digital networks including Noggin (now Nick Jr.), Nicktoons and The N (now TeenNick). In post collegiate work, Laura pursued her Masters of Education at Columbia University, as well as course work in Photography at the International Center for Photography in New York City. Laura combines a passion for brand creativity and demo expertise to create and maintain world-class kids brands in both the emerging digital space and traditional media. Laura currently holds the position of Vice President Brand Strategy & Marketing.



Vanessa Taylor Director, Production & Development, Preschool, Nickelodeon

Vanessa Taylor is the Director of Production and Development for Nickelodeon Preschool. A 10-year veteran of Nickelodeon, Taylor has worked on a number of preschool properties including PAW Patrol, Bubble Guppies, The Fresh Beat Band and Dino Dan. In her current position, she manages the day-to-day operations of production, acting as the liaison between the production units and all other lines of business such as marketing, music, consumer products and talent.







Rosemarie Truglio, Ph.D. – SVP of Curriculum & Content, Sesame Workshop

Rosemarie T. Truglio is the Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop. Dr. Truglio is responsible for the development of the interdisciplinary curriculum on which Sesame Street is based and oversees content development across platforms (e.g., television, publishing, toys, home video, and theme park activities).

Previously, Dr. Truglio managed an interdisciplinary global content team responsible for all global co-productions and content development across all media platforms, including digital media. From 1997 to 2013, she oversaw all educational research pertaining to program development, the results of which informed both the production and creative decisions for how to enhance the entertaining and educational components of linear and interactive content. Before joining Sesame Workshop in 1997, she was an Assistant Professor of Communication and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Truglio has written numerous articles in child and developmental psychology journals and presented her work at national and international conferences. Additionally, she is co-editor of “G is for Growing: Thirty Years of Research on Children and Sesame Street” (2001) published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Dr. Truglio has appeared on numerous broadcast, cable, and radio news and talk programs, including “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “CNN’s Headline News and Sanjay Gupta. MD,” “Showbiz Tonight,” NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and has been interviewed by reporters from a variety of national newspapers and news agencies.

Dr. Truglio currently serves on several advisory boards: the PBS KIDS Next Generation Media; Lego Foundation Research & Innovation Network on Learning Through Play; and an NSF REESE grant entitled Collaborative Research: Using Educational DVDs to Enhance Preschooler’s STEM Education. She previously served on the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council (NICHD); the Children’s Digital Media Center Advisory Board, the National Association for Media Literacy Education; PlayAbility Scale Board/Parent’s Choice Foundation; and The Ultimate Block Party/Learn Now.

Dr. Truglio received a Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas, and a B.A in Psychology from Douglass College, Rutgers University. She received distinguished alumni awards from Douglass College (2005), University of Kansas (2013) and Rutgers University (2014).


Kristi AvramKristi Avram

Kristi Avram currently serves on several non-profit boards including NAMLE, Green Below 14 and Southampton Arts Center. Her previous 15 year career in the film industry focused on publicity, marketing and special events for a wide range of film genres. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University.








Emily Bailin, Teachers College, Columbia University; The Media Spot

Emily is a doctoral student at Teachers College. Her research focuses on engaging young people and educators in identity work through multimodal storytelling practices. As a social justice educator, she incorporates critical media literacy into all of her work. This fall, Emily joined The Media Spot as a content consultant.








Alan Berry, Education Director: LAMP

Alan has been with The LAMP since 2012 and oversees all program design and implementation in addition to training facilitators, teaching youth and special project development.








Rhys Daunic, Founder of The Media Spot

Rhys Daunic is the founder and director of The Media Spot in Brooklyn where he has facilitated student media productions, and developed media literacy curricula with educators at all levels, primarily within New York City public schools. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in media literacy, and was a board member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education from 2009-2015.







Lewis Freeman, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Department of Communication & Media Studies, Fordham University; Board of Directors, Children’s Media Association

Lewis Freeman (Ph.D., Columbia University) teaches in the Department of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University. His research has examined social mobility in situation comedy (Sitcom Society, 2008), children’s conceptions of cities (Urban Communication Foundation Prize), and the future of children’s television programming (funded by a grant from the Time Warner Cable Research Program on Digital Communications).






Makeda Mays Green, Director of Usability Research and Curriculum Design, Nickelodeon Consumer Insights

Makeda Mays Green is the lead user researcher and curriculum specialist for Nick Jr. Games. In this capacity, she creates and implements educational content across digital platforms including online, video game consoles and mobile devices for Nick Jr. properties (PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines and Bubble Guppies). She also oversees research with preschoolers to ensure that products best meet the needs of the target audience. Prior to her role at Nickelodeon, Green worked as the director of education & research, digital media at Sesame Workshop (the creators of Sesame Street)





Zen Johnson, Education Associate: LAMP

Zen joined The LAMP in 2015 with a passion in re-engaging inner-city youth by using media literacy to challenge the narrative and build real-world skills. Previously, she worked with Harlem Children’s Zone and earned her B.A. in Sociology, English and Pan-African Studies.








Emily Long, Director of Communications and Development: LAMP

Emily has been with The LAMP since 2008 and oversees all internal and external communications as well as fundraising and special projects.









Renee Cherow-O’Leary, Ph.D., President, Education for the 21st Century, New York and Los Angeles

Dr. Renee Cherow-O’Leary is a media literacy pioneer, having led a program developed by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in seventeen cities, in the 1990’s. She is a former Director of Research at Sesame Street and has served as developer of curriculum for Disney, Sprout and many other children’s media organizations. She was a full-time faculty member in English Education and Media Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University and now consults full time on educational program development for corporate and non-profit groups. Her recent work includes an extensive curriculum for the United Nations Plural+ youth video project and human rights research and evaluation on compassion and empathy for Coexist, a social and emotional learning film production . Renee serves as an educational advisor to the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Museum of the Moving Image and has blogged for the World Future Society on the future of education. She is working on a book on how social transformation will irrevocably alter education and what it will take to be a true child of the 21st century.


D.C. Vito, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The LAMP

D.C. Vito is the co-founder and Executive Director of The LAMP, a nonprofit organization teaching people to comprehend, create and challenge media.









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November 2, 2015
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EST
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