The featured speaker for UMLMUN 2015 will be UMass Lowell Political Science Professor Jenifer Whitten Woodring.
Jenifer Whitten-Woodring is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts. Her research focuses on the causes and effects of media freedom and the role of media in repression and dissent. Her book, Historical Guide to World Media Freedom: A Country-by-Country Analysis
(CQ Press/SAGE 2014, with Douglas Van Belle), analyzes the evolution and devolution of media freedom in 196 countries from 1948 to the present. Her articles have been published in The Journal of Conflict Resolution
, International Studies Quarterly
, and Political Communication
. She is the immediate past chair of the International Communication Section of the International Studies Association. Prior to becoming a political scientist, Whitten-Woodring worked as a journalist in print and broadcast media and received five first place awards from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association. She became interested in media freedom and the relationship between media and politics when she was a journalism instructor and student newspaper adviser, first at Cedar Crest College in Allentown Pennsylvania and then at California State University at San Marcos. To pursue these research interests she went back to school and completed her PhD in Politics and International Relations at the University of Southern California in 2010. She also has a master’s degree in Radio, Television, and Film from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. Thus she remains a news junkie if not a news hound.