2021 Media Lab Fellows

Jailine Farias

Jailine Farias

Jailine Farias is a Professor in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Universidade Federal da Paraíba (UFPB) and a PhD student in Language Studies at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), Brazil, with a research internship at the University of Illinois, USA (Fulbright Doctoral Dissertation Research Award). Her research interests include (multi/new) literacies, digital textualities, foreign language teaching, new technologies and language teacher education.

Rodrigo Abrantes da Silva

Rodrigo Abrantes da Silva

Rodrigo Abrantes da Silva is a doctoral candidate at the University of São Paulo (USP), in São Paulo, Brazil. He has a bachelor's degree in History from the University of São Paulo. His professional experience covers Elementary, High School, and teacher training, at Dante Alighieri School. He is a Teaching Assistant in the Learning Design and Leadership program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under the supervision of Professors Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis. His research interests are new literacies, online education, and new pedagogies.

Anastasia-Olga Tzirides

Anastasia-Olga Tzirides

Anastasia-Olga (Olnancy) Tzirides is a PhD candidate in the Learning Design and Leadership Program at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include emerging digital technologies, online education, as well as language and culture learning. Her current project focuses on exploring the potential of using digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence combined with a multimodal and translanguaging approach to language learning.

​Kara Francis

​Kara Francis

Kara Francis earned her Doctorate of Education in Learning Design and Leadership in February 2021. Her research focused on the relationship between sense of community and peer review for doctoral dissertation students. She serves as an adjunct instructor for the LDL program and is continuing her consulting practice where she partners with organizations to implement social collaboration and learning solutions using online communities. While born and raised in Champaign, Illinois, she has lived in Minnetonka, Minnesota for nearly twenty years. She enjoys stamping home-made cards, exploring the many bike trails throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, attending Minnesota Twins baseball and Gophers Women’s volleyball games, and spending time with her husband, Luke and young son, Tyler.

Jen Whiting

Jen Whiting

Jen Whiting is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Education, specializing in Learning Design and Leadership. She has a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Rider University and a Master of Fine Arts from Queens University, Charlotte. She is an adjunct writing professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey and Baruch College in New York City. Her interests include the ethics of authority, the link between leadership and listening, and the historical parallels of prisons and schools.