Core

Principal Investigator


Urs Gasser

Urs Gasser is the Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He teaches at Harvard Law School, at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and Fudan University School of Management (China). He is a visiting professor at KEIO University (Japan) and a Fellow at the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research. Urs Gasser has written several books, is the co author of “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives” (Basic Books, 2008, with John Palfrey) that has been translated into 10 languages (including Chinese), and has published over 70 articles in professional journals. His research and teaching activities focus on information law and policy issues. Current projects, several of them in collaboration with leading research institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, explore policy and educational challenges for young Internet users, the regulation of digital technology (currently with focus on cloud computing), ICT interoperability, information quality, the law’s impact on innovation and risk in the ICT space, and alternative governance systems. He graduated from the University of St. Gallen (J.D., S.J.D.) as well as Harvard Law School (LL.M.) and received several academic awards and prizes for his research.

Director

Sandra Cortesi

Sandra Cortesi is a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and there the Director of the Youth and Media project. She is responsible for coordinating the Youth and Media’s policy, research, and educational initiatives, and is leading the Digitally Connected collaboration between the Berkman Klein Center and UNICEF. At Youth and Media Sandra works closely with talented young people and lead researchers in the field as they look into innovative ways to approach social challenges in the digital world. Together with Berkman Klein Center’s Executive Director Urs Gasser and the Youth and Media team, she focuses on topics such as inequitable access, information quality, risks to safety and privacy, skills and digital literacy, and spaces for participation, civic engagement, and innovation. Sandra supports the following Berkman Klein projects and initiatives: Youth and Media, Student Privacy Initiative, Digital Problem-Solving Initiative, Digital Literacy Resource Platform (DLRP), Harmful Speech Online, and Coding for All. See publications here.

Research Associate

Alexa Hasse

Alexa Hasse is a Research Associate for the Youth and Media project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Prior to this position, she worked in a healthcare startup, and in the Personal Robotics Group at the MIT Media Lab. A Boston native, Alexa received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Boston College in 2012, and went on to receive two Master’s degrees. She completed a Master of Education in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in 2013, and a Master of Arts in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education in 2015. Her research interests include how youth develop a sense of identity on social media, and the intersection of technology use and moral development. In her free time, Alexa loves yoga, traveling, going to concerts, and exploring Boston.

Project Coordinator

Sonia Kim

Sonia Kim is a Senior Project Coordinator for the Youth and Media project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. She graduated from Brown University with an A.B. in English and from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an Ed.M. in Learning and Teaching. Prior to the Berkman Klein Center, Sonia was a teacher, instructional designer, and Fulbright Fellow. She has worked with students aged 5 to 65 in Boston, San Francisco, and Seoul, South Korea.

Project Fellows

Andres Lombana-Bermudez

Andres Lombana-Bermudez is a researcher and designer working at the intersection of digital technology, youth, innovation, and learning. His approach is transdisciplinary and collaborative, combining ethnographic and quantitative research methods, design-based research, and media technology design. He is a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and a Research Associate with the Connected Learning Research Network. Andres has worked in the field of digital media and learning for over a decade and collaborated in projects such as the Digital Edge, Youth and Media, the New Media Literacies Project, KLRU-Austin PBS summer STEM, and Clubes de Ciencia Colombia. His dissertation research focused on digital inequalities, immigrant assimilation, and participation gaps among Latino/Hispanic youth. As a fellow at the the Berkman Klein Center, Andres works with the Youth and Media team. He collaborates with the The Digital Literacy Toolkit and Coding for All projects, and supports global and Latin American initiatives such as Digitally Connected and Conectados al Sur. He also continues to research digital equity with a focus on minority populations in the U.S. and Latin America. Andres has a doctorate in Media Studies from UT-Austin with concentration in digital literacy and education, a masters in Comparative Media Studies from MIT, and bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Literature from Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

Leah Plunkett

Leah A. Plunkett is a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and an Associate Professor of Legal Skills & Director of Academic Success at University of New Hampshire School of Law. As a member of the Youth and Media team at Berkman Klein, Leah researches and writes about student privacy and digital citizenship among K-12 learners. At UNH Law, she works with students on skill-building for success in law school, on the bar exam, and in legal practice, as well as teaches an Access to Justice course. Leah is a former Climenko Fellow & Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and was the founder of the Youth Law Project at New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Leah is a graduate of Harvard College, where she performed with the Immediate Gratification Players improv comedy troupe, and Harvard Law School, where she was training director for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.

Project Team

Elsa Brown

Elsa Brown studies at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She primarily works in illustration and digital art, and hopes to become an illustrator and comic book creator. She is interested in online creative content and the value of online discussion. At Youth and Media Elsa has created illustrations that were then paired with YaM reports, briefs, and slides.

Michelle Ciccone

Michelle is a Research Assistant for the Youth and Media team at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Michelle is an educator and curriculum developer passionate about digital literacy, media literacy, and digital citizenship. She is currently the Technology Integration Specialist at Foxborough High School, where she develops and deploys a vertically aligned strategic vision for technology integration across content areas and grades. Previously, Michelle worked with nonprofit organizations in the blended learning space. She frequently presents at national and international conferences, and was a 2018 EdTalk presenter with The Boston Foundation. Michelle also serves on the Leadership Council of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). She has a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.S. Ed. in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Tanvi Kanchinadam

Originally from New Jersey, Tanvi Kanchinadam is a rising high school senior at Phillips Academy Andover interested in the relationship between Global Health Policy and International Development in the context of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), and the effect these technologies have on disadvantaged communities on a grassroots level. Previous work includes a focus on the correlation between caste and the inequity of healthcare delivery between low and high caste communities in India. Tanvi is also the founder and organizer of TEDxPhillipsAcademyAndover, an annual TEDx conference consisting entirely of student speakers. In the past, the conference has centered around themes such as ‘21st Century Citizenship,’ and ‘Our Generation’s Mission Statement.’ Tanvi is also passionate about government and politics, and she hosts a weekly online radio show ‘Chai Time’ to discuss issues concerning the South Asian diaspora, as well as broader issues at play in the American political thicket. She also engages with the South Asian community as president of the Hindu Student Union at Phillips Academy. Tanvi is a classically trained double-bassist who plays in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Phillips Academy Chamber and Symphonic Orchestras. Additionally, she occasionally dabbles in Jazz and other forms of contemporary music.

Jackie Eun Jin Kim

Jackie Eun Jin Kim is a Research Assistant for the Youth and Media project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. She is currently a master’s candidate in the Technology, Innovation and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to coming to Harvard, she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania with a honors degree in Communications. Her research interests include the intersection of technology and education, including computer-mediated communication and virtual collaboration.

Quinn Robinson

Quinn Robinson is a rising Senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and lives in Wellesley, MA. He is particularly passionate about combating issues of privacy on the internet and in various sources of media, which he hopes to incorporate into his projects at Berkman Klein, his future collegiate studies, and his work beyond. He also enjoys studying in the general fields of social science, history, and mathematics. During the school year, he serves as a board member and competitor of both the Philomathean Debate Society and the Phillips Academy Model UN team, a resident advisor, and the head of MOSAIC– an affinity group for multiracial students and faculty. He holds decent proficiency in Mandarin, which he teaches to elementary school students from Lawrence, and has for long been interested in Chinese culture and politics– culminating in a summer-abroad program last year spent investigating the role of state-owned enterprises in the modern Chinese economy. In his free time, Quinn loves listening to music, travelling, and playing squash and tennis.

Skyler Sallick

Skyler Sallick is a rising sophomore at Claremont McKenna College looking to major in Philosophy and Public Affairs, with an emphasis on tech policy and ethics. During her first undergraduate year, Skyler pioneered a project with Shared_Studio’s Portal Project, as a student initiative aiming to bring Portal technology to Claremont in 2019. A recent graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover, Skyler spent much of high school as the Founder and Director of the Andover Satellite Editorial Board for the award-winning, global, online magazine, KidSpirit, that explores the ways in which the internet connects youth voices around the world on meaningful topics. Additionally, she had several articles published through the magazine, including one in the Huffington Post entitled The Basic Intricacies of Kindness and Compassion. Through KidSpirit, Skyler spoke on a panel at the 2015 Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah on the importance of youth involvement in change making. She was featured on the Garrison Institute Podcast for her work surrounding youth involvement in discussions around climate change. Additionally, Skyler was a documentary finalist in the All American High School Film Festival. She also serves as a Volunteer Ambassador for Be the Match: City of Hope. Skyler has a passion for exploring the opportunities and challenges technological innovation such as AI and VR/AR can offer education, specifically exploring the ethics and potential policies around technology that affect youth.

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith studies animation at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  She creates both animated and illustrated works, focusing primarily on characters and storytelling.  At Youth and Media she creates visual assets for projects such as reports and blog posts.

Melanie Tan

Melanie Tan is an independent animator, and comic artist living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. Growing up as a Cambodian girl in a predominantly white neighborhood, Melanie’s work focuses on safe spaces and making your own home using bright colors, soft shapes, and cozy textures. In 2017 she received the Emerging Student Leadership award for her work with Loop Groop, a student run organization that aims to make animation accessible through short looping sequences. She brings those themes and characteristics to her work within Youth and Media, making the reports, articles, and presentations visually appealing and approachable.  Melanie currently studies animation at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Claudia Thomas

Claudia Thomas studied animation at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is an animator and illustrator who works digitally in both 2D and 3D. She is fascinated by the endless artistic possibilities created by digital media and the Internet and hopes to explore them in her work. At Youth and Media, she creates illustrations and animations to accompany reports and other media. See some of her illustrations at https://www.claudiathomas.art.

Pedro Maddens Toscano

Pedro Maddens Toscano is a Research Assistant for the Youth and Media project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in May 2018 obtaining a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering with a Minor in International Affairs. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Technology and Policy.

In collaboration with:

  • Lionel Brossi
  • Christian Fieseler
  • Rey Junco
  • John Palfrey
  • Gosia Stergios