I'm a Dana Professor in the Dept. of Psychology here at Ithaca College, where I've been teaching since 1986. I currently teach courses in developmental psychology (including PSYC 36100 Infancy, Childhood & Adolescence for psychology majors and PSYC 10400 Introduction to Developmental Psychology for non-majors), and have a research team that studies media effects and the effectiveness of media literacy with elementary age children. I also teach PSYC 11000 Media Literacy & Popular Culture and coordinate the college's interdisciplinary Media Literacy Minor.
I am the founder and executive director of Project Look Sharp, a media literacy initiative of Humanities & Sciences that provides support, materials and training for the integration of media literacy across the curriculum in K-12 and post-secondary education. In that role, I help to write and edit many curriculum kits, lessons, and other educational materials, including lessons on nutrition for early elementary grades. I am the co-author of Teaching Students to Decode the World: Media Literacy and Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum (ASCD, 2022) with Chris Sperry, andThe Teacher's Guide to Media Literacy: Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World (Corwin/Sage, 2012) with Faith Rogow, as well a number of articles about media literacy and media's influence on children. I was a founding board member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, and I lead media literacy workshops for educators across the U.S. and most recently in Bhutan (see my blog about that trip), Iran, and Turkey.
I've lived in Ithaca for 50 years, since I came to Cornell University as a freshman in 1972. I had the honor of working with Dr. John Condry at Cornell for my doctoral thesis on children's beliefs about Santa Claus and other fantasy characters. He and I established the Center for Research on the Effects of Television (CRETV) in 1983, and since his unexpected death in 1993 I have continued the CRETV lab with my undergraduate psychology students here at Ithaca College. The CRETV archive - with samples recorded from 1983-2017 - is one of the largest archives of television content in the U.S.