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Faculty Directors

Peter Laufer, Co-Director of the Institute for Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict-Sensitive Reporting

Peter Laufer is the James Wallace Chair Professor in Journalism, School of Journalism and Communication. He is the co-director of the Crossings Institute.

Steven Shankman, Co-Director of the Institute for Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict-Sensitive Reporting

UNESCO Chair in Transcultural Studies, Interreligious Dialogue, and Peace Distinguished Professor of English and Classics
Participating Faculty Member, Comparative Literature

Christopher Chávez, Senior Faculty Research Fellow

Christopher Chávez is an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. He is the author of Reinventing the Latino Television Viewer: Language Ideology and Practice and co-editor of Identity: Beyond Tradition and McWorld Neoliberalism. Through his research, teaching and service, Chris aims to promote cross-cultural understanding. In addition to teaching classes on media and culture, Chris has organized several public forums including “Charlie Hebdo, tolerance and the freedom of expression,” and “(Mis) representing the migrant: Beyond the tropes of anchor babies, refugees and criminals.” Chris also helps to organize a recurring conference on journalism and communications in Madrid and works closely with the SOJC’s Media and Ghana program.

H. Leslie Steeves, Senior Faculty Research Fellow

H. Leslie Steeves is Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Journalism & Communication at the University of Oregon, USA. Dr. Steeves’ research addresses overlapping questions concerning media in and about sub-Saharan Africa, including: gender, media and development/social change; information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development; and entertainment and tourism representations of Africa. In 2017 she received ICA’s Teresa Award for the Advancement of Feminist Scholarship. She co-authored with Srinivas Melkote Communication for Development: Theory and Practice for Empowerment and Social Justice ( 2015). She also guest-edited an issue of Communication, Culture & Critiqueon ‘Africa, Media and Globalization’ (2016). She serves on a number of editorial boards and has published in leading journals in media studies, including, Journal of Communication, Communication Theory,Critical Studies in Media Communication,Communication, Culture & Critique,Media, Culture & Society, International Communication Gazette, andAfrican Journalism Studies. She has received two Fulbright Scholar grants for teaching and research in Kenya and Ghana; and she directs an annual study abroad internship program in Accra, Ghana, in collaboration with the University of Ghana.

Gabriela Martínez, Senior Faculty Research Fellow


In addition to University of Oregon Faculty Research Fellows, the Crossings Institute hosts Senior Research fellows from other institutions and Senior Research Fellows who are independent scholars. These colleagues participate as members of the Crossings cohort in UNESCO World Press Freedom Day events, they come to the University of Oregon campuses to present their research at School of Journalism and Communication conferences, they guest lecture in School of Journalism and Communication classes and they engage as guests of Crossings Radio podcasts.

M.S. Laufer, Visiting Senior Research Fellow

M. S. Laufer worked in mathematics and high energy physics until he decided to use his background in science to tackle problems of world health and other social issues. Perpetually disruptive, his flagship project makes it possible for people to manufacture their own medications at home. Open-source, and made from off-the-shelf parts, the Apothecary MicroLab puts many medications within the reach of those who would otherwise not have them. The project which garnered his group the most press was the  EpiPencil, an open-source version of the EpiPen which costs only $30 to produce, and $3 to refill.

David Burns, Senior Research Fellow

David Burns is an associate professor in Salisbury University’s Communication Arts Department. Burns has worked for CNN and NBC News, in both permanent and freelance capacities, as a videotape editor and field camera operator in the United States and abroad. As part of a UNESCO-led education initiative, Burns served on an international panel of experts that reformed Iraq’s higher education journalism curriculum. While living outside the US, he worked as a technology correspondent for the IDG Wire Service and a Polish business weekly newspaper. He has taught multimedia journalism courses to students and professional journalism workshops to media professionals in the United States, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Burns is a past president of the Society of Professional Journalists Maryland Professional Chapter. He is the co-editor of Case Studies in Sport Communication: You Make the Call (Routledge, 2018) a textbook that applies communication theory to current issues in sport and society.

Markos Kounalakis, Senior Research Fellow

Markos Kounalakis, Ph.D. is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He is a presidentially-appointed executive committee member of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.  Kounalakis is the McClatchy foreign affairs columnist and is president and publisher emeritus of the Washington Monthly. His latest book is “Spin Wars & Spy Games: Global Media and Intelligence Gathering” (Hoover Institution Press). In the 1980s and early 1990s, he reported the overthrow of communism throughout Eastern Europe for Newsweek and later became the NBC Radio and Mutual News Moscow correspondent, covering the fall of the Soviet Union and regional wars.

Student Research Fellows

Haley Hendrickson, Student Research Fellow 


Hayley Hendrickson is a journalism major at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. She coaches writing for the SOJC and works as a Teacher’s Assistant for first- year students. In the past year, she has participated in a research-heavy investigative journalism project involving both Russian and Oregon students. Hendrickson serves as the Marketing Manager of Classroom 15, the book that developed out of the project. She spends most of her spare time seeking out new books to read.

Jade Stewart, Student Research Fellow

Jade Yamazaki Stewart writes for the Daily Emerald and Ethos Magazine.
He studies Spanish, Japanese and journalism at the University of Oregon.
Jade is using his language skills to pursue a career in international
and multicultural journalism. In his free timehe rides his motorcycle,
eats sushi and dances to reggaetón.

Ida Hardin, Student Research Fellow

Ida Hardin is an audio journalist working on her master’s in journalism at the University of Oregon. She is a reporter with the UO-UNESCO Crossings Institute for Conflict-Sensitive Reporting and Intercultural Dialogue. She spent three months as a fellow at UNESCO in Paris, France. During her time at UNESCO, she helped produce podcasts for the Head of Media Services, George Papagiannis, wrote success stories for the Strategic Contents team, and helped curate women in science posters that adorned the fence of UNESCO. She is now utilizing this experience in her current audio projects.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling the world on her bike.

Alumni Student Research Fellows

Alec Cowen, Alumnus Research Fellow

Alec Cowan is a print and audio journalist based in Eugene, OR. As a student at the University of Oregon, he is the Senior Podcast Editor for the Daily Emerald. He is also a reporter with the UO-UNESCO Crossings Institute for Conflict-Sensitive Reporting and Intercultural Dialogue. This past summer he began producing a podcast series for the Lundquist School of Business at the University of Oregon titled “1 O 1”, centered around teaching basic principles from college business classrooms in an accessible and digestible podcast medium. He is also an intern and works as an archivist, writer, and web designer for the UO English Department as a part of their English History Project. Alec enjoys watching “Philosophy of…” YouTube videos and buying books he doesn’t read in his spare time.

Matthew Denis, Alumnus Graduate Research Fellow

A journalist’s job is to present well-researched, evocative stories that explore and expose the world in which we live. Matthew produces articles, photographs and videos that engage communities, examine local culture and invoke the human spirit. And he is further invigorated by editing the professional work of peer reporters.

Levi Gittleman, Alumnus Research Fellow
Crossings Radio Native American issues reporter.

Drake Hills, Alumnus Research Fellow

Drake Hills is a sports journalist and analyst with a focus in print and radio from San Diego, California. Hills studied journalism at the University of Oregon, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Hills opted to be the Oregon Soccer Beat Writer for and also a sports reporter for KWVA 88.1 FM Eugene during his time in Oregon. His tie to Ghana reaches back to his brief stint with Joy 99.7 FM, working with Joy Sports, specifically Benadict Owusu, Gary Al Smith, Nathanial Attoh and George Addo Jnr. Drake made his broadcast debut in June 2017 on the Joy News program “Sports Today”.

Derek Maiolo, Alumnus Research Fellow

Derek grew up in the mountains of Northwest Colorado, but he descended to the Willamette Valley to be near the ocean and get a break from the snow. He is a journalism student who gets outside any chance he can get — be it kayaking, hiking or mountain biking on a nearby forest trail. He joined Crossings Radio to tell meaningful stories in his community and around the world.

Sravya Tadepalli, Alumnus Research Fellow

Besides working at Crossings, Sravya was assistant news director at KWVA Radio, where she co-hosted a weekly roundtable show on Oregon politics.

Dahlia Bazzaz, Alumnus Research Fellow


Emerson Malone, Alumnus Research Fellow

Casey Minter, Alumnus Research Fellow


Franziska Monahan, Alumnus Research Fellow


Thomas Schmidt, Alumnus Graduate Research Fellow


Reuben Unrau, Alumnus Research Fellow

Ruben Unrau, research fellow

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