Five faculty and one new staff member join Nebraska's College of Journalism and Mass Communications

Wednesday, August 23, 2023 - 10:45am

Five faculty and one new staff member joined CoJMC, starting in the 2023-24 academic year: assistant professor of practice, Kristian Anderson; assistant professor of practice and Deepe Family Chair in Depth Reporting, Chris Graves; assistant professor in sports media and communication, Dr. Ryan Tan; assistant professor in media law, Dr. Michael K. Park; assistant professor and Deepe Family Chair in Depth Reporting, Dr. Linda White; and director of advising Alisa Smith.

Kristian Anderson Headshot

Kristian Anderson

Kristian Anderson graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications in 1992 with a double major in advertising and broadcasting. He has been teaching part-time in the college for over ten years while also running his own business, Right Eye Digital. Kristian has worked in radio as an on-air DJ, in television at the local CBS affiliate as a Reporter/Videographer and Commercial Producer, plus as the Promotion and Public Service Manager at the local ABC affiliate. Kristian has also been livestreaming events for his church and other organizations since the start of COVID.

In his spare time, Kristian enjoys competing at a national level in the sport of fencing and spending time with his wife and children. Kristian’s wife Laura, is a Dental Hygienist in Surgical Specialties at UNMC on east campus, and they have five children, Ashley, Ehlee, Will, Mai and Maura.

Chris Graves Headshot

Chris Graves

Chris Graves is an assistant professor of practice and a Deepe Family Chair in Depth Reporting at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, teaching reporting and writing. She is also a 1987 graduate of the college, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree. A native of North Omaha, Graves is a first-generation college student.

Graves started writing stories for her high school newspaper and never looked back. She’s covered politics and potlucks, serial killers and killer storms. She’s spent her career documenting human suffering and the human spirit. A word editor and a newsroom manager, she helped newsrooms "go digital' in the early days and continues to be energized by the future of local news and how technologies can deliver news to various audiences.

She’s been a reporter, line editor, assistant city editor and managing editor and newspaper columnist. She’s worked in print, TV and public radio newsrooms. She documented Minneapolis’ most murderous years in the early 1990s. While a reporter at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, she covered spree killer Andrew Cunanan, who killed fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997. Her coverage of the child protection system was a catalyst for the state of Minnesota changing its law, allowing for certain juvenile court records to be open to the media for inspection.

Her crime and justice work has been featured in documentaries, television shows, National Public Radio and referenced in numerous books and cited by former Attorney General Janet Reno as well as used by Harvard researchers.

While the metro columnist at the Cincinnati Enquirer, she was a member of the team awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for "Seven Days of Heroin."

In 2020, while working at Minnesota Public Radio, she helped direct the online coverage of the killing of George Floyd, who died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer and the worldwide aftermath and calls for policing reforms.

She is continuing her research into the 2016 deaths of eight members of a rural Ohio family allegedly at the hands of four members of another family in the foothills of Appalachia.

She is the mother of two adult daughters and lives in Lincoln with her oldest daughter.

Michael Park Headshot

Michael K. Park

Dr. Michael K. Park is a media law and sports communication scholar, and a licensed attorney. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and his J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of Law. His research centers on how disruptions sparked by political developments and advancements in communication technology compel a reexamination of—and test—First Amendment principles and values in the public sphere. Moreover, his research is informed by the civic conception of free speech and the theories of democratic deliberation, and his inquiries examine the political dimension of free speech policies in media, education and sport. His research interests also include media studies of race and gender in sport and sports diplomacy.

Park has published over a dozen scholarly publications in mass communication journals, law reviews and edited books, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Communication Law & Policy, University of Colorado Law Review, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, First Amendment Studies, Communication & Sport, and the Journal of Communication Inquiry. He has also been awarded Top Faculty Paper awards at the National Communication Association (NCA) and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conferences and has been a commentator for NBC News. In addition to research, Park serves on the Editorial Board of the journals, Communication Law & Policy and Communication Law Review.

Ryan Tan Headshot

Ryan Tan

Born and raised in Singapore, Dr. Ryan Tan graduated from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) with a B.A. in English and communication studies. He then continued to earn his master's in communication studies at NTU and just finished his Ph.D. program at Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

Tan’s research is situated within the fields of media effects and human-computer interaction. He’s interested in the relationship between the structural, sensorial, and narrative components of interactive and entertainment media, with a specific focus on the cognitive and emotional effects that videogame components have on players. Alongside his academic endeavors, he continues to hold industrial positions in the videogame field. In his spare time, Tan enjoys dabbling in musical instruments, independent game design and extreme sports.

Linda White Headshot

Linda White

Dr. Linda White is an assistant professor and Deepe Family Chair in Depth Reporting at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She earned her doctorate in Information and Media from Michigan State University, bachelors degree from Ohio University (Athens '90) and a Masters in Journalism from Ball State University (2018). White conducts quantitative and qualitative social research in communication and media. Her research examines racial diversity in television news, building a better television news product and the successful nontraditional graduate student. She's currently working on her research project 'Diversity in Television News and Audience Bias.'

White has more than twenty-five years of experience as an investigative reporter/anchor covering crime, lifestyles, enterprise, education and health in Akron, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Buffalo, New York and Birmingham, Alabama.

Alisa Smith Headshot

Alisa Smith

Alisa Smith, M. Ed., is the director of advising for the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She works with a strong team of advisors who are dedicated to assisting and supporting CoJMC students, so they stay on track for graduation.

Although new to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Smith has worked in higher education since 2001. Before joining the college, she served as the Dean of Student Success at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. She earned her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Bowling Green State University and her master’s in education from Lourdes University.

In her free time, Smith enjoys reading, baking, and mostly spending time with family and friends. She would love to share pictures of her beautiful grandchildren. Just ask her!