Affiliated Faculty

Dan Anderson, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Professor Anderson studies children and television including children’s interactions during TV viewing and the impact on cognitive development and education.  His current research concerns television and very young children, brain activation during media use, and television viewing and children’s diet.  He actively advises television producers on the creation of curriculum-based shows for children.  He has worked on Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, Dora the Explorer, and Bear in the Big Blue House, among others.
Geri Gay, Ph.D.
Interaction and Design Lab
Cornell University
Dr. Geri Gay is the Kenneth J. Bissett Professor and Chair of Communication at Cornell University and a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow. She is also a member of the Faculty of Computer and Information Science and the director of the Interaction Design Lab at Cornell University. Her research focuses on social and technical issues in the design of interactive communication technologies. Specifically, she is interested in social navigation, affective computing, social networking, mobile computing, and design theory.Professor Gay has received funding for her research and design projects from NSF, NASA, the Mellon Foundation, Intel, Google, Microsoft, NIH, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AT&T Foundation, and several private donors. She teaches courses in interactive multimedia design and research, computer-mediated communication, human-computer interaction, and the social design of communication systems.
Rebecca Richert, Ph.D.
Childhood Cognition Lab
University of California, Riverside

Dr. Rebekah Richert is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at University of California, Riverside. Previous to this appointment, she was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Paul Harris at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and with Dr. Harvey Whitehouse at Queens University-Belfast. This post-doctoral training was funded by a National Science Foundation International Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship. Dr. Richert received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Virginia under the advisement of Dr. Angeline Lillard. Based on her training in cognitive development, Dr. Richert has developed various lines of research into how children’s developing social cognition influences their understanding of religion, fantasy, and media. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Templeton Foundation.

Ellen Wartella, Ph.D.
Center on Media and Human Development
Northwestern University
Ellen Wartella is Al-Thani Professor of Communication, Professor of Psychology and Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University.  She is a leading scholar of the role of media in children’s development and serves on a variety of national and international boards and committees on children’s issues. She is co-principal investigator of the Children’s Digital Media Center project funded by the National Science Foundation (2001-2011) and was co-principle investigator on the National TV Violence Study (1995-1998).   She has published widely in communication and psychology journals on children’s media issues.Dr. Wartella earned her PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and completed her postdoctoral research in developmental psychology in 1981 at the University of Kansas.   She was dean of the College of Communication at the University of Texas from 1993-2004 and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of California-Riverside from 2004-2009.  Before joining the faculty at Northwestern in March 2010 she was Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California-Riverside.
Fran Blumberg, Ph.D.
Graduate School of Education
Fordham University
Fran C. Blumberg is an Associate Professor in the Division of Psychological & Educational Services in Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Purdue University (1988). Her research interests concern the development of children’s attention and problem solving in the context of informal and formal digital learning settings. This work has been recognized through funding from the Spencer Foundation and the National Science Foundation, service on advisory board panels, and through conference presentations and publications. She and Shalom M. Fisch co-edited the 2013 volume of New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development: Digital Games as a Context for Cognitive Development and Learning. She also co-edited with Mark Blades and Caroline Oates a 2013 volume of Zeitschrift für Psychologie: Youth and New Media. She is editor of the forthcoming  Learning by playing: Frontiers of Video Gaming in Education (Oxford University Press) and co-editor with Mark Blades, Caroline Oates, and Barrie Gunter of the in press volume, Children and advertising: New issues and new media (Palgrave-Macmillan).