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Digital Media and Learning Competition Judges

Initial Judges :: Finalist Judges

HASTAC and the MacArthur Foundation would like to thank the following finalist judges for their expertise, time, and dedication in selecting the 2007 Digital Media and Learning Competition awardees. At this stage of the process, judges evaluated all finalist applications and convened for collective review and final selection of awardees.

Louis M. Gomez

Louis M. Gomez is Aon Professor of Learning Sciences and Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University. He is also Learning Science Program Coordinator. Professor Gomez' primary interest is in working with school communities to create social arrangements and curriculum that supports school improvement. Along with his colleagues, Professor Gomez has been dedicated to collaborative research and development with urban schools that will bring state-of-the-art computing and networking technologies into pervasive use in urban schools so that they will transform instruction and support community formation. Prior to joining the Faculty at Northwestern Professor Gomez was director of Human-Computer Systems Research at Bellcore in Morristown New Jersey. At Bellcore, he pursued an active research programs investigating techniques that improve human use of information retrieval systems and techniques which aid in the acquisition of complex computer-based skills . Professor Gomez received a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Mizuko Ito

Mizuko (Mimi) Ito is a cultural anthropologist of technology use, focusing on children and youth's changing relationships to media and communications. She is part of a research project supported by the MacArthur Foundation, "Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media," a three year ethnographic study of kid-initiated and peer-based forms of engagement with new media. She is also conducting ongoing research on Japanese technoculture, looking at how children in Japan and the US engage with post-Pokemon media mixes. Her research on mobile phone use in Japan appears in a book she has co-edited, Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life. She is a Research Scientist at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, and a Visiting Associate Professor at Keio University in Japan.

Timothy Knowles

Timothy Knowles is Lewis-Sebring Executive Director of the Center for Urban School Improvement at the University of Chicago. Previously he served as Deputy Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools where he was responsible for overseeing school improvement and professional development, developing and sustaining community partnerships, supervising school leaders and creating pilot schools citywide. Additionally, he co-directed the Boston Annenberg Challenge, a $30 million effort to improve literacy instruction, and founded the Boston Leadership Academy and the Boston Teacher Residency, non-profit organizations dedicated to creating a pipeline of educators for Boston Public Schools. Prior to Tim's work in Boston, he served as founding director of a full service kindergarten to eighth-grade school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York City, and as the founding director of Teach for America - New York. He began his career teaching African and American History in Botswana and Boston. Tim received his B.A. in anthropology and African history from Oberlin College and his doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University. He has written and talked extensively on school leadership and improving urban schools at scale.

Kenny Miller

Kenny Miller is Executive Vice President and Creative Director of Global Digital Media at MTV Networks. He is responsible for MTVN-wide digital platform development as well as the development of new programming models and operation of cross-brand digital applications. From 1998 through 2006, Miller was Vice President of Production and Programming for The N, overseeing all aspects of series and interactive productions for The N's linear television network, Video on Demand, and The N's digital platform, Miller holds a B.S. degree in computer engineering from Northwestern University and a master's degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where he has also served as an adjunct professor.

David Pogue

David Pogue is the weekly personal-technology columnist for the New York Times and an Emmy award-winning tech correspondent for CBS News. With 3 million books in print, he is also one of the world's bestselling how-to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the "for Dummies" series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music); in 1999, he launched his own series of complete, funny computer books called the Missing Manual series, which now includes 30 titles. David is a 1985 graduate of Yale University. His web site is

Laurie Racine

Laurie Racine is co-founder of dotSUB, a media company that has developed a universal platform to remove language as a barrier for video based communications. Through unique browser based applications, dotSUB gives emerging and existing video content greater cultural reach and economic value. Concurrently, as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for the video mixing and distribution platform Eyespot, Laurie is responsible for building the strategic partnerships and business relationships that drive Eyespot. A Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center of the Annenberg School of Communications, University of Southern California, Laurie serves as co-director of the Lear Center's Creativity, Commerce and Culture Project. Laurie was President of a private fund endowed by the founders of Red Hat Inc. During her tenure she co-founded Public Knowledge, a Washington, D.C. based public interest group where she currently serves as Chair of the Board. She also serves on the board of directors of Creative Commons and ReNew Media (formerly National Video Resources) and is Chair of the international organization TeachersWithoutBorders. For the first year of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Laurie served as Managing Director and then as President of Doc Arts, the corporation that produces the festival. She was also the Executive Director of the Health Sector Management Program at the Fuqua School of Business of Duke University. Her career has been spent creating critical networks across a variety of sectors-media, education, healthcare and philanthropy. Laurie holds a Bachelors degree from New York University and did coursework for a PhD in Human Genetics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes is a program officer in the Digital Learning and Media area of the Program on Human & Community Development at the MacArthur Foundation. Ben is a co-founder of Games For Change, a spin-off from the Serious Games Initiative that concentrates on advancing the use of digital games for positive societal change. Prior to this, he was the e-learning architect for Student Activist Community and a program manager overseeing digital learning projects at NetAid under the umbrella of Education for Global Citizenship. This work included the 2004 launch of the Peter Packet Game and Challenge in collaboration with Cisco Systems. He was the originator of NetAid's interactive VolunteerGuru guidance counselor and previously managed the developing world's preeminent Online Volunteering service in coordination with the United Nations Volunteers. Before NetAid, Ben produced and edited virtual fieldtrips and online research products at Bigchalk/ProQuest, which serves more than 40,000 K-to-12 schools. He has taught in a number of contexts, including applied logic and wilderness survival for middle school students. Ben studied abroad in Senegal and graduated from Haverford College with a B.A. in physics and a minor in French literature. After graduating, Stokes worked with the CREA House to develop a living wage standard for the U.S.-Mexico border region.

David Weinberger

David Weinberger began his "career" in the late '70s teaching philosophy at New Jersey's Stockton State College for five years. (He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto.) During this time he maintained his steady freelance writing of humor, reviews and intellectual and academic articles, publishing in places as diverse as The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Smithsonian, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and TV Guide. In 1985, he became a junior marketing guy at Interleaf, an innovative start-up with new ideas on how to create and structure documents. At Interleaf he helped launch the industry's first document management system and its first electronic document publishing system, years ahead of the Web. He left Interleaf after 8 years, as VP of Strategic Marketing. He founded the one-person strategic marketing company, Evident Marketing, in 1994 and within two years counted among his clients a wide variety of companies, including RR Donnelley, Intuit, Sun Microsystems, Esther Dyson's Release 1.0 and CSC Index. In late 1995, he joined Open Text as VP of Strategic Marketing because he saw an opportunity to help shape the way intranets are used. As part of the senior management team, Dr. Weinberger helped Open Text move from one of the first Web search engine companies (the engine behind Yahoo!) to market- and thought-leadership in Web-based collaborative software. After helping to take Open Text public in 1996, Dr. Weinberger returned to consulting, writing and speaking, helping to found a couple of dot-coms, and serving on industry and company boards. In 2000, Perseus published The Cluetrain Manifesto, of which he is a co-author. It became a national best seller. In 2002, Perseus published Small Pieces Loosely Joined to enthusiastic reviews. Dr. Weinberger currently writes for Wired, Salon, USA Today, Esther Dyson's Release 1.0, and many more. His book Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder was published by Times Books in May 2007. During the 2004 presidential campaign, he was Senior Internet Advisor to the Howard Dean campaign, consulting on Internet policy. In 2004 he was made a fellow at the Berkman Institute for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Evan Williams

Evan Williams is the founder of Obvious Corp, a San Francisco-based web product development company and co-founder of Twitter. He used to be the co-founder and CEO of Pyra Labs, makers of Blogger, which is now part of Google, where he worked most of 2003-04. Originally from the cornfields of Nebraska, Williams has lived in California since 1997.

Connie M. Yowell

Connie M. Yowell is the Director of Education in the MacArthur Foundation's Program on Human and Community Development. In this role, she focuses on grants relating to public education, and on the implications for education of young people's use of digital media. Prior to joining the Foundation, Yowell was an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where her work included the study of reasons why Latino youth drop out of high school. Previously she worked as a Policy Analyst in the Office of Policy and Planning of the U.S. Department of Education. Before that Yowell was a Research Assistant at the University of California at San Francisco and at Stanford University. Yowell earned her bachelor's degree from Yale and her Ph.D. from Stanford University.

:: Initial Judges ::