The Northeast Regional Media Literacy Conference has a long and distinguished history of supporting the advancement of knowledge and practice in media literacy education. The conference has been held annually for 14 years. In 2019, the conference is co-sponsored and hosted by the Feinstein College of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College. In 2018, the conference was hosted by the University of Rhode Island College of Education and Professional Studies and in 2017, the conference was hosted by Central Connecticut State University. From 2005 to 2016, the conference was supported by the University of Connecticut School of Education under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Goodkind.

2019 Conference Chair

Carolyn Fortuna, Ph.D., (@c4tuna31) is the NRMLC program chair for the second year in a row. She’s on the faculty at Rhode Island College where her interests in gender studies, ecojustice, and sports media analysis coalesce. Carolyn is professional development coordinator with the Media Education Lab and writer for CleanTechnica. You can follow her at IDigItMedia

Contact Information

Contact her at c4tuna31@gmail.com

Executive Board Members

2019 Northeast Regional Media Literacy Conference

Pam Steager is a Senior Researcher and Writer at the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island. Her 30 year career in the education and human service fields included directing substance abuse and violence prevention programs in school systems, prisons, and communities in RI and MA, which led to her interest in media literacy.

Ben Boyington (@BenBo370), M.Ed., teaches media, English, film, and history at the high school and college levels. Outside the classroom, he is vice president of the Action Coalition for Media Education and coordinator of the Global Critical Media Literacy Project. Boyington believes that depth of understanding comes from integration, design, and teaching others, and that heutagogy is more important than pedagogy. 

Rose Pierre-Louis is an Education Specialist at Connecticut Public, the state’s PBS and NPR station. She is the co-creator of Thinkalong, a national education program that helps students think critically about media and practice evidence-based discourse. She’s interested in other ways to use technology for good in classrooms.

Nikita Duke is our Social Media Coordinator and a recent graduate of the University of Rhode Island, studying journalism and communications. She currently works in international education in Boston as an IELTS administrator. She volunteers for several community groups as an ESL tutor and teaching assistant. Her podcast series, Planet of Propaganda, offers viewers a close look at the EU-funded Mind Over Media initiative with partners from Croatia, Romania, Belgium, France, Finland, and Poland.

As a media professional Dion Chavis has become an essential voice that listeners and readers have come to recognize as their own. An accomplished radio professional, author, and trainer who uses his voice to help guide the lives of today’s youth while also promoting the importance of responsible parenting and youth engagement, Dion has made writing contributions to several online publications such as The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, fatherhood.gov, and more.

Jenn Ladner is a Library/Media/Technology Specialist at an elementary school in MA. She is also the co-founder of Screen Savvy Kids, a media literacy consulting organization that teaches kids (and adults) how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks associated with screen time. Jennifer has several years experience teaching at Fitchburg State University, where she obtained her M.S. in Applied Communication. She is also an experienced photographer and videographer.

Mary Moen is a professor and coordinator of the School Library Media program in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Rhode Island. She recently concluded Media Smart Libraries, an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant that focused on advancing the digital and media literacy skills of practicing youth librarians. Mary is a faculty leader at the URI Summer Institute in Digital Literacy and her research interests include self-directed professional learning, digital badge programs, and school library trends.

Frank Romanelli (@fromanelli41) teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of Rhode Island. He is the concurrent enrollment coordinator for Writing and Rhetoric and the director of the writing production lab. He serves as a member of the communication committee for the National Association of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) and as a board member of the New England Association of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NEACEP). Frank has been a member of the leadership team of the Summer Institute in Digital Literacy and on the staff of the Media Education Lab at URI. Watch Frank’s video: A New Literacy: Making Connections in Digital Environments

Conference Co-Chair, 2020

Michelle Ciccone is an educator, curriculum developer, and researcher passionate about digital literacy, media literacy, and digital citizenship. She is currently the Technology Integration Specialist at Foxborough High School in Foxborough, Massachusetts. In this position, Michelle develops and deploys a vertically aligned strategic vision for technology integration across content areas and grades. In a previous position she developed the curriculum for and taught a digital literacy class to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, and before this worked with nonprofit organizations in the blended learning space. She frequently presents at national and international conferences, and serves on the Leadership Council of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). She was a2018 EdTalk presenter with The Boston Foundation and during the 2018-19 academic year served as a research assistant on the Youth and Media team at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. In 2019 Michelle was awarded 3rd place in AEJMC’s Best Practices in Teaching Media Literacy competition. She has a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.S. Ed. in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. You can find her on Twitter @MMFCiccone and on LinkedIn. 


The Media Education Lab is a proud supporter of the Northeast Regional Media Literacy Conference. The Media Education Lab advances the quality of digital and media literacy education through scholarship and community service.