Your Professors & TAs

Prof. Kathryn McGarr
Office hours: Wednesdays 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. and by appointment
Vilas 5146 Kathryn McGarr is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work focuses on how the social and cultural dimensions of Washington reporting during and after World War II created the appearance of foreign policy consensus in the early Cold War period. She earned her Ph.D. in history from Princeton University, an M.S. from the Columbia Journalism School, and a B.A. in history from Stanford. Her first book was a political biography of the Washington power broker Bob Strauss, The Whole Damn Deal: Robert Strauss and the Art of Politics (Public Affairs, 2011).

Head Teaching Assistant

Min-Hsin Su
Office hours: Mondays 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Vilas 5165

Min-Hsin Su is a PhD student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her research interests focus on media effects, media psychology, and public opinion research. Specifically, she is interested in the concept of public opinion formation as social-level dynamics, as well as its relevance for democratic societies in today’s changing media environment.


Teaching Assistants

Jiawei Liu
Office hours: Wednesdays 1:00-2:30pm, 4:00-4:30pm
Vilas 5007

Jiawei Liu is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Liu’s research interests focus on political and health communication. His theoretical work on framing effects has appeared in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. His research on verbal-visual interplay has won the Top Four Paper Award from the Health Communication Division of the International Communication Association. Liu earned his B.A. in International Journalism from the Communication University of China, and his M.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His professional experience includes internships at the Global Times and CNN’s Beijing Bureau. He also co-edited an award-wining documentary that was aired regionally on PBS.


Chau Tong
Office hours: Wednesdays 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Thu 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Vilas 5009

Chau Tong is a doctoral student in SJMC at UW-Madison. She received her BA in English from Hanoi University, Vietnam and her MA in Communication from Ewha Womans University, Korea. She had experience working for a governmental finance magazine in Vietnam prior to graduate work. Her research interests involve political communication, public opinion, and policy discourse.


Ellie Yang
Office hours: Thursday 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Vilas 5050

Ellie Yang got her bachelor degree in Journalism from Fudan University in China and a research master in Communication at Hong Kong Baptist University. Before joining UW, she worked professionally as an online editor for a popular show, “Night Talk”, at a Chinese video website, in charge of 45 episodes for two years. Her current research interest lies in the interplay of online and offline articulation, as well as how our public opinion influences policy-making.



Alex Zhi-Xiong Koo
Office hours: Wednesday 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Vilas 5050
Jianing Li

Alex Z.X. Koo is a doctoral student in the SJMC whose research interests include newsroom sociology, digital transformation of news media and online national identity formation. Prior to that, he was an editor of a Hong Kong news outlet and worked as an investigative reporter for multiple years. He finished his undergraduate education in Hong Kong and earned his Master degree in Political Philosophy from the University of York, UK. Also, he has served as a part-time pro-track lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University.



Xerxes Minocher
Office hours: Mondays 3:00–5:00 p.m.
Vilas 5050

Version 2Xerxes is a Mass Communications PhD student at SJMC. His research interests include consumer culture, science & technology, and social participation. Before coming to UW-Madison, Xerxes completed his MSc in Marketing at Queen’s University, Canada.






Steven Wang
Office hours: Mondays 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Vilas 5050

Yidong Wang (Steven) received his B.A. in International Journalism from Hong Kong Baptist University and got his M.A. degree here in SJMC, UW-Madison. His master’s thesis is a case study of the digital media niche in the Hong Kong localist movement. His research interests focus on the interaction between media technologies and cultural and political discourses. He also writes about rhetoric and film/theater studies. Wang was trained in be a professional journalist and he once interned at the AFP Hong Kong Bureau.



Sang Jung Kim
Office hours: Mondays 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Vilas 5050

Sang Jung earned her B.A. in Communication and Political Science, and her M.A. in Communication, both from Yonsei University. Her research interest is in political communication, mainly focusing on the effect of political conversation on people’s relationship with others. She is also interested in research methodologies that analyze big data.




Jianing Li
Office hours: Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Vilas 5050

Jianing (Janice) Li is a graduate student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is interested in journalistic fact-checking, political communication and media psychology. She received her B.A. in Journalism from Peking University and worked as a campus newspaper editor in chief. She loves traveling, cooking and Wisconsin cheese.




Soyun Ahn
Office hours: Tuesdays 2:30–4:30 p.m.
Vilas 5050


Soyun Ahn is a research M.A. student interested in the innovations that form and reform communities, in particular how individuals can use emerging technology to find their places in the world. Before joining the SMJC, Soyun worked as a marketing/PR manager at a tech startup, and have helped to launch and grow an interest-based community platform that now draws ten million monthly unique visitors.
Soyun received her B.A in Communication and Law from Yonsei University in South Korea.


Muheng Yu
Office Hours: Mondays 4:00-5:00 p.m.; Tuesdays 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Vilas 5050

Muheng is a Research M.A. student. He received his B.A. in communication from the University of California, Davis. His research interests are media violence, and children, adolescents and the media.


Robert Gabriel
Office Hours: Fridays 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Vilas 5137

Robert Gabriel is a doctoral student in SJMC at UW-Madison and is working on a graduate certificate in public humanities and print culture history.

He received a BA in English from the University of Virginia and an MA in TV/Radio/Film from Syracuse University and has previously worked in public television and as an ESL teacher. He is interested in media and communication history.