Texas Tech University

Media Lab Staff

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Media Lab Staff

Need help with a project? No problem! Our staff is ready to help. Though our staff is knowledge with the equipment and software the lab has, they also have specialized skills in certain areas.

Current Staff

Photo of Dr. Gerdes

Dr. Kendall Gerdes
Director | Fall 2017-Present (on leave Fall 2019)

Dr. Gerdes began directing the Media Lab in the fall of 2017. She teaches in the TCR program, and her research interests include rhetorical theory and history, digital rhetoric, especially videogame design and pedagogy, as well as sensory rhetorics, feminist and queer theory, and ethics. She has published on teaching digital literacy with alternate reality games in the journal Kairos. See more on her faculty bio.

Photo of Katie Sanchez

Katie Sanchez
Graduate Assistant | Fall 2018-May 2019

Katie Sanchez graduated in May 2019 with her master's degree in Technical Communication! She is interested in user experience and enjoys working with new media. When she's not the lab, she likes to paint.

Proficient in: User-centered design, design principles and programs, and digital cameras.

Photo of Melissa Beal

Melissa Beal
Intern | Fall 2018-Present

Melissa Beal is a senior studying English with concentrations in creative writing and technical communication. She is interested in researching video games and enjoys playing them in her spare time.

Proficient in: Design programs, Audacity, and Twine.

Photo of Sean Cain

Sean Cain
Intern | Fall 2018-Present

Sean Cain is a double major in English Creative Writing and Technical Communication. He is interested in researching and creating fiction as well as procedural rhetoric. In his spare time he focuses on writing, podcasts, and playing video games.

Proficient in: Video and audio editing, Twine, and general computer use.

Previous Directors

image of Dr. Michael J. Faris

Dr. Michael J. Faris
Director (2015–2017)| Bio

Dr. Faris began directing the Media Lab in Summer 2015. He teaches in the TCR program, and his research interests include digital rhetoric and literacy practices, social media, digital privacy, mobile technologies, feminist and queer rhetorics, and composition and technical communication pedagogy.

profile picture of Dr. Rich Rice

Dr. Rich Rice
Director 2006–2014 | Bio

Dr. Rice founded the English Department Media Lab in 2006 (then titled the Multiple Literacy Lab, or MULL). His research interests include contemporary composition and rhetoric, new media, TA training, portfolio assessment, intercultural communication, distance education, and service-learning.

Former Staff

Photo of Rachel Rayl

Rachel Rayl
Graduate Assistant | 2017–2018

Rachel earned her M.A. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. Her research interests included data visualization, technical communication within the video game industry, and user-centered design. Her research project involved designing video games that represent different narratives than current narrative tropes that most video games are centered around. In her spare time, she enjoys designing and editing websites to make them more user-friendly and accessible.

Image of Ian Weaver

Ian Weaver
Graduate Assistant | 2016–2017

Ian earned his PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. His research interests included science and institutional rhetorics, risk communication, data visualization, user-centered design, visual thinking pedagogy, and service learning. His dissertation research examined how meteorologists from the National Weather Service include social media participants' data in their forecasts as a type of participatory design by looking specifically at how a volunteer group validates social data for the weather service.

Profile picture of Justin Hall

Justin Hall
Graduate Assistant | 2016–2017

Justin earned his M.A. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric. His research interests included multimodal composition, multimodal pedagogy, new media, philosophy of technology, visual rhetoric, data visualization, visual thinking pedagogy, and drawing to learn. He enjoys the challenge of innovating new ways to use technologies and helping to guide others through all stages of the learning and composing processes.

Profile picture of Andrea Beaudin

Andrea L. Beaudin
Graduate Assistant | 2012–2016

Andrea earned her PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric. Her dissertation was on user experience (UX), evaluating students' response to instructor feedback. As a lab assistant, she helped faculty and students with graphic design, websites, interactive eLearning technologies, and video production. She always enjoys a challenge.

Photo of Erica EllingSon Baumle

Erica EllingSon Baumle
Graduate Assistant | 2014–2016

Erica earned her PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric. Her dissertation focused on understanding the user experience and usability of the technical communication created by gamers in online gaming community support sites. As a media lab assistant, she worked with students and faculty on accessibility issues, multimodal class assignments, and video and audio projects. Her favorite part of working in the Media Lab was helping students learn to work in collaborative groups.