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Journalism New Faculty


2017-2018

Karen Masterson

2017-2018

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Karen Masterson

Assistant Professor

MA, 2005, Science Writing, Johns Hopkins University

Master of Journalism, 2004, University of Maryland

BA, 1986, Political Science/History, University of Tampa



Karen Masterson joined the Stony Brook faculty in the fall of 2017. She came from Washington, D.C., where she lived most of her adult life, first working for members of Congress (U.S. Sen. John Glenn and U.S. Rep. Tony Hall), then as a reporter covering Congress for the Houston Chronicle’s Washington bureau. She has also covered the New Jersey Pine Barrens and local and state environmental issues for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and has written for a range of other publications, including Time magazine, The (Baltimore) Sun and the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. She has a master’s in science writing from Johns Hopkins University, a master’s in journalism from the University of Maryland, an honour’s degree in intellectual history from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Tampa. She has received many scholarships and fellowships, most notably from the Knight Foundation to study malaria with CDC experts in Atlanta and rural Tanzania; from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins to study global health and the history of medicine; and from Rotary International to study in South Africa and travel throughout the region. Her first book, a narrative history of malaria and World War II ( The Malaria Project), came out in 2014. She is currently working on her second book, a narrative history of war and disease, set in Liberia.

2016-2017

Christine O'Connell

2016-2017

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Christine O'Connell

Assistant Professor

PhD, 2013, Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University



Dr. Christine O’Connell is the Associate Director of the Alda Center and a faculty member in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University. As a scientist with an extensive interdisciplinary background in policy, outreach and communication, she brings a unique perspective to the Alda Center. She received her Ph.D. in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, and her B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University. Christine teaches and develops curriculum for graduate and undergraduate courses in science communication and speaks at national and international workshops for the Alda Center. She was part of the original group of graduate student scientists trained by Alan Alda in improvisation back in 2009, and manages The Flame Challenge, an international contest that asks scientists to communicate complex science in ways that would interest and enlighten an 11-year-old.

Christine has organized collaborations across academia, government, and the community – including an initiative between the humanities and sciences at Stony Brook called The Coastlines Initiative. Prior to her time at Stony Brook, Christine worked in the fields of environmental advocacy, community organizing, and public policy. She has been involved with organizing national environmental and political campaigns, and teaching community groups in New York City how to refine their message to talk to politicians, raise money, and organize their communities. She is experienced in scientific outreach, government relations, coalition building, campaign planning, social marketing, coaching, and facilitation. Christine’s scientific research involves the connections between science and society, with a focus on marine spatial planning, ecosystem-based management, waste management, conservation planning, and ecosystem services.

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