Laurel Felt | Doctoral student at USC Annenberg


Laurel Felt, a third-year doctoral student at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, is guided by her desire to support children’s healthy development. Accordingly, Laurel has designed research protocols (NeoPet SuperUser Immersion, 2009; Preparing for Palestine, 2009) and pedagogical interventions (RAP Stars to the Rescue!, 2009; Sunukaddu 2.0, 2010) consisting of the very elements she seeks to nurture: social and emotional sensitivity, asset appreciation, and meaningful communication. Supporting these fundamental capacities boosts life trajectories across sundry domains (e.g., health outcomes, academic & professional achievement, functionality of relationships, etc). This, Laurel believes, is the way to change the world.

Laurel hopes to facilitate real-world application of science’s best in three ways:

  1. By engaging with innovative thinkers from disparate disciplines in order to fuse academically separate yet philosophically complementary theory (SEL + NML hybrid definitions, 2009; asset appreciation, 2010);
  2. By networking with coders/curriculum developers/educational administrators/funders/regulators/etc. in order to advance person-centered design, a process that grounds its creative point of departure in human realities, e.g., developmental processes/imperatives, relationship dynamics, social/behavioral norms[1];
  3. By collaborating with diverse partners in order to better identify curricula with universal or context-dependent utility, thus maximizing the potential effectiveness of creative products and evaluation tools.

Laurel’s perspective is informed by a rich background in social policy (B.S., Northwestern University), developmental psychology (M.A., Tufts University), and multimedia curriculum design and instruction (Tighe Publishing Services, PBS Kids Ready to Learn/WGBH, Eliot-Pearson Children’s School, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival).

In addition to/complementing curriculum development, Laurel is captivated by entertainment-education. Her research also looks at gender, obesity, bullying, and media literacy. Laurel has partnered with such diverse entities as: Nickelodeon Kids & Family Research Group; Common Sense Media; BBC World Service Trust; Hollywood, Health & Society; and most recently, Senegal’s African Health Education Network (Reseau Africain d’Education pour la Sante (RAES)). She also enjoys a collegial relationship with Project New Media Literacies.

Laurel loves travel, spicy food, and comedy.

Still can’t get enough? Check her out on LinkedIn!

[1] (often (mystifyingly!) ignored when developing public policy, health interventions, and technology)


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