Welcome Our Incoming Fall 2019 MATX Class

August 14, 2019

Yahya Alzahrany earned his Bachelor degree in Journalism from King Saud University in 2012 and a Masters in Mass Communication from Murray State University in 2019. He has worked in many Saudi newspapers as an economic journalist and contributed to organizing various media events and conferences. Yahya served as a Teaching Assistant in Department of Media and Communication at King Khalid University in Saudi. His research interests are focused on citizen journalism, new media, politics and business journalism, and he has presented numerous research papers in conferences in both Saudi and America.

Robert L Crocker received his BA in Mass Communications with separate focuses on print journalism and broadcast journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University. While at VCU, he was the editorial editor of the Commonwealth Times for three years and won the Ed and Polly Temple writing award. Following his graduation, Robb started as a reporter for Richmond.com, and later was promoted to Executive Editor. He also began his teaching career as an adjunct at VCU. Robb went on to work at the Washington Post as the Weekend Digital Editor. From there he worked for the home building magazine giant Hanley-Wood as a Senior Editor and reporter for two of the company’s trade magazines. Robb returned to graduate school at Rutgers University’s Master of Communication and Information Studies program, where he focused on digital media. His capstone project examined the political news hole in a presidential election year from partisan news websites. After completing his studies at Rutgers he returned to Richmond and took on a role as an online content producer at WTVR/CBS 6. He took on a similar role at WRIC/ABC 8 and was eventually promoted to Digital Content Editor. His three-year stint in television made him see the need to fix what’s broken about media. His areas of interest in the MATX program will revolve around recognizing the positive and negative effects of technology, rhetoric, and capitalism has had on news media since the OJ Simpson trial to Facebook’s involvement in the 2018 Presidential election.

Katelyn Forbish earned a Bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Virginia Tech in 2016; she also completed more than 30 hours of additional coursework in multimedia journalism. In 2019 she received a Master's in English, specifically literature, from Virginia Tech. Katelyn's primary research interests include gender and sexuality, power, and performance in contemporary fiction and pop culture texts.

Megan B Ratliff holds an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in Art and Anthropology from Carnegie Mellon University. She earned a Master of Science by Research degree at the University of Edinburgh in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices. Most recently she presented research at a conference in conjunction with the Royal Anthropological Institute and the British Museum. Megan's current research interests include the social history, technological evolution, and movement of vernacular photographs as well as the artistic application of historical photographic processes.

Heidi Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from Virginia Union University and a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Public Relations from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Chairwoman of the Department of Mass Communications at Virginia Union University. She is originally from Martinsville, VA, where her love for communications, people and teaching began. Wilson has worked as Chair of the mass communications department for the past four years and has led the department through re-branding efforts, fundraising campaigns, course development, and the first mass communications week at the University. In addition, she has worked to increase the department’s enrollment and retention through programming, student organizations, field trips, student/alumni engagement, social media engagement, technology and more.