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Conference Presenter Background and Biographies

Catherine Ann Bertini,  Featured Speaker : Girls & International Development
is a Professor of public administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Ms. Bertini earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the State University of New York at Albany.   Prior to her appointment at the Maxwell School, she served as UN under secretary-general for management (2003-05) and as executive director of the UN World Food Program, the world's largest international humanitarian aid agency (1992-2002). Ms. Bertini was credited with assisting hundreds of millions of victims of wars and natural disasters throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Before serving in the UN, Ms. Bertini was USDA assistant secretary for food and consumer services where she ran the nation's $33 billion domestic food assistance programs.  She also served in the Department of Health and Human Services, the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Ms. Bertini has received numerous honorary degrees from universities in four countries and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.  In 2003, she was awarded the prestigious World Food Prize—the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.

Sharon Mazzarella  Keynote Speaker 
is the Director of the School of Communication at James Madison University and a leading researcher in the field of Girls Studies.  She is editor of the forthcoming anthology Girl Wide Web 2.0: Revisiting Girls, the Internet, and the Negotiation of Identity (2010, Peter Lang) as well as the books 20 Questions about Youth and the Media (2007,Peter Lang) and Girl Wide Web: Girls, the Internet, and the Negotiation of Identity (2005, Peter Lang).  She is co-editor of Growing up Girls: Popular Culture and the Construction of Identity (1999, Peter Lang).  In addition, she is editor of the book series “Mediated Youth” (Peter Lang)—a series dedicated to publishing cutting-edge books on cultural studies of youth, primarily girls. Having completed a five-year term as founding and lead co-editor of the journal Popular Communication (Taylor and Francis), her published and forthcoming articles appear in Popular Music and Society, Popular Communication: International Journal of Media and Culture, Women’s Studies in Communication, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Communication Research, the Journal of Children and Media, the Journal of Communication Inquiry, Communication Quarterly, and Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.   At present, she is at work on a large-scale research project examining journalistic constructions of girls, in particular as they relate to a moral panic about girls growing up too fast.

Mary Celeste Kearney   Participatory Media Workshop Leader
is Associate Professor of Radio-Television-Film, specializing in feminist media and cultural studies. She is a leading Girls’ Studies scholar and author of Girls Make Media (Routledge, 2006)and is currently at work on two book projects:  Power Chords and Groupie Chicks:  Gender in Music  (forthcoming).   Media Girlhoods:  New Explorations of Girls’ Media Culture (Peter Lang, forthcoming).  Her recent essays include:  “Pink Technology:  Media Making Gear for Girls” (Camera Obscura).   “The Changing Face of Teen Television or Why We all Love Buffy”  (Undead TV, 2008).  “Productive Spaces:  Girls’ Bedrooms as Sites of Cultural Production”  (Journal of Children and Media, 2007). She is the founding director of Cinemakids, a program for aspiring young media producers.