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Gabriel H

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Michigan State University


Media effects, digital media research, social media effects, video game use and outcomes, gender differences in digital media use and outcomes, digital inequalities and social outcomes, communication theory, sociological theory, social statistics, applied statistics and data analysis, filmmaking and video storytelling, video editing, digital photography, graphic design, visual effects (after effects, premiere pro)


Gabriel (he/him) has a background (BA degree) in the arts, specifically filmmaking, video editing, photography, and graphic design, and more recently (MA [2020-2021] and PhD [2021-2025]) has entered academia with positions and work in teaching, advanced statistical analysis, and research. Gabe's research focuses on the relationships between students' academic achievement/social networks and their access, use, and navigation skills related to digital technologies, and how such relationships may be limited by digital inequalities. Gabe also examines the psychological impacts of the Internet and new digital media. His research work has been accepted at multiple International conferences, and he has numerous published papers, as well as manuscripts in progress and under review, across peer-reviewed journals. If not working on projects related to his degree, he enjoys marathon running, listening to podcasts (mostly while running), and spending time outside with his golden retriever. Likewise, Gabe enjoys working as a freelance photographer and filmmaker/editor, and learning new ways to create and edit visual media. Fun fact: he also has experience in entrepreneurship and advertisement, spending most of his undergraduate degree creating and managing his own photo- and design-based clothing company.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Building a research study or review on the impacts of social media

We can read, synthesize, and report on the current research associated with digital media use, such as social media, and create hypotheses that you can test for your own research paper. This would include learning how to conduct a thorough literature review, find relevant publications, cite your sources, and compose concise and focused research questions. From these questions we can create a proposal for what method(s) might be used to explore and test these questions.

Creating a short narrative film with visual effects for TikTok or YouTube

Using a combination of programs and applications from the Adobe Suite (e.g., Premiere Pro and After Effects), we can brainstorm, write, film, and edit a short narrative film to help grow your understanding and knowledge of visual storytelling and editing. This could include creating a short film (one to three minutes) from start to finish, or taking an idea for animation or visual effects and working our way through it. By the end of the project, you'll understand the adobe filmmaking and video editing workflow and will be able to take your ideas to the screen with future projects.

Use a public dataset to test a theory and learn how to analyze social data

Using publicly available datasets like the GSS (General Social Survey), we can learn how to manage, clean, and prepare data for analysis. Once we formulate a research question and theory of interest (e.g., how have relationships and social support changed since before and after the pandemic?), we will use these datasets to analyze and interpret the results. Once complete, students will have an understanding of how to use applied statistical method(s) to test a research question and theory relevant to their interests.

Create a magazine of your photos and writing work

Learn to take photos and compile them in a magazine from start to finish. Whether you have photos ready to be edited or you are picking up a camera for the first time, we can use graphic design and photography to create a magazine or organized creative portfolio showing off your work.

Coding skills

Some knowledge of R, but mostly analysis using SPSS, Stata, and MPlus

Languages I know

German - beginner

Teaching experience

I've taught and mentored undergraduate students both formally and informally over the past six years. Informally, I have tutored fellow classmates in my undergraduate classes, and formally I have worked as the student-facing teaching assistant for four undergraduate courses while completing my MA and Ph.D., and have been the instructor of record for one senior-level undergraduate course. These student-facing positions involved hands-on work with students to ensure they understood and completed their assignments and course-related essays/projects. Although I've migrated my assistantships towards research over the past year, I've still spent time teaching as a guest lecturer in numerous classes, as well as working with undergraduates for a research consortium, helping them create research topics and hypotheses, test those questions, and interpret and present their results to their peers at a university-wide conference.


Work experience

Michigan State University: Quello Center (2022 - Current)
Graduate Researcher and Research Assistant
Michigan State University: Social and Psychological Approaches to Research on Technology-Interaction Effects (SPARTIE) Lab (2021 - 2022)
Graduate Researcher and Research Assistant
Michigan State University (2020 - 2022)
Instructor of Record and Teaching Assistant
WKAR (NPR Affiliate) & Burgess Institute (2019 - 2022)
Media Intern, Audio and Video Editor


Michigan State University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2020)
Filmmaking and Philosophy
Michigan State University
MA Master of Arts (2021)
Media and Information Sciences
Michigan State University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Information and Media; Media Effects, Social Networks, and Digital Inequalities

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