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Invention & Intervention: Blending Research with Practice to Develop Effective Media for Youth


Speaker Bios

Jump to biographies of the amazing speakers of the #ica_cam 2017 preconference:


Photo Alison

Alison Bryant

Twitter logo @AARPresearch

Alison is a leading researcher and expert on the impact of play in our lives, learning in the 21st century, and how technology impacts families. She leads the Research Center for AARP, integrating insights and ideas that help the organization, consumers, and external stakeholders understand and engage with the 50+ consumer and their families. Prior to AARP, she was the founder and co-CEO of PlayScience, a research and design firm that led innovation around branding, content creation and development for major global companies. Under her leadership, PlayScience partnered with dozens of marquee family brands, including Sesame Workshop, Disney, Girl Scouts, and many others. Alison was also Senior Director of Digital Research & Strategy for the Nickelodeon/MTV Networks Kids & Family Group. Before joining Nickelodeon, she was an assistant professor of communication at Indiana University. She has three edited books -The Children's Television Community, Television and the American Family (2nd Ed), and Service-Learning in the University Classroom - and over 30 research articles and chapters. Alison earned her Ph.D. from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California.



Jan Willem Bult

Jan-Willem Bult

Twitter logo @JWB_9

Jan-Willem Bult is a creator/producer/trainer from the Netherlands. His work is known by his ‘Children in the Centre’ philosophy, based on a strong belief in the autonomy of children. In 2015, Jan-Willem became Head of Children, Youth & Media and Chief Editor of WADADA News for Kids at Dutch NGO "Free Press Unlimited". WADADA News for Kids creates special news for kids programs around the world (currently 18 countries!). The programs are often a catalyst of education and children’s rights and expand into crossmedia communities in which children and youth share news, opinions and stories and become change agents in their societies. Bult started as a director/scriptwriter, was ProgramDirector at two private thematic channels (KinderNet (children) and VTV (women)) and was Creative Head of the Dutch KRO Youth department for 16 years where he created over 125 programs, series and films for Netherlands Public Broadcasting. He coproduced with broadcasters and producers in about 40 countries. In 2007, Bult founded his own JWBfoundation to support children’s media & sports for development & peace, working in over 20 countries worldwide. Bult has received numerous awards such as Prix Jeunesse International, Japan Prize, Dutch Academy Award, Dutch Golden Calf, Cinekid Kinderkast, Prix Danube, as well as nominations for Int. Emmy Award, BANFF Rocky Award and European Broadcaster of the Year. Jan-Willem Bult has been an international juror and moderator and was guest lecturer at Universities in Rome, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv, Bogotá, Cali.



J.J. Johnson New2

J.J. Johnson

Twitter logo @SinkingJJ

J.J. is an executive producer and the creative force behind Sinking Ship Entertainment. Since the company’s inception in 2004, he has created and executive produced 15 series including international hits This is Daniel Cook, Annedroids and the Emmy award winning Dino Dan. Anne, the character of Annedroids, has been named a top 10 Best Role Model in children’s TV by Common Sense Media. In 2015, J.J. made Emmy history by being nominated 3 times in the same directing category for 3 different Sinking Ship series, winning the Emmy for Odd Squad. J.J. is also an Emmy nominated writer with over 500 episode credits and has been recognized by the Hollywood Reporter as one of their Top 20 under 35. In addition, J.J. has built 33 playgrounds with his series Giver and filmed in over 40 countries for his National Geographic kid's series Are we there yet? World Adventure. J.J. also serves as the chair of the Youth Media Alliance in Canada.

 J.J. was recently featured in an interview series of the ICA-CAM division, the "CAMmer in the Spotlight". Read his interview here.


Photo David Kleeman

David Kleeman

Twitter logo @davidkleeman

David is Senior Vice President of Global Trends for kids interactive entertainment developer and consultancy Dubit. Strategist, analyst, author and speaker - for more than a quarter-century, he has led the children's media industry in developing sustainable, kid-friendly practices surrounding play and learning. He's a connector and thought leader, challenging the full range of professionals who care about great content and technology for children and families to evolve and adhere to best practices.



Photo Jennifer Kotler Clarke

Jennifer Kotler Clarke

Twitter logo @grovergirl72

Jennifer is the Vice President of Content Research & Evaluation at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street and other educational programs for children. Dr. Kotler Clarke is responsible for research planning and creating logic models in order to maximize the impact of Sesame Workshop’s content on children, parents, and educators across the globe. She oversees research design, methodology, assessment and data analysis. She also develops and executes studies designed to inform the creation of educational material for children. Prior to joining the Workshop, Dr. Kotler Clarke worked on an evaluation of a school-based violence prevention program at the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has worked with numerous organizations such as the Center for Media Education, the Center for Research on Influences of Television on Children at the University of Texas in Austin and Georgetown University, where she coordinated the Children & Media Project while completing a postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Kotler Clarke also served as an adjunct professor at the Teachers College at Columbia University and Georgetown University. Dr. Kotler Clarke graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies. She went on to receive her master’s in Human Development from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.



Photo jessica NEWER

Jessica Millstone

Twitter logo @j_millstone

With nearly 20 years of experience working to improve teaching & learning for children and education professionals through the integration of innovative technologies, Jessica currently leads engagement and new audience development initiatives at Brainpop. Previously the inaugural Education Fellow at Sesame Workshop’s Joan Ganz Cooney Center, she has also served as an adjunct professor at Bank Street College and a parent outreach workshop leader for Common Sense Media.  Jessica holds an Ed.M. from Bank Street College, an M.P.S. from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications program, and a B.A. in Art History from Mount Holyoke College.



Photo Michael Robb

Michael Robb

Twitter logo @mikrobb1

Michael Robb is director of research at Common Sense Media, overseeing their research program, evaluation of organization impact, and program development research. Michael has been involved in issues involving media and children for over 15 years. He has published research on the impact of electronic media on young children's language development, early literacy outcomes, and problem-solving abilities in a variety of academic journals. Michael also has supervised community educational outreach efforts, helping parents and teachers make the most of quality children's programming. Previously, Michael served as the director of digital learning and research at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media. Michael received his B.A. from Tufts University and M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from UC Riverside.



Photo Sara

Sara Jane Sherman

Twitter logo @sj_goldberg

Sara has just started a new position as Head of Casting at Free Range Animation. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of Casting and Talent Relations for Disney Television Animation for 12 years! She has worked on such hit shows as Big Hero 6: The Series; Tangled ever after; Milo Murphy's law, Phineas and Ferb, Gravity falls, and Star vs. The forces of evil. Her credits also include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Yin, Yang, Yo, Fish hooks, Club penguin, Wander over yonder, Super robot monkey team hyperforce go!, and many, many pilots. Prior to joining Disney, Sara worked in development at Klasky Csupo known for Rugrats and As told by Ginger and at Gullane Entertainment known for Thomas the Tank Engine.



Photo Linda Simensky

Linda Simensky

Twitter logo @PBSKIDS

As Vice President of Children’s Programming at PBS, Linda Simensky collaborates with producers, co-production partners, and PBS station programmers throughout the development, production, and broadcast phases for PBS KIDS programming. Since joining PBS in 2003, Linda has worked with renowned producers to develop hit shows ranging from DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and WILD KRATTS to ODD SQUAD and NATURE CAT. Linda is currently working on development and pilots for several future series.

Before joining PBS, Linda was Senior Vice President of Original Animation for Cartoon Network, where she oversaw development and series production of "The Powerpuff Girls," among others. She began her career working for nine years at Nickelodeon, where she helped build the animation department and launch the popular series "Rugrats," "Doug" and "The Ren & Stimpy Show."

Linda also teaches Animation History at the University of Pennsylvania.



Photo Alice

Alice Wilder

Twitter logo @alicewilder

Alice is the educational advisor responsible for developing the Amazon Originals curriculum for kids and is helping implement Amazon’s unique educational point of view into the development of new series. She also serves as the Chief Content Officer for Speakaboos, a kid-centric, cross-publisher literacy platform and is the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids the “School House Rock” of financial literacy for 7-12 year olds, airing in Asia on Cartoon Network. Her work also includes being the co-creator and head of research and education for Super Why! on PBS Kids, and a Producer and the Director of Research and Development for Nick Jr.’s Blue’s Clues. She is also a proud senior fellow at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. And she continues to advise the Kids & Creativity group in Pittsburgh, bringing kids and their point of view to help support educators, technologists, and makers as Kidsburgh creates a model and movement around the integration of the arts, sciences, and technology to inspire creative learning and play. Her groundbreaking work in formative research was cited in The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Alice bases her work in formative research on the philosophy that ‘the only way to understand what children are capable of doing, what appeals to them, and what they know, is to ask them!’