Journalist and Political Media Researcher Join SMPA Faculty

August 24, 2019

Alt Text

New faculty members Barbara Benitez-Curry and Rebekah K. Tromble



SMPA is pleased to announce the addition of two new faculty members who will expand opportunities for students to gain critical skills in journalism and digital media; Barbara Benitez-Curry and Rebekah K. Tromble.  


“We are thrilled that Barbara and Rebekah will be a part of our all-star lineup of faculty,” said SMPA Director Frank Sesno. “Both Barbara and Rebekah’s experience and expertise will enrich the SMPA curriculum and will allow students to explore aspects of the ever-changing media landscape and its intersection with politics through new journalism and research techniques.” 

Barbara Benitez-Curry joins SMPA after over 15 years in journalism. She has earned multiple awards for her contributions reporting with CNN on the capture of Saddam Hussein, the devastation following Hurricane Katrina, and the tsunami disaster in South Asia. 

Barbara has a multi-disciplinary journalism background; with expertise in both written and visual reporting. Her focus on creating content for mobile journalism will bring a new and modern influence to SMPA. 

Rebekah K. Tromble was most recently at Leiden University in the Netherlands where she spent eight years teaching in the Institute of Political Science. She has earned numerous awards to support her research in the social sciences; including a recent grant from Twitter to develop metrics to assess echo chambers, incivility, and intolerance on the platform. 

Last year, Rebekah was selected to present her publication that identifies patterns of orchestrated activity across election campaigns on Twitter at the Internet Policy and Politics Conferenceat Oxford University. Her research and teaching will focus on the intersection of media and politics, as well as digital research methods and ethics.