Interviewer Biographies

Profile of Karen Arenson

Karen Arenson

A 1970 graduate of MIT, Karen Arenson spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at The New York Times, focused first on finance and economics and later on higher education. She retired in 2008. Karen majored in economics at MIT and earned a Master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She joined the Times as a financial reporter in 1978, after five years at Business Week magazine. She served as editor of the Times

Karen Arenson

A 1970 graduate of MIT, Karen Arenson spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at The New York Times, focused first on finance and economics and later on higher education. She retired in 2008. Karen majored in economics at MIT and earned a Master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She joined the Times as a financial reporter in 1978, after five years at Business Week magazine. She served as editor of the Times’s Sunday Business section and as deputy editor and acting editor of its Business/Financial section, before returning to reporting and focusing on higher education. Karen has served her alma mater in a number of volunteer roles: prior to her education coverage, she was as a member of the MIT Corporation and its Executive Committee and served as president of the MIT Alumni Association 1995–1996; she is the current president of the Class of 1970, chaired the 40th reunion of her class, and serves on MIT’s Visiting Committee for the Humanities and the Council for the Arts at MIT. Karen, an active MIT alumna, has been a valued resource to the MIT150 Infinite History Project, for which she conducted 40 interviews. She is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and serves on the advisory committee of the Hechinger Institute at Teachers College, Columbia, and the advisory council of Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. She is the author of The New York Times Guide to Making the New Tax Law Work for You (1981).

 

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Profile of Chris Boebel

Chris Boebel

Chris Boebel develops media strategy for MIT’s Office of Digital Learning. He is also instructor and co-developer of MIT’s DV Lab, a graduate and undergraduate course that combines theoretical analysis of science documentaries with hands-on documentary production. He has produced and directed several feature films, including Red Betsy and Containment: Life After Three Mile Island, as well as a number of short films and television programs. At

Chris Boebel

Chris Boebel develops media strategy for MIT’s Office of Digital Learning. He is also instructor and co-developer of MIT’s DV Lab, a graduate and undergraduate course that combines theoretical analysis of science documentaries with hands-on documentary production. He has produced and directed several feature films, including Red Betsy and Containment: Life After Three Mile Island, as well as a number of short films and television programs. At MIT, he was the documentary director and co-producer of Awakening, which premiered on WGBH and was the winner of a New England Emmy for Arts and Entertainment.

Chris’s work has screened at more than 50 film festivals around the world, including the Sundance Film Festival, and has appeared on many television networks, including "PBS" and the "BBC". His latest documentary project is “Exit Zero: An Industrial Family Story,” co-produced with his wife, MIT anthropologist Christine Walley. Chris is an alumnus of New York University’s Graduate Film Program in the Tisch School of the Arts and has served as a resident fellow at the Millay Colony for the Arts.

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Profile of Barbara Costa

Barbara Costa

Barbara Costa is a project manager and multimedia producer of science subjects for online courses, websites, public television documentaries, educational videos, and museum programs and exhibits. While doing graduate work at MIT in science communication (interdisciplinary science) specializing in non-print media, she helped document the hearings taking place in local communities about the expansion of recombinant DNA technologies from the lab to industrial settings. Barbara began her documentary production work

Barbara Costa

Barbara Costa is a project manager and multimedia producer of science subjects for online courses, websites, public television documentaries, educational videos, and museum programs and exhibits. While doing graduate work at MIT in science communication (interdisciplinary science) specializing in non-print media, she helped document the hearings taking place in local communities about the expansion of recombinant DNA technologies from the lab to industrial settings. Barbara began her documentary production work on the PBS series NOVA and in the interactive media department at WGBH. She also managed a discussion series at the Museum of Science on emerging technologies and has freelanced for a variety of clients including the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Harvard University, and several health communications companies. Barbara is on the board of the Arlington Center for the Arts and co-chairs the Arlington Commission on Arts & Culture.

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Profile of Larry Gallagher

Lawrence Gallagher

Lawrence (Larry) Gallagher has led MIT’s video production department through significant transition and growth since 1983. In addition to producing thousands of video programs for clients across the Institute, Larry has been responsible for identifying and implementing innovative applications of emerging technologies in support of education, research, and outreach. He has worked to develop MIT’s distance education capture and delivery infrastructure and, in 2007, founded MIT TechTV, MIT’s

Lawrence Gallagher

Lawrence (Larry) Gallagher has led MIT’s video production department through significant transition and growth since 1983. In addition to producing thousands of video programs for clients across the Institute, Larry has been responsible for identifying and implementing innovative applications of emerging technologies in support of education, research, and outreach. He has worked to develop MIT’s distance education capture and delivery infrastructure and, in 2007, founded MIT TechTV, MIT’s first online video publishing platform. Larry has played a key role in the production of content in support of MIT 2016 and has conceptualized and coordinated the development of the Infinite History website and delivery system.

Over the course of his career, Larry has witnessed the remarkable evolution of video capture and delivery. When he entered the field, distribution was limited to a single public viewing in a lecture hall or event space. The VHS and DVD player technology that emerged in the 1980s and 90s expanded access to the home and classroom. Since 2006, much of the work produced by MIT Video Productions (MVP)  has been viewable by a global audience on-demand. While working under his direction, the MIT Video Productions team was honored with an MIT Excellence Award for Leading Change and a New England Emmy for the documentary Awakening: Evoking the Arab Spring through Music.

Larry has spent most of his professional career in service to MIT and is known for employing media to tell stories that capture the warmth and humanity of their subjects. Some of his personal favorite video tributes include those to Professor Harold “Doc” Edgerton, late MIT president Charles Vest, and former MIT first lady Priscilla Gray.

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Profile of John Hockenberry

John Hockenberry

John Hockenberry is a host of public radio’s live morning news program The Takeaway, the host of "The DNA Files", a radio series that explores the science of genetics and its ethical, social, and legal implications, and a weekly commentator for The Infinite Mind. An Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, he is a former correspondent for NBC News, ABC News, and NPR who traveled the globe to report on a wide variety of stories for more than three decades

John Hockenberry

John Hockenberry is a host of public radio’s live morning news program The Takeaway, the host of "The DNA Files", a radio series that explores the science of genetics and its ethical, social, and legal implications, and a weekly commentator for The Infinite Mind. An Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, he is a former correspondent for NBC News, ABC News, and NPR who traveled the globe to report on a wide variety of stories for more than three decades. John was assigned to the Middle East for some years; among his distinctions is the Columbia Dupont Award for Foreign News Coverage for his reporting on the Gulf War.

John is the author of dozens of magazine and newspaper articles, a one-man play, and two books, including the novel, "A River Out of Eden," which he was inspired to write years earlier while reporting from the Columbia River valley after the eruption of Mount St. Helens. His bestselling memoir "Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence," was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. John attended the University of Chicago and the University of Oregon; his MIT connections include being named a Distinguished Fellow at the MIT Media Lab in 2008 and speaking at the lectures, “Human Augmentation” and “Achieving Better Life Experiences for People with Injury, Disability and Aging Challenges."

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Profile of Brian Keegan

Brian Keegan

Brian Keegan is a 2006 graduate of MIT, with dual bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and science, technology, and society. He grew up outside of Las Vegas, Nevada and lived at Next House and the Chi Phi fraternity while at MIT. He was a news journalist for The Tech and was encouraged by Professor Rosalind Williams to use his interviewing skills to conduct oral histories on the founding of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society for his senior thesis. Brian joined the

Brian Keegan

Brian Keegan is a 2006 graduate of MIT, with dual bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and science, technology, and society. He grew up outside of Las Vegas, Nevada and lived at Next House and the Chi Phi fraternity while at MIT. He was a news journalist for The Tech and was encouraged by Professor Rosalind Williams to use his interviewing skills to conduct oral histories on the founding of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society for his senior thesis. Brian joined the MIT150 program in 2007 as an oral historian and interviewed 10 distinguished members of the MIT community over nine months. He continues to support efforts to catalog and document MIT’s history informally as a regular editor of MIT-related content on Wikipedia.

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Profile of Joe McMaster

Joe McMaster

Joe McMaster is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist.  Prior to joining MIT Video Productions as Senior Producer in 2014, he worked for more than two decades at PBS where he wrote, produced, and directed numerous documentaries for the science series NOVA. His work has been recognized with many of the industry’s top honors. Among his PBS productions are the three-part mini-series about string theory and modern physics called The Elegant Universe

Joe McMaster

Joe McMaster is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist.  Prior to joining MIT Video Productions as Senior Producer in 2014, he worked for more than two decades at PBS where he wrote, produced, and directed numerous documentaries for the science series NOVA. His work has been recognized with many of the industry’s top honors. Among his PBS productions are the three-part mini-series about string theory and modern physics called The Elegant Universe, for which he also served as Series Producer; the two hour special Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial and more than a dozen other programs on everything from the engineering of the world’s tallest buildings to the formation of Earth, the rise of life, veterinary medicine and the Indonesian tsunami. He has also written, produced and directed multiple episodes of NOVA’s magazine show ScienceNOW and worked for the PBS series American Experience and Frontline. He was an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow and recently had his first book, Images of America: Charles Street Jail, published.

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Profile of Barbara Moran

Barbara Moran

Barbara Moran is an award-winning science journalist who has written for many publications, including New ScientistInvention & TechnologyTechnology Review, and The Boston Globe. Her television documentary credits include the PBS series FrontlineThe American Experience, and NOVA, as well as the History and Discovery Channels. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Boston

Barbara Moran

Barbara Moran is an award-winning science journalist who has written for many publications, including New ScientistInvention & TechnologyTechnology Review, and The Boston Globe. Her television documentary credits include the PBS series FrontlineThe American Experience, and NOVA, as well as the History and Discovery Channels. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Boston University’s graduate program in science and medical reporting, Barbara received a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT in 2001. Her first book, The Day We Lost the H-bomb, a nonfiction account of the worst nuclear weapons accident in history, was published by Random House in 2009 and shortlisted for the History of Science Society’s Davis Award.

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Profile of Barbara Seidl

Barbara Seidl

Barbara Seidl is the manager of MIT Video’s post-production unit and a producer and editor of documentaries and other programs for MIT Video Productions. A former WGBH producer and a senior producer and director for an international public television documentary series, Barbara has led crews around the world creating more than 25 nationally broadcast PBS documentaries on such topics as AIDS in Africa, microloan programs in Bangladesh, war orphans in Israel, and

Barbara Seidl

Barbara Seidl is the manager of MIT Video’s post-production unit and a producer and editor of documentaries and other programs for MIT Video Productions. A former WGBH producer and a senior producer and director for an international public television documentary series, Barbara has led crews around the world creating more than 25 nationally broadcast PBS documentaries on such topics as AIDS in Africa, microloan programs in Bangladesh, war orphans in Israel, and protecting wild tigers in India and Nepal. She received a Telly Award for her documentary Singing Our Souls about the social activism of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. Her work also has appeared on CBS, ABC, The History Channel, and PBS LearningMedia. Barbara was named a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar to India, where she partnered with the University of Pune’s Educational Media Research Center to create a documentary about the preservation of the Ganga River.

In her previous role as a professor, Barbara mentored numerous master’s degree candidates in the creation of their final films and supported junior faculty in developing approaches to mentorship. Her interest in mentorship is also reflected in her role as former president of Women in Film and Television – New England. Barbara Seidl holds a master’s degree from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Profile of Toby A. Smith

Toby A. Smith

Toby A. Smith lent her considerable experience in video, web, and interactive production to the MIT150 Infinite History project. In researching and interviewing more than 40 prominent faculty members, administrators, and alumni, she developed a new appreciation for MIT’s distinctive and varied historical contributions and its ongoing commitment to innovation.

With more than 20 years working in media and industries that included medical, high-tech, education, financial services, broadcast, and

Toby A. Smith

Toby A. Smith lent her considerable experience in video, web, and interactive production to the MIT150 Infinite History project. In researching and interviewing more than 40 prominent faculty members, administrators, and alumni, she developed a new appreciation for MIT’s distinctive and varied historical contributions and its ongoing commitment to innovation.

With more than 20 years working in media and industries that included medical, high-tech, education, financial services, broadcast, and retail, Toby is an award-winning writer, producer, director, and manager. She has created projects for such diverse clients as MIT, the Institute for Learning and Development, Reebok, AVID Technology, Lotus Development Corporation, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Boston Scientific, and the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. She has a particular interest in making complex material easily understood and fun to learn. Toby began her video career in the broadcast industry and has written and produced programming in Boston for WGBH-TV, WBZ-TV, WCVB-TV, WHDH-TV, WLVI-TV and The Monitor Channel. She also served as Executive News Producer at WBZ-TV and taught journalism to undergraduate and graduate students at the College of Communication at Boston University for 10 years. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

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