Michelle Ciulla Lipkin is the Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. As Executive Director, Michelle has helped NAMLE grow to be the preeminent media literacy education association in the U.S. She launched the first ever Media Literacy Week in the U.S., developed strategic partnerships with companies such as Trend Micro, Nickelodeon, and Twitter, and restructured both the governance and membership of the organization. Since she began her tenure as Executive Director, NAMLE has grown from 300 members to almost 6,000. She has overseen four national conferences and done countless appearances at conferences and in the media regarding the importance of media literacy education. Since 2017, Michelle has advocated for greater media literacy education through CNN, PBS News Hour, NPR, The New York Times, and Al Jazeera English.
Michelle began her career in children’s television production, in various roles on both corporate and production teams. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York University. Michelle focused her grad work on children and television where she caught the “media literacy bug”. After graduate school, Michelle worked as a facilitator for The LAMP (Learning about Multimedia Project) teaching media literacy and production classes for Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade students.
Michelle is currently an adjunct lecturer at Brooklyn College in the TV/Radio department where she teaches media literacy.
Donnell Probst is the Associate Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. A former college reference librarian, Donnell holds a BA in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Arizona State University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Donnell has worked with NAMLE in a variety of capacities over the past five years. She was the editor of NAMLE’s Monthly Update newsletter, has served on both the Student Leadership Council and Leadership Council, and was the Program Co-Chair for the 2019 NAMLE Conference. Since 2018, Donnell has worked part-time for NAMLE as the Partner Coordinator for Media Literacy Week and NAMLE’s partnership with truTV and Adam Ruins Everything, for which she wrote and distributed a classroom discussion guide to over 300 educators across the country, and has also assisted with NAMLE’s ongoing communications and operations.
As a librarian, Donnell is excited about the intersection of information and media literacy and the growing number of librarians contributing to the field of media literacy. As the parent of a child with a disability and a special education advocate, she is particularly interested in how tweens and teens with developmental disabilities interact with and interpret social media messages, most recently writing an article for the Journal of Media Literacy Education which explores using social media literacy as an IEP intervention for social and emotional learning skills.
Donnell lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, Tim, their three children, and their beagle, Bogart T. Higginbotham (a.k.a. “Bogey”).