Our Staff

Michelle Ciulla Lipkin
Executive Director

Donnell Probst
Associate Director

Kyle Plantz
Program Assistant

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

namle-53Michelle 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.

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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.

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Michelle is currently an adjunct lecturer at Brooklyn College in the TV/Radio department where she teaches media literacy.

Michelle also serves as a representative for  NAMLE on the Council of Communication Associations and a judge for What’s Your Story? Youth Media Contest.

Read more about Michelle in this profile by the U.S. Department of State or visit her LinkedIn Profile for more information.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR 

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 six 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”). 

To find out more, connect with Donnell on her websiteLinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.

PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Kyle Plantz will join NAMLE as the Program Assistant in January 2020. Kyle got his start as a journalist at Boston University where he earned his BS in Journalism with minors in History and Political Science. His first job, as a political reporter in New Hampshire covering the 2016 presidential election, introduced him to media literacy and how the spread of misinformation threatens democracy. Kyle took that passion with him to Science News, a nonprofit magazine covering advances in science, medicine and technology, where he served as the Editorial Assistant. While at Science News, Kyle helped launch The Transparency Project, an experiment created in partnership with News Co/Lab at Arizona State University, giving readers more information about how journalists do their job and what decisions they make in the reporting process. He also assisted with Science News in High Schools, a program which brings Science News magazine and related educational resources to nearly 5,000 high schools across the United States and worldwide.

As a journalist, Kyle is passionate about the intersection of journalism and education, and how he can work with others on addressing the challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age. He also is a Journalism Mentor for the nonprofit Paper Airplanes, where he works with students who come from conflict-affected regions around the world to understand the foundations of journalism, ethics, and freedom of the press. He is also a Conference Coordinator for The Power of Narrative conference, hosted by Boston University’s College of Communication, which helps narrative journalists learn more about their craft.

Kyle is based in Washington, D.C.

To find out more, connect with Kyle on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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