Brianna Hightower

Researcher. Knitter. Book Blogger. Cold Brew Enthusiast.

email: bri [at]

CV: Download | Digital | LinkedIn


Hi there! I'm Bri Hightower and I'm a fourth year Ph.D. candidate within the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University. My studies are generously supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. I conduct research with Dr. Ellen Wartella in the Center on Media and Human Development. My main research interests revolve around understanding how technology and media can enhance learning and communication for families and children. During summer 2018 and summer 2019, I completed UX Research internships at Facebook in Menlo Park, CA and Seattle, WA. Prior to returning to Northwestern University, I assisted with research at the Center for Children and Technology, a division of Education Development Center (EDC).

When not researching, I can be found mentoring undergraduate students through the Brady Program, reviewing books on my blog, knitting, FaceTiming my niece, and exploring Chicago's breweries.

Current projects

STEM Learning and Media

With CMHD, I examine how parent attitudes affect preschool children's STEM learning and media use. To fully understand parent attitudes, I conducted semi-structured interviews with preschool parents during Spring and Summer 2017. The analysis of the interviews were the basis of my master's thesis that I submitted in Fall 2017. My research team is now analyzing survey data, informed by my interview study, to further understand how families feel about and support STEM topics and related media for their preschool children.

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