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Professional info


I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication, Columbia College Chicago. As the Associate Director of the Media Education Lab, I research the opportunities to improve cognitive, social, and emotional skills of teenagers in formal and informal settings using digital and media literacy practices. I received my PhD from the joint doctoral program in Education at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. In my dissertation research, I explored how innovative education at the elementary level uses media production to advance their students 21st century skills. 

I am an award winning filmmaker with experience in educational leadership. I founded two media departments in high school in Israel while being a board member of the national media production curriculum. After moving to the USA for my doctoral studies, I worked with at-risk students on the different media literacy curriculum I designed. My newest project uses multimedia production for conflict management with youth from Northen Ireland, Israel and Uganda. At Columbia College, I am teaching and studying civic media to explore the effects of using different multimedia production to make a difference in the world.   

My current research evaluates the process of #DigitalEmpathy. I research how children, adolescents and adults of students and educators benefit from producing multimedia messages. Using different video production techniques, I investigate how media production enhances students’ and teachers' self-regulation, executive functioning, and empathy.






Work experience
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication

Columbia College Chicago

2018 - Present
Associate Director
Media Education Lab

2012 - present

Assistant Professor
Media Studies, Department of Communication

Central Connecticut State University 

2015 - 2017


Summer Institute in Digital Literacy, College of Continuing Education 
University of Rhode Island 

2013 - present


Curriculum Designer and Professional Development,
Universal Design for Learning and Media Production
VSA Arts RI, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

2013 - 2016


Lead Instructor and Researcher,
COM 191 - Special Topics in Communication: Media Production
First Star URI Academy

2012 - 2015


University of Rhode Island. PhD in Education

2012 - 2015 

URI/RIC Ph.D. in Education program, School of Education, College of Human Science and Services,

The University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 

Tel-Aviv University. M.A. Management and Leadership in Education 

2007 - 2009

The Sociology of Education Program, School of Education,

Tel Aviv University, Israel


Open University of Israel. B.A. Social Science and Humanities

2005 - 2007


Department of Literature, Language and the Arts,

Department of Education and Psychology, The Open University of Israel


Camera Obscura School of Art. Graduate of Video and Film Production

1998 - 2001

Graduate of Video and Film Production, a four year professional certification program

Video and Film Department, Camera Obscura School of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel

Teaching Experience - University Level 


Sole Instructor


Undergraduate and graduate courses in Communication

• COMM 102 - Communication Essentials
• COMM 120 - Truth Lies and Accuracy in the Digital Age
• COMM 320 - Media Ecosystems
• JOUR 471 - Data Storytelling
• COMM 501 - Introduction to Civic Media

Communication Department

Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL


Sole Instructor


Undergraduate and graduate courses at the Media Studies emphasis

• COMM 231 - Communication Technologies
• COMM 227 - Introduction to TV Production
• COMM 327 - TV Production
• COMM 427 - Studio Production
• COMM 454 - Communication and Social Change
• COMM 485 - Special Topics - Promotional Video
• COMM 493 - Seminar in Communication
• COMM 585 - Special Topics - Multimedia Production & Presentation
• COMM 585 - Special Topics - Leadership in the Media Industry

    Department of communication

    Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT




• Media Production for Conflic Management

    Media Education Lab, Kingston, RI, USA

• Digital Empathy in the Global Village

    Durham College, Oshawa, ON, Canada

• Empathy and Therapeutic Video Production

    The Supporting Filmmaking Institute, Givat Ada, Israel

• Human-centered Design and Empathy

    Center for Building a Culture of Empathy, El Cerrito, CA, USA



Sole Instructor - Undergraduate Course:


• FLM 351 - Topics in Film Media Production: Leadership Issues in Media Industries
• FLM 101- Introduction to Film/Media

    Film/Media Program, Harrington School of Communication and Media

    The University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI



Online Teaching Assistant to Professor Arielle Friedman


• Popular Music: Culture, Youth, and Media
• Media and Creative Patterns in Youth
• Israeli Cinema: Social issues
• Media Representation: Obliviousness

    Department of Communication, Oranim, Academic College of Education, Israel



Teaching Assistant to Professor Renee Hobbs


• Field Experience Youth Media & Media Literacy
• New Media Literacies

    Media Education Lab, Department of Broadcast, Television and Mass Media,

    School of Communication and Theater, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA



Sole Instructor - undergraduate courses:


• Mass Media Analysis
• Genre & Author –Cinema Theory in International Movies
• Introduction to Israeli Cinema
• History of Cinema

Video and Film Department, Camera Obscura School of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel



Undergraduate Thesis Advisor


• Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation - advanced course

    Department of Literature, Language and the Arts, The Open University of Israel



Sole Instructor - undergraduate courses:


• History of the Cinema
• Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation
• Film as History: Imagining and Screening the Twentieth Century
• Understanding Movies: Introduction to the Art of Cinema
• Israeli Fiction and Cinema

    Department of Literature, Language and the Arts, The Open University of Israel



Co-Instructor / Lecturer


• Qualitative Research Methods in Education - graduate level course

School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Israel



co-Executive Producer, “Civic Media MA Videos” (2018) – Series of short promotional videos

Producer & Director, “GiveMe5” (2017) – Instructional Video Series

Executive Producer, “CCSU Charter of Compassion” (2017) – Inspirational video, 2:23 min

Director & Editor, “The Leadership Challenge” (2016) – Instructional video series

Executive Producer, “Harrington School Videos” (2014-2015)– Series of short promotional videos


Director & Editor, “Mind Over Media” (2015) – Instructional video, 3:36 min


Executive Producer & Editor, “Summer Institute in Digital Literacy” (2014) – Documentary, 8:49 min


Producer & Director, “Leadership in digital Literacy” (2014) – Promotional Video, 7:07 min


Producer & Director, “CF Digital” (2014)– Promotional Video, 3:51 min


Executive Producer, “Summer Institute in Digital literacy” (2014) – Promotional Video, 3:18 min


Director & Editor, “Media Literacy Shows” (2013) – Remix Video, 30:47 min


Producer & Director, “My Digital life” (2013) – Promotional Video, 1:00 min


Producer & Director, “Summer Institute Overview” (2013) – Instructional Video, 4:45 min


Editor, “Nepal Journey” (2012) – Promotional Video, 5:17 min

Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies, The University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI


Director, "Eiri" – ("My town") (2007) – Video clip, 3:20 min

Winner of Infinity Art Contest - modern art project sponsored by the Mizrahi Tefahot Bank


Producer, "Yeladim Tovim" (“Good Boys") (2005)– Feature Film

Winner - New York NewFest Film Festival, Montreal image+nation International Film

Festival, Los Angeles Outfest Film Festival, Eilat International Film Festival.


Editor, "Ghetto Ajami" (2002) – Documentary, 10:00 min

Jaffa Project, The 9th International Student Film Festival

Israeli Channel 8 in collaboration with Tel Aviv University Cinema School


Producer, "1+10” (2002) – Fiction 23:00 min

Winner - Snunit Foundation Grant - The Second Authority for Television & Radio.


Producer, "Poisoned" – Fiction, 31:00 min

Winner - First prize Camera Obscura Student film


Director, "True or False" – Fiction,9:21  min


Director, "Bubbles "– Fiction, 11:30 min


Director, “Shavuot in the Kibbutz” – Documentary, 07:09 min


Director, "To Dream the Impossible Dream" – Documentary, 12:12 min


Director, "Adieu", Fiction, 7:29 min


Director, "A Settlement in Alhambra" – Documentary, 7:30 min 


Director, "Fantasia", Fiction, 4:00 min






Peer Reviewed Journal Article

Turin, O., & Friesem, Y., (Forthcoming). Is that media literacy? Comparing Israeli and US media scholars' perception of the scope of media literacy education. Journal of Media Literacy Education.

Hobbs, R., & Friesem, Y., (2019). Creativity of imitation in remake videos. Journal of E-learning and digital media. 16(4), 328–347. doi:10.1177/2042753019835556

Friesem, Y. (2019). Teaching Truth, Lies, and Accuracy in the Digital Age: Media Literacy as Project-Based Learning. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 74(2), 185–198. doi:10.1177/1077695819829962


Ratner, E., & Friesem, Y. (2018). Civic media: Civic media as a cultural dialogue: A professional development journey of Arab and Jewish teachers via documentary filmmaking in Israel. Journal of Media Literacy, 65(1&2), 13-18. 

Friesem, Y. (2017). Beyond Accessibility: How Media Literacy Education Addresses Issues of Disabilities. Journal Of Media Literacy Education. 9(2). 35-55. Special Issue on Media Literacy and Disability. doi:

Friesem, Y. (2017). The media production hive: Using media education for differentiated instruction. Media Education: Studies, research, best practice, 8(1), 123-140 doi:10.14605/MED811708.

Friesem, Y., Greene, K., & Niedbala, M. A. (2016). The curriculum materials library as a hub of resources, literacy practices, and collaboration: Expanding the role of the library to support foster youth. The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults,7(1), 1-17. Retrieved from


Friesem, Y., Quaglia-Beltran, D., & Crane, E. (2014). Media Now: A historical review of a media literacy curriculum. Journal Of Media Literacy Education. 6(2). 35-55. Special Issue on Media Literacy History. Retrieved from


Hobbs, R., Donnelly, K., Friesem, J., & Moen, M. (2013). Learning to engage: How positive attitudes about the news, media literacy, and video production contribute to adolescent civic engagement. Educational Media International, 50(4), 231-246. doi:10.1080/09523987.2013.862364

Book Chapters & Encyclopedia Entrees


Friesem, Y. (2019). Youth Media. In R. Hobbs and P. Mihailidis (Eds.). The International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781118978238.ieml0246

Friesem, Y. (2019). Media Production in Elementary Education. In R. Hobbs and P. Mihailidis (Eds.). The International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781118978238.ieml0131

Friesem, E., & Friesem, Y. (2019). Media Literacy Education in the Era of Post-Truth: Paradigm Crisis. In M. Yildiz, M. Fazal, M. Ahn, R. Feirsen, & S. Ozdemir (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Media Literacy Research and Applications Across Disciplines (pp. 119-134). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-9261-7.ch008


Friesem, Y., Jennings, B., & Prest, C. (2017). Let it go: A journey toward elementary student-driven media production aligned with the CCSS. In M. T. Grassetti, & S. Brookby, (Eds.). Advancing Next-Generation Elementary Teacher Education through Digital Tools and Applications (pp. 245-261). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0965-3.ch013

Friesem, Y. (2016). Empathy for the digital age: Using video production to enhance social, emotional, and cognitive skills. In S. Tettegah, & D. Espelage (Eds.), Emotions, technology, and behaviors (pp. 21-45). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-801873-6.00002-9


Friesem, Y. (2016). Developing digital empathy: A holistic approach to media literacy research methods. In M. N. Yildiz, & J. Keengwe (Eds.), Handbook of research on media literacy in the digital age (pp. 145-160). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-9667-9.ch007

Friesem, J. (2010). Therapeutic and empowering aspects of visual literacy programs in Israeli high schools. In M. Raesch (Ed.), Mapping minds (pp. 23-30). Oxford, UK: Inter-Disciplinary Press. Retrieved from



Reports and position papers


Friesem, Y. (2014, May). CF Digital: Community service learning in media literacy. Providence, RI: Rhode Island College.


Friesem, Y. (2013, October). First Star URI Academy: Program Evaluation Report. Kingston, RI: University of Rhode Island.


Friesem, J., Greene, K., Provorova, E., Tierney, T. & Hobbs, R. (2012, September). First Star URI Ram Academy: Final Report. Kingston, RI: Media Education Lab. Available:


Friesem, Y. (2008). Media production curriculum evaluation. Position paper Jerusalem, Israel: Ministry of Education-The State of Israel.




MS Office Suit 


Adobe Creative Cloud

Final Cut Pro, Avid, Premier

Wordpress, Wix, Drupal 

Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai

Yonty (Jonathan) Friesem, Ph.D.


Address: Chicago, IL 60605


Phone: (312)369-8989

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