M.A. Program: Alumni


As practitioners and professors, our residential master’s graduates permeate the media and communication industries. They are journalists and documentarians delivering written, visual, audio and interactive content across platforms and across the world. They also inform strategically, working for agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations and themselves. Others create and share new knowledge in academic and research careers, guiding future generations of storytellers and bolstering health outcomes through communication research.

Spotlight on Alumni

Nacho Corbella

Nacho Corbella ’09

Nacho Corbella is a filmmaker, visual storyteller, educator and consultant. He won an Emmy for a 2013 NPR project and is now a senior multimedia producer at Univision, where his work has earned numerous awards and, in 2017, two new Emmy nominations. Once an associate professor at Universidad de los Andes in Chile, he has since chased wild bulls with gauchos in Patagonia for National Geographic and wandered the five boroughs while producing for The New York Times.

Natasha Duarte

Natasha Duarte ’16

A year after graduating the J.D./M.A. program, Natasha Duarte was promoted to the position of policy analyst for the Center for Democracy & Technology. Her team advocates for policies that promote privacy and allow consumers to understand and control what happens to their personal information. She leads the Digital Decisions project, with the goal of ensuring that decisions made or assisted by algorithms and automation are fair and non-discriminatory.

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones ’03

New York Times Magazine investigative reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones '03—a recipient of the Peabody Award, the Polk Award and the Hillman Prize—has spent the last several years reporting on racial resegregation in housing and schools. She helped found the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting in 2016, with the goal of increasing the number of investigative reporters of color. Nikole returned to Chapel Hill in May 2017 to address graduates at the MJ-school's commencement ceremony.

Kyla Garrett Wagner

Kyla Garrett Wagner ’15

Kyla Garrett Wagner specialized in interdisciplinary health communication as a master’s student. She authored four peer-reviewed conference papers during her time in the M.A. program and, since going on to enroll in our Ph.D. program, has written several more papers for publication and presentation. Researching media law and health policy, she earned the school’s Fourth-Year Competitive Funding Award and the Margaret Blanchard Dissertation Support Award in 2017.