Amanda Rodríguez Espínola
University of Colorado Boulder, Graduate Student and Teaching Assistant

Amanda was born and raised in Mexico City, where she got her undergraduate degree in International Relations. Her passion for understanding the dynamics of entertainment, culture, and international politics led her to pursue a Master of Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California. During her time at USC, she served as the President of the USC Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars and got involved in community building activities between her peers and faculty and practitioners of public diplomacy.

Avid to gain more knowledge about media processes, she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Media Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Some of her research focuses on the use of video games as tools to foster empathy for peacebuilding, paying special attention to fair representation and diversity among different cultures. Another side of her research explores religious institutions and their use of digital media for diplomatic activities.

Amanda was a Research Analyst for the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, which brings together world leaders in intimate and solution-driven meetings to address national and global issues. This experience gave her the opportunity to explore ways in which her research interests can have an impact on policy making. She is a strong believer in the power of media to promote progressive values and engage different generations across different platforms, which is why she wants to put her research skills to work outside of the academic environment. She hopes to work as a cultural consultant for educational projects within the entertainment industry and nonprofit organizations. Amanda is a city gal who enjoys doing arts and crafts (she’s now really into watercolor), going to museums, and a nice sunset from a rooftop. She misses Mexican food.