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Industry Faculty

Karen North, Ph.D.

Director, APOC

Karen North, Ph.D. is the Director of USC’s Annenberg Program on Online Communities (APOC). APOC is the world’s first master’s degree program and research center focused exclusively on the leadership and management of online communities. The master’s degree program is a one year, intensive program that immerses students in the practice and theory of social media, and teaches them the skills and strategies necessary to develop innovative and dynamic sites and applications from conceptualization to launch.

Trained as a clinical and social psychologist and with considerable work experience in telecommunications policy and practice, Dr. North’s interests come together in the digital world where entrepreneurs and large companies seem most focused on using social and digital media to bring people together and form groups online. Dr. North teaches these skills and works with small and large companies in this sector. Prior to building USC’s online communities program, Dr. North was the Assistant Dean of the UCLA School of Public Policy. She previously worked in the Clinton Administration in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and before that she worked for Rep. Edward Markey, Chairman of the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance.

Heath Row

Research Operations Manager, Google

Heath Row currently works as research operations manager for Google's Quantitative Marketing team. As such, he manages a multi-million-dollar budget, vendor relationships, and projects involving large data sets. Previously, he worked for DoubleClick, for which he wrote research reports about online advertising effectiveness, word of mouth marketing, and other topics. He helped launch the Web startup Squidoo with marketing advocate Seth Godin and worked as a journalist for more than a decade, most notably as an editor for Fast Company magazine. In addition to teaching at USC, Heath has taught at New York University. He holds a BSJ from Northwestern University.

Cody Simms

Director of Product Management, Yahoo! Open Platforms

Cody has been focusing on the daily needs of online developers and publishers at Yahoo! since August 2005. He is currently leading product management for Yahoo!'s recently announced efforts to deliver open, industry-leading platforms to publishers and developers. Prior to his current role, Cody was Senior Product Manager for the Yahoo! Publisher Network, which allows publishers to earn revenue from Yahoo!'s advertising network. Before Yahoo!, Cody held product management positions at a number of online and new media entities, including The New York Times on the web, Sprint PCS, NBC Internet, and Snap.com. He is a true media junkie at heart, with an unbounded enthusiasm for technology and social media, as well as an MA in transnational communications and global media from Goldsmiths College, University of London. He also holds a BA in Chinese and history from the University of Kansas and has lived in China on two occasions. Outside of Yahoo!, Cody devotes time as a lecturer for the Annenberg Program on Online Communities at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, where he recently led a group of masters students through the end-to-end creation of three online community websites.

J. Scott Dinsdale

Scott is Executive Vice President of Global Digital Operations & New Technology for Sony Music Entertainment, responsible for connecting Sony Music’s roster of artists to a global array of digital partners and channels and guiding the company’s interests in emerging technology. Prior to Sony Music Scott was Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy for the Motion Picture Association of America where he led the development of the film industry’s entre into the digital age. Scott’s background also includes tenures as Senior Vice President, CTO & CIO for BMG Entertainment and Vice President, Applied Technology at Merrill Lynch & Co. where he directed the development of the firm’s private client technologies. Scott is also an accomplished entrepreneur and consultant across industries ranging from packaged goods to technology and media.

Clinton Schaff

Vice President, Dialogue at GolinHarris

Clint Schaff is vice president in GolinHarris’ digital and interactive media group, Dialogue. Schaff formerly held the position of director of new media at Roll International in Los Angeles where he founded and led the interactive communications practice, working on a variety of the company’s marquee brands including FIJI Water, Teleflora, and POM Wonderful. He is also adjunct faculty for the Annenberg Program on Online Communities at the University of Southern California. Over the course of his career, Schaff has managed communications efforts and campaigns for companies including Cisco, Dr Pepper, Ford, Microsoft, Fox Home Entertainment, THQ, Trojan, Yahoo!, MTV, Unilever, Warner Bros., The White House and the New York Yankees. Clint is passionate about politics and sports and loves all things digital media. Clinton is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota (where he was once known as the Golden Gofer) and he holds a master's from USC's APOC program.. http://www.facebook.com/clintschaff http://www.linkedin.com/in/clintschaff http://www.twitter.com/clintschaff

Michael Overing

Michael Overing is principal at Michael S. Overing. He developed and teaches the Internet Law class in the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California. Michael received his J.D. from Loyola Law School, his M.A. from the University of Southern California, and his B.A. from the University of Nebraska. He frequently speaks and lectures on intellectual property issues affecting online publishers and writers.

Katherine Ognyanova

Katherine Ognyanova does research with a broad focus on transformations of the media system and social aspects of technology. Katya is interested in the applications of network analysis methods in the fields of communication and media studies. She is working with the Annenberg Networks Network (ANN) and the Metamorphosis group at USC.

Katherine received her B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Sofia. Her M.A. degree from the same university is in Virtual Culture. Prior to joining the USC doctoral program in communication, Katya spent close to seven years working in the media sector.
For more information, visit www.kateto.net..

Andrew Schrock

Andrew Schrock brings a wealth of experience developing online products for both academia and industry to his teaching at APOC. He received his B.A. in computer science from Brandeis University and his M.A. in communication from the University of Central Florida, where he wrote an award-winning thesis on MySpace dependency. He has consulted for a number of LA entertainment companies, and has written on new media for publications such as MIT’s Technology Review. In the spring of 2008 he taught the APOC course in Technologies for Online Communities (CMGT-599), and in summer of 2008 he co-taught Uses of Communication Research (COMM-540) with Mathew Curtis. Andrew has also taught multimedia development in the School of Digital Media, and Advanced Image Editing in the journalism department at CSU Long Beach. He is also currently consulting for WeFirst, a social networking website that will unite individuals around causes, and is president of ReRelease.net, the first all-digital, revenue-sharing, music label devoted to reissued music.

Cory Ondrejka

Former CTO of Linden Lab, developer of Second Life

Cory Ondrejka is former chief technology officer at Linden Lab, and is an expert in the economic and technological impact of online communities. Ondrejka wrote much of the original code for the three-dimensional interactive environment Second Life, and has established himself as one of the foremost thinkers in the field. Larry Gross, director of the Annenberg School, described Ondrejka as, “a pioneer in the development of virtual reality environments, most importantly Second Life, and he will bring to the Annenberg School a wealth of knowledge and experience in this important new dimension of contemporary life.”