A 1970 graduate of MIT, Karen Arenson spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at The New York Times, focused first on finance and economics and later on higher education. She retired in 2008. Karen majored in economics at MIT and earned a Master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She joined the Times as a financial reporter in 1978, after five years at Business Week magazine. She served as editor of the Times’s Sunday Business section and as deputy editor and acting editor of its Business/Financial section, before returning to reporting and focusing on higher education. Karen has served her alma mater in a number of volunteer roles: prior to her education coverage, she was as a member of the MIT Corporation and its Executive Committee and served as president of the MIT Alumni Association 1995–1996; she is the current president of the Class of 1970, chaired the 40th reunion of her class, and serves on MIT’s Visiting Committee for the Humanities and the Council for the Arts at MIT. Karen, an active MIT alumna, has been a valued resource to the MIT150 Infinite History Project, for which she conducted 40 interviews. She is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and serves on the advisory committee of the Hechinger Institute at Teachers College, Columbia, and the advisory council of Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. She is the author of The New York Times Guide to Making the New Tax Law Work for You (1981).
Chris Boebel is manager of MIT Video’s post-production unit and a producer of documentary and other video programs at MIT Video Productions, part of Academic Media Production Services in the MIT Libraries. The numerous video programs he has produced during his time at MIT include two MIT150 documentaries, Common Threads: The Evolving Student Experience at MIT and The Ecosystem: Nurturing Entrepreneurship at MIT. Chris is also instructor and co-developer of MIT’s “DV Lab”, a graduate and undergraduate course that combines theoretical analysis of science documentaries with hands-on documentary production. He has produced and directed two feature films, Red Betsy and Containment: Life After Three Mile Island, as well as a number of short films and television programs. Chris’s work has screened at more than 50 film festivals around the world, including the Sundance Film Festival, and has appeared on many television networks, including PBS, the BBC, and Nickelodeon. Currently, he is collaborating with his wife, Christine Walley, on a new documentary video project entitled, Exit Zero, a first-person account of the long-term impact of deindustrialization in Southeast Chicago. An alumnus of New York University’s Graduate Film Program in the Tisch School of the Arts and recipient of both a Paramount Pictures Grant and a teaching fellowship, Chris has also been a resident fellow at the Millay Colony for the Arts.
Lawrence (Larry) Gallagher has led MIT’s video production department through significant transition and growth since 1983. In addition to producing thousands of video programs for clients across the Institute, Larry has been responsible for identifying and implementing innovative applications of emerging technologies in support of education, research, and outreach. He has worked to develop MIT’s distance education capture and delivery infrastructure and in 2007 founded MIT TechTV, an online video publishing platform that serves the MIT community. Larry has played a key role in the production of content in support of MIT150, and has also conceptualized and coordinated the development of the Infinite History website and delivery system.
Over the course of his career, Larry has witnessed the remarkable evolution of video capture and delivery. When he entered the field, distribution was limited to a single public viewing in a lecture hall or event space. The VHS and DVD player technology that emerged in the 1980s and 90s expanded access to the home and classroom, and since 2006, much of the work produced by MIT Video Productions has been viewable by a global audience on-demand 24/7. Larry and his team in MIT Video Productions were recognized for their work to lead change when they received the MIT Excellence Award in 2001.
Larry has spent most of his professional career in service to MIT and is known for employing media to tell stories that capture the warmth and humanity of their subjects; some of his personal favorite video tributes include those to Professor Harold “Doc” Edgerton, President Emeritus Charles Vest, and former MIT First Lady Priscilla Gray.
John Hockenberry is a host of public radio’s live morning news program The Takeaway, the host of The DNA Files, a radio series that explores the science of genetics and its ethical, social, and legal implications, and a weekly commentator for The Infinite Mind. An Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, he is a former correspondent for NBC News, ABC News, and NPR who traveled the globe to report on a wide variety of stories for more than three decades. John was assigned to the Middle East for some years; among his distinctions is the Columbia Dupont Award for Foreign News Coverage for his reporting on the Gulf War.
John is the author of dozens of magazine and newspaper articles, a one-man play, and two books, including the novel, A River Out of Eden, which he was inspired to write years earlier while reporting from the Columbia River valley after the eruption of Mount St. Helens. His bestselling memoir Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. John attended the University of Chicago and the University of Oregon; his MIT connections include being named a Distinguished Fellow at the MIT Media Lab in 2008 and speaking at the lectures, “Human Augmentation” and “Achieving Better Life Experiences for People with Injury, Disability and Aging Challenges”. Videos are available at MIT World.
Brian Keegan is a 2006 graduate of MIT, with dual bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and science, technology, and society. He grew up outside of Las Vegas, Nevada and lived at Next House and the Chi Phi fraternity while at MIT. He was a news journalist for The Tech and was encouraged by Professor Rosalind Williams to use his interviewing skills to conduct oral histories on the founding of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society for his senior thesis. Brian joined the MIT150 program in 2007 as an oral historian and interviewed 10 distinguished members of the MIT community over nine months. He continues to support efforts to catalog and document MIT’s history informally as a regular editor of MIT-related content on Wikipedia.
Brian is currently a fourth-year PhD student at Northwestern University’s Media, Technology, and Society program in the School of Communication. His research uses methods in social network analysis to understand the processes that govern ad-hoc team assembly and task coordination in online communities like Wikipedia and massively-multiplayer online games.
Barbara Moran is an award-winning science journalist who has written for many publications, including New Scientist, Invention & Technology, Technology Review, and the Boston Globe. Her television documentary credits include the PBS series Frontline, The American Experience, and NOVA, as well as the History and Discovery Channels. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Boston University’s graduate program in science and medical reporting, Barbara received a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT in 2001. Her first book, The Day We Lost the H-bomb, a nonfiction account of the worst nuclear weapons accident in history, was published by Random House in 2009 and shortlisted for the History of Science Society’s Davis Award.
Toby A. Smith lent her considerable experience in video, web, and interactive production to the MIT150 Infinite History project. In researching and interviewing more than 40 prominent faculty members, administrators, and alumni, she developed a new appreciation for MIT’s distinctive and varied historical contributions and its ongoing commitment to innovation.
With more than 20 years working in media and industries that included medical, high-tech, education, financial services, broadcast, and retail, Toby is an award-winning writer, producer, director, and manager. She has created projects for such diverse clients as MIT, the Institute for Learning and Development, Reebok, AVID Technology, Lotus Development Corporation, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Boston Scientific, and the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. She has a particular interest in making complex material easily understood and fun to learn. Toby began her video career in the broadcast industry and has written and produced programming in Boston for WGBH-TV, WBZ-TV, WCVB-TV, WHDH-TV, WLVI-TV and The Monitor Channel. She also served as Executive News Producer at WBZ-TV and taught journalism to undergraduate and graduate students at the College of Communication at Boston University for 10 years. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.