James Shanahan grew up in Danbury and Redding. He attended Greens Farms Academy and graduated in 1978. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, and has graduate degrees from Boston University and UMass/Amherst. Much inspired by readings and lectures from David King’s humanities class at GFA, he pursued academic studies on the social impact of mass media. After receiving his Ph. D. at UMass, he became an assistant professor at Boston University. He has since held teaching appointments at BU, Cornell, and Fairfield University. He is now the Founding Dean of the Media School at Indiana University, a school that combines teaching and research on all forms of media.
Shanahan’s research has been published in many venues, and he is the author of several books, including Television and its Viewers, a study of the effects of television viewing with co-author Michael Morgan (1999, Cambridge University Press).
He also enjoys playing jazz piano, which he has done professionally alongside his academic career.
Shanahan is married to Lisa Shanahan of Chattanooga, TN, and has a daughter, Isabel, who resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Carol Mason Spicer is a Senior Program Officer in the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She currently directs a study for the Social Security Administration on functional assessment for adults with disabilities.
Since joining the Academies in 2010, she has staffed studies on a variety of topics, including sports-related concussions in youth, HIV screening and access to care, and data systems for monitoring HIV care, as well as projects for the Social Security Administration on psychological testing, financial capability determination, and the use of assistive products and technologies in eliminating or reducing the effects of impairments.
Prior to joining the Academies, she served as editor of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal at Georgetown University. She holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy with a concentration in bioethics from Georgetown and a bachelor’s degree in religion from Dartmouth College.