Speaker Bios

Digital Addiction: A Future Epidemic or Scare Mongering?

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Conan Nolan

Conan Nolan

Moderator

Conan Nolan is a political reporter for NBC4 Southern California and anchor of 'News Conference,' the longest running political/public affairs program in Southern California television. His reports can be seen on the NBC4 News at 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Joining the station 30 years ago, Nolan's most recent news stories can be seen here. Follow him on Facebook here.

As NBC4's political reporter, Nolan covers state and local politics and is well-known for his interviews with top political leaders on 'News Conference,' which airs Sundays at 9 a.m. Nolan covers news stories that have had a profound impact on the region, the state and the nation – from political debates, earthquakes ,fires to some of Los Angeles more famous freeway pursuits. Nolan has also reported on behalf of NBC News from Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and from Pakistan and the Afghan border during the invasion of Afghanistan. He also reported from Rome on the death of Pope John Paul the Second and from Lebanon on Arab reaction to the anniversary of September 11th. He received an Emmy Award for his reports on child refugees in the Pakistani frontier and a Golden Mike Award for a report on the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu and the consequences of global warming.

Prior to joining NBC4, Nolan was a general assignment reporter at KSBW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Salinas, California. In 1981, he worked as a news reporter and weekend sports anchor for KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo. Prior to that, he served as the assistant news director for KVEC-AM radio and political reporter for KCBX-FM radio also in San Luis Obispo.

Nolan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California Davis. He grew up on a ranch in Los Osos Valley along California's central coast and attended schools in San Luis Obispo, plus two years of study at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He is married, has a son and lives in Glendale.

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Timothy W. Fong, MD

Timothy W. Fong, MD

Dr. Fong is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. Dr. Fong completed his undergraduate and medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago. He then came to UCLA and finished his residency in adult general psychiatry in 2002 and was the first accredited addiction psychiatry fellow at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute (2002-2004).

Currently, he is the co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program. The purpose of this program is to examine the underlying causes and clinical characteristics of gambling disorder to develop effective, evidence-based treatment strategies.

He is the Director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship, a one-year program designed to provide a leading edge clinical and research training experience.

Dr. Fong’s research interests include gambling disorder, behavioral addictions, medication-assisted treatment and improving quality of treatment for addictive disorders.

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Kaveri Subrahmanyam, Ph.D.

Kaveri Subrahmanyam, Ph.D.

Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam is Chair, Department of Child & Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles and Associate Director of the Children’s Digital Media Center @ Los Angeles (UCLA/CSULA). In 2013, she was a recipient of the Cal State LA Outstanding Professor Award.

Dr. Subrahmanyam is a nationally-recognized expert regarding the role of interactive media in the lives of children and families, and her papers have received over 6000 Google scholar citations. Her research has focused on the cognitive and social implications of interactive media use; she conducted one of the first training studies showing the effects of computer game use on spatial skills. Subsequently she studied the developmental implications of chat rooms, blogs, social networking sites, and virtual worlds with a focus on the development of identity and intimacy.

Currently she is examining the relation between digital communication and well-being; using both daily diary and correlational survey designs she is investigating the relation between face-to-face and digital interactions and well-being, sleep, and academic performance among college students. Another strand of her research uses experimental studies to investigate the cognitive implications of digital screens and multitasking on executive function as well as learning and memory among both young children and college students. Finally, she is examining the relation between parents’ and children’s home media use and children’s sleep, behavior problems, and oral language development.

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Julie Albright, Ph.D

Julie Albright, Ph.D

As a digital sociologist, Dr. Julie Albright works at the intersection of behavior and technology. Dr. Albright’s insights have made her a sought-after speaker worldwide by Fortune 500 companies including IBM Global, SAP, Oncor, Distributech, DARPA, CS Week, Society for Petroleum Engineers, and many others.

Dr. Albright is a Lecturer in the USC Applied Psychology, teaching courses on the psychology off interactive technologies and in Engineering teaching Sustainable Infrastructure courses. She is also the former Managing Director of the USC Energy Institute. She was one of four principle investigators on a $121 million Smart Grid Demonstration Project, funded by the Dept. of Energy. The project explored energy, behavior and digital technologies, and incorporated many key aspects of IoT, including electric vehicles.

Dr. Albright is a multi-published author and she has appeared as a noted expert in every type of media, from radio to TV to magazines and the web, including the Today Show, CNN, The Discovery Channel, Dr. Phil, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Newsweek, MSNBC, NPR Radio and many others. She is currently working on a book on the impact of mobile, social, digital technologies on society.

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Marientina Gotsis, M.F.A.

Marientina Gotsis, M.F.A.

Gotsis has a broad background in arts, design and engineering with a special interest in interactive entertainment applications for health, happiness and rehabilitation. She is co-founder and director of the Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she is an Associate Professor of Research in Interactive Media & Games. The center designs, develops and evaluates entertainment applications at the intersection of behavioral science, medicine and public health. Her teams have developed interactive experiences and products to help increase literacy and public awareness, change behavior, and improve assessment and treatment with funding from the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Palix Foundation, Craig Neilsen Foundation, Department of Education, Department of Defense, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Gotsis’ students have created award-winning work that has been showcased at festivals and academic conference including Serious Games, IndieCade, Games for Change, and ACM SIGGRAPH. In 2015, the center commercially released The Brain Architecture Game, a tabletop game for teaching the science of early childhood, played by thousands of people around the world. Gotsis has lectured at Apple and Karten Design, presented research at ACM, IEEE and HCI journals and conferences, as well as medical and public health outlets. She has been an invited think-tank participant at the White House, the Institute For The Future and various government workshops locally and internationally.

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