Breniel Lemley


Breniel is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the Media, Technology, and Society program in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. She holds a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Music from the University of San Francisco. Prior to attending Northwestern, Lemley worked in the Education Division of SRI International as an Education Research Associate. There, she supported projects in the areas of early STEM learning, digital learning, and college and career readiness. These projects were funded by institutions such as the Institute of Educational Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, George Lucas Education Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her work supporting the Ready To Learn Initiative influenced her desire to explore how media can support young children's learning.

At Northwestern, Breniel works with Dr. Ellen Wartella in the Center for Media on Human Development. Her research interests include children’s learning from educational media with a focus on early STEM learning.

Recent News

  • Winter 2023: I have passed my prospectus and am now ABD (all but dissertation). My work was accepted at the International Communication Association's annual conference.

  • Fall 2022: I published a paper on mental health stigma reduction. My work was accepted at the National Communication Association's annual conference as well as the Society for Research in Child Development conference.

  • Spring 2022: I have passed my qualifiying exams and I am now a PhD Candidate. I presented my work at the SRCD Special Topics Meeting: Learning through Play and Imagination in St. Louis, MO and the International Communication Association's annual conference in Paris, France. I also published a paper on children's spatial play.

  • Winter 2021: I was awarded my Masters of Arts in Media, Technology, and Society from Northwestern University.