Ben Pettis

Curriculum Vitae

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Academic Appointments

Project Assistant

University of Wisconsin-Madison - Department of Communication Arts

Summer 2021
Assistant to Dr. Eric Hoyt. Front-end database development and UX design for PodcastRE, Media History Digital Library, and the Wisconsin Center for Film and Television Research.

Teaching Assistant

University of Wisconsin-Madison - Department of Communication Arts

Fall 2020 - Spring 2021

Research Assistant

Colorado State University - Department of Communication Studies

Summer 2019
Assistant to Dr. Evan Elkins. Conducted primary and secondary research on U.S. internet infrastructure.

Teaching Assistant

Colorado State University - Department of Communication Studies

Fall 2018 - Spring 2020

Conference Presentations

“Know your Meme and the Homogenization of Web History.” Association of Internet Researchers Annual Conference. October 2021. (Accepted)
“From Deep-Fried Memes to ‘It Needs more JPEG’: Image Degradation and the Material Traces of Copying.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference. March 2021.
“‘A Better, More Positive Tumblr:’ Regulating Obscenity and Defining Community Standards on Social Media Platforms.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference. Denver, CO. April 2020. (Conference cancelled due to COVID-19)
“Finstas, Young Adults, and Stardom: The Construction and Presentation of Identities on Instagram.” National Communication Association Annual Convention. Baltimore, MA. November 2019. Top Paper Award, Master’s Education Section
“The Tumblr Porn Ban: Power Imbalances of Corporate Personhood.” Poster presented at: 2019 CSU Graduate Student Showcase. Fort Collins, CO. November 2019.
“Pepe the Frog and Drake Approves: Variances in the Exploitability of Meme Genres.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference. Seattle, WA. March 2019.
“Pepe the Frog: A Case Study in ‘Meme Magic.’” What is Universe? Communication, Complexity, Coherence. University of Oregon, Portland, OR. April 2018.

Book Reviews


University of Wisconsin-Madison

Survey of Contemporary Media (CA 250)

Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Teaching Assistant
Taught as an online course with asynchronous lecture and synchronous discussion sections

Colorado State University

Public Speaking (SPCM 200)

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020*
Instructor of Record

INTO Pathways (SPCM 200)

Fall 2019, Spring 2020*
Taught multiple sections of SPCM 200 with seats reserved for students enrolled in CSU’s INTO Pathways program. This program provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate level international students to improve their English and academic performance during their first semesters at an American university.
*Half of the Spring 2020 semester was taught remotely after transitioning online due to the COVID-19 pandemic


Helen K. Herman Memorial Fund Scholarship

University of Wisconsin-Madison - Department of Communication Arts

Spring 2021

Top Paper Award

National Communication Association - Master's Education Section

November 2019

Gordon F. Hostettler Award

Colorado State University - Department of Communication Studies

Fall 2019

$1,000 scholarship

Outstanding Media Studies Student Award

University of Oregon - School of Journalism and Communication

2017, 2018

Merchant Ivory Essay Award

University of Oregon - Department of Cinema Studies

“Stephen Colbert–New Character, But Unchanged Ideology.” Honorable Mention, Spring 2017.
Four Days in September–Barreto’s Perfect Balance of Imperfect Cinema.” Honorable Mention, Spring 2016


ACT Human Rights Film Festival - Programming Committee

Colorado State University - Department of Communication Studies

Screened and recommended films for the annual ACT Human Rights Film Festival.

Additional Work Experience

University of Oregon - Sustainable Cities Institute

Sustainable Cities Year Program - Report Coordinator


Organized the work of student report writers for the Sustainable Cities Year Program (SCYP)
Communicated with UO Faculty, Students, SCI Staff, and Partner Community representatives to organize and facilitate the SCYP report process.
Reviewed drafts of student reports, and performed edits for organization, clarity, and overall SCI style guidelines.
Ensured that student work was completed and delivered to the partner communities by appropriate deadlines.

Denver Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

Camp Director


Planned and developed a summer camp progam including hiring staff, communication with unit leaders, and coordination with other council employees.
Trained camp staff and provided resources and guidance to support the educational goals of the summer camp program.
Supervised daily operation of the camp, equipment safety, and facility usage.
Directed staff in enforcing camp and council policies and procedures.

Skills and Memberships

Professional Development

Fall 2020

Trauma-informed Pedagogy, University of Wisconsin Delta Program
Inclusive Teaching in Online Environments, University of Wisconsin Delta Program

Fall 2019

Graduate Teaching Certificate, CSU Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT)

Fall 2018

Inclusive Pedagogy and Praxis Workshop, CSU College of Liberal Arts

Digital Media Production Skills

Digital Photography and Videography
Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Premiere


Association of Internet Researchers
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
National Communication Association
National Eagle Scout Association