Youth Media Lab | Department of Media Arts

Youth Media Lab

YML Podcast, Stories from Cumberland.


The Youth Media Lab (YML) at UNT is an innovative and unique collaboration between media researchers and media producer founded by Professor Carla Carter and Dr. Jacqueline Ryan Vickery in 2018. The lab is comprised of Media Arts faculty and students who invest in innovative research, service learning, community partnerships, and learner-centered education to serve our communities through the use of media literacy and production.

We have partnered with youth from diverse communities, including but not limited to: partnerships with local schools, foster care programs, black and Latino/a communities, and other underrepresented groups whose voices, stories, and perspectives are often left out of mainstream media.


Through creative storytelling, self-advocacy, media literacy, and media production, the Youth Media Lab (YML) exists to enable youth to access, analyze, evaluate and create media that affects social change in their communities. It serves as a learning environment, research lab, and an instructional system for sharing knowledge and improving performance.

Our goal is to help young people use media to imagine and create more inclusive, just, and sustainable communities.


summer fellows

Professor Carla Carter (top row, 5th from left), Dr. Jacqueline Ryan Vickery (top row, 6th from left) & the 2019 Summer Research & Production Fellows

Dr. Jacqueline Ryan Vickery, Director of Research

Dr. Jacqueline Ryan Vickery is a qualitative interdisciplinary researcher whose work focuses on the intersections of youth, digital media, and equity. Her research is guided by the overarching question: how can and do digital tools enhance or limit opportunities for marginalized populations? Methodologically, her research draws from Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), an innovative approach to positive youth and community development based on principles of social justice. YPAR media literacy curriculum helps young people use media to conduct research that can improve their lives, their communities, and the institutions intended to serve them.

She is the author of Worried About the Wrong Things: Youth, Risk, and Opportunity in the Digital World (The MIT Press, 2017); co-author of The Digital Edge: How Black and Latino Youth Navigate Digital Inequality ( NYU Press, 2018); and co-editor of Mediating Misogyny: Gender, Technology, and Harassment (Palgrave Macmillan 2018), as well as a number of journal articles and other publications. She has conducted ethnographic research with teens in after-school media clubs, teens in foster care, and girl bloggers. In an effort to put her research findings into action, she founded and facilitates a Digital Storytelling Workshop for teens in foster care.

Dr. Vickery earned a B.A. in Communication from the University of Oklahoma and has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Eugene Martin, Director of Production

Eugene Martin is a filmmaker whose work focuses on stories of youth, social justice, and urban America. A member of the Director's Guild of America, he has written and directed 10 feature length films. He works fluidly in both narrative and non-fiction forms of filmmaking. Eugene started his teaching career as an instructor at the Scribe Video Center, a community media arts organization in Philadelphia.

Prior to his arrival at UNT 12 years ago, Eugene taught at Temple University for six years where he served as the Associate Director of the Media Education Lab. While there, he created courses in Community Media production for local arts organizations, such as The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia. Eugene created with his students an oral history of the neighborhood around Temple University which formed the basis of an award winning theatrical production called "Shot!", which won the National College Theater Award and was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Eugene has four of his award-winning films on Amazon Prime: Edge City, Diary of a City Priest, Micha, and Marisol.

Join Our Team

The Lab is supported by a team of undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni - meet our Summer 2019 team!

If you are a UNT student interested in working with and learning about young people, the YML is currently accepting applications for Spring or Summer 2022 Research and Production Fellows. Contact Dr. Vickery for more information.


Media Literacy Residency with 5th Grade Classrooms at Ryan Elementary School

  • Undergraduate and graduate students from UNT are teaching media literacy to local 5th grade students and helping them to produce their own videos about their school.

Community Videos with P.U.S.H. - a student organization that supports UNT students formerly in foster care

  • We are conducting research and producing a series of community videos about the unique challenges and opportunities that students formerly in foster care face at UNT.

Digital Storytelling Workshop with Cumberland Presbyterian Children's Home

  • UNT students lead a 3-week summer workshop for teens currently in foster care and teach them how to use media to tell their stories.


For more information about community partnerships, sponsorship, volunteer opportunities, open positions, or media inquiries email