Samuel R. Mendez - CV

Email: mendez[ at ]samuelanimates[ . ]com. Portfolio:

Research Interests.

Ritual aspect of communication in public health community engagement, social determinants of health, and co-creation.

Long-term professional goals.

Develop partnership frameworks and communication tools/strategies to enable co-creation across community research partnerships and inform long-term change in social systems.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2020 (expected). Cambridge, MA.

MS Degree candidate in Comparative Media Studies. Select coursework: Collaborative Design Studio, Cultivating Public Engagement with Science.


Bachelor of Arts, 2014. Cambridge, MA.

Magna Cum Laude, High Honors in Field. Concentration: Visual and Environmental Studies. Secondary Field:  Global Health and Health Policy. Senior Thesis: “A Bodega”, an animated documentary about the food for sale at a corner store in Lawrence, MA.

Academic Publications.

2018. Mendez SR, Linton A, Tom L, Simon M. “‘The only place I know that I can send patients to’: Chicago-area generalist providers’ perceptions of Planned Parenthood”. Frontiers in Women’s Health, 3(4). DOI:10.15761/FWH.1000153.

2013. Ramanadhan S, Mendez SR, Rao M, Viswanath K. “Social media use by community-based organizations conducting health promotion: a content analysis”. BMC Public Health. 2013;13:1129. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1129.


Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy.

Video Workshop Series within HEALTH summer curriculum.

2019 July to Aug. Chicago, IL.

Developed the curriculum for an 8-week series of workshops on documentary video as part of the HEALTH summer program, put on by the Chicago Botanic Gardens and Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy. Will teach the curriculum to 15 high school students this summer.

Beaver Works Summer Institute.

Assistive Tech 2019.

2019 Feb to present. Cambridge, MA.

Created Module 1 (Intro to Assistive Technology and Disability) for a MOOC prior to an in-person summer class in which students worked with co-designers living with disabilities on engineering assistive technology solutions. Currently co-creating curriculum for the 8-week summer class, open to rising high school seniors. Serving as member of external review board for student summer projects.

Research Experience.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Researcher in the Open Documentary Lab.

2018 to present. Cambridge, MA.

Record and upload videos of weekly speaker series. Reported on the virtual reality lineup at Sundance Film Festival for IndieWire. Conducted background research and copyediting for the Collective Wisdom report on co-creation in media-making. Curated, edited, and authored content for the Immerse online publication as part of the Collective Wisdom launch.

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Research Assistant in the lab of M. Simon.

2016 to 2018. Chicago, IL.

Conducted qualitative research on generalist healthcare providers' family planning referral patterns. Worked on community engagement for a U54 tri-institutional grant, including creating a partnership resource guide. Conducted introductory web accessibility informational sessions for content writers on the U54 website. Led stakeholder meetings, focus groups, codesign sessions, and usability testing for a clinical trial informational website to be deployed in local library branches; translated findings into website features for our tech consultant.

Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

Research Assistant in the lab of K. Viswanath.

2011 to 2014. Boston, MA.

Developed a system for analyzing social media content produced by community-based organizations. Conducted usability testing and administered web surveys on tablet devices to populations disproportionately at risk for smoking in Massachusetts.

Rush University Medical Center.

Summer Research Student in the lab of S. Chubinskaya.

2010 June to Aug. Chicago, IL.

Participated in the Rush University Biochemistry Research Program. Used Western blotting methods to help their lab further elucidate the chemical pathways in healthy human cartilage cells.

American Cancer Society, IL Division.

Summer Research Student in the lab of J. Hook.

2009 June to Aug. Chicago, IL.

Worked in the lab of J. Hook on a meta-analysis of the cognitive effects of chemotherapy.

Relevant Professional Experience.


Web Series Director, Co-Creator.

2015-2016. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and remote work.

Co-created the concept & format for "10 Days in Saigon", a 10-week web series on wheelchair travel in Ho Chi Minh City. Served as director, head videographer, and head video editor for series. Co-managed the production schedule and led a team of 10 interns to meet goals in subtitling and background research.

Dipont Education Management.

Regional Video Project Manager.

2014-2015. Hangzhou, China.

Led a team of 7 in writing, translating, and producing text/video resources explaining the US college application process in Chinese. Directed, filmed and edited 4 instructional videos for the QQ mobile video platform. Scheduled and managed a team of 4 to film 36 interviews with Chinese students in 5 major cities.


Summer Intern.

2010. Basel, Switzerland.

Conducted a literature review on fostering innovation within a large corporation. Conducted individual interviews and a focus group to assess unmet internal communications needs within a recently merged department,  as well as to gather feedback on an internal online communication platform.

Grants, Fellowships, & Awards.

2019. MIT. Cambridge, MA. Benjamin Siegel Writing Prize. For essay, “All of Us? A Case for Ritual Communication in Community Engagement for Health Equity.”

2017. Chinh India Kids Film Festival. New Delhi, India. For short film By Foot: Busan and the Sea. Official Selection.

2017. National Academy of Medicine. Washington DC. For short film A Bodega.  Official Selection for Visualize Health Equity: A Community Art Show in a pop-up gallery; selected for inclusion in panel event at a national stakeholder meeting.

2017. Official Latino Short Film Fest. New York, NY. For short film By Foot: Busan and the Sea. Exceptional Artistry award winner.

2017. TRAVEL FilmFes. Limassol, Cyprus. For video series 10 Days in Saigon. Best Travel Web Series award finalist.

2017. Chicago Park District. Chicago, IL. For short film A Bodega. Official Selection for screening in 3 city parks as part of the Chicago Onscreen local film showcase.

2017. Chicagoland Shorts, Volume 3. Chicago, IL. For short film Persefone’s Breakfast. Finalist.

2017. WE CARE Film Festival. New Delhi, India. For video series 10 Days in Saigon. Official Selection.

2016. Official Latino Short Film Fest. New York, NY. For short film Persefone’s Breakfast. Exceptional Artistry Award nomination.

2014. Chicago REEL Shorts Film Fest. Chicago, IL. For short film A Bodega. Exceptional Artistry award nomination.

2014. Blue Plum Animation Fest. Johnson City, TN. For short film A Bodega. Official Selection.

2014. Harvard Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy. Cambridge, MA. Cordeiro Summer Research Fellowship.

2014. Harvard College. Cambridge, MA. Harvard College Scholar.

2013. Harvard College. Cambridge, MA. Harvard College Research Program grant.

2012. Harvard College Cultural Agents Art & Science Fair. Cambridge, MA. Cultural Agents Initiative grant for installation: Connect the Dots!

2011. Harvard College. Cambridge, MA. Harvard College Research Program grant.