Dr. Vanessa Monterosa serves as the Director of Communications for Hack the Hood. Her life's work has centered on advancing research, policy, and practices that support the effective and empowering use of media and technology, especially for communities of color. Prior to joining the HtH team, Dr. Monterosa dedicated seven years to successfully shaping the edtech narrative of Los Angeles Unified --the nation's second largest school district-- with her work being featured across Common Sense Media, Edutopia, EdSurge, and more. As an Education Pioneer Fellow, she co-authored Los Angeles Unified's first Social Media Policy, and during her tenure, she designed and implemented a nationally recognized digital citizenship program that empowered school leaders to leverage social media in ways that sustain connection, collaboration, and community.
Dr. Monterosa was the first in her family to receive a bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree. Her passion for praxis was born when she was selected as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar during her undergraduate studies. She earned her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she developed a prototype mobile game focused on financial aid literacy. Additionally, she earned her Ed.D. from CSU Long Beach, where she conducted a qualitative case study examining how organizational change management impacts digital citizenship implementation across a large school system--from policy to practice.
When Dr. Monterosa is not authoring compelling narratives and engaging in strategic planning, she can be found cuddling with her beloved pup, re-watching her favorite 90s sitcoms, or on the Mad Tea Party ride at Disneyland.