Ivana was born in Belgrade, Serbia, where she received her B.A. in journalism and worked in a daily newspaper for eight years. She earned her M.A. in communication at Saint Louis University. Her professional background in journalism has strongly influenced her current research interests in media studies and mediated representation of gender, race, and ethnicity in different media genres. She is a fan of pop culture, likes modern art, traveling, and spending time with her study-buddy, Mason the cat.