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We’re excited to showcase the range of talent in our community! Meet the amazing scholars below.

Neofytos Aspriadis | neofytos-aspriadis

Research interests: strategic communication, crisis management, information warfare, online disinformation, strategic disinformation.

Currently: Research fellow in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Peloponnese.

Neofytos studies strategic information operations in international relations and domestic politics as part of strategic communications. Neofytos most recent project is on character assassination as part of state strategic communication.

Bridget Barrett | @BridgetOBarrett |

Research interests: political advertising, digital marketing, platform governance.

Currently: Doctoral candidate at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Bridget studies the intersection of marketing technologies and electoral politics, with a focus on the tension between the underlying structures of capitalism and democracy. Bridget’s dissertation will explain the shape and workings of today’s campaign merch industry and characterize the motivations of both the sellers and the buyers participating in it.

Chelsea Butkowski | @ch_butkowski |

Research interests: media technologies, self and identity, political communication, visual cultures, feminist media studies, digital and mixed methods.

Currently: Postdoctoral research fellow at the Center on Digital Culture & Society at the University of Pennsylvania.

Chelsea studies how people use everyday media technologies and enduring social practices to make sense of their own identities, especially during periods of political and social change. Chelsea’s current research asks how people experience political disruption through social media platforms and document their lives online during historic moments.

Rachel Davis | @REDavisPhD | rachel-davis

Research interests: intersectional inequalities, critical feminist criminology, and internet studies.

Currently: Doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Kentucky.

Rachel studies gendered violence and sexual labor using digital methods. Rachel’s dissertation uses digital ethnology and affect theory to examine the phenomenon of women identifying themselves as sugar babies, spoiled girlfriends, and high-value women on Tumblr and TikTok.

Larissa Doroshenko | @doroshishka | larissa-doroshenko

Research interests: disinformation, informational warfare, populism.

Currently: Postdoctoral fellow at the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.

Larissa studies Russian disinformation campaigns and the ways to mitigate their negative consequences in Ukraine and in the United States. Larissa’s recent research project explores how Twitter activists united as #NAFO use coordinated meme activity to subvert Russian disinformation and propaganda on Twitter.

Kirsten Eddy | @kirstenaeddy |

Research interests: media, morality, democracy.

Currently: Postdoctoral research fellow in digital news with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.

Kirsten studies the interplay of journalism, politics, and digital media, with a focus on morality, identity, and their implications for how people feel about and engage with politics and news. Kirsten’s dissertation documented the “moralization” of U.S. political communication and showed how elite political and media actors strategically leverage moral claims to attract and perform for particular identity groups.

Diana Freed | @diana_freed |

Research interests: usable security and privacy, HCI, policy, inclusive design, youth safety, social VR, CSCW.

Currently: Doctoral candidate in the Department of Computer and Information Science at Cornell University.

Diana’s research focuses on designing, developing, and evaluating sociotechnical systems in the context of intimate partner violence, youth experienced digital abuse, and caregiving systems. Diana’s recent research project investigated youth safety in social VR.

Isaac Kimmel | isaac-kimmel

Research interests: culture, political communication, collective memory, democratic representation and responsiveness.

Currently: Doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame.
Isaac studies how information is shaped by cultures and moves through institutions. Isaac’s dissertation uses 2020 congressional candidates’ tweets to study what cultural resources politicians use to respond quickly to the emerging issues raised by COVID-19.

Pranav Malhotra | @Pranavmalhotra8 |

Research interests: social media, computer-mediated communication, misinformation.

Currently: Doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington.

Pranav’s work focuses on how the affordances of digital media intersect with relational and cultural norms to influence how people engage with information and each other in more private mediates spaces. Pranav’s dissertation focuses on identifying the affordances of private mediated spaces like mobile messaging applications and closed online groups, and examines how these affordances influence information credibility evaluation within these spaces.

David Morar | @morar |

Research interests: multistakeholderism, emerging technology ethics, data governance, privacy.

Currently: Policy fellow with New America’s Open Technology Institute.

David studies governance, policy, and ethical implications of data and emerging technologies. David’s current research includes governance structures and specifically multistakeholderism in internet and platform governance, studying how to meaningfully bring in new voices into the policy-making process.

Nanditha Narayanamoorthy | @nandithamoorthy |

Research interests: Digital activism, gender studies, south Asian studies, hate speech, platform governance, AI ethics.

Currently: Postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Nanditha studies how marginalized communities use platform affordances for social organizing, and how these same tools are weaponized against them. Nanditha’s most recent project researches how gender minorities in India are represented on social media platforms through the study of hashtag activism.

Contia’ Prince | @ContiaPrince | contia-prince

Research interests: Black female bodies, bodily autonomy, cosmetic surgery, scientific racism.

Currently: Doctoral candidate at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Contia’ studies historical and contemporary narratives which label black female bodies as inherently defective. Contia’s most recent project, “Instagram Faces and Fashion Nova Bodies,” connected historical perceptions of the Black female body, digital beauty aesthetics, and contemporary expressions of bodily autonomy through cosmetic surgery.

Jess Rauchberg | @disabledphd |

Research interests: crip theory, digital media cultures, queer/crip digital cultural production, feminists STS, algorithmic justice.

Currently: Doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication Studies and Media Arts at McMaster University.

Jess studies crip data, digital media cultures, platform governance, and ableism’s role in organizing our experiences with social media. Jess’s dissertation project, “Crip data studies,” amplifies the subversive cultural production of disabled social media users, who build digital community despite (ableist and racist) algorithmic bias, AI, and platform governance.

Mariana Sánchez-Santos | @Marianaszs | mariana-sánchez-santos

Research interests: political communication, information flows, media policy, disinformation.

Currently: Doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at American University.

Mariana studies political communication, particularly information flows in digital media. Mariana’s dissertation is about political agenda and media agenda on Twitter during the first social media election in Mexico.

Kai-Cheng Yang | @yang3kc |

Research interests: misinformation, social bots.

Currently: Doctoral candidate in Informatics at Indiana University Bloomington.

Kai-Cheng uses data-driven approaches to identify bad actors and behaviors in social media. Kai-Cheng’s dissertation studies the spreading patterns of misinformation on social media and the actors involved in this process.

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