Skip to main content

Principal Researchers

Deen Freelon

@dfreelon   HOMEPAGE

Deen Freelon delivering a lecture.
Deen Freelon

Deen Freelon is an Associate Professor in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. His research covers two major areas of scholarship: 1) political expression through digital media and 2) data science and computational methods for analyzing large digital datasets. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 journal articles, book chapters, and public reports, in addition to co-editing one scholarly book. He has served as principal investigator on grants from the Knight Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. He has extensive experience in computational methods for social science research, including text preprocessing, computational description, network analysis, machine learning, and open-source research software development. He has written research-grade software to calculate intercoder reliability for content analysis (ReCal), analyze large-scale network data from social media (TSM), and collect data from Facebook (fb_scrape_public).

Daniel Kreiss

@kreissdaniel   HOMEPAGE

Portrait of Daniel Kreiss
Daniel Kreiss

Daniel Kreiss is an Edgar Thomas Cato Distinguished Professor in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kreiss’s research explores the impact of technological change on the public sphere and political practice. In Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama (Oxford University Press, 2012), Kreiss presents the history of new media and Democratic Party political campaigning over the last decade. Prototype Politics: Technology-Intensive Campaigning and the Data of Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2016) charts the emergence of a data-driven, personalized, and socially-embedded form of campaigning and explains differences in technological adoption between the two U.S. political parties. Kreiss is an affiliated fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and received a PhD in Communication from Stanford University.

Alice E. Marwick

@alicetiara   HOMEPAGE

Outdoor portrait of Alice Marwick
Alice E. Marwick

Alice E. Marwick is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Faculty Affiliate at the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy, and Faculty Advisor to the Media Manipulation Initiative at the Data & Society Research Institute. She researches the social, political, and cultural implications of popular social media technologies. In 2017, she co-authored Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online, a flagship report examining far-right online subcultures’ use of social media to spread disinformation, for which she was named one of 2017’s Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. She is the author of Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity and Branding in the Social Media Age (Yale 2013), an ethnographic study of the San Francisco tech scene that examines how people seek social status through online visibility, and is co-editor of The Sage Handbook of Social Media (Sage 2017). Her current book project examines how the networked nature of online privacy disproportionately impacts marginalized individuals in terms of gender, race, and socio-economic status.

Senior Faculty Researchers

Tressie McMillan Cottom

@tressiemcphd  HOMEPAGE

Tressie McMillan Cottom
Tressie McMillan Cottom

Tressie McMillan Cottom is an award-winning author, professor, and sociologist, whose work has earned national and international recognition for the urgency and depth of its incisive critical analysis of technology, higher education, class, race, and gender. She is an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and a faculty affiliate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. McMillan Cottom earned her doctorate from Emory University’s Laney Graduate School in sociology in 2015. Her dissertation research formed the foundation for her first book Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (The New Press 2016). With hundreds of thousands of readers amassed over years of writing and publishing, McMillan Cottom’s columns have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Dissent Magazine. Her most recent book, THICK: And Other Essays (The New Press 2019), is a critically acclaimed Amazon best-seller that situates Black women’s intellectual tradition at its center. THICK won the Brooklyn Public Library’s 2019 Literary Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 National Book Award in nonfiction.

Shannon McGregor

@shannimcg  HOMEPAGE

Shannon McGregor
Shannon McGregor

Shannon McGregor is an Assistant Professor in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Her research addresses the role of social media and their data in political processes, with a focus on political communication, journalism, public opinion, and gender. McGregor’s published work examines how three groups – political actors, the press, and the public – use social media in regards to politics, how that social media use impacts their behavior, and how the policies and actions of social media companies in turn impacts political communication on their platforms. Her work takes up diverse methodologies like surveys, experiments, and large-scale computational and network analysis, as well as qualitative methods like in-depth interviews, to understand politics in socially networked digital spaces. McGregor’s work has been published in top journals like the Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Political Communication, Journalism, and Information, Communication & Society, and she is the co-editor a book (with Dr. Talia Stroud), Digital Discussions: How Big Data Informs Political Communication.

Francesca Tripodi

@ftripodi  HOMEPAGE

photo of Francesca Tripodi
Francesca Tripodi

Francesca Tripodi is a sociologist and media scholar whose research examines the relationship between social media, political partisanship, and democratic participation, revealing how Google and Wikipedia are manipulated for political gains. She is an Assistant Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and an affiliate at the Data & Society Research Institute. She holds a PhD and MA in sociology from the University of Virginia, as well as an MA in communication, culture, and technology from Georgetown University. In 2019, Tripodi testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on her research, explaining how search processes are gamed to maximize exposure and drive ideologically based queries. This research is the basis of her book, which is under contract with Yale University Press. She also studies patterns of gender inequality on Wikipedia, shedding light on how knowledge is contested in the 21st century. Her research has been covered by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Columbia Journalism Review, Wired, The Guardian and The Neiman Journalism Lab.


Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Yvonne M. Eadon

Portrait of Yvonne M. Eadon
Yvonne M. Eadon

@yvonnemelisande  HOMEPAGE

Yvonne M. Eadon conducts research at the intersection of conspiracy theory scholarship, information seeking and behavior, online misinformation and disinformation, and archival studies. Her dissertation, titled “‘They Are the Conspiracy Theorists, Not I’: Mapping the Research Selves of Counter-Establishment Researchers,” examines the research practices and self-concepts of people who research UFOs, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the missing 411 phenomenon.

Nanditha Narayanamoorthy

@nandithamoorthy  HOMEPAGE

Portrait of Nanditha Narayanamoorthy
Nanditha Narayanamoorthy

Nanditha Narayanamoorthy’s work draws from a combination of computational and qualitative methods to understand the relationship between technology and democracy and rethink digital governance for marginalized communities in the Global South.

As an interdisciplinary scholar at the intersection of Critical Digital Studies, Gender Studies, and Social Justice, she investigates the role that platforms play in centering vulnerable groups online. She studies digital activism to examine how gendered,  religious, and ethnic minorities employ social media platforms to create and perform their political identities. She also investigates how these marginalized communities are targeted by state-sponsored digital hate that undermines democracy.

Yiping Xia

Portrait of Yiping Xia
Yiping Xia


Yiping Xia is interested in news engagement and disinformation. His research employs qualitative and mixed methods, focusing on contexts and meaning-making. Combining in-depth interviews and the news diary method, his dissertation takes a lifeworld approach to the study of news engagement, with fieldwork conducted in the Chinese-Canadian community in Toronto. Dr. Xia received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with minors in Sociology and STS.


Administration & Staff

Kathryn Peters

CITAP Executive Director

@katyetc HOMEPAGE

Portrait of Katy Peters
Kathryn Peters, CITAP Executive Director

Katy Peters is a civic technologist and nonprofit entrepreneur, who co-founded Democracy Works, a nonpartisan, nonprofit that works to make voting a simple, seamless experience for all Americans. She has been recognized as one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” in the field of law and policy and as a Champion of Democracy by the National Priorities Project.

Peters’ belief in better democracy has taken her from campaign organizing in Southeast Missouri to a master’s in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government to political rights monitoring in Afghanistan. Her previous experiences include positions with the National Democratic Institute and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security.

During her tenure at Democracy Works, she led the development and launch of TurboVote, an election reminder and voter registration tool that now serves more than 7 million voters in partnership with 175 colleges, several national nonprofits, and corporations that include Snap and Google. She also led Democracy Works’ acquisition of the Voting Information Project, a national open data collaboration that publishes official state polling locations and ballot data.

Gary Marchionini

@marchionini HOMEPAGE

Outdoor portrait of Gary Marchionini
Gary Marchionini, Dean

Gary Marchionini is the Dean and Cary C. Boshamer Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS). An expert in human-information interaction, interface design and testing, and digital libraries, he has published over 200 articles, chapters and, reports in a variety of books and journals. He has received grants or research awards from the National Science Foundation, Council on Library Resources, National Library of Medicine, Library of Congress, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kellogg Foundation, NASA, The National Cancer Institute, Microsoft, Google, and IBM among others. His professional contributions have been recognized by the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology (2000) and the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Award of Merit (2011), the association’s highest honor. His current interests and projects are related to interfaces that support information seeking and information retrieval, and issues arising from data science and ubiquitous information.

Andrew Crist

Andrew Crist, Research Application Developer

Andrew Crist is a research application developer, data scientist, and entrepreneur. He co-founded Piedmont Data Points, a consultation firm that worked to transition Nasdaq’s Center for Board Excellence into the cloud computing space and continues to conduct analyses, offer software support, and create new products for Nasdaq. Piedmont Data Points also works with The Center for Digital Humanities at the University of Kansas to create natural language processing tools and online applications. Crist’s primary research interests include the impact of social media and financial technology on society. He has held positions as a data scientist at XPO Logistics, as a researcher at the University of Kansas, and now supports the work of researchers at CITAP.

Faculty & Postdoctoral Affiliates

Siobahn Day Grady

Iva Nenadic

Caitlin Petre

Paul Elliott Johnson

Alex Worsnip

Melissa Zimdars

Amanda Reid

Juan S. Larrosa-Fuentes

Kathy Hill

Emily Van Duyn

Aarthi Vadde

Lee McGuigan

Kirsten Eddy

Scott Babwah Brennen

Aaron Shapiro

Nikki Usher

Melanie Feinberg

Amelia Gibson

Enrique Armijo

Tiffany Li

Tori Ekstrand

Jennifer Forestal

Matt Perault

David Ardia

Rachel Moran

Koko Koltai


Graduate Student Affiliates

Melody Kramer

Jonathan Schlosser

Shanice Jones Cameron

Laura March

John Maldonado

Lan Li

Sonja Solomun

Becca Lewis

Lucas Wright

Narayanamoorthy Nanditha

Kristen Bowen

Martin Naunov

Rachel Davis

Daniel Johnson

Heesoo Jang

Isaac Kimmel

Evan Ringel

Contia’ Prince

Jeeyun Sophia Baik

Carolyn Schmitt

Michele Meyer

Parker Bach

Pranav Malhotra

Chris Lenhardt

Sarah Nguyễn

Rohan Grover

Danilo Reuben-Matamoros

Shanetta Pendleton

Luxuan Wang


Margaret E. Foster

Cara Schumann

Kyle Ashburn

Pratiksha Menon

Ryan Gallagher

William Clyde Partin

Jessica Roden

Ofra Klein

Erik Brooks

Bridget Barrett

Andrea Lorenz

Katie Furl

Adrian Wong

Judeth Oden Choi

Madhavi Reddi

Aashka Dave

Lingyu Wang

Elaine Schnabel

Robert Manzo

Delaney Thull

Noelle Wilson

Chad Van de Wiele

Jacob Kenton Smith

Yuanye Ma

Dan Malmer