Organizer Bios


BarleyWilliam Barley
Assistant Professor, Communication

William C. Barley is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Barley’s research explores how individuals and groups use technology to construct and represent knowledge across technical and occupational boundaries. His fieldwork has led him to observe collaborative relationships in contexts such as applied atmospheric science, automobile design and engineering, children’s hospital emergency rooms, car enthusiast communities, service organizations, and couples driving together. Barley is currently a fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications where he is studying the communicative challenges that technical experts face as they try to help apply “big data” techniques in disciplinary contexts where large-scale computational analytics have only just begun growing in popularity. See more at

Anita Chan, project leader
Assistant Professor, Media and Cinema Studies Program / ICR

Anita Say Chan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research and teaching interests include globalization and digital cultures, innovation networks and the “periphery”, and science and technology studies in Latin America. Her manuscript on the competing imaginaries of global connection and information technologies in network-age Peru, The Promiscuity of Networks: Digital Universalism and Technological Futures at the Periphery, is forthcoming with MIT Press. Her research has been awarded support from the Center for the Study of Law & 
Culture at Columbia University’s School of Law and the National Science Foundation, and has held 
postdoctoral fellowships at The CUNY Graduate Center’s Committee on Globalization & Social Change, and at Stanford University’s Introduction to Humanities Program.

C.L. Cole  Media & Cinema Studies / ICR

Cole is the co-editor of “Women, Sport & Culture” (with Susan Birrell) and “Sport and Corporate Nationalisms” (with Michael Silk and David Andrews). She is currently completing a book manuscript tentatively titled “Good Sports? The Boundaries of American Democracy.” She is the co-editor of the SUNY book series (with Michael Messner), “Sport, Culture & Social Relations,” and editor of the Journal of Sport & Social Issues. She serves on the editorial boards of Cultural Studies — Critical Methodologies, Qualitative Research in Sport & Exercise, and the NYU book series, “Biopolitics: Medicine, Technoscience, & Health in the 21st Century.” She is the recipient of one of the University of Illinois’ Critical Research Initiative Awards and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Teaching Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

SharonIrishJune2015Sharon Irish
Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Sharon Irish is a project coordinator and adjunct lecturer at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. She serves as co-facilitator of FemTechNet, a collective of feminists of all genders investigating intersections of technology and culture as wall as an advisory editor for the journal, Technology and Culture. An art and architectural historian, Sharon is at work on a book on the London-based artist, Stephen Willats, with funding from Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. She wrote Suzanne Lacy: Spaces Between (University of Minnesota Press, 2010) as well as a monograph and many articles on the architecture of Cass Gilbert.

JeromeJerome (Jerry) McDonough
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Jerome McDonough is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. His research focuses on socio-technical aspects of digital libraries, with a particular focus on issues of metadata and knowledge management as well as digital preservation of complex media and software. Prior to joining the faculty at GSLIS, Dr. McDonough served as the head of the Digital Library Development Team for New York University. He has also been an active participant in metadata standards activities for digital libraries, having served as chair of the METS Editorial Board, as well as serving on the NISO Standards Development Committee and on the ODRL International Advisory Board.

2015-2017 FELLOWS

GhanouiSaniya Ghanoui, History Department

Saniya is a media historian researching the social history of sex hygiene films in the United States and Sweden. Her current work looks at how sex hygiene films transitioned from public theaters to schools and issues of censorship, technology, and sexuality; examines the films’ position and status; and explores their place in sex education curricula. Her research is rooted in gender and women’s studies, STS studies, media studies, and visual culture. She graduated with her MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from NYU; her MA in Journalism from Emerson College; and her BA in Communication Arts from Marymount Manhattan College.

Lilah Leopold_cropLilah Leopold, Art History Department

Lilah is curious about how site-specific, permanent, as well as transient artworks, public programs, and interdisciplinary collaboration can serve to archive, transmit, and generate discussion of rapidly changing climates, especially in the polar regions. These interests grew out of internships with Artpace San Antonio and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX, and with Sternberg Press in Berlin, Germany; as well as through educational programs in Iceland and Norway. She received her BA in Studio Art and the History of Art and Architecture from Middlebury College, VT.

unnamedGabe Malo, Institute of Communications Research

Gabe is interested in internet studies – specifically, in the subcultures, and methods of dissent and discourse that form within online spaces. Their focus centers around online communities (Reddit and 4chan), virtual worlds (Second Life), and trolling. Other research concerns include the design and power of infrastructure and interfaces, queer theory, and representation in computer gaming. Gabe holds a Master’s of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, and studied English literature and creative writing at Valparaiso University.

BlankFemaleAnna Robb, Department of English

Anna Robb is a doctoral student in the department of English, studying 19th- and 20th-century American literature and feminist science studies. In her research, she explores the intellectual and ideological common ground between American literary naturalism and turn-of-the-century public health initiatives, and is interested in how each of these writing traditions makes discursive use of female bodies, especially in institutional settings. Before enrolling at UIUC, Anna studied creative writing, rhetoric, and literature at Missouri State University.

amc bioElizabeth Simpson, Institute of Communications Research

elizaBeth studies the dynamics of collaboration, participation, responsibility, and agency, especially as they intersect with cultural work. Her current research interests include the inequity of participation in small groups based on verbal competence and the counteractive use of extra-talking methods such as applied theater, with particular emphasis on restorative justice settings. elizaBeth has been a facilitator and consultant for grassroots social justice organizations for over 16 years, and is also a performance and multimedia artist who specializes in collaborative projects with people who would not call themselves “creative.”

StricklandBeth Strickland, Graduate School of Information Sciences

Beth Strickland is a doctoral student in the department of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois. Her research primarily focuses on the social construction of technology and the role of interfaces in their various forms. Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives and methods from internet studies, science and technology studies, and feminist theory, she considers the information behaviors of people as they navigate an increasingly wired/wireless world. Beth’s current research projects examines the intersection of humans and machines with a particular emphasis on interfaces and the (cyborg) body as a digitized information resource. Before coming to the iSchool at Illinois, she worked for many years as the Women’s Studies Librarian at the University of Michigan and served in many leadership roles for the Women and Gender Studies Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries. Beth received her MLIS with a concentration in library and information resource technology from the University of Denver, her MA in women’s studies from San Diego State University, and her BA in women’s studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

WorkmanH - SeeingSystemsWebsiteHallie Workman, Department of Communication

Hallie is a PhD student studying organizational communication. Her research interests include hidden organizations and communities, secrecy, visibility, and obfuscation. Recently, her work has focused on how hidden organizations react to sudden and unwanted visibility. Some of her previous research projects examined the use of video games to create health behavior change, online gaming communities, and how women create safe spaces online. Hallie holds a BS and MS in Strategic Communication from Texas Christian University with an emphasis in advertising and public relations. While pursuing her previous degrees, she worked for various political campaigns as well as art- and education-focused nonprofit organizations throughout North Texas.


atienza2Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Department of Anthropology

Paul Michael (Mike) Leonardo Atienza is a doctoral candidate in the department of anthropology with a graduate certificate in gender and Women’s Studies. Drawing on transdisciplinary perspectives, methods, and practices from feminist approaches and queer of color cultural critique, he considers the online and offline experiences of gay Filipinos looking for intimate connections in and between Manila and Los Angeles on mobile phone dating apps. His multi-sited ethnography investigates how transnational relationships of technology and intimacy shape and configure people’s notions of time and space, emotional attachments, self-presentation, and concepts of difference such as race, class, sex, and gender. His study demonstrates how app technology’s promise of immediate and limitless connection give way to strained aspirations, normative orders, and survival strategies. Before coming to Urbana-Champaign, he worked for many years as an academic advisor at the University of California, Riverside and served in leadership roles for the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Student Academic Affairs Office, the program in Southeast Asia: Text, Ritual, and Performance, and the UCR LGBITQ community. Mike received his MA in Southeast Asian Studies and BA degrees in music and English from the University of California, Riverside.

cooper-krystal-2009Krystal Cooper, Graduate School of Information Sciences

Krystal Cooper is pursuing her interests in digital humanities, analytics, and archiving as a master’s student at GSLIS and as a graduate assistant with the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS). She also is broadening her educational scope through participation in scholars programs of various multidisciplinary organizations, and has participated in the Computing Research Association: Women’s 2016 Grad Cohort Workshop, the goal of which is to prepare female graduate students for leadership roles in fields related to computing through mentoring and community building.

coloradio_kinyettaKinyetta Nance, Graduate School of Information Sciences

My research focus is on the social design of technical systems (mobile and web applications) for diverse user groups which embodies both interaction design as well as user experience. My research utilizes Design Thinking (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test) as a method to approach the complex problems encountered during the product development and user acquisition phase. My passion is connecting people with information and building models and systems that help connect people with information that fulfills their information seeking needs. Holistically my research aims to understand how user experience impacts the overall goals and missions of an organization. See more at

thomer-web4Andrea Thomer, Graduate School of Information Sciences

My research in information science is hugely influenced by my prior work as an excavator of ice age fossils at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits. Thus, my interests include biodiversity and natural history museum informatics; long-term data and database curation, particularly in a research or museum setting; and bridging gaps between biology, geology, and informatics.