My research uses experimental design and other methodologies to focus on the perception and impact of emotion in messages. My current primary research project is my dissertation regarding attributions of cause to happy and angry messages in human-computer interactions with an Amazon Alexa. Future studies will build on these themes with a focus on social inferences about features of emotional content in relational, group, and sociotechnical contexts.
My teaching aims to teach students theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding communication phenomena, and to apply these findings in practical projects, presentations, and writing. I also teach students to develop robust workflows for producing intellectual work and how to take into account psychological and logistical challenges in planning their work.
Research-wise, I use mixed-methods (big data, qualitative, and quantitative) to investigate how we live, work, and play in online settings. My current research analyzes virtual communities and relationships in online venues in order to predict deepening intimacy amongst online communicative dyads, and how that can predict involvement in virtual communities, and I expect to finish my dissertation in the spring of 2022. I also study the culture and identity creation within online groups and communities more broadly from a qualitative perspective.
Finally, I have a project examining the digital remnants of the deceased that has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Autoethnography. I have been approached by Lexington Books, the monograph division of Rowman and Littlefield, to turn that project into a book, and will turn my attention to that project in late 2022. As an instructor, I approach teaching with three central ideas: I want to make sure that lessons are useful, address the problems that students will likely face in the world, and integrate feedback I’ve received. My trifold approach has been particularly helpful when transforming courses that have been previously taught in person into a fully online courses, and I’ve been able to use a diverse array of readings, videos, podcasts, and virtual field trips to help my students absorb the material.
I also spent 14 year sin industry before returning to the academy, so I can provide students with a window into real-world experience. I’ve worked at Apple, GrubHub, and another smaller startup, and I have found that these high-tech job experiences have been invaluable in to my students by providing me a plethora of real-world examples of academic concepts.