About Me

Hello and welcome. I am a mixed-methods researcher living in Denver, Colorado. For over ten years, I have been conducting research with human subjects using a variety of methodologies in healthcare, higher education, civic tech, and non-profit spaces. My research often focuses on diversity and inclusion with the goal of increasing access to products and programs for low-income and under-represented populations. In addition to designing my own research, I am also experienced at teaching, mentoring, and facilitating workshops about research processes for a variety of learners. Below, I share my resume, LinkedIn, and selected research projects. Thanks so much for taking an interest in my work, and please connect with me on LinkedIn if you have any questions or simply want to chat. I’m always happy to mentor anyone seeking additional support for their education, career, or research.

Resume

LinkedIn

Connect with me on LinkedIn 🙂

Selected Research Projects and Artifacts

Tech Fleet: The Serious Type
The Serious Type is a content creation platform for teens and young adults to express themselves in productive and creative ways. The app shifts its focus away from a traditional social media engagement model and helps users make decisions driven by intention and the desire to share and grow as a collective. As a UX researcher on this project, I facilitate cross-functional collaboration on a team of 20 researchers, project managers, developers, strategists, and designers. As a team, we work to increase community building among teens and mentors on both a website and app, and we communicate and present deliverables to stakeholders in the non-profit space. Additionally, we plan and conduct UX research within an Agile framework, including competitive analyses and heuristic evaluation to measure usability and identify MVP features and functionality.

Hack for LA: Access the Data
The Access the Data project seeks to identify where data literacy education is most needed; the project will produce a website to make accessing data literacy modules and other relevant self-teaching content easy to find and use for stakeholders in the non-profit and local government space. As a UX researcher on this project, I collaborate with a team of 12 remote researchers, project managers, developers, designers, and data scientists to produce and maintain a website promoting data literacy. Additionally, I conduct qualitative interviews to develop personas and to inform website design for particular user groups. I also mentor other researchers on the team as they learn to design and conduct semi-structured user interviews. Our research team also conducts A/B testing and remote usability tests to support responsive and interactive web design. Finally, I collaborate with UX writers to increase user accessibility and optimize web copy for iterations of a high fidelity prototype.

Social Media Projects in a Minor in Writing Course
I have been studying undergraduate students’ uses of technology and social media for ten years now. In this research project in particular, I implement diary studies to measure the impact of an eight-week long social media project on students’ learning about writing and professional development. My analyses include inductive and deductive coding of a corpus of students’ Instagram posts and qualitative data in the form of students’ written reflections on their use of Instagram throughout the process of composing their projects. As the lead researcher on this project, I am responsible for study design, data collection and analysis, and presentation of findings and impacts. Here you can view a slide deck reporting findings from this project.

Transfer Student Support and Retention
For the past two years, I have been collecting data for this collaborative research project aimed at better supporting and retaining transfer students at the University of Denver. My role on the research team consists primarily of conducting qualitative interviews with study participants. I am also involved in analyzing data and publishing findings from the study. I provide a collaborative presentation of findings from this study here; this presentation was designed for other university faculty and administrators in order to help those stakeholders implement similar research, programming, and curriculum at their respective institutions.

First-Generation College Students’ Literacy Practices Across Contexts
I designed this in-depth study to better describe first-generation college students’ college experiences, particularly the literacies (or reading, writing, and speaking practices) they take up on their pathways to and through college. Notably, this study focuses most closely on first-generation college students’ strengths and successes, addressing an ongoing gap in research about these students as existing research focuses most often on first-gens’ challenges or barriers to success. As the primary investigator for this study, my responsibilities include design, data collection, data analysis, and publication and presentation of findings. Through a detailed mixed methods approach, including interviews, observations, and surveys, I present 15 case studies of first-gen students’ identities and literacies, and from this data I argue for better support of first-gen students that more fully addresses socioeconomic inequality at American colleges and universities. Here I include my final dissertation, a sample presentation on the impacts of this research, and a workshop given to prompt first-gen students to reflect on their strengths and successes.

Blogs, Blackboards, And Beyond!: Instructors’ Uses of Course Blogs in Undergraduate Education
In 2014, course blogs were all the rage in college courses. To better understand this burgeoning trend in instructional technologies, our collaborative research team designed a study consisting of qualitative interviews and ethnographic observations of college courses in three disciplines: Nursing, English, and Education. We designed this project to address the research question: How and why do college undergraduate instructors structure, design, make use of, and adapt course blogs as a teaching tool? From our inductive approach to evaluating data, and from analytical memos we crafted throughout our data collection process, the central theme emerged of how a course blog might uniquely help apprentice students into professional practice. In short, teachers were using course blogs to build community among students, connect students to surrounding communities through civic engagement, and to apprentice students into professional practice in their chosen fields and disciplines. This slide deck presents study data and impacts for the mindful integration of instructional technologies in college courses.

A Qualitative Analysis of Millennials’ Politically Motivated Facebook Posts
In December 2012, I conducted qualitative interviews with millennial aged people who had made recent political posts on Facebook. I focused my analyses on people who had posted about the then recent 2012 presidential election, and I also collected demographic survey data around age, gender, race, occupation, political affiliation, and social media history and use. I then conducted analyses of these data through a literacy studies lens that emphasized the reciprocity between literacy education and civic engagement. Findings from this study indicate that the use of digital, multimedia, and hybrid literacies on Facebook allow for users to engage in self-motivated peer to peer exchanges, but importantly those exchanges compound and extend outward beyond individual exchanges to develop a shared social history and joint narrative. Moreover, civic literacies on Facebook allow for users’ identity performances to destabilize traditional loci of authoritative knowledge. In sum, I argue that millennial are not disengaged with civic and political concerns simply because their civic engagement does not look like the print-based literacies of their recent or historical predecessors. In fact, a lot of important community building, identity formation, and civic engagement now happens through social media, including Facebook.

Courses in Research and Writing for Undergraduate Students
For five years now, I have supported undergraduate students in conducting interview and survey research in my Research and Writing About Food courses at University of Denver. The aim of this course is to offer students first-hand experience in designing college-level primary research, to familiarize them with multiple research traditions and methodologies, and to help them become more careful consumers of research they encounter in their college courses and day-to-day lives. I include a video I made to support students in analyzing qualitative interview data through both inductive and deductive coding as well as a slide deck teaching students about visual representations of survey data. These materials were designed to support students across a range of in-person, hybrid/hyflex, and remote learning contexts.

Workshops to Support Faculty and Graduate Student Research
Since 2017, I have Designed over 60 workshops for graduate student and faculty researchers covering a range of topics including “Navigating Identity in Research” “Writing for Publication,” and “Designing Research Presentations.” Additionally, I have facilitated weekend long retreats and a ten-week writing accountability group to support university faculty in writing about and publishing the findings and impacts of their research. See this workshop on the role of identity in research and this slide deck about sustaining major writing and research projects.

Research By The Numbers

In over ten years as a qualitative researcher, I have

  • Authored 4 peer-reviewed publications and 5 policy briefs
  • Delivered 26 research presentations at 11 different national conferences
  • Successfully defended a 275 page dissertation to a committee of 4 leading researchers from 3 distinct disciplines (Higher Education, English, and Linguistics). In researching and writing this dissertation, I designed the study, achieved IRB approval, recruited 15 participants using Qualtrics surveys, conducted 45 interviews, coded 78 hours of audio recorded and transcribed data in Nvivo, and designed courses, presentations, and workshops on findings and impacts of this data
  • Authored 5 Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications for human subject research at 2 universities
  • Won 10 different awards and grants to support my research
  • Facilitated over 40 workshops about research processes for faculty and graduate students
  • Taught over 60 college courses on a variety of topics including “Research and Writing,” “Writing and Digital Media,” and “Social Class and College Culture”