Research Team

As a faculty member, an important part of my service to the research community–and the public at large–is to help mentor graduate students. This can be done by collaborating with graduate students on coauthored research papers and by helping them become established scholars at other institutions.  Part of my mentoring work has involved writing short memos on how to develop good coauthoring and collaborating relationships, and on how to write the cover letter for academic job applications. Most graduate students have several mentors, and some of my collaborative relationships are with students at other institutions. A key part of my job has become helping graduate students find the funding they need to do their work.  This can mean significant and long term funding for projects that need coding teams and infrastructure, it can mean travel funds for overseas fieldwork, or it can mean summer funding for projects that put students in touch with industry.  Below are examples of the productive and creative relationships I’ve had, with links to our projects, papers, and funders.


Students I am Currently Chairing


Student Collaborators Who Are Now Working as Faculty

Student Collaborators I have Published With


All Graduate Student Research Collaborators, Listed Alphabetically


Matthew Adeiza joined the program in 2013.  We are working on a book chapter about the use of social media and international development.  He helps manage the Digital Activism Research Project.  In the summer of 2014 I helped him come for an extended period of research on global communication and the CMCS summer school on digital activism.


jessica Jessica Beyers, defended her dissertation on movements that began online and apolitical but transitioned to various forms of activist organizations.  She is managing a large research project on technology and development in Burma, and her dissertation is coming out as a book, Expect Us: Online Communities and Political Mobilization, from Oxford University Press.


lauraLaura Busch successfully defended her project in Spring 2014.We have collaborated on several projects, including a dataset of gini coefficients for technology access (now available from the ICPSR) and a paper about indexing global technology diffusion that we published in The Information Society.


aiden Aiden Duffy, now with Amazon Web Services, worked with the Project on Information Technology and Political Islam while an undergraduate, producing some valuable network analysis of the relationship between media organizations and technologies in Iran and Egypt at key moments of popular unrest.


Frank-peopleFrank Edwards, a graduate student in the Sociology Department, is serving as the lead analyst on the Digital Activism Research Project and produced much of the analysis discussed in our final report.


krisKris Erickson, defended in 2008 and now an assistant professor at the University of Glasgow. We have multiple papers and book chapters together, all on the presentation of hackers in the news media and the way journalists frame data leaks.
deenDeen Freelon, defended in winter 2011, is an assistant professor at the School of Communication at American University. I served on his dissertation committee, and we collaborated on research into the use of social media during the Arab Spring.


Maria GarridoMaria Garrido contributed a chapter to the edited book I did with Steve Jones, Society Online.  Her chapter was a redux of her doctoral project on digital media use by the Zapatistas.


Jason GilmoreJason Gilmore, now at the University of Utah, and I developed a project to study the use of social media during Brazil’s 2010 elections.  We coauthored a book chapter together, and he continued on with several excellent articles in academic journals.


Tabitha Hart, San Jose StateTabitha Hart is now an Assistant Professor at San Jose State University.  I served on her committee, and we collaborated on a feminist ethnography of how poor women in developing countries encounter new digital technologies, a project that involved extended fieldwork for Tabitha in India.


laurahLaura Hosman had a prominent post-doc at Berkeley and is now an assistant professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. We have a policy paper together on how different reform strategies have had different outcomes in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.


muzammilMuzammil Hussain helped manage the Project on Information Technology and Political Islam, we have written several articles and book chapters together, just finished Democracy’s Fourth Wave? for Oxford University Press. I chaired his doctoral project, and he is an assistant professor in  Communication Studies at the University of Michigan.


mary Mary Joyce has helped manage the Digital Activism Research Project, which develops original data sets on global digital activism. I have helped secure a significant grant from the US Institutes of Peace and a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to support her research.


dan Daniel Kreiss, defended in 2010, is an an assistant professor in Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. We have several papers together, including a policy paper on privacy norms in four advanced democracies and an article on the data mining industry that supported Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.


shin Shin Lee works on technology diffusion and journalistic norms in South East Asia, and he specializes in large data sets on public opinion and technology use. We are working on citizen journalism and digital activism through the Digital Activism Research Project.


Adrienne Massanari, UIC

Adrienne Massanari is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago.  She and I wrote several academic articles about “political omnivores”, the growing cohort of U.S. voters who consume many kinds of political content over multiple devices and from many sources.


nimahNimah Mazaheri, defended winter 2010, is now an assistant professor in political science at Tufts University. We wrote a paper in the prominent journal World Development about what kinds of telecommunications policy reforms actually have an impact on technology access.


fen Fenwick McKelvey was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow with me at the University of Washington.  He focuses on how software affords new forms of control in digital communication systems and is launching a new project called Programming the Vote.  He is now an assistant professor at Concordia University.


Ruth Moon

Ruth Moon is doing a doctoral project on journalism ethics in authoritarian regimes, a project that will likely involve extended fieldwork in Rwanda.


temaTema Milstein, defended in 2006 and now an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico. We have one book chapter and one article together, both on the topic of the political economy of personal information.



Justin Reedy, defended in 2012.  He worked as a managing editor on the Handbook of Internet Politics and did a chapter on the impact of the internet on the initiative process.  He is a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Communication at the University of Oklahoma and a research associate in the Center for Risk, Crisis & Resilience.
luisLuis Santana studies the impact of information technologies on public participation in civil society groups.  We are working on citizen journalism and digital activism through the Digital Activism Research Project.


stephanie Stephanie Smith-Vanterpool and I wrote an article on the positive contribution of credit systems and public auctions in awarding access to the public spectrum.  Specific FCC auctions–no longer carried out–did much to promote women and minority-owned businesses.


fahedFahed Al-Sumait, defended in 2010 and won the dissertation of the year award from the National Communication Association.  He’s had a post doc at the National University of Singapore and is now an Assistant Professor of Communication at the Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait.



Sam Woolley joined the program in 2013, and we have co-authored a book chapter on bots and the manipulation of public opinion.  He helps manage the Digital Activism Research Project.  In the summer of 2014 I helped him come for an extended period of research on global communication and the CMDS summer school on digital activism.