We are professors and researchers from UMD’s iSchool and beyond who are interested in the various ways that privacy is enacted through new communication technologies, the concerns individuals express over maintaining privacy of their personal information, and tools that might assist users in achieving and maintaining a desired level of privacy.
Jessica Vitak (PhD, Michigan State University) is an associate professor in UMD’s iSchool and affiliate professor in the Communication Department. Her research evaluates the privacy and ethical implications of big data, the internet of things, and other “smart” technologies. For more information, see her website or email her directly.
Michael Zimmer (PhD, NYU) is a professor at the Marquette University’s computer science department. Michael’s research focuses on the intersection of privacy and ethics and he currently has funding with Vitak on a NSF grant on smart home privacy and Vitak and Shilton on a NSF grant on data ethics. For more information, see his website or email him directly.
Katie Shilton (PhD, UCLA) is an associate professor in UMD’s iSchool. Her research focuses on ethics and policy for the design of information technologies, systems, and collections. Katie has received funding for several projects from the NSF, including a CAREER grant to study privacy and security by design in mobile development. For more information, see her website or email her directly.
Mega Subramaniam (PhD, Florida State University) is a professor in UMD’s iSchool. Her research interests focus on the use of school libraries as effective hybrid spaces to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) interest among under-served, underrepresented and disadvantaged young adults. For more information, see her website or email her directly.
Tamara Clegg (PhD, Georgia Tech) is an associate professor in UMD’s iSchool and School of Education. Tammy’s research seeks to understand how we can help people come to see themselves in new ways by helping them form new relationships with information. Tammy works with Marshini and Jessica on a NSF grant developing privacy and security curriculum for elementary school children For more information, see her website or email her directly.
Marshini Chetty (PhD, Georgia Tech) is an associate professor in the Computer Science department at the University of Chicago Her research evaluates how people manage different aspects of Internet use from Internet constraints such as data caps to Internet security and creating tools to help inform and empower Internet users, particularly in resource constrained settings. For more information, see her website or email her directly.
Sunyup Park joined the iSchool in fall 2020 as a PhD student in the iSchool and is advised by Jessica Vitak. Her research interest lies in privacy, the Internet of Things, and Human-Computer Interaction. She received her M.F.A. in Communication Design at Yonsei University in 2020 and her B.A. in Economics at Yonsei University in 2016. Sunyup has been a research assistant on the BALTO project (2020-2023) and the smart environments & privacy project (2023-present).
Elana Blinder joined the iSchool PhD program in fall 2021 and is advised by Tammy Clegg. Elana is a research assistant on the SPE4K project developing privacy and security curriculum for elementary school students.
Min Cheong Kim joined the iSchool PhD program in fall 2022 and is advised by Jessica Vitak. Her research interests are data privacy ethics, privacy in educational technology, and how users understand or view their own privacy in interaction with technology. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is a research assistant on the TAPP project (2022-present).
Anna Lenhart joined the iSchool PhD program in fall 2019 part-time while working for TechCongress (2020) and as a senior legislative assistant on Capitol Hill (2022). She is co-advised by Vitak and Shilton. Her research addresses questions surrounding the growth of artificial intelligence (big data), the future of work and income inequality. She is a research assistant on the TAPP project (2023-present) and a coauthor on two papers on privacy considerations for smart homes.
Priya Kumar (PhD, UMD) graduated from the iSchool in spring 2021. She was advised by Jessica Vitak. She is currently an assistant professor at Penn State in their College of Information Sciences and Technology. Priya’s research focuses on how parents and children negotiate technology and privacy. While at UMD, she contributed to the mobile privacy study (NSF/NWO), the IMLS-funded study of privacy concerns among low-SES families, and the NSF-funded study developing privacy and security curriculum for children. For more information, see her website or email her directly.
Yuting Liao (PhD, UMD) defended her dissertation in summer 2021, looking at the utility of chatbots for mental health support. She was advised by Jessica Vitak. Yuting worked on the mobile privacy project (NSF/NWO) and the IMLS-funded study of privacy concerns among low-SES families while at UMD. Her research is interested in the intersection of health, aging, and technology.
Sarah Gilbert (PhD, University of British Columbia) was a postdoctoral scholar at UMD from 2018-2021, working with Shilton and Vitak on the PERVADE project. Her research focuses on understanding and designing healthy online communities, studying topics like what influences participation, how people learn in online communities, how volunteer moderators’ labor impacts community governance, and how research in those areas can be done ethically.
Sydney Triola is a PhD student in the iSchool. She earned her Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland in 2020. Her research interests lie in the intersection of Criminal Justice Reform and Information Science. Sydney worked on the Venmo Privacy Study. For more information, please email her directly.
Nisa Asgarali-Hoffman is a PhD student in the iSchool. She earned a MS in Human-Centered Computing from UMBC in 2020. Nisa worked on the IMLS-funded project on developing privacy and security training and resources for libraries and patrons in low-income communities.
Zahra Ashktorab (PhD, UMD) graduated in 2017 and now works for IBM. She was advised by Jessica Vitak. Her research focuses on cyberbullying detection and mitigation through the study of social media and social networks. For more information, see her website or email her directly.
Shandra Morehouse was a PhD student in the iSchool. She received her Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2018. Her research interests are in archives and information behavior in fanfiction communities.
Andrea Castillo was a MLIS grad student in UMD’s iSchool who worked on the IMLS grant during spring 2017 to help with data collection and Spanish translations during the library patron family interviews.
Katie Kritikos was a PhD student in the iSchool at UW-Milwaukee and is advised by Michael Zimmer. She has a JD and an MLIS from the University of Illinois. Katie’s research looks at issues of intellectual freedom, privacy, and open access. She joined the team as a researcher on the mobile privacy NSF grant.