I am a professor and associate chair in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Cultures at Michigan State University, where I direct the graduate programs, lead the award-winning WIDE Research lab, and co-founded the Experience Architecture program. My research interests include networked participatory culture, social user experience, and digital rhetoric. I am interested in how people use social media and digital spaces to find and share information with their communities. My recent work looks at how people communicate across spaces such as reddit, Twitter, and the built environment. So I care a lot about user experience, content strategy, information architecture, digital culture, and rhetoric. All of which is pretty on target for earning a Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
I have published three books and over 70 publications focused on disaster response, user experience, and participatory memory, as well as several digital projects from community archives to leading the Sherlockian.net team. My work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and others. My professional experience includes working for technology startups, Microsoft, and design consultancies. I am the caretaker and project leader of Sherlockian.net, a robust portal with hundreds of pages and thousands of curated links dedicated to the international Sherlock Holmes community.
My first book, Social Media in Disaster Response, examines the public use of platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, and news sites by everyday people during times of crisis. My second book is an edited collection focused on user experience and cultural practices, produced with my co-editor, Michael Salvo. Supported by positive reviews from Jakob Nielsen and Donald Norman, Rhetoric and Experience Architecture is available through Parlor Press. My third book is a digital project titled Participatory Memory: Fandom Experiences Across Time and Space, written with my students and produced in our lab at MSU. It focuses on memory-making activities and experiences across international fan communities.
In my field, I am a past Chair of the Association for Computer Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Design of Communication (SIGDOC), serve on editorial boards, and served as a member of the leadership committee for the award-winning Women in Technical Communication.