Busy summer 2013!

My last summer at MSU is proving to be a busy one.

I’m writing papers about high school students, social media, and college access with Nicole Ellison and Chris Greenhow based on the data collection we did over the past couple years. This project has been very fulfilling from a practical perspective, because our research topic is one that is of major societal concern. Nicole and I were able to discuss some of our findings in April at the Michigan College Access Network Conference to a room full of people who really wanted to help high school students go to college and were working directly with the students to make that happen. It was refreshing to step down from the ivory tower and definitely worth the effort.

In the meantime, I am also finishing up my dissertation on social gaming habits, which is really interesting because it was first topic that I worked on when I started the doctoral program, so I’ve made a full circle. (Ironically, the first paper that I wrote on social gaming with my friend and colleague Yu-Hao Lee was just accepted after an unusually long review process). I am not a PhD yet, although I did pretend to be one at our May commencement, because they don’t have a separate ceremony for summer graduates.

With my committee members Wei, Robby, and friend Yu-hao. We all study games in some form or other.

With my committee members Wei, Robby, and friend Yu-hao. We all study games in some form or other.

Graduation ceremony with Dan, who is in my cohort

My academic dad, Bob LaRose, reading comics during the boring ceremony.

In June, I will be presenting four papers at the International Communication Association annual conference (a colleague will be presenting a fifth). One is my own work and the others are all co-authored. ICA is in London this year, so it will be interesting to see what kind of people attend.

In July, I will be attending the Learning Analytics Summer Institute (LASI) at Stanford University for a week. I am not a data miner, although I have done analysis using scraped big data, so I am really looking forward to meeting people to collaborate with and learn more about what people are discussing in other fields.

In mid August, I will be joining Jeremy Birnholtz’s social media lab in Northwestern as a postdoc, working on a new project.


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