Welcome

Headshot of Kristen Bowen

Hello, I’m Kristen and I am a PhD Candidate and Rodney Fellow in Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I am going on the job market in 2022 with expected graduation in the Spring of next year. I am seeking full-time employment opportunities in industry conducting user research and/or user experience research. I have a strong expertise in Social Media connected research with a focus on inclusive design (social  networks, gaming systems, streaming services, media sharing, etc.).

My research experience spans six years with a background of providing research services to faculty, staff, and students in various colleges. Currently I engage in a user-centered approach to investigating the role social media & technology play in supporting or acting as barriers to the health and wellbeing of various populations. I employ surveys and qualitative research methods to explore topics such as the following: the best practices for integrating remote work into the future to support diversity & inclusion; research into the online information behavior of those who have experienced pregnancy loss; a critical examination of the level of diversity within disability studies; exploring the information behavior of racial minority youth & developing services to support; and determining the information exchange experiences of Black adults, who have had concerns for their mental wellbeing in connection to rape.

I am an affiliate with the Center for Critical Race & Digital Studies and the Center for Information Technology & Public Life. This summer (2021) I completed an internship with Microsoft Research where I designed and implemented a study of the remote work experiences of Black adults. From my research findings, I developed a guide to be published on Microsoft’s New Future of Work Initiative website, “Research-backed Guide: Basic Tips for Fostering Inclusion of Black American Employees.”

I am conducting my dissertation research on the information exchange experiences of Black emerging & young adults (18-25) related to their mental well-being regarding sexual violence they have experienced. This study utilized an innovative approach to participatory design to envision what this population needs from a space created to support their mental health.

Recent News:

  • (08/21) My co-author and I submitted an article, Online Information Behavior After Pregnancy Loss: An Interview Study, to The Journal of Medical Internet Research.
  • (07/21) I completed my internship with Microsoft Research and presented my guide, “Research-Backed Guide: Basic Tips for Fostering Inclusion of Black American Employees.”
  • (07/21) Podcast Panelist for Center for Information Technology & Public Life Episode 5: Across Oceans, Tables, & Platforms
  • (04/21) I began my internship with Microsoft Research Social Media Collective under the mentorship of Nancy Baym. I will be conducting research with Black adults who have become remote workers during the COVID-19 pandemic to determine their thoughts on the benefits and/or drawbacks of remote work. This will also include conducting research with Black adult remote workers, who are disabled, to gain their insights on a move to remote work and with the goal of developing suggested policies continuing the integration of remote work as a norm for the workplace.
  • (04/21) I completed my 3-week pilot study and gained helpful feedback that has been used to refine the focus group questions for my dissertation study.
  • (02/21) I was offered and accepted an internship with the Microsoft Research Social Media Collective this summer and will be working with Nancy Baym.
  • (02/21) My pilot study to assess my focus group research questions and whether participants are comfortable using FocusGroupIt for research, related to this topic, was approved by IRB.
  • (02/21) I received two dissertation research grants from my department.
  • (01/21) I survived new paper collaborations and the CSCW deadline in this time of isolation.
  • (01/21) My roundtable submission, a collaboration with other Critical Race and Digital Studies scholars, “Media-Based Community and Self Care Practices as Activism,” was accepted to the 2021 International Communication Association conference.