Headshot of Kristen Bowen

I am a PhD Candidate and Rodney Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science working with Dr. Amelia Gibson.

My primary research interests focus on the ways that social media & technology support or act as barriers to marginalized populations’ health and well-being. I employ an interdisciplinary approach to exploring how individuals search for, process, and use information (particularly in connection to socially stigmatized topics or invisible disabilities) in online spaces. I place emphasis on user research to create and adapt technologies for these populations.

Kristen’s dissertation research examines Black emerging adults’ information exchange experiences (18-25) on their mental well-being regarding sexual violence they have experienced. I am utilizing participatory design to envision what this population needs from a space created to support their mental health.

Kristen is a member of the Community Equity, Data, and Information Lab, an affiliate with the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life, and an affiliate with the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies. She obtained a BS in Information Science & English and an MS in Library Science from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. Nevertheless, she draws from various disciplines in her approach to research (e.g. communication, sociology, health behavior, rhetoric).