Research Statement

I use participatory design and qualitative research methods to evaluate and inform the design and development of technologies for diverse populations. Currently, I have been examining socially stigmatized topics and invisible disabilities (psychiatric or neurodevelopmental) to support the self-empowerment, autonomy, and overall quality of life for these populations. My dissertation is investigating the ways in which Black emerging adults (18-25) use social media platforms to discuss mental health and what they would like to see in the design of a platform for these discussions.

Themes: Accessibility, Health-Information Behavior, Marginalized Populations, Social Media, User Research
Methods: Interviews, Content Analysis, Focus Groups, Observation, Participatory Design, Surveys


PhD: Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Present)
Advisor: Dr. Amelia Gibson

M.S. Library Science: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2014)
Master’s Paper: UNC-Chapel Hill North Carolina Collection Fiction from 2000-2014
Advisor: Dr. Claudia Gollop

B.S. Information Science | English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2013)


Teaching Experience

University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information
Research Design Module (Summer 2019)
PhD Teaching Fellow

  • Designed a two-week research design course for undergraduates in the i3 summer program

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science
INLS 500: Human Information Interactions (Spring 2019)
Teaching Assistant

  • Prepared lesson plans for a discussion-based class and solo-lead instruction for half of the course.
  • Taught students to examine cognitive, affective, social, and organizational/institutional approaches to understanding interactions between people and information.

Research Experience

Research Assistant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Information and Library Science

CEDI Community Lab Digital Equity and Data Defense (2020-Present) 

  • Conducting focus groups with disabled individuals using card sorting techniques to determine and prioritize employment and education concerns.
  • Program supervisor for two graduate level students examining community information/data needs to create public facing toolkits and materials for assisting community members in making informed decisions.

Improving Healthcare Services for New Families: 4th Trimester Project (2019 – Present)

  • Collaborating with the Maternity Patient Safety Learning Lab (UNC’s Center for Maternal and Infant Health) on an AHRQ grant to implement new health care services and develop technologies for new families after childbirth and the transition home.
  • Designing a study involving scraping social media data to determine how women discuss their fourth trimester experiences.

Deconstructing Information Poverty Study: Autism (DIPS Autism) (2018-2019)

  • Developed inclusive programs for Durham library system in order to increase its accessibility for and outreach towards those with disabilities; including team use of oculus VR to create a tour of the library.
  • Created surveys (Qualtrics) for underrepresented groups to determine their health information behavior and how they use technology to address their health information needs.
  • Interviewed participants from an ongoing study on the health information needs of autistic young adults.

Healthy Girls Know: Young Black Women and Personal Geographies of Health Information Seeking (2017-2018)

  • Assisted with social science research study design and implementation (interview guide, consent forms, questionnaires, and survey creation, focus groups, IRB application) of a mixed method, community-based participatory field study (N=16) in Durham, North Carolina.
  • Completed thematic and grounded theory analysis of transcripts and other written data using NVivo software.

Industry Experience

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2019)
Research Assistant, Resources & Acquisitions Management

  • Compiled and analyzed holdings and usage statistics (2005-2018) for electronic and print materials to determine future collection decisions; in preparation for a possible Elsevier contract break.
  • Negotiated and reviewed the modification of license agreements to align with internal guidelines.

Durham Technical Community College (2017-2018)
Reference Librarian

  • Instructed information literacy sessions and provided reference services
  • Created and updated LibGuides and assisted patrons in navigating library services.
  • Aided with copy cataloging new and donated resources for the collection.

Southeastern Community College (2016-2017)
Assistant Librarian

  • Maintained the backend of the frequently asked questions database in order to provide the most current and accurate information to individuals when they contact “ASK SCC.”
  • Supervised and trained the SCC Help Center staff (three people) on managing any campus-related questions: financial aid; IT assistance; enrollment.
  • Served on committees for student success and access & disability services.

Vance-Granville Community College (2015-2016)

  • Served as liaison to the Business & Applied Technologies Division, which involved interviewing staff and surveying students to collaborate in weeding this collection and researching new material for all programs (11) within this division.
  • Contributed to the development of an Allied Health Collection.

Technical Skills

  • Hardware and software: Experience using survey software (Qualtrics, Survey Monkey), qualitative analysis software (Nvivo), statistical analysis software (R).
  • Statistical analysis: Experience using R to perform quantitative statistical analysis including descriptive statistics, t-tests correlations, ANOVAs, and regression techniques.
  • Programming languages: Experience using Python and JavaScript.



  • Gibson, A., Hanson-Baldauf, D. & Bowen, K.L. (2019) Disability frameworks and hierarchies in the LIS literature: A critical quasi-systematic review (work in progress).
  • Gibson, A., Bowen, K.L. & Ma, Y. (2019) Can I Ask That? Silence and Geographies of Respectability Among Young Black and Latina Information Seekers (work in progress).


Honors and Service

  • CHI Peer Reviewer (2019-2020)
  • Co-Organizer of FLOURISH (2019-2020): SILS student organization devoted to supporting students of color and international students in the School of Information and Library Science.
  • SILS Personnel Committee (2019-2020): Charged with reviewing all faculty members for reappointment, tenure, and promotion.
  • Dr. Mae Lipscomb Rodney Fellowship (2019-2020; $25,000 plus tuition and fees)
  • North Carolina Excellence Fellowship (2017-2018; $20,000 plus tuition and fees)
  • ADA Compliance Work Group Southeastern Community College (2016-2017)
  • Student Services Learning Institute Work Group Southeastern Community College (2016-2017)
  • Spectrum Advisory Committee Professional Development Team (2015-2016)
  • SILS Kalp Fellowship (2014)
  • Spectrum Scholar (2013-2014)
  • iSchool Inclusion Institute Scholar (2012-2013)

References available upon request