I am an assistant professor of augmented and virtual reality at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign within the Department of Journalism and the Institute of Communications Research. My research interests involve the influence of new technologies on society and how these new technologies can be studied and harnessed for research, education, and outreach purposes. More specifically, my research focuses on the use of interactive media and technologies such as video games, virtual worlds, and virtual reality to foster pro-social outcomes and experiential learning across the life course.
I have worked closely with both graduate and undergraduate students to produce collaborative co-authored research covering a wide range of topics. As a result, I have been lead author on numerous manuscripts that have been published in various top-tier journals such as Information, Communication & Society, the Journal of Applied Gerontology, and Games and Culture. I have also received several competitive research awards such as the Best Doctoral Collaborator Award, multiple Summer Research Excellence Fellowships, and a Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Finally, I am also passionate about teaching and I have designed and taught numerous courses related to sociology, immersive technologies, digital communication, and avatars.