I am an assistant professor of augmented and virtual reality at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign within the Department of Journalism, the Institute of Communications Research, and Informatics (faculty affiliate). My research interests involve the influence of new interactive media technologies on society and how these new technologies can be utilized for research, education, and outreach purposes. More specifically, my research addresses digital inequality, and other related social problems, by harnessing video games, virtual reality, and augmented reality for prosocial purposes to help create a more digitally inclusive and equitable future.
I have worked closely with undergraduate students, graduate students, and colleagues to produce collaborative co-authored research covering a wide range of topics. As a result, I have been the lead author on numerous manuscripts that have been published in various top-tier journals such as Information, Communication & Society; Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking; the Journal of Applied Gerontology; the Journal of Medical Internet Research Mental Health; and Games and Culture. I have also received several competitive research awards and grants, such as a VR@Illinois seed grant, Strategic Instructional Innovations Program grant, and Best Doctoral Collaborator Award. Finally, I am passionate about teaching and I have designed and taught numerous well-received and cutting-edge courses related to virtual and augmented reality, interactive media, and research methods.