Meet the 2022 SMC interns!

The Social Media Collective once again has a bounty of bright and talented interns joining us for 2022. Some have already joined us; most will be working with us over the summer months. Here they are!

Benjamin Ale-Ebrahim (he/him) is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at Indiana University. At MSR, he will be working with Mary Gray and the SMC on the Pronouns in the Workplace project, studying software tools for sharing pronouns and expressing gender identity at work. His dissertation research uses ethnographic methods to study how LGBTQ+ Arab and Middle Eastern people in the U.S. use social media platforms to manage their identities and navigate issues of privacy, safety, and self-expression. He previously earned an M.A. in religious studies and a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Kansas. He interned at MSR New England last summer and is very excited to be returning.

Negin Alimohammadi is a third year Ph.D. student in the department of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. In her research, she is studying how a feminist ethic of care can be framed as a collaborative practice. She is also exploring how technology can and cannot support and contribute to collaborative caring practices. She has studied asynchronous and remote collaboration in organizations and platforms such as Wikipedia over the last three years.

Titus Bang will join Microsoft Research New England as a research intern, working with Mary Gray and the Social Media Collective on Project Resolve. His research interest lies in building social equity and justice through human-centered research and design practices. Upon completing his last semester in User Experience Design at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Titus hopes to create actionable solutions and useful technology focused on empowering disenfranchised or marginalized communities. 

Dan Delmonaco will join Microsoft Research New England as a research intern with Tarleton Gillespie studying healthcare providers’ experience with social media content moderation. Dan is a PhD student at the University of Michigan School of Information. Their broader research focuses on LGBTQ+ health, social media content moderation, and online information seeking. Dan is interested in the ways LGBTQIA+ young people use online resources to meet health information needs and how healthcare providers use social media to share health information.

Margot Hanley is currently a Ph.D. student in Information Science at Cornell Tech and a Doctoral Fellow at the Digital Life Initiative. Her research examines values in computational systems from both descriptive and normative standpoints, particularly regarding automation and the future of work. Margot’s dissertation project is on how fashion design is transforming with the increased integration of analytics in the design process. This summer, her project at the Social Media Collective will consider how consumers become co-designers in the distributed nature of the ultra-fast fashion industry. Margot holds a B.A. from Oberlin College in Economics and an M.A from Columbia University in Sociology. 

Chuncheng Liu is a Sociology and Science Studies PhD candidate at the University of California San Diego. He utilizes mixed-methods to study the dynamics of diverse governmental sociotechnical systems, such as contact tracing systems during the COVID-19. His dissertation project examines the politics of a Chinese social credit system that evaluates citizens’ trustworthiness with scores. His works have been published in journals such as Big Data & Society, Science, Technology & Human Values, and International Sociology

Colten Meisner is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. His research examines the relationship between platform labor and governance, with particular attention to issues of identity, marginality, and inequality. Colten’s work at the Social Media Collective spans two projects. He is working with Tarleton Gillespie and Mary Gray to provide social science insight to Microsoft’s Start news team, and with the SMC, he will investigate how social media recommendation algorithms may sometimes have the effect of bringing marginalized communities into closer contact, forming “algorithmic publics.”

Christine Nyawaga is a PhD candidate at the Department of Communication at Wayne State University majoring in organizational communication. Her dissertation will explore online and offline identity management among Black professionals and its impact on career outcomes. She will be working with Nancy Baym and Lacey Rosedale this summer, using qualitative methods to understand how early adopters are using a new feature that allows individuals to post updates which anyone in their organization can subscribe to.

Jayshree Sarathy is a PhD candidate in Computer Science and Secondary Field student in Science & Technology Studies at Harvard University. Her work investigates the social, technical and political dimensions of ‘responsible AI’ technologies such as differential privacy. In particular, she is interested in tracing the ways in which these technologies construct or disrupt norms of data science. Jayshree will be joining the Social Media Collective as an intern with danah boyd this summer, where she will work on questions related to federal statistical infrastructures, privacy and access, and imaginaries of ethical data science.

Emily Tseng joins MSR New England to work with Mary Gray on Project Resolve. She is a PhD student in Information Science at Cornell University, where her work examines privacy and power in the design and development of data-driven care technologies. Emily earned a B.A. from Princeton University, where she studied global health, epidemiology and journalism, and an M.S. from Cornell Tech, where she studied machine learning and human-centered design. Her work has been published in CHI, CSCW, USENIX Security, and JAMA Internal Medicine.

Karis K. Wilson is joining Microsoft Research New England as an intern, working with Dr. Nancy Baym and the Social Media Collective. While at Microsoft, her research will focus on how Black women’s telework experiences, pay, and discourse among organizational stakeholder group members inspire or deter entry into the creator economy. She will also examine how WFH, in combination with creator economy opportunities, accommodate Black women in making up for the pay gap in work. Her dissertation examines knowledge sharing and seeking within and between an organization’s stakeholder groups via the uses of technologies and face-to-face communication. The primary focus of her research is to help create material change and to help for-profit organizations better address social issues through partnerships with not-for-profit organizations, resulting in communicative-driven solutions. She will  complete her doctoral degree in Communication at the University of Oklahoma in May, 2023. 

Stephen Yang is a senior undergraduate studying Communication and Information Science at Cornell University. He’s intrigued by how marginalized communities experience, appropriate, and design technologies in their everyday life. His research examines the lived experience of data subjects, social media practices in underground music scenes, and participatory approaches to AI design. Stephen runs a column in the Cornell Daily Sun where he writes about the shifting landscape of technology and culture. At SMC, he will be supporting a mix of projects related to creator economy, content moderation, and community-based health.