Associate Professor, Digital Whimsy Lab, University of Baltimore
When I was in the fourth grade, my family went to EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World, and I knew from that moment what I wanted to do: create interactive experiences for people that made learning fun. Many years later, I now research ways that people can work together to design new technologies used for education and entertainment. For the last several years, I’ve led a participatory design team through which members of Baltimore’s most in-need communities work as partners to design new technologies for families and institutions. New design technologies needed to be developed to enable communication, elaboration and evaluation between community members and designers in the city. The need for research into this topic was recognized by Google, who awarded me a Google Faculty Research Award in order to continue this work in an online environment.