Scholars from various countries and disciplines are joining this initiative. We have collaborated in specific projects or supported projects conducted by REINFORM members.
Arul Chib is an Associate Professor and Director of the Singapore Internet Research Center, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He studies the contribution of information and communication technologies towards positive development outcomes. His research agenda focuses on the impact and role of mobile phones in healthcare systems in resource-constrained environments of developing countries, and in transnational migration to developed countries. Dr. Chib is increasingly interested in issues of power, with one research trajectory focusing on the intersection of gender with technology, and the role of agency and appropriation. As Coordinator of the SIRCA III programme, Dr. Chib oversees a global research capacity-building programme in numerous emerging economies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He is increasingly questioning the role of research in influencing policy, practice, and public opinion.
Dr. Chib's contributions have led to a number of research awards, including the 2011 Prosper.NET-Scopus Award for the use of ICTs for sustainable development. This award was accompanied by a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, one of the highest honours within the European scholarly tradition, and a fellowship at Ludwig Maxmilians University. He was the General Conference Chair for ICTD2015, at which was released the SIRCA II co-edited volume ‘Impact of Information Society Research in the Global South’.
Carleen Maitland is a co-director of the Institute for Information Policy at Penn State, an Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University, USA. Previously, Carleen served as Associate Dean for her college, and as a Program Manager in the U.S. National Science Foundation, both in the Office of International Science and Engineering and the Office of Cyberinfrastructure. Her expertise includes both critical and practical analyses of international, sectoral and organizational contexts where information and communication technologies (ICTs) are used to foster economic and social development. Her work has been carried out in the U.S., Europe, Africa and the Middle East, while working with diverse organizations such as the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), Save the Children, and the U.S. State Department, to name a few. Outcomes from her work, including more than 50 journal articles, book chapters and refereed conference proceedings, have appeared in outlets such as the Journal of Information Technology, The Information Society, Telecommunications Policy and Information Systems Frontiers. Maitland's research has been supported by the European Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. National Science Foundation and IBM, among others.
Dana Diminescu is Professor at the Engineering School Télécom Paritech and Scientific Director of the “ICT Migrations” programme of the FMSH Paris, Vice-Chairperson of the “Cooperative Intelligence and Technologies” Commission of the business cluster Cap Digital, Expert in the Digital Literacy Group (Communications & e-Inclusion) for the European Commission, Co-Head of the Social Ecology section of the ITC & Sustainable Development Chair of the GET (Télécom Schools Group). She is known for her work on the “connected migrant”, (her empirical work enabled her to approach varied fields ranging from uses of mobile phone and voice IT, Internet, m-transactions by migrants in a variety of transnational and local use situations: mobility and mobilisation, integration strategies, cross-bordering, web diasporas, ethnic business, migration lifecycles) and for a number of epistemological and methodological innovations in her research, questioning classical theories in migration studies. In particular, she designed and co-ordinated the e-Diasporas Atlas project, which was first runner up of its category for the 2012 Digital Humanities Awards.
Hannah Thinyane is a Principal Research Fellow at the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) in Macau SAR, China. Before joining UNU-CS was an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Rhodes University. She is a Visiting Professor in the Information Systems Department at Rhodes University; a Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University (Cape Town Overseas Program); and a Senior Research Fellow with the University of New South Wales. Previously Hannah had 11 years working in South Africa to investigate the use of technology, in particular mobile devices, for development. Her research interests are mobile computing, human computer interaction and the use of ICTs for development. Hannah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Math and Computer Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from University of Adelaide; an Honours degree in Computer and Information Sciences from University of South Australia; a PhD in Computer Science from University of South Australia; and a Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education from Rhodes University.
Hoan Nguyen graduated with a Master of Mass Communication at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She is interested in researching about social implications of ICTs, especially mobile phones and new media technologies, development studies, and gender issues. Prior to joining the Singapore Internet Research Center (SiRC) as a Project Officer, Hoan worked as a researcher at Multi-plAtform Game Innovation Centre (MAGIC) in NTU, involved in research activities concerning next generation digital games for non-leisure purposes to solve social issues and contribute to policy communication. At SiRC, Hoan has engage in various research projects on ICTs for social changes and new media, conducted empirical fieldworks and contributed to theoretical building. She is currently a coordinator for the REINFORM network, and has conduced projects exploring roles of ICTs in the lives of marginalised migrants, and carried out projects revolving around the cross-cutting theme of gender.
Juhee Kang is a Research Fellow at the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) in Macau SAR, China. Her research focuses on using information communication technologies for international development (ICT4D), particularly understanding technology user behaviors of the socioeconomically disadvantaged in developing countries. Her research interests involve mobile user behaviors, technology adoption and use among the poor, ICT for forced migrants and women migrant workers, ICT use among North Korean defectors, higher education pedagogy on ICTD, and so forth. Prior to joining UNU-CS, Juhee was a research specialist at the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for ICT for Development (UN-APCICT), a regional office of UN-ESCAP. She also has various research experiences across academic, private and public sectors including Samsung Electronics Research Institute UK, International Telecommunications Union, LINREasia, Korean Internet and Security Agency, etc.
Karen Fisher is a Professor and investigator at the Information School, and Adjunct Professor in the Communication Department at the University of Washington. An advocate of humanitarian research, her passion is how HCI-industry-NGO collaborations can improve lives around the world and build futures. Dr. Fisher is renowned for her development and use of theory and methods for understanding information problems, specifically on how people experience information as part of everyday life, with emphasis on the interpersonal aspects and the role of informal social settings or “Information Grounds.” With colleagues Karen has spearheaded several landmark projects, including the U.S. Impact Study (with Crandall and Becker) of how people use technology in public libraries across the U.S. She has involved in research on refugee and immigrant youth from East Africa, Myanmar and Latin America.
Laavanya Kathiravelu is an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She got a PhD in Sociology at Macquarie University (Sydney), Department of Sociology & Centre for Research on Social Inclusion. Her research falls at the nexus of contemporary migration and cities. Her work aims to disrupt the victimhood discourse surrounding marginalized migrants and broadens understandings of contemporary cities with a focus on more embodied and affective modes of everyday life. Her current research expands on the interests on migrants and urban areas by looking at middle class Indian migrants and new citizens in Singapore - a group that has been largely under researched but have contributed to the increase in Singapore's minority racial groupings. Her previous work explored labor migration and city-building in the emirate of Dubai. She has lectured in universities in Sydney, Singapore and Dubai.
Maren Borkert is an Assistant Professor in School of Economics and Management, and center of Entrepreneurship, an Innovation Management at Technological University Berlin, Germany. Her current research, DiversITpreneurs, focuses on transnational migrant women entrepreneurs, ICTs and innovation. The project aims to provide an interdisciplinary and multi-national analysis of transnational women entrepreneurs, their use of ICTs and roles in creating innovation-driven economic growth and social inclusion. From 2010 – 2014, she was a University Assistant (Post- Doc) at Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna (Austria), teaching at BA and MA level, and study on ‘Science-Society Dialogues on Migrant Integration in Austria (DIAMINT)’ funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and ‘Study on "ICT to support everyday life integration of immigrants or ethnic minority people (ConnectIEM)’ funded by EC’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS)
Mark Latonero is a Professor and research director at the USC Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership & Policy at University of Southern California, and a Fellow at the Data & Society Research Institute in New York City. Professor Latonero’s research focuses on emerging communication technology and social change with specific interests in human rights. Latonero also serves on a National Academy of Science and Institute of Medicine committee to study the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the U.S. Latonero has published in journals including Information, Communication & Society, Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, and Communication Research and his work has been covered by the Associated Press, CNN, Fast Company, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, The New York Times, and others. As an experienced professor, Mark has taught both at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles and as the lead faculty for the school’s London program.
Mirca Madianou is Reader in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London where she works on the social uses of communication technologies in a transnational and comparative context. Her work makes theoretical and substantive contributions to the areas of migration, disaster recovery, humanitarian relief and their intersection with digital technology. She has directed two ESRC grants: Humanitarian Technologies [link: www.humanitariantechnologies.net] and Migration, ICTS and transnational families [link: http://www.researchcatalogue.esrc.ac.uk/grants/RES-000-22-2266/read] which have led to several publications on the social consequences of new communication technologies among marginalised and migrant populations. She is the author of Mediating the Nation: News, Audiences and the Politics of Identity (2005) and Migration and New Media: Transnational Families and Polymedia (2012 with D. Miller) as well as editor of Ethics of Media (2013 with N. Couldry and A. Pinchevski). Mirca is the incoming Chair of the Philosophy, Theory and Critique division of the International Communication Association (ICA).
Nina Springer studied Journalism from 2002 to 2007 (Major: Communications, Minors: Sociology, Political Science and Economics) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. She joined the Department of Communication Studies and Media Research (IfKW) in April, 2007, where she gained her PhD under the supervision of Michael Meyen and Heinz Pürer (second reviewer) in 2012. The thesis deals with user comments on online news sites. Currently, Nina Springer is a post-doctoral researcher in the journalism research unit chaired by Thomas Hanitzsch, and coordinator of the Department’s Communications and International Public Relations programs (MA). Besides of her regular teachings at the Department, she taught at the University of Helsinki (March/April 2008) and the National University of Singapore (August 2014). Since 2013, she also runs Media Theory classes, which are part of the annual LMU Munich Summer Curriculum (MSC).
Rich Ling is Shaw Professor at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and has a position as a sociologist at the Telenor research institute located in Oslo, Norway. He has been the Pohs visiting professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, The United States. He has received recognition as an outstanding scholar from Rutgers University and Telenor. He has also received the Goffman Award from the Media Ecology Society. Ling is a founding co-editor of the Sage journal Mobile Media and Communication. He is the co-editor of the Oxford University Press series Studies in Mobile Communication with Gerard Goggin and Leopoldina Fortunati. Along with Scott Campbell he is the founding editor of The Mobile Communication Research Series and he is an associate editor for The Information Society, The Journal of Computer Mediated Communication as well as Information Technology and International Development.
Saskia Witteborn is Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Chinese University of Hong Kong where she also directs the M.A. program in Global Communication. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and Research Associate of the University of Washington Center for Local Strategies Research (in affiliation with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament and Peace in Geneva). Her research focuses on communicative practice and migration and how migrants create, adapt to, and enact ways of communicating and grouping in new sociocultural and political contexts (face-to-face and mediated). Moreover, her research explores how communication practices are constitutive of and constituted by transnational political, economic, and cultural processes and strategic interests. She has published on collective identity enactment by people with a migration background from Arab countries in the U.S., on social spaces, communication, and forced migration in Europe, on political advocacy by migrants from China in the U.S. and Germany as well as on Global Citizenship and Intercultural Dialogue in such journals as the Journal of Communication, Research on Language and Social Interaction, the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and Language and Intercultural Communication.
Sina Arnold is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She studied social anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Manchester and holds a PhD from Technische Universität Berlin. Her current work focuses on antisemitism in post-migrant societies and social movements in Germany and the United States, on contemporary national identities, as well as on refugees' digital self-organization.
Stephan Oliver Görland
Stephan is a research assistant for communication & media studies at the Institute for Media Research at the University of Rostock (IMF) and an associate member at the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) at the Humboldt University Berlin. He studied communication science, psychology, law and political science in Vienna from 2006-2011 and is now a Ph.D candidate at Institute for Media Research at the University of Rostock. His research topics are mobile media, organizing of time through media and migration as well as media use. His Ph.D focuses on mobile media usage in on the go situations and the resulting implications for time perception. Furthermore he works in the field of migration research and is especially interested in the smartphone use of refugees in Germany. Therefore he analyzes the role of the so-called “Integration Apps” for Arabic speaking refugees in Germany.
Veronika Karnowski studied Communication, Political Science, and Economics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. In 2008 she finished her PhD at the University of Zurich (Thesis: "The mobile phone as reflected in fictional TV serials: Symbolic models of mobile phone appropriation."). Since 2008, she is a postdoctoral researcher and coordinator of the program of Communication Studies as a minor at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. Since 2013, she co-edits the journal mobile media & communication (SAGE) together with Rich Ling, Thilo von Pape, and Steve Jones. Currently, she is the Chair for the new Mobile Communication Interest Group within the International Communication Association, working with Colin Agur (Vice-Chair) and Thilo von Pape (Secretary). Her research interests include the appropriation and usage of new and especially mobile media, (news) diffusion processes, and web navigation and searching.
Vivian Chen is an Associate Professor in Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. Dr. Chen’s research areas include social interaction in virtual communities, impacts of communication technology, intercultural communication, intergroup relations, technology affordance and gamification for social wellbeing. Dr. Chen has been awarded a total of more than S$5 million of external research funding from organizations such as National Research Foundation, Media Development Authority, Ministry of Education, A*STAR and Inter-Ministry Cyber Wellness Steering Committee in Singapore. She has extensive experiences in leading interdisciplinary research teams and working closely with researchers worldwide. Drawing from research expertise from both communication and technology centric perspectives, Dr. Chen’s upcoming research program focuses on integrating communication theories to the design of the technological features and affordances to promote and facilitate positive social-cultural outcomes. At Multi-Platform Game Innovation Centre in NTU, she currently leads a team of programmers, designers, artists, and communication researchers to design games for promoting social and psychological wellness. The most recent project gamifies the process of attitude change towards cultural diversity to facilitate social integration.
Xin Pei, is a Ph.D candidate in Communication Studies, at Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University. Xin obtained her Master of Arts in Dean’s list from Global Communication Program in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Generally speaking, Xin probes into the role of mobile phone use in the gender construction and negotiation processes by low-income and low-skilled female migrant workers, who leave their underdeveloped hometowns to join the labour market in the relatively developed destinations across or within national borders, in the wave of globalization. In particular, rather than merely regarding mobile phones as ICT device for dyadic calls and SMS, Xin investigates how the different features of mobile phones can be used by these women to negotiate the tensions between agency display for autonomy and gender-related social constraints, in the domain of family and work. In so doing, Xin aims to further map out the landscape of the social impact brought by these women’s use of mobile phone upon the social transformation of patriarchal hierarchies at the institutional level - within their household and workplace, and even at the national level - within their home countries. At present, collaborating with Dr. Arul Chib, Xin engages in attaining a nuanced exploration of how the negotiation of gender power dynamics by Chinese rural-urban female migrant workers is taking place in their mobile communication.
Yingqin Zheng is Senior Lecturer at the School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London. She obtained her doctorate from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar. Her research is related to the implications of digital technologies in organizations and societies, with a strong focus on ICT for Development. She has published widely in international journals and conferences of information systems and organization studies. Yingqin is Associate Editor for the Information Systems Journal and received various academic awards including Best Information Systems Publication 2013. Her current research concerns how affordances of ICTs are enacted in the life and work of migrant workers and other marginalized social groups.
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