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Team Member: Lynette Kvasny

  • Lynette Kvasny

    Co-Principal Investigator

    Lynette Kvasny received her Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems from the Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. Her research focuses on how and why historically underserved groups appropriate information and communication technologies. She has designed, implemented and assessed community computing projects in economically challenged neighborhoods in Atlanta, GA and West Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA. Her current research examines the performance of racial and ethnic identities in virtual communities, African and African American participation in the IT profession and higher education, and the influence of racial and gender identities on health information seeking and content creation. Kvasny holds herself accountable to praxis, and uses research knowledge to facilitate social justice, and increase political and economic empowerment.  Her research has been published in leading journals including The Information Society, Information Systems Journal, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, New Media and Society, and Communication Research. Dr. Kvasny's research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Oracle Help Us Help Foundation, and the Africana Research Center at the Pennsylvania
    State University.

    Her dissertation research (ethnographic methods to describe and explain the processes of social and cultural reproduction that were at play in community technology centers that served under-resourced African-Americans) formed the basis of my NSF CAREER award, which provided five years of funding to support an integrated teaching and research agenda. Her research continued with the development of mid-range critical theory to inform the design, implementation and evaluation of community computing projects in West Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA, and educational and research experiences for Penn State students. These projects began in 2003 and include website development for the Lancaster Avenue Business Association, organizational capacity building through online marketing and selling of artifacts produced by local artists, and computer installation and training at several community based organizations. These projects are conducted in collaboration with Penn State faculty in Geography, Adult Education, and Architecture. Results of the community computing research are published in a diverse set of publications including the Information Society, Government Information Quarterly, Information Systems Journal, New Media and Society, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, and the Journal of Community Informatics.

    When the community computing projects concluded, Dr. Kvasny extended her research in two domains: (1) identity and online health information seeking / content creation, and (2) ICT education and workforce participation. The collaborative research on online health information seeking and content creation focuses on Black women. Preliminary studies have been presented in a poster presentation at the NIH eHealth Research Conference sponsored and a special populations symposium at the American Society for Information Science. Her work has also been published in Communications Research and the Journal of Health Disparities and Research. In 2011, she and her team obtained funding from the NSF to examine the use of social media for creating and disseminating culturally compelling HIV prevention messages for African American female college students. This HIV prevention research is being conducted with colleagues in information systems and communications at the NC State University.

    The second area focuses on the role of racial, class, and gender identities in shaping the experiences of Black men and women enrolled in ICT education programs and in the workforce. The most recent research in this area was funded by an NSF grant to examine the effects of race, ethnicity and socio-economic class on gender stereotyping and career decision making of undergraduate students enrolled in technology-oriented disciplines.

  • In Partnership with: Poole College of Management, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Science Foundation, Penn State

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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