Dr. Marijel (Maggie) Melo (She/Her)
Director & Assistant Professor, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Dr. Melo is an assistant professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research specialization resides at the intersection of critical making and the development of equitable and inclusive STEM-rich learning spaces (e.g. makerspaces) in libraries. Her research is funded by an NSF CAREER Award entitled, “Equity in the Making: Investigating Spatial Arrangements of Makerspaces and Their Impact on Diverse User Populations.”
She’s also a serial maker! She enjoys embedding circuits into things, additive and subtractive fabrication, dabbling with AI, digital world making, and more. She’s also the co-founder of the University of Arizona’s first makerspace, the iSpace (now CATalyst Studios) and the founder of the Women Techmakers Tucson Hackathon, the Southwest’s first women’s-only* hackathon.
Rachel Han Rodney (She/Her)
Researcher & PhD Student, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Rachel is a PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the School of Information and Library Science. She is interested in researching how to make the user-centered design process more inclusive. In 2020, she published her book “Our Exclusive Society: Pathways Toward Inclusion by Design.”
Previously, Rachel received a BS in Human Centered Design and Engineering with an emphasis on HCI at the University of Washington. During that time, she founded Inclusify by Design, a student organization that writes about inclusive practice across industries. Additionally, she was a Research Coordinator with Illimitable, an organization seeking to increase disability diversity in innovation. In her free time, Rachel likes to make succulent and bubble tea-inspired candles, and read science fiction.
Luxin (Grace) Zhang (She/Her)
Researcher & Master Student, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Grace is a graduate student in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to UNC, she received B.S. in Business Information Systems with a 4-year scholarship. During the past 5 years of study in the information area, she founded her interest in social media and social computing, human-computer interaction (HCI), and health informatics. She likes watching J-Drama and making press-on nails in her free time.
Mackenzie (Kenzie) Novak (She/Her)
Researcher & Undergraduate Junior, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Kenzie is an undergraduate junior at UNC studying Information Science with minors in AD/PR and Data Science from Ocracoke, NC. She is passionate about User-Centered Design, data visualizations, data mining, and the intersection of information science and marketing.
Dr. Angela Calabrese Barton (She/Her)
Professor, The Learning Sciences and Science Education, University of Michigan
Angela Calabrese Barton is a professor in the Educational Studies Department at the University of Michigan. Her research is grounded in the intersections of teaching and learning science with an emphasis on equity and social justice.
Her recent work takes place within three interrelated strands: 1) Working within the intersection of formal/informal education in support of understanding and designing new possibilities for equitably consequential teaching and learning; 2) designing teaching learning tools and experiences that promote more expansive learning outcomes, such as critical agency, identity work, and social transformation (as grounded within expanding disciplinary expertise); and 3) methodologies for embracing authentic “research + practice” work that attends to practitioner and youth voice, and critically engages the goals of equity and justice. Her work takes place in classrooms, makerspaces and community organizations. She has also designed and taught after school and community-based STEM focused on sustainable communities for over two decades in homeless shelters and community organizations in different cities in the US. She takes a participatory design approach to all of her work, bringing in youth participants, parents, teachers and community staff in collaborating on program design.
Calabrese Barton has served as a WT Grant Distinguished Fellow, and is a Fellow of the American Education Research Association. She is the former co-Editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and is currently co-Editor of the American Educational Research Journal. Some of her publications appear in Educational Researcher, the American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Science Education, and the Journal of the Learning Sciences among other outlets. Her research has been recognized by the American Education Research Association with the American Education Research Association Award for Exemplary Contributions to Practice-Engaged Research in 2018 (AERA-wide), the 2009 Award for Research Leading to Transformations of Social Contexts (Division G Social Contexts of Education), and with the 2004 Exemplary Research Award in Teaching and Teacher Education (Division K).
Dr. Edna Tan (She/Her)
Professor, Science Education, UNC-Greensboro
Dr. Edna Tan is professor of science education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her collaborative research investigates what constitutes equitable and consequential science and engineering learning for historically underrepresented, minoritized youth across learning contexts and over time. She investigates how systemic injustice is made manifest in local practices and the related impact of such oppressive local practices on youths’ science and engineering learning experiences. Her work is also focused on understanding how youths’ experiences across science-related settings and across time can be studied and understood as holistic experiences, rather than siloed in particular formal or informal settings. She has engaged in extensive research and development work with urban schools and communities facing formidable, systemic inequities, such as co-designing and co-enacting reform-based, equity-focused professional development for teachers in the poorest congressional district in the United States. The purposeful twinning of research and practice is intentional. Dr. Tan employs critical, longitudinal ethnographic and participatory design-based research methodologies so as to maintain a nimble, research-based response to address inequitable practices in minoritized youths’ STEM learning, throughout the life of the research study. On collaborative National Science Foundation funded projects, she has worked on longitudinal projects focused on minoritized youths’ identity work as an integral part of learning in science and engineering, across formal and informal settings. Current projects include longitudinal, community-engaged research with minoritized and refugee youth engaging in makerspace work, focused on identifying the elements of an authentic, community-owned and youth-centered making space; and working with middle school teachers in co-developing and enacting an engineering for sustainable communities curriculum that attends to students’ identity work and engineering toward justice-oriented ends.
Jennifer Nichols, MLIS (She/Her)
Director, Catalyst Studios; Lead, Experiential Learning; Associate Librarian – The University of Arizona
Jennifer Nichols is an Associate Librarian and Director of CATalyst Studios, an interdisciplinary makerspace and VR/AR studio at the University of Arizona Libraries. She works with students, faculty and campus and community partners to support critical making, both formally and informally. Jennifer’s work is centered on supporting equitable practices within technology-rich spaces and fostering dynamic centers for interdisciplinary learning communities.
Prior EITM Team Members
Jackson Brooks Barbee
Researcher & Undergraduate Student, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Jackson is a senior studying Information Science. With a passion for technology and its impact on society, Jackson has developed a strong skill set in data analysis, design, and management. Proficient in several programming languages and databases, Jackson is able to approach problem-solving from a unique perspective, resulting in innovative solutions. In his free time, Jackson enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen and rock climbing.
Hao Zhang (He/Him)
Researcher & Undergraduate Student, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Hao is a BSIS student in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through his undergraduate studies, he finds his interest in the field of data science. Specifically, he is interested in researching human information behaviors. He is passionate about technology, data science, and human behaviors. He enjoys solving problems by intertwining his theoretical knowledge with interpersonal skills. His background in information science, computer science, and cognitive science has intrigued him to explore more about how three subjects interact with each other. Outside his academic life, he enjoys playing tennis and volleyball, watching movies, and baking.
Emily Arnsberg, MA (She/Her)
EiTM Lab Coordinator & MSLS Student, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Emily is a MSLS student at UNC’s School of Library and Information Science. After earning her bachelor’s in Mathematics and Political Science from the University of Colorado, Emily commissioned into the US Air Force as an Operations Research analyst, performing mathematical analysis for different avenues in the military enterprise, including aircraft test and evaluation and personnel policy management. During her time in the Air Force, Emily completed a master’s in International Relations from St. Mary’s University, and a graduate certificate in Nuclear Deterrence from Harvard University. Her time in the Air Force made her want to understand more about the information science field, and how information science intersects with international relations. Emily loves reading, hiking, running, and hanging with her husband and fur babies.
Laura March, PhD, MS, MEd (She/Her)
Researcher, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Laura March worked at EiTM as she was completing her doctoral degree. She was also a 2021 Digital Innovation Fellow and Asheim Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Sciences. Laura is an instructional designer, trainer, and web developer with more than ten years of experience designing accessible online environments and teaching virtually. Aside from the EITM Lab, she was also a graduate affiliate of CITAP: The Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life and member of CEDI: The Community Equity, Data & Information Lab. Prior to starting her PhD, Laura worked at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Office for Online Learning, American University‘s Center for Teaching, Research & Learning in Washington, D.C. and the Pennsylvania State University’s Education Technology Services. She received an MS in Art Education and an MEd in Instructional Systems. Her research interests include universal design (for learning and for the web), educational technology, digital and visual culture, and informal learning at cultural institutions. Laura enjoy painting friends and family in the style of famous works of art, trivia games, and eating far too much pizza.
Kimberly Hirsh, PhD, MS, MAT (She/Her)
PhD 2021, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Kimberly Hirsh was a doctoral researcher at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation research uses information horizon maps and semistructured interviews to investigate the information literacy practices of cosplayers. Kimberly’s responsibilities on the EITM project include collaboratively creating qualitative research instruments such as interview guides, analyzing qualitative data, and developing a theory of the defining features of academic makerspaces.
Before beginning her doctoral program, Kimberly worked as public communications specialist and managing editor for LEARN NC, a university outreach program that shared innovative teaching techniques with K-20 educators. Her work at LEARN NC was shaped by her own experiences as a high school Latin teacher and middle school librarian.
Mimi Stockton, MSLS (She/Her)
Artist-In-Residence & MSLS Student, School of Information and Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
Mimi Stockton was a MSLS student at UNC-Chapel Hill in the School of Information and Library Science and the artist-in-residence for the Data and Society Innovation Collaboratory for summer 2021. Previously, Mimi received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Pratt Institute. She entered fine art production, working with numerous contemporary artists, to produce editions and artworks that have been shown in museums and galleries all over the world. During this time, she organized and promoted local markets and events that brought together the craft community in Brooklyn, New York. She is invested in creating spaces that do not discriminate against lack of experience or resources and provide a way to build community through artistic practice. Mimi loves tending to her plants, working on jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with her cat, Rayes.
Dr. Shirin Vossoughi (She/Her)
Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University
Shirin Vossoughi is an assistant professor of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, where she draws on ethnographic and interactional methods to study the cultural, socio-political, and ethical dimensions of human learning.
Bringing together cultural-historical approaches to learning with critical social thought, Vossoughi integrates macro-political concerns (structural racism and inequity, transnational migration, neoliberalism) with the close study of educational settings that work to enact alternate social and intellectual relations. Vossoughi’s research centers on hybrid learning environments that blend formal and informal elements and support young people to develop, question and expand disciplinary knowledge in ways that nourish educational self-determination. She is particularly concerned with understanding the forms of pedagogical mediation, ethical relations, and developmental trajectories that take shape within these settings. Her current work looks closely at teaching and learning in making/STEAM environments (elementary and middle school students), and examines the role of written feedback on student writing in the context of political education (high school and college students).
Vossoughi has taught in schools, after-school and summer programs, and served as the director of a summer camp for youth in the Iranian diaspora. She has published in such venues as Harvard Educational Review, Cognition & Instruction, Mind Culture & Activity, and Race, Ethnicity & Education, and was the recipient of the 2019 AERA Division C Jan Hawkins Award. As the daughter of Iranian immigrants, she is personally invested in the design of educational settings for youth from migrant, immigrant and diasporic backgrounds. She takes a collaborative approach to research, partnering with teachers, families, and students to study the conditions that foster educational dignity and possibility.