Salvador Zárate is a cultural and historical anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology, where his research examines affective and reproductive labor within U.S. ecological extractive economies. His recent research focuses on Latino residential gardeners and weed abatement fire mitigation workers. He grew up in Orange County and works with Latinx worker, occupational, and community organizations.
Associate Professor, Informatics & Emergency Medicine
Sean Young is a social/behavioral psychologist and health services researcher. He studies how to use social technologies to change (social, digital interventions) and predict (data science/AI) health and societal problems. He is a social entrepreneur and the author of the #1 Wall Street Journal/international best-selling book, Stick with It, on the science behind lasting behavior change.
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Informatics
Schools of Medicine and ICS
Elena Agapie researches, designs and builds technologies that empower people to engage in positive behaviors through a human-centered approach. Her work draws on people’s lived experiences and practices from psychology, exercise science or mental health, to design collaborative tools that make it easier for people to pursue healthy behaviors. Agapie has worked on research teams at Microsoft Research, FXPAL, Intel Labs and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.
Anne Marie Piper researches human-computer interaction and accessible computing, focusing on equitable and inclusive digital experiences for people of all ages and abilities. Much of her work involves building and studying new technologies for individuals with disabilities and older adults.
Vera Michalchik studies learning in its many forms and settings—including community, home, online, and workplace environments. She previously led projects in research, evaluation, and design at SRI Int’l, Stanford, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Shayan Doroudi’s research is focused on the learning sciences, educational technology, and the educational data sciences. He is particularly interested in studying the prospects and limitations of data-driven algorithms in learning technologies, including equity considerations and lessons that can be drawn from the rich history of educational technology.
Nia Dowell is cognitive scientist by background. Her primary interests are in cognitive psychology, discourse processing, group interaction, and learning analytics. In general, Dowell’s research focuses on using language and discourse to uncover the dynamics of socially significant, cognitive, and affective processes. She is currently applying computational techniques to model discourse and social dynamics in a variety of digital environments including collaborative learning environments, design networks, and MOOCs.
Rossella Santagata is an educational researcher, studying math and science teaching and learning in and out of school. She is a leading scholar in the use of video technologies to study learning interactions and to foster teacher professional competence. She works in partnership with schools and local non-profit educational agencies to solve persistent problems of practice, particularly those affecting educational settings that serve marginalized youth.
Associate Professor, Department of Informatics & School of Education
Kylie Peppler engages in research that focuses on the intersection of arts, making, and interest-driven learning. She was an advisor to the Connected Learning Research Network and a member of the 2016 and 2017 National Educational Technology Plan Committee. Kylie specializes in the design of new technologies to support learning and participation within traditionally minoritized populations.
Richard Arum is an expert on the legal and institutional environments of schools, social stratification and digital education. His work focuses on student work habits, teaching and curriculum, and the development of critical thinking skills.
Professor, Department of Informatics & School of Education
Constance researches the cognitive and social aspects of multiplayer online videogames and esports. Current projects include studies of teenage boys and gameplay, parenting and videogames, and impacts of the NASEF high school esports league. She formerly served as Senior Policy Analyst under the Obama administration in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, advising on games and digital media, and founded the Higher Education Video Games Alliance (HEVGA), a national network of game-related programs.
June Ahn co-designs technology with community partners for diverse learning contexts. He has engaged in research-practice partnerships around emerging technologies including social media, alternate reality games, and data visualization platforms.
Kurt Squire is an expert on learning with technology. He has directed several game-based learning projects, ranging from ARIS, a tool for place-based mobile app development, to ProgenitorX, a game about saving the world from zombies through stem cell technology.
Katie Salen is a designer working at the intersections of youth, online play, and learning. Her research focuses on various aspects of social-emotional learning in online game communities, including conflict resolution, peer mediation, collaboration, and problem-solving.
Mizuko (Mimi) Ito is a cultural anthropologist, studying youth new media practices in the U.S. and Japan. She led the MacArthur Foundation Connected Learning Research Network and Digital Media and Learning Hub, and is co-founder of the nonprofit, Connected Camps.
Candice Odgers is a developmental psychologist who studies adolescents’ mental health and development. Her research team tracks adolescents’ daily mental health and device use via smartphones and has built new virtual tools for capturing the neighborhoods where children live and attend school.
Rebecca Black is an associate professor in the department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2006 and her M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2002. Her research interests center on how young people, particularly those who feel marginalized in traditional academic settings, are using new technologies to learn, create, and communicate.
Stephanie Reich is a community psychologist studying contexts that support children’s development. Her research focuses on children's direct and technologically mediated interactions with family, peers, and educational settings.
Amir Rahmani is an Assistant Professor of Nursing and CS at UCI and a life-time Decent (Adjunct Professor) at UTU, Finland. He leads the Health SciTech lab at UCI at is interested in the applications of sensing technologies (e.g., Internet of Things and Wearable Technology), mobile computing, and effective data management methodologies in the health and wellbeing area.
David Theo Goldberg’s expertise includes political theory, race and racism, ethics, law and society, critical theory, cultural studies, and digital humanities. He is executive director of the Digital Media and Learning Hub.
Chancellor's Professor / Equity Advisor, School of Education
Carol McDonald Connor, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a Chancellor’s Professor in Education at University of California, Irvine. Her research investigates individual child differences and the links between children’s language and literacy development with the goal of illuminating reasons for the perplexing difficulties children who are atypical and diverse learners, including children with dyslexia, have developing basic and advanced literacy skills. https://isilearn.net/
Stacy Branham is a computer scientist turned social scientist. Her work explores how technology can engender inclusivity and safety as people with disabilities get across town, as blind parents care for their children, and as transgender people navigate digital spaces. Her work has been recognized with Best Paper Awards at the CHI, DIS, and ASSETS conferences.
Andres Bustamante is a developmental psychologist who designs and implements play-based early childhood science installations in places and spaces that families spend time (e.g., parks, bus-stops, grocery stores etc.). Andres also utilizes web-mediated platforms to provide on-going and embedded professional development to early childhood teachers to support them in engaging in hands-on science activities. He maintains an intentional focus on translating rigorous science from the lab, into meaningful research in the classroom, and the community.
Distinguished Professor, Department of Computer Science
Nikil Dutt is a Distinguished Professor of CS, Cognitive Sciences, and EECS at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests cover embedded computing, healthcare IoT, and brain-inspired architectures and computing.
Roderic Crooks is an assistant professor in the Department of Informatics at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science at UC Irvine and Director of the Evoke Lab and Studio. His research examines the use of digital technology in minoritized communities and the civic institutions that serve them. His current project explores the application of data analytics and associated computational techniques to the politically fraught realm of urban education.
Stephen is a clinical psychologist who studies how technology can improve mental health services by expanding access and improving accessibility. His work includes the development, evaluation, and implementation of digital mental health products in diverse settings and populations.
Elizabeth (Beth) van Es is a learning scientist who studies teacher learning and the design and improvement of teacher preparation and professional development. She currently leads two projects funded by NSF and the UC Office of the President to develop teachers' noticing practices to advance equity in mathematics education and to better prepare teacher candidates to support multilingual learners. She is the co-founder of the UCI Teacher Academy that provides high-quality professional development to the greater OC education community.
Kleist Professor, Department Informatics, School or Education, School of Medicine
Gillian Hayes is the Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Professor of Informatics in the School of Information and Computer Sciences and in the School of Education and School of Medicine at UC Irvine. Her research interests are in human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, assistive and educational technologies, and health informatics. She designs, develops, deploys, and evaluates technologies to empower people to use collected data to address real human needs in sensitive and ethically responsible ways.
Associate Dean in the Division of Undergraduate Education and Chancellor's Professor of English and Informatics
Committed to interdisciplinary troublemaking, Jonathan Alexander works generally under the rubric of "writing studies" to explore the creation and uptake of "texts" as they perform different kinds of ideological work in specific contexts. His work has primarily focused on written and digital production in the extra-curriculum, such as self- and collectively-sponsored multimodal forms of composition, including "fan texts."
Rachel Goldberg is a sociologist and social demographer whose research focuses on youth and families, health, and emerging methods in survey research. She has several projects that examine adolescents’ experiences of family and peer relationships in the digital age.
Daniel Epstein draws on Human-Computer Interaction methods to examine how personal tracking technology can better acknowledge and account for the realities of everyday life. In doing so, his work contributes recommendations on how to design tracking tools which are more inclusive to people's identities, environment, and abilities.
Debra Richardson is a Professor Emerita of Informatics and Founding Dean of the Bren School of ICS. Her research over most of her career has been in software engineering. In "retirement", however, she is working on broadening participation in computing, largely through expansion of quality, relevant K-16 computer science education, with the explicit purpose of reaching students of underserved groups.
Gloria Mark is Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. She received her PhD from Columbia University in psychology. Her primary research interest is in understanding the impact of digital media on people's lives and she is best known for her work in studying people's multitasking, mood and behavior while using digital media in real world environments.
Sandra (Sandi) Simpkins is a developmental psychologist, studying child and adolescent development. Generally, her work has focused on how families, friendships, and social position factors (such as, ethnicity and culture) shape adolescents' organized after-school activities and motivation.
Hosun Kang is a science education researcher, studying how to reduce opportunity gap of science learning for students from historically marginalized community. She is the PI of NSF CAREER project, "Expanding Latinx Opportunities to Develop Complex Thinking in Secondary Science Classrooms through a Research-Practice Partnership.
Jessie Borelli is an Associate Professor of Psychological Science at University of California, Irvine. She is a clinical psychologist specializing the field of developmental psychopathology; her research focuses on the links between close relationships, emotions, health, and development...
Miguel N. Abad is a youth worker and an ethnographer based in San Francisco. He has worked with youth serving organizations in a myriad of programmatic contexts including youth organizing, college access, arts programming and career development. Miguel's research focuses on critical youth studies and how young people get together as part of social justice movements.
Equitable Futures Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Co-founder and Executive Director of Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA)
Janiece Mackey is a Black race scholar activist whose research agenda is grounded in how race and racism are experienced in public administration spaces. She recently earned her PhD in Higher Education wherein she conducted a study on the ways Black undergraduates experience the discipline of political science. She’s Executive Director of Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA). She’s excited to investigate career equity with the Connected Learning Lab.
Emily Schindler's interests include maker-based learning environments, making, art, writing, and social design experimentation. She recently completed her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in Curriculum and Instruction (Design, Informal, and Creative Education research area). She is a co-founder of the Wisconsin Teacher Studio, a maker-based learning opportunity for educators in Wisconsin. In her spare time, she's a mom to Henry and Vivian.
Maïko is a French and Japanese scholar, educator, dancer, and YouTuber. She currently works as a postdoctoral scholar at the UCI Connected Learning Lab. Le Lay received her PhD in Critical Dance Studies from UC Riverside where she researched embodied hip hop pedagogies in K-12 and higher education classrooms. Her broader research interests include embodied, culturally-sustaining, digital, and informal learning.
Shenshen is currently working as system/software specialist. His recent interest mainly lies on exploring the sense of the next generation Internet Computing. He is an enthusiast of computer networks and pervasive computing.
Joey is a postdoctoral scholar working with the Creativity Labs at University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in Learning and Developmental Sciences from Indiana University Bloomington. Coming from educational psychology and computing, her research focuses on computational thinking, collaboration, and STEM learning. As a learning scientist by training, she aims to create more interesting and inspiring learning environments to promote equity and collaboration.
Maggie recently completed her PhD at the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA with support from a Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. She now works with Dr. Kylie Peppler as part of the Creativity Labs at UCI. Maggie's research interests concern the design of arts learning environments to support the development of student voice and identity through participation in creative activity.
Naomi is a PhD Candidate in Learning Sciences and a research assistant in the Creativity Labs with a background in psychology, education, and arts. She is interested in intersections of arts, making, and broadening definitions of STEM participation. In her current work, she is diving into the intersections of mathematics and weaving to inform the design of more equitable STEM environments.
Julie Herrick joined the CLL team in 2018 as the program administrator. In July of 2020 Julie became the head of operations for CLL. She brings nearly two decades of experience in nonprofit administration and event planning. She holds a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University.
Craig G Anderson is a postdoc studying the cognitive influences of playing video games. With an undergraduate degree specializing in psychology and master’s degree in digital media, Craig has focused on how games engage players and how the mechanics and principles they contain can be leveraged for prosocial or educational means.
Remy is a Research Manager of the Connected Learning Lab. Previously he was a Professor and department chair at a small Midwestern university before joining the Connected Learning Lab to assist in its mission. His previous work has examined violent radicalization, particularly in online environments as well as work on online communities and collective action. Remy holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Irvine as well as Masters degrees from the University of Chicago and UC Irvine.
Jamieson is the head of communications for the Connected Learning Lab. He is responsible for the biweekly connected learning newsletter, the blog content on the Connected Learning Alliance website, the CLL’s social media presence, and the registration process for the annual Connected Learning Summit. Jamieson brings eight years of experience in public affairs from serving in the military, which includes two deployments overseas. Jamieson holds a master’s degree in communication from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Amanda is the Senior Research Manager of the Connected Learning Lab, and has been with the CLL for 9 years. Building on her experiences as a statistician at the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations (UC Irvine) and a program coordinator at a local education nonprofit, Amanda serves as the data and research manager for the Lab's research projects. She holds a Masters degree in Demographic and Social Analysis from UC Irvine.
Christie completed her BA in Sociology and Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University and is currently a PhD student in Informatics working with Katie Salen Tekinbaş in the Made with Play Lab. She researches values in the design of games and technologies for young people and draws from the fields of HCI, Education, Anthropology, STS, and Gender Studies. Her work has been presented at IDC and CLS and has been supported by Google, the US Department of Education, and the Susan Crown Exchange.
Jessica Pruett is a doctoral candidate in the Culture and Theory program. Her research looks at the relationship between lesbian feminist history and politics and contemporary popular culture in the United States. Her work on lesbian fandom of the boy band One Direction appears in A Tumblr Book and the journal Transformative Works and Cultures.
Leiny is a graduate student researcher exploring initiatives that aim to empower culturally and linguistically diverse learners in STEM K-8 education. Inspired by the interdisciplinary nature of her research, she joined the Communications Committee of CLL to promote collaborations, awareness, and networks across departments at UCI.
Maya is a PhD Student in the Social Ecology Core program. She works at the intersection of Psychology, HCI, and Public Health. Her research interest includes adolescent mental health in the digital age and currently works on an interdisciplinary research projects related digital mental health resources for underrepresented youth.
Phebe is currently serving as an ethnographical archivist in the Equitable Futures Innovation Network. She is a member of the Connected Learning Lab Events Committee, where she plans events around building community within the Connected Learning Lab.
Garrison Wells is a PhD student in informatics at the University of California-Irvine, working with Dr. Constance Steinkuehler in the Connected Learning Lab. Gary completed his B.A. in Psychology at the University of California-Santa Barbara in 2016, and in 2017 earned his Msc. in Psychological Research from the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland. His main research focus is on the cognitive processes of esports players and how traditional sports psychology concepts might be utilized to improve their performance.
Nikki Yankova is a PhD student in Education, interested in developing creative tools to facilitate learning and incite mathematical thought in learners. One of her goals is broadening STEM participation and providing equitable learning opportunities for students.
Ariel Han is a first-year Ph.D. student at UCI informatics department. Her research interests are in building educational technology to improve creative expressions as well as computational thinking through design activity for young people. She was a learning experience designer at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Teachers College Columbia University Edlab, and the Concord consortium. Her goal is to continue to research new technology to support playful learning experience for children. Her advisor is Associate Professor Kylie Peppler.
Mishael is researching design-based activities that can foster and enhance STEM+Art learning for the empowerment of disadvantaged populations. He is especially interested in the learning present in the home and in non-profit organizations, such as youth clubs, libraries, museums, and science centers. Mishael is studying how design theory and methodologies can empower educators (including families) to become co-designers of their educational programs and how to contribute to the design literacy of their learners in these contexts.
Maria J. Anderson-Coto is a PhD student advised by Kurt Squire and co-advised by Constance Steinkuehler. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Business in Universidad de Costa Rica. Maria is passionate about working with people coming together in communities and teams and how to empower communities and improve teams. Maria is currently working on projects funded by NSF and Gates Foundation, doing participatory design with Latinxt teenagers in the topics of wellness.
Minnie Wu is a doctoral student interested in what happens to players—cognitively, motivationally and socially— during gameplay, and how design elements make games fun and conducive to learning. Current projects investigate student learning of academic and social-emotional content in games and game communities.
Oshin Khachikian is a PhD Candidate in Sociology who works with K-12 teachers, PTA parents, students, and community volunteers to understand how access to community-based resources helps close the achievement gap for the children of immigrants.
Jason completed his BA in Psychology at Wesleyan University in 2015 and is now pursuing his PhD in Informatics at the University of California, Irvine working with Dr. Constance Steinkuehler in the Connected Learning Lab. His dissertation is exploring how teams can strategically communicate through technology to manage awareness, attention, and decision-making under pressure.
Jeseok Lee is a Ph.D. student studying social behavior of esports game players. He investigates players' in-game behavior pattern and seeks for a connection to other aspects of their life. Currently, he is applying machine learning methods to analyze complicated patterns of collaborative behavior when people play cooperative games.
Jessica Callahan is a graduate student in sociology, studying culture and alternative forms of family making. She is also interested in narrative and is part of a research project on identity and victimhood in contemporary forms of storytelling in advocacy efforts.
Yao Du is a doctoral student in Informatics and the focus of her research lies at the intersections of interaction design for children with communication impairments, service design for speech language pathologists, and game design for therapy activities through touch-based and voice-based interfaces.
Krithika is a PhD student in Informatics with a background in Computer Science and the Learning Sciences. As part of the Minecraft Research project, her research is focused on analyzing how social norms are constructed in response to newly designed mediation approaches in the online community.
Reginald T. Gardner Jr. received their B.A. in Political Science from Binghamton University in 2015. As an undergraduate, they focused on the political history of the Middle East and North Africa. They then made an academic shift, earning an M.S. in Student Affairs Administration, an M.P.A., and a Certificate in Community College Teaching from Binghamton in 2017...