I am an assistant professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My general research interests include youth, social media, cyberbullying, empathy, librarianship, libraries, maker edu, neurodiversity, advocacy, and mental health. I completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University (ITLS) in August of 2018.
I received my PhD in Information Science from the School of Information at Florida State University in the Spring of 2016. Before I began the PhD program, I worked as public librarian at a small, rural library system in Southwest Georgia. My work with young adults as a librarian is the root of my research interest in this population. I continue to be a strong advocate for school and public libraries in our communities. As well, as advocating for youth voices to be respected, heard, and included in any discussions that impact them.
A native of Southwest Georgia, I grew up in a very small rural town that nobody seems to have heard of so I usually reference its distance from Atlanta (2.5 hours southwest) to give some idea of where it is. I received my BA in anthropology and history from the University of Georgia in 2006. In 2008, I completed my MLIS at FSU with a concentration in children and youth services. After working as a public librarian for 4 years, I decided to return to FSU and get my PhD in Information Studies. Somewhere along the line I completed my SLIS (Specialist in Library and Information Studies) with a focus on leadership and management. And my PhD. I’m not entirely sure how all this happened, but here we are.
In my free time, I am an avid reader of a little bit of everything (YA lit, Southern Gothic, weird non-fiction, silly stories, and oddball sci-fi). Outside of books, I’m an eclectic music nerd (Jason Isbell ❤ ), craft beer and coffee drinker, lover of (almost) anything pickled, and a fitness and nutrition fanatic who’s training for my seventh marathon. You can usually find me in the gym, on a run, or at a brewery.