Prospective Students

If you are a prospective PhD student interested in working with me, please apply to the UMSI PhD program and mention me in your application materials.

If you are a current UM master’s or undergraduate student interested in working with me, please email me (mmtd [at] umich [dot] edu) with your CV/resume and research interests. 

I am particularly interested in working with students who want to use ethnographic methods (both in-person and virtual) to explore infrastructure, social inequalities, and questions of power among under-represented groups across the following topics:

  1. community networks and internet access initiatives;
  2. infrastructure, precarity, and “informal” labor;
  3. innovation, creativity, and collaboration in under-resourced communities;
  4. the interplay between culture and technology use among traditionally marginalized groups;
  5. social media use among marginalized populations in the U.S. and international contexts.

Current Students

Shanley Corvite is a 4th-year undergraduate student in UM’s School of Information studying User Experience Design. She has been conducting research since her first year at the university and her primary research interests include human-computer interaction, social computing, computer-supported cooperative work, and identity.

Sylvia Darling is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information. She researches migration, gender, and digital tech with the intent to devise sociotechnical strategies that support migrants’ survival and human dignity as they cross borders. An ethnographer by training, she uses participant observation and in-depth interviews to convey the experiences of communities in Latin America and the United States impacted by transnational injustice.

Alexis Herrera is a researcher and programmer currently pursuing a masters in information and science and technology studies. He is interested in theories of mediation, visual culture, and the relationships between race, technology, and biopolitics. He holds a BA in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ben Zefeng Zhang is a second-year Ph.D. student at UMSI. He is interested in migration, identity, Social computing, science and technology studies (STS), and ICTD (Information Communication Technologies & Development). He received his M.S. in Applied Data Science from Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a journalist. He enjoys biking, running, swimming, climbing, and diving.