DR. DENISE C. NACU
Denise C. Nacu is an Assistant Professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media School of Design at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. With Dr. Sheena Erete, she co-directs the Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab. Her current research focuses on the design, development, and evaluation of sociotechnical systems for learning, particularly those intended to encourage youth participation in STEM activities. This work involves building frameworks, analytics, tools, data visualizations, and social practices.
Dr. Nacu received her Ph.D. in Education (Learning Technologies) from the University of Michigan. She also holds a B.S. in Art History (minor in Psychology) from Columbia University, an M.S. in Education (Educational Technology) from the University of Michigan.
DR. SHEENA ERETE
Sheena Erete is an Assistant Professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media School of Design at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She co-directs the Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab with Dr. Denise Nacu. Her research focuses on examining and designing socio-technical solutions that support collective action amongst residents in local communities to address various social issues such as crime, education, local governance, political efficacy, and economic development.
Dr. Erete received her Ph.D. in Technology and Social Behavior (a joint degree in Computer Science and Communication) from Northwestern University. She received her Masters of Science in Computer Science Georgia Institute of Technology and Bachelors of Science degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from Spelman College.
FACULTY AND RESEARCH AFFILIATES
DR. NICHOLE PINKARD
Nichole Pinkard is an Associate Professor of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. She has led efforts to implement 1:1 computing in urban schools, integrate digital media into core instruction, and create digital media learning opportunities outside of the formal school day.
Cailtlin K. Martin is a Lead Researcher for Digital Youth Network. Since 2005, she has been studying DYN learning environments, looking at the impact and outcomes of participation in DYN opportunities for youth, adult educators, and local communities.
DR. JONATHAN GEMMELL
Jonathan F. Gemmell is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing at DePaul University. He holds a BA in Classics, an MS in Computer Science and a PhD in Computer Science. His research focuses on the social web, data analysis and artificial intelligence. He is a faculty member at the Web Intelligence Laboratory.
DR. DANIELA RAICU
Daniela Stan Raicu is a Professor of School of Computing, College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University, Chicago. She is the co-director of the Medical Informatics and the Intelligent Multimedia Processing Laboratories and is the founding Director of the Data Mining and Predictive Analytics Center at DePaul University.
GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Aneta Baran is an Experience Designer at Digital Youth Network (DYN) and a graduate student in DePaul University’s Human-Computer Interaction program. She holds a B.S. in User Experience Design from DePaul University. At DYN, Aneta works alongside researchers, developers, and product stakeholders to design engaging experiences for youth across online and physical spaces. Prior to joining DYN full-time in 2017, Aneta worked as an undergraduate research assistant at TSG where she collaborated on research and design for DYN’s Digital Youth Divas program.
Aakriti is a graduate student in Human-computer interaction at DePaul. She is a User experience designer passionate about creating seamless experiences through user-centered, co-creative and participatory design processes. She is passionate about human-centered research which results in bringing simplicity, empowerment, and joy into people’s lives.
Jessa (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in human-centered design. Advised by Dr. Sheena Erete, Jessa works with communities and organizations to co-design and implement sociotechnical systems across community groups and organizations with varying structures and goals. Her research is grounded in the assets-based community development framework and the practices of research justice, transformative justice, and antiracism. She views her role in research interventions as a facilitator who supports community-led initiatives that build and connect local assets and advance goals of justice and equity. Throughout the research process, Jessa integrates transformative justice practices by pursuing opportunities to build community power and effect structural change to repair harm inflicted to communities by institutions and local government.
Evelyn Flores is a graduate student at DePaul University majoring in Human-Computer Interaction. She has a B.S. in User Experience Design with minors in Graphic Design and Information Technology. Her focus of research is in exploring design and data approaches to brokering in informal learning environments in STEM with youth (in particular middle school girls).
Alejandra is a graduate student in the Human-Computer Interaction program at DePaul University. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and is passionate about using stories and experiences to inform design. Before coming to the lab, Alejandra worked in journalism, where she focused on stories about art and culture.
Janet Hill is a graduate student at DePaul University in the Master’s program for Experience Design. Janet’s background includes design leadership in the educational arena where she developed her passion to create meaningful and measurable work to delight and inspire. Her research is focused on intersecting with community to build sustainable learning ecosystems to increase STEM participation among middle school girls.
Bo Ju is a Ph.D. student in the Human Centered Design program at DePaul University. Her major research focus is on how technology can be designed and used to better serve diverse learners in physical or virtual learning environment. Now, she is working with Dr. Nacu supporting middle school girls’ STEM learning at Digital Youth Network.
Maddie is working towards her MA in Experience Design, but has been a part of the TSG team since 2017 as an undergrad. Keeping with the themes of the Lab, as she goes on in her career, Maddie wants to leverage design to build products and processes that make our communities more sustainable, equitable, and accessible.
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Mikaela Coleman is a senior at DePaul studying Psychology with a minor in User Experience Design. She started as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Technology for Social Good Lab in June of 2019, with the goal of learning how to better serve and understand people using design methodologies. Her interests lie in using technology to create equitable and accessible experiences, especially in the contexts of education and learning. Mikaela is currently planning to continue her education in one of DePaul’s School of Design graduate programs.
Ivonne is a senior in the Undergraduate User Experience Design program at DePaul University. She plans to continue her education by pursuing a Masters in Experience Design at DePaul University. Ivonne has been working as a Research Assistant for the Technology for Social Good Lab since the summer of 2019 – here, her interest in non-profit and community work grew. She is interested in using design and technologies to better experiences within communities and education. Ivonne hopes to use design as a tool to continue empowering and creating equitable experiences for all people.
Bridgit Lawler is a sophomore working on a BS in User Experience Design with minors in Graphic Design and Information Technology. She has been a Research Assistant at the Technology for Social Good Lab since February 2020. The components of UX and the sheer vastness of the field intrigues her. Through her work at TSG, she hopes to use technology and design to better serve and represent marginalized communities.
Marianella Osorio is a senior at DePaul University enrolled in the combined degree program studying User Experience Design, Human-Computer Interaction, and graphic design. Once she graduates, Marianella plans to continue studying for her Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction at DePaul. Her interests include using design & technology to create interfaces and experiences for diverse users, specifically those from underrepresented communities. She has been working with the TSG Lab since January 2020 and is working to expose middle-school girls from non-dominant communities to the STEAM fields with the Digital Youth Divas program.
SHERELYN D. SACEDA
Sherelyn is a junior at DePaul University who is currently enrolled in the User Experience Design program with a minor in Information Technology. After graduation, she is planning to continue her education by pursuing a Masters in Experience design at DePaul University. Sherelyn has been a part of the TSG lab as a Research Assistant since February 2020. She is interested in using current and emerging technologies and the environment within communities to design experiences that would help better communities of marginalized, underrepresented communities.