Tell us a little bit about your professional background and areas of focus.
After earning my doctorate in medical sociology and gerontology from Case Western Reserve University, I spent many years conducting applied research in hospitals and long term care facilities sponsored by grants from the National Institute of Health. I was part of teams looking at the influence of the social and physical environment for persons with dementia, the impact of a forced disruption in a doctor-patient relationship based on insurance changes, and the user experience of staff and residents of long term care facilities who were using a new motion sensor technology to prevent falls, get help when needed and to preserve resident privacy. Throughout my work I always had an interest in technology and what it can mean to the end user. So, I made a change, and took a job in industry. I met great people and learned so much here! I worked in product management, user experience and usability research for an enterprise level software company serving a global market. My focus areas now bring together my past worlds by exploring ways to improve usability in health information technology (e.g. electronic health records, mobile health), and measuring ways in which this improves patient safety outcomes and creates less burden on clinicians. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach and continue my research here at Kent State in the iSchool!
Describe recent projects or research that you’ve been working on.
I am evaluating the process of how both hospitals and electronic health record (EHR) developers work to improve the EHR, mitigating errors in order to improve patient safety outcomes. I am also working with an interdisciplinary team here at Kent State to develop a digital language identifier, called STREAMTM (patent pending). The tool uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to listen to a speaker and determine what language is being spoken. I am also working with the HIMSS Health App Guidelines Workgroup to improve usability of mobile health apps.
What is your favorite part of teaching?
The students are amazing people! Teaching also gives me an opportunity to learn more about the topic as it changes, or about new ways to look at the issues.
Do you have a favorite teaching moment?
The “aha” moment when course material makes sense, and they get it! I am energized by students who are curious and inspired by courses or certain course topics. All of us get better in these moments!
How have your professional experiences influenced your teaching?
This is a huge influence for me! I often talk in class about how concepts in information science, health informatics and user experience design are actually used in the workplace whether it is in a hospital, home environment, or software company. I talk about the “reality” of working in the job.
What issues related to information interest you most?
I am most interested in using information to help people in need, to answer big questions, and to improve the quality of our lives. I am also interested in making information more accessible, verifiable, and actionable by improving usability or the user experience.
If you had one superpower:
How do you like to spend time outside of work?
I love being with my family, cooking and walking in beautiful places.
Do you have any advice for students?
Take advantage of all of the amazing courses, events and research going on in the iSchool here at Kent State! Look at other iSchool courses you can take as an elective to try something new and allow you to learn more about other ways of managing and working with information.
What class(es) are you teaching for Kent’s iSchool?
In Spring 2021, I am teaching UXD 60001 User Experience Design Principles and Concepts. In Fall 2021, I will be teaching HI 60414 Human Factors and Usability in Health Informatics.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Please know what an amazing community of talented students, faculty and staff you have here at the iSchool! These extraordinary people here at Kent State University continue to impress me and inspire me.