PhD Students

Luke Bohanon is concurrently working on a PhD and an MLIS through UCLA’s Department of Information Studies. He holds a BA in English and an MA in history from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and spent five years as an assistant archivist and collections specialist at a heritage museum in Colorado Springs. His dissertation research at UCLA explores knowledge production at the intersections of scientific work, creative practices, and infrastructure in remote polar research settings. Luke uses qualitative methods in his work, primarily ethnography, for which he received training through UCLA’s Department of Sociology. His other scholarly interests include archives, collective memory & genocide, privacy & surveillance, and critiques of technology. Luke is a sponsored rock climber and enjoys hiking, camping, playing with his dog, and working on cars & motorcycles in his spare time; he is also a board member for The Giving Child Organization.


Untitled design (25)Natascha Chtena is a third year PhD student. Her work is in the subfields of social informatics known as educational and environmental informatics. Her research interests include educational technology policy, theories of materiality, digital anthropology and environmental education. Teaching is one of her passions and she brings broad knowledge and interdisciplinary curiosity to her subject matter. She holds a masters in Cultural Studies and Comparative Education from UCLA and a masters in Media Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Natascha is a regular contributor to Inside Higher Ed on issues of educational technology, language teaching and student wellness.


Untitled design (18)Randy Illum is currently a first year Information Studies Doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles.  He is interested in researching the connections between physical computing, play, and information retrieval, in addition to how physical infrastructures impact the implementation of computing and information systems in informal learning environments, such as museums and public spaces. Before starting his Doctoral studies at UCLA, Randy worked in 3D fabrication, aerospace engineering, home automation, and at UCLA’s Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance.


Dustin O'HaraDustin O’Hara is a PhD candidate at UCLA, department of Information Studies and a design researcher at the Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance (REMAP). At REMAP Dustin works on the future internet architecture project Named Data Networking (NDN); where he focuses on user interface design and human computer interaction (HCI) related issues. In addition to the NDN project, Dustin has been researching the so called sharing economy – specifically the timebanking movement. Broadly speaking Dustin’s doctoral research has been focused on how everyday social practices and human values are expressed in design patterns.

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Britt S. Paris comes to the department with an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School, where she investigated forms of value production in Web 2.0 contexts. Her current work focuses on the epistemic and political implications of the temporal design of information infrastructure. Other areas of interest include aesthetics, critical data studies, history and philosophy of technology and information ethics.


Untitled design (17)Irene Pasquetto is a doctoral student in Information Studies at UCLA. Irene holds a BA in Communication Science and a MA in Journalism and Media Studies, both from University of Verona, Italy. As a freelance journalist, Irene investigates and reports about different topic areas, mainly digital cultures, education and open government data. At UCLA, she conducts research at the Center for Knowledge Infrastructures about open data and code practices in biomedical communities. Her research methods include ethnographic participant observation, semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Irene’s research interests include data practices, data & epistemology, information policy and economics.

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Jennifer Pierre is a doctoral student in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA, pursuing research in the areas of computer-mediated communication and social informatics. Her work broadly examines how people use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to form and maintain communities. Specifically, she studies how youth and other groups use social media for participation and social support, and how various individuals and communities use data to facilitate communal activism and social change. Jennifer is a co-founding member of the Southern California Climate Data Protection Project, and a former Graduate Student Researcher for the UC Digital Cultures Lab. She has a B.S. in Communication from Cornell University.

Kristin B. Cornelius (M.A.) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Previously a composition instructor at Cal State U. Northridge from 2010-2014, where she received her BA in English and Philosophy (2009) and MA in Rhetoric and Composition (2012), she continues to work in the field of textuality studies and rhetoric by studying the documentation and recordkeeping practices of contracts and evidence as they exist within current information and institutional systems in the business, law, and financial sectors. Her dissertation project considers digitized standard form contracts from a rhetorical perspective and includes case studies on terms of service agreements and smart contracts made with blockchain technology.

untitled-design-13L. Wynholds: I am a doctoral candidate in the Information Studies department. My research interests include: science and technology studies, data practices, social/historical aspects of data structures, digital libraries/archives, ethnographic field methods, situational analysis, pluralistic knowledge structures, and queer studies.