Phelps defends dissertation

Doctoral candidate Kirstin Phelps successfully defended her dissertation, "Collective Leadership for Community Action: A Case-Based Inquiry into Supporting Digital Literacy Initiatives," on August 14.

Her committee included Associate Professor Kate McDowell; Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner; Professor Michael Twidale; and David Rosch, associate professor of agricultural leadership.

From the abstract: This study examines the organizing and leadership processes around one community's responses to support digital literacy initiatives. It explores the applicability of a collective leadership framework for understanding leadership within the community, focusing on four behaviorally based roles identified as supporting group process in complex environments. It also examines the structures, systems, and processes that support or hinder such work and the associated information behaviors of individuals enacting leadership roles. A sequential mixed methods design was created for this study, comprised of a multi-phases data collection process structured to solicit data from across the community. Forty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with individuals across five community sectors, followed by a social network survey (n=78) asking about relationships for information, general leadership, and collective leadership roles around digital literacy. Implications for research concern future work exploring leadership and community initiatives, with methodological contributions from the study of relevance for research around community-based phenomena. Implications for practice revolve around the support of community capacity building efforts, particularly around community leadership development and community learning. 

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Internship Spotlight: State Farm

BSIS student Evan Chen discusses his summer internship at State Farm, where he developed an interest in computer vision.

Evan Chen

iSchool researchers present at 4S 2023

iSchool faculty, staff, and students presented their research at the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) annual conference, which was held from November 8-11 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The society is an international, nonprofit association that fosters interdisciplinary scholarship in social studies of science, technology, and medicine. 

iSchool International: Studying abroad in Barcelona

BSIS student Pablo Quispe discusses his study abroad in Barcelona, Spain, a place he selected because of its rich cultural heritage, world-renowned cuisine, and vibrant social scene. So far, he has enjoyed "every second" of his experience. 

Pablo Quispe

Internship Spotlight: SAP

MSIM student Yashas Prashanth discusses his internship at the multinational software company SAP. The experience helped him to better understand the development and management of applications and information systems in an industrial setting.

Yashas Prashanth

Spectrum Scholar Spotlight: Abigail Deweese

Seventeen iSchool master's students have been named 2023-2024 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. This "Spectrum Scholar Spotlight" series highlights the School's scholars. MSLIS student Abigail Deweese earned her bachelor's degree in global studies with a concentration in peace and conflict from Principia College.

Abigail Deweese