McRoberts Receives Google Fellowship

The following article is about Luther alum Sarah McRoberts '14 and was originally published by the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering:

Ph.D. student Sarah McRoberts has received a 2017 Google Ph.D. Fellowship in Human Computer Interaction. The fellowship is highly selective and recognizes outstanding graduate students doing exceptional work in Computer Science.

McRoberts’ nomination focused on her research into online video, specifically youth-authored video and how children and teenagers connect through video creation and sharing. Since joining CS&E, McRoberts has presented on youth video authorship at ACM’s conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing and led a first-author publication on audience engagement of youth authors that she presented at the Interaction Design and Children Conference. Most recently, she presented at ACM's Human Factors in Computer Systems conference in Denver.  For her next step, she plans to design a participatory design investigation to build novel computing tools to help youth video authors create and disseminate meaningful video content.

Her work reaches beyond youth-authored video and disciplinary boundaries, as well.  She is currently conducting a study of emerging adults’ use of ephemeral video timelines on Snapchat and has presented work on children’s media use for the Society for Research in Child Development.

The thread running through McRoberts’ work is the idea of creating online communities for the greater good and applying these findings to empower marginalized and at-risk youths to share their stories. To this end, she has forged partnerships with Twin Cities nonprofits, such as the Beats & Rhymes outreach program at the YMCA Youth and Teen Enrichment Center. Currently, she is working with Sanford Middle School's after school program to design and deploy tools that can help children and teenagers be more creative, connected, and compassionate by authoring and sharing video content.

Please join CS&E in extending our congratulations to Sarah McRoberts. A complete list of Google Ph.D. Fellows for North America, Europe, and the Middle East can be found on the Google Research Blog.

See original article. Photo by Estelle Smith.

Sarah McRoberts