I was named a Knight Fellow!
I would call this my "unofficial bio".
I have sort of a weird background and have always felt that the standard curriculum vitae does a really poor job of helping people figue out who I am and how I found my way to academia. Hopefully, as intended, it's helpful for you to get to know me a bit better.
I began my career in New York City’s media industry planning advertising campaigns for clients such as Citibank, Chevron, and Altice. I began this carrer right after earning a marketing degree (B.S.) from Saint Joseph’s University but quickly learned that this industry would not be for me.
Eager to travel, I saved money for a year and quit my job to hop on a one-way flight to Bangkok. After a year of backpacking, I had bartended on an island in Cambodia, ran with the bulls in Pamplona, camped at the “Doorway to Hell” in Turkmenistan, ate and slept in the homes of locals in Uzbekistan, got stranded in a desert in Kazakhstan, and even gave a wedding speech in Dashoguz (though I'm quite sure no one understood me). Many of these adventures took place while attemping to drive from England to Mongolia in a beat up VW Polo with a close friend as strange as myself. (The picture above was taken by me while driving the Pamir Highway. On the left is Tajikistan and on the right is Afgahnistan.)
Research Motivation and NYU
During that year of travel, I spent much of my time reading and learning about social media and becoming deeply concerned with how these technologies were changing the world. Hoping to integrate various fields of research to better understand how society consumes information on these platforms, I returned home to earn a master’s degree in psychology from New York University. While at NYU, I was fortunate enough to conduct my thesis research alongside Drs. John T. Jost and Joshua A. Tucker (Social Justice Lab & the Center for Social Media and Politics, respectively). I am honored to say that this research – which investigated how liberals and conservatives spread false rumors on Twitter – won the Psychology department’s MA Research Award.
I am an Informatics Ph.D. student at Indiana University Bloomington. Funded as a Knight Fellow, I study complex networks and systems related to the spread of misinformation on social media. At IU, I am a member of Dr. Fil Menczer’s research group, Networks and agents Networks, working as a research assistant to better understand and curb the spread of misinformation on social media. At the moment, I am investigating network algorithms related to the manipulation of social media, with the aim of identifying "superspreaders" of low quality content (i.e. mis- [dis-] information) and curbing their abuse.