Recently, I received my Ph.D. in Communication and Information at Rutgers University. Prior to that, I was a USAID Research and Innovation fellow at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. My research interests are rooted in the intersection of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and global communication. I am specifically interested in community development at the global level, with a focus on examining the socio-technical practices of disadvantaged and underserved communities and the design implications for technology use. Specific areas of interest include:
- The adoption and use of new ICTs particularly for information seeking, identity management, and visibility (immigrant women entrepreneurs; informal economy; broadband adoption)
- The adoption and use of social media for B2B and B2C communication (U.S., Afghanistan)
- Network form of organizing, community resilience, community networks after disasters/emergencies (New Orleans, New Jersey)
- ICT use for development (ICT4D) (Africa)
I have conducted research funded by USAID, EveryoneOn, New America, Internews Media, IBM, and National Science Foundation (see Projects). I have worked with interdisciplinary research groups NetSCI and InfoSeeking at Rutgers as well as participated in ICT4D lab at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. I presented my work at human computer interaction conferences CHI, CSCW, social network conference Sunbelt, and major communication and media conferences NCA, ICA and IAMCR.
My dissertation focused on the new communication technology adoption and use of immigrant women entrepreneurs in New York City. More specifically, I looked at how immigrant women entrepreneurs are strategically using new ICTs to seek information, to communicate with their clients and suppliers, and to negotiate the social inequalities created by their gender, ethnic, religious, and immigrant identities. Utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis procedures including in-depth interviews, surveys and social networks analysis, I examined the impact of ICT use on their empowerment and economic development. This study also reveals the relationship between place, identity, ICT use, and social and economic development.
On a personal note, I’m of Turkish descent. I grew up mostly in Turkey and went to college at Bogazici University in Istanbul. I have been living in New York since 2012. When not doing research, I am likely listening to an interesting podcast at a coffee shop in Brooklyn, seeing an exhibition or a screening at a museum, or planning my next trip for a hike.