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UMD Experts Covering All Things Election 2024

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Media Relations mediainfo@umd.edu

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Are you a journalist looking for new angles to add to the election 2024 conversation? From the role of technology, climate change, and mental health to ageism, DEI, and global politics, faculty experts from the University of Maryland are delving deep into the diverse, multi-layered topics that touch all facets of the 2024 election.

(Please contact mediainfo@umd.edu for more information or help setting up an interview)

  • The role of technology and AI:
    • Naeemul Hassan is an assistant professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the College of Information Studies of the University of Maryland. His recent research projects involve automated fact-checking, credible health information, and misinformation detection. He has built computational technologies (e.g., BaitBuster, ClaimBuster) used by professional journalists to automate fact-checking and identify potential misinformation.

    • Cody Buntain’s research focuses on how people use online information spaces during crises and political unrest, focusing on information quality, preventing manipulation, and enhancing resilience. Buntain is also a research affiliate at NYU's Center for Social Media and Politics and cofounder of the Center for AI, Data, and Conflict.

    • Vanessa Frias-Martinez is an associate professor in the College of Information and UMIACS at the University of Maryland, where she leads the Urban Computing Lab. Her research focuses on the design of data science and AI tools for decision-making in high-stakes settings including disaster response, transportation and public health.


  • LGBTQ issues and mental health: Jessica Fish is an associate professor in the Department of Family Science in the School of Public Health. She is a human development and family science scholar whose research focuses on the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people and their families.


  • Infrastructure: Jelena Srebric’s research group focuses on multi-scale modeling of built infrastructure to provide a reliable assessment of how these systems affect occupant population, energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions.


  • Education: Melanie Killen’s research areas include children and adolescents’ social cognitive and moral development, their experiences and perceptions of social exclusion, origins of prejudice and bias, and social inequalities in childhood. Her focus also includes social justice, racial injustice and the role of inclusive classroom environments on a child’s development.


  • Social media:
    • Jennifer Golbeck is an expert on all things cybersecurity in the age of social media, artificial intelligence, privacy and trust on the web.

    • Catherine Knight Steele studies race and media, specifically focusing on Black discourse, technology and social media. Her published works include research on the Black blogosphere, digital discourses of resistance and joy, and digital Black feminism.

    • Jessica Vitak seeks to understand how privacy concerns play a role in technology adoption and use, and she develops tools and resources to help children and adults make more informed decisions when using technology and sharing sensitive data.


  • Minority/youth voter turnout:
    • Nathan Dietz focuses on social capital, volunteering, civic engagement and social entrepreneurship. Dietz is the co-author of two recent publications: “Where Are America’s Volunteers? A Look at America’s Widespread Decline in Volunteering in Cities and States” and “Good Intentions, Gap in Action: The Challenge of Translating Youth’s High Interest in Doing Good into Civic Engagement.”

    • Sheena Erete’s work examines co-designing socio-cultural technologies, practices, and policies with community residents to amplify their local efforts in addressing issues such as violence, education, civic engagement and health. Her work aims to create more just and equitable outcomes and futures for those who have historically and who currently face structural oppression.

  • Arts: Crystal U. Davis looks at the intersection of art and race, understanding anti-racist pedagogy for dance and theater and movement analysis.


  • Rhetoric: Sarah McGrew studies educational responses to the spread of online mis- and disinformation. Her research focuses on young people’s civic online reasoning—how they search for and evaluate online information on contentious social and political topics—and how schools can better support students to learn effective evaluation strategies.

  • Affordable housing and immigration:
    • Ariel Bierbaum examines policy and planning for neighborhoods and schools – as distinct and intertwined endeavors – and how they have created landscapes that codify race and class hierarchies endemic to the United States’ social, political and economic structures.

    • Clara Irazàbal-Zurita has spent more than two decades exploring social and spatial justice through the lens of urban planning and design. In her research and teaching, she explores the interactions of culture, politics, and placemaking, and their impact on community development and socio-spatial justice in Latin American cities and U.S. Latinx, immigrant, and minority communities.

    • Willow Lung-Amam focuses on how urban and suburban policies and plans contribute to and can address social inequality, particularly in neighborhoods undergoing rapid racial and economic change. She has written extensively on suburban poverty, racial segregation, immigration, gentrification, redevelopment politics, and neighborhood opportunity, including her book "Trespassers? Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia."

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland (UMD) is the state's flagship university and a leading public research institution, propelled by a $1.3 billion joint research enterprise. Located four miles from Washington, D.C., the university is dedicated to addressing the grand challenges of our time and is the nation's first Do Good campus. It is driven by a diverse and proudly inclusive community of more than 50,000 fearless Terrapins. UMD is a top producer of Fulbright scholars and offers an unparalleled student experience with more than 300 academic programs, 25 living-learning programs and 400 study abroad programs. Spurred by a culture of innovation and creativity, UMD faculty are global leaders in their field and include Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and members of the national academies. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit umd.edu.

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