UMD Info College Welcomes New Associate Professor Sheena Erete

iSchool News Staff - May 25, 2022

Dr. Erete looks to build new community partnerships and engage the local community surrounding UMD in meaningful ways.

The University of Maryland College of Information Studies (Info College) is pleased to announce that Dr. Sheena Erete will be joining the Info College as an associate professor beginning Fall 2022. She comes to the college from DePaul University in Chicago, IL where she is an associate professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) and is co-director of the CDM Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab.

Dr. Erete is a researcher, educator, designer, and community advocate, whose research focuses on 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. The objective of her work is to create more just and equitable outcomes and futures for those who have historically and who currently face structural oppression. Examples of her most notable works have been the co-design of mobile technologies to support street outreach workers for violence prevention  and co-founding Digital Youth Divas, an out-of-school program aimed at encouraging Black and Latina middle school girls and their families to engage in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). 

Keith Marzullo, dean of the college says ”We’re very excited that Dr. Erete is joining our college. Her research supports many of the directions the College considers vital, including in co-design for and with those people who have been historically excluded, and in community outreach. We also see her interests aligning well with our new undergraduate programs, the B.S. in Social Data Science and the B.A. in Technology and Information Design.”

Dr. Erete’s research has won several best paper awards in top venues such as ACM CHI, CSCW, and SIGCSE as well as a diversity and inclusion award for her collaborative work dissecting oppression that exists in the field of computing, HCI, and design. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, and several philanthropic foundations including the Polk Bros. Foundation, Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, and McCormick Foundation. 

Additional roles Dr. Erete held at DePaul include chair of the Human Centered Design PhD Program, co-chair of the Brother Mike Hawkins Fellowship program, School of Design Personnel Committee, and the Experience Design Program Committee, and a member of the School of Design Curriculum and HCI/UXD Program Committees. She has also held several external leadership roles, including Steering committee member of City of Chicago Digital Services Initiative and Goldin Institute Chicago Gather platform, ACM Committee on Systemic Change, and Associate Editor for Transactions on Computer Human Interaction (TOCHI).

Dr. Erete received Bachelors of Science degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from Spelman College. She received a Masters in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and a Ph.D. in Technology & Social Behavior from Northwestern University.

Dr. Erete says, “I am so excited to join the Info College at UMD and to have the opportunity to collaborate with high caliber, diverse faculty who approach research and teaching in a variety of ways. I’m most especially looking forward to being a part of the university’s mission of engaging the local community surrounding UMD in meaningful ways, focusing on issues of justice, equity, and transformation for historically marginalized groups. My approach to research has been to support and further existing community-based initiatives, and I look forward to building new community partnerships and relationships in the area and engaging students in this work.”

The University of Maryland College of Information Studies is a top-ranked college in information science research and education. Located just outside Washington DC, UMD iSchool, faculty, staff, and students together are combining principles of information science with cutting-edge technology to foster access to information, improve information interfaces, and expand how information is used in an evolving world.