Risk and Resilience: Promoting Adolescent Online Safety and Privacy through Human-Centered Computing
Pamela Wisniewski, University of Central Florida
May 17, 2022 1:30pm, in Zoom
Privacy is a social mechanism that helps people regulate their interpersonal boundaries in a way that facilitates more meaningful connections and safer online interactions with others. Dr. Wisniewski’s research focuses on 1) community-based approaches for helping people (adults and teens) co-manage their online privacy with people they trust, 2) teen-centric approaches to online safety that promote self-regulation and empower teens to effectively manage online risks, and 3) online safety interventions that protect our most vulnerable youth from severe online risks, such as sexual predation. Through her research trajectories above, she has become a leading HCI scholar at the intersections of adolescent online safety, developmental science, interaction design, and human-centered computing. She has created an impactful research program that intertwines research and education to engage teens, college students, experts in adolescent psychology, experts in participatory design and research methods, community partners, and industry stakeholders in a community-based effort to build the village needed to protect our youth from online risks by empowering them to protect themselves. During her talk, Dr. Wisniewski will provide an overview of her on-going grant-funded research, as well as her career-long aspirations as a “scholar activist,” which is someone committed to scholarly research and scientific rigor, but equally committed to their situations of origin and are passionate about making the world a better place through their learned experience.
Dr. Wisniewski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. She is a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) scholar whose research lies at the intersection of Social Computing and Privacy. Dr. Wisniewski is an expert in the interplay between social media, privacy, and online safety for adolescents. She was one of the first researchers to recognize the need for a resilience-based approach, rather than an abstinence-based approach to adolescent online safety, and to back this stance up with empirical data. She has authored over 95 peer-reviewed publications and has won multiple best papers (top 1%) and best paper honorable mentions (top 5%) at top conferences in HCI. She has been awarded over $4.69 million in external grant funding, including two prestigious career awards. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award for her innovative, teen-centric approach to adolescent online safety, “Safety by Design: Protecting Adolescents from Online Risks,” and was the first and only computer scientist to ever be selected as a William T. Grant Scholar. Her research has been featured by popular news media outlets, including ABC News, NPR, Psychology Today, and U.S. News and World Report.