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Andrea Zeffiro, Academic Director – Andrea is an Assistant Professor in critical technology studies in the Department of Communication Studies and Media Arts and an affiliate faculty member in the Master of Public Policy in Digital Society program and the Cultural Studies and Critical Theory MA program. Andrea received a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Concordia University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. Andrea’s current areas of research and teaching include critical data studies, data justice, critical cybersecurity studies, qualitative digital research methods, and critical and speculative design.
Jay Brodeur, Administrative Director – Jay brings to the Centre years of experience working with data in a wide variety of formats and interdisciplinary contexts. A scientist by training, he’s comfortable working and advising on all kinds of data-related activities, ranging from data wrangling and integration to analysis and mapping to research data management. Jay’s also keenly interested in the application of digital approaches to support experiential learning opportunities within and outside of the classroom.
Jeffrey Demaine, Bibliometrics and Research Impact Librarian – Jeffrey worked for a dozen years at the National Research Council, as a researcher in a German think-tank, and as the Bibliometrics librarian at the University of Waterloo. His recent publications reveal forgotten “Sleeping Beauty” articles, the changing gender distribution of Canadian researchers, and the effect of increased collaborations on the research impact of universities around the world. Beyond simply counting citations, Jeffrey parses the metadata of academic publications, examines the changing structure of science, and reveals the patterns that underly the work of McMaster’s researchers. He also co-organizes a Canadian conference on Bibliometrics.
John Fink, Digital Scholarship Librarian – John’s talents lie in complex and innovative systems administration and project management. He also has an interest in the maker/hacker element in digital scholarship, and is frequently spotted tinkering with esoteric hardware. If you are interested in having the Sherman Centre support your project, John is an excellent first contact.
Christine Homuth, Spatial Information Specialist – Christine draws on her wide range of experiences to provide support for teaching and research to students, researchers, and faculty members working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geospatial data. Some of her more recent work includes georeferencing historical maps and developing web map indexes as finding aids to make the Lloyd Reeds Map Collection’s resources more readily accessible.
Vivek Jadon, Data Specialist – Vivek provides research support in the use of numeric research data. As part of his role, Vivek is McMaster University’s official representative for Statistics Canada’s Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) program and Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Both of these programs provide researchers with vast archive of research data from various disciplines for high quality research and instruction. Vivek is also involved in building awareness and promoting RDM activities/services at McMaster.
Veronica Litt, Digital Scholarship Coordinator – Veronica holds a PhD in English and Book History from the University of Toronto and has a record of academic and corporate work in editing, writing, event planning, and podcasting. Across all appointments, she strives to make scholarship accessible and interesting to anyone who wants to learn. As SCDS Coordinator, she handles communications, provides administrative support, and organizes a diverse slate of programs including the graduate residency, community partnerships, 30+ annual workshops, and special events.
Amanda Montague, Postdoctoral Fellow – Amanda received her PhD from the University of Ottawa. Her dissertation, Mobile Memories: Canadian Cultural Memory in the Digital Age, considers the impact of mobile technologies and locative media narratives on everyday experiences of memory and place. She is an award-winning teacher and has developed several technology-based experiential learning projects, specifically ones that foster collaboration and partnerships within and outside the university.
Isaac Pratt, Research Data Management Specialist – Isaac is a research scientist by training, and has a PhD in Anatomy & Cell Biology. He leverages nearly a decade of interdisciplinary research experience to help support students, staff, and faculty. His expertise lies in questions surrounding data storage, security, planning, archival, and sharing. Isaac also provides support and curation services for McMaster Dataverse. His other interests include reproducible research methods, open science, and data science.
Subhanya Sivajothy, Data Analysis and Visualization Librarian – Subhanya brings a background of research in data justice, science and technology studies, and environmental humanities. She is currently thinking through participatory data design which allow for visualizations that are empowering for the end user. She also has experience in Research Data Management—particularly data cleaning and curation. Do not hesitate to reach out to her if you would like to talk more about data analysis and visualization as they evolve throughout the research process.
Myron Groover, Archives and Rare Books Librarian – After reading History at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Myron completed his library and archival studies at the University of British Columbia. His work currently focuses on collection development and teaching in archives and book history. Myron’s teaching practise seeks to facilitate direct student engagement with special collections materials as interstices of memory, labour, material culture, and shared meaning-making.
Katie Harding, Learning Support Librarian – Katie works with the Faculty of Engineering to help engineering students learn how to understand, find, read, interpret, and create different types of information sources. She has spent the last decade teaching and providing research support to students and researchers in science and engineering. Her recent projects have focused on the development of some exciting new open educational resources.
Krista Jamieson, Digitization Services Manager – Krista is an archivist by training and has worked with digital preservation, legacy metadata, and long-term appropriate access for born digital and digitized archival records. She brings this background, along with specialty training in AV digitization, to her role overseeing Digitization for the Library. Krista’s research interests lie in the impact of digitization on scholarship and ethics in archival decision making, as well as teaching archival literacy to students of all ages.
Gabriela Mircea, Digital Repository Librarian – Gabriela’s portfolio includes institutional repository, journal publishing, and digital preservation. She works to promote and advance the adoption of the University’s institutional repository, MacSphere. In collaboration with students, faculty, and librarians, she supports two journal publishing services: McMaster University Library Press and Publishing System for Student Journals. She develops and implements workflows and policies for preserving digital special collections in Digital Archive. She is currently exploring grey literature and publishing as pedagogy.
Devon Mordell, Educational Developer (MacPherson Institute) – Devon draws on her experience in media art, hobbyist programming and instructional design to teach workshops for the Sherman Centre. Her areas of interest in digital scholarship include data visualization, computational analyses of texts, sonification and critical digital humanities. Her research practice explores the algorithmic culture industry and platform psychogeography.
Blake Dillon is a communications specialist with a diverse background in journalism, sci comms, graphic design, and website development. Since earning a diploma in journalism from Sheridan College more than a decade ago, Blake has been balancing a busy professional schedule with the dogged (but part-time) pursuit of an Honours B.A. in Communication Studies. Having served as Editor for a handful of Canadian publications, Blake now finds himself working where he studies, leading communications for McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR). At the IIDR, Blake is responsible for promoting the Institute’s research initiatives and spearheading communications endeavours for the Institute’s peripheral projects, such as the Public Health Agency of Canada-commissioned ‘AMR Network.’ On the home stretch of his undergraduate studies, Blake is earning some of his final few credits as a Research Associate at the Sherman Centre, where he is conducting exploratory research on cybersecurity and digital inequalities.
Evangeline (Vange) Holtz-Schramek holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from UBC and the University of East Anglia and two Master’s degrees: one in English and Women’s and Gender Studies from U of T, and the other in Social Policy (MPPA) from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson). Vange is a Ph.D. candidate in the Communication, New Media & Cultural Studies program (CNMCS) at McMaster, where their research engages with online mothering through the lenses of the political economy of media, auto/biography studies, critical race theory, social media research ethics, gendered disinformation, communities of mental health and addiction online, and other urgent intersectional feminist contestations. Vange’s vocational expertise in educational and community consulting supports their present contribution to The Sherman Centre: they are currently collaborating on a knowledge-mobilization series that endeavours to contend with prescient questions in the social science field of data justice through arts-fueled interdisciplinary and imaginative solutions.
Sam McEwan is a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Communication Studies and Media Arts and co-coordinator of the CNMCS Ph.D. peer-mentorship program. Her current research explores representations of women’s bisexuality in popular music and the influence of recommendation algorithms on the craft of songwriting. She has previously enjoyed performing with the Cybernetic Orchestra out of McMaster’s Networked Imagination Lab. Her other research interests include data sonification, intersections of nostalgia and video game music, visuality and gesture in live performance, and media-based modes of LGBTQ+ allyship online. Sam is collaborating on a project that uses experimental approaches like sonification to understand the affective dimensions of data breaches.
Gil Niessen (they/them) is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication, New Media, and Cultural Studies whose research focuses on decolonizing cloud gaming technologies and infrastructures. Gil assists in grant writing and editing and has experience designing research-specific methods for projects such as focus groups, textual analysis, and discourse analysis. Gil believes in making research accessible to different audiences through non-academic avenues, such as infographics, blog posts, and data visualization. Gil is interested in alternative/speculative design and exploring optimism in the potential futures of infrastructures that oppress and exploit users. Gil is collaborating on a project using sonification and visualization to understand the interrelationship between data breaches and other geopolitical crises.
Clementine Oberst is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication, New Media, and Cultural Studies. With a background in cultural studies and film and television studies, Clementine specializes in screen studies and is particularly interested in the rhetorical, aesthetic, and ideological strategies of reality television. Her Ph.D. thesis project looks at the docusoap genre of reality television through an intersectional feminist lens informed by theories of queerness, race, class, and dis/ability. Clementine is currently collaborating on a project using digital humanities approaches to explore the intersections between data breaches and other forms of security crises.
Past Research Associates
Emily Goodwin – Emily received her BA and MA from Brock University and is currently a PhD candidate in the department of English and Cultural Studies. With a wide range of research interests spanning food cultural studies, digital media, and archival and reproductive labours, Emily supported the Sherman Centre’s Do More With Digital Scholarship series by developing remote modules on social media research ethics and methodologies. She was also a Sherman Centre resident in 2019-20, with her current project tracking the demographic data and adjudication patterns of 10+ years of food blog awards.
Sil Hamilton – Having received his B.A. from McMaster University, Sil is a current graduate student of the Digital Humanities at McGill University. His academic interests touch many domains, ranging from the Anglo-Frisian language family to early English Internet culture. His primary pursuit lies in designing digital tools for revealing implicit bodies of knowledge in lesser explored subjects, such as text-generating neural networks. An ardent defender of software freedom and digital rights, Sil has had the opportunity to compose and conduct a series of educational workshops in association with the Sherman Centre. These workshops have engaged with subjects including digital cryptography, LaTeX, and internet privacy.
S M Mukarram Nainar – Currently pursuing a Bachelors in Mathematics and History, Mukarram enjoys using computers as a form of expression and tool of thought, and would like to make this more approachable to the general public. As part of this, he has a large interest in software freedom, and took the opportunity to help start the Software Freedom Series at the Sherman Centre, a series of educational workshops to help normal people gain more software freedom without too much effort.
Sarah Whitwell – Sarah is an educational developer with the MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation, & Excellence in Teaching. Previously, she completed her PhD in History at McMaster University where she explored how black men and women experienced racialized violence during the transition from slavery to freedom and in the decades immediately following emancipation. With the support of the Sherman Centre, Sarah also created a relational database and a series of data visualizations containing information on incidents of racialized violence – the victims and perpetrators, geographic locations, forms of violence and methods of resistance. This work highlighted the importance of digital scholarship for reaching broader audiences. Now, in her capacity as an educational developer, Sarah seeks to help graduate students and instructors navigate the world of digital pedagogy, especially in a remote learning context.