A New Year at the Quello Center: Research, Research, Research

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With the start of a new academic year, the Quello Center is progressing on many fronts, but particularly in the development of new research. Given awards for two recent projects, one on wireless access for the last mile, and another on the role of search in shaping political opinions, based on cross-national comparative research in North America and Europe, our set of projects continues to grow. It is wonderful to see our team so fully occupied with research projects and proposals.

This has been possible through the hard work and creative ideas of our core research team, all of who remain in place for the coming year. These researchers include:

Dr Bianca Reisdorf, first hired as a Quello postdoctoral researcher last year, has been promoted to Assistant Director of the Quello Center, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Information. Bianca began research on digital inequalities while a DPhil student at the OII at the University of Oxford, and is continuing this stream of research here at the Quello Center in work on digital divides in Michigan and across the US, as well as on our survey components of our comparative study of the use of Internet search in politics.

Research Team Members R.V. Rikard, Bibi Reisdorf, Mitch Shapiro, Aleks Yankelevich

Research Team Members R.V. Rikard, Bibi Reisdorf, Mitch Shapiro, Aleks Yankelevich

Dr Aleksandr Yankelevich, our Research Assistant Professor, who joined the Quello Center after four years at the FCC, which won him the FCC’s Excellence in Economic Analysis Award. He is leading research on wireless innovation for last mile access (WILMA), where he is focused on analysis of the use of spectrum for the last mile, and the policy are regulatory constraints they entail. And he has developed a proposal with Professor Johannes Bauer to deepen our research on the actual impacts of network neutrality, focusing on investment patterns within the communication industry.

Mitch Shapiro, is a Quello researcher, currently focused on the WILMA project, undertaking case studies of initiatives at providing last mile access across the US. He brings to the Quello Center his extensive experience working as a consultant for academic institutions, such as Harvard’s Berkman Center, and industry, such as with Strategic Networks Group and Pulse Broadband; Pike & Fischer, a unit of the Bureau of National Affairs (now Bloomberg BNA); Pangrac & Associates, Probe Reseach and Paul Kagan Associates.

Based on the accomplishments of this core team over the past year, we have been able to open a new position for a post-doctoral researcher that we will be advertising shortly. In addition, we have been able to complement this team with part-time researchers based in Detroit, who are helping with interviews of a sample of over 1,300 nonprofit organizations working to support the development of a city that some have called the New Berlin. Our interviews are shedding light on the role of the Internet and social media in the activities of organizations so embedded in interpersonal networks across the city.

So the new academic year is promising more research to build on the strength of our last year. If you are asking ‘What is all this research about?’ the answer is to inform and stimulate debate on media and information policy and practice in our digital age.

Follow us and join our seminars and lectures as time permits.

Bill Dutton

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Dr Bianca Reisdorf Advances on Two Tracks

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It is official. Dr Bibi Reisdorf has been promoted both in the Quello Center and in the Department of Media and Information of our College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU.

In the Quello Center, Dr Reisdorf will be Assistant Director, working to support the Center’s research, outreach, and development. Bibi joined the Quello Center just last year as a Quello Post-Doctoral Fellow in Media and Information Policy. She came to us from the University of Leicester, where she was a Lecturer and Director of Distance Learning in their Department of Media and Communication. She has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati. But it was not only her experience that merited her promotion.

At the Center, Bibi’s commitment and innovative approaches to research on digital inequalities have proven to be catalytic to a number of grant proposals and publications. Her role in outreach for the Center has been remarkable also. So we will not just be keeping Bibi at the Center, but enabling her to play an even greater role.

In the Department, Bibi was awarded a position as assistant professor. In this role, Professor Reisdorf will be redeveloping and teaching the department’s new undergraduate research methods course, and will be able to play a more active role in building the rising academic profile of the Department and College.

When I was at the University of Oxford, Bibi Reisdorf became a doctoral student, and soon took on an important role as a research assistant on the Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS), which tracked the use and impact of the Internet in Britain from 2003 through 2013. Bibi demonstrated such a natural gift and remarkable acumen for quantitative analyses and survey research that she became a valued member of the OxIS team from her first days. It has been a delight to see her bring such talent to the department and the Quello Center at MSU.

Ruth Shillair and Bibi Reisdorf (name tag)

Ruth Shillair and Bibi Reisdorf (name tag)

Bianca received her D.Phil. degree in Information, Communication and the Social Sciences at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, in 2012, having completed an M.A. in Sociology at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, in 2008.

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Welcome to Dr Bianca Reisdorf: Quello’s New Team Member

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A welcome by our Department Head, Johannes Bauer:

“I’d like to welcome Bianca C. (“Bibi”) Reisdorf, who last week arrived in East Lansing to join the Quello Center as a postdoc. Prior to coming the MSU, Bianca worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at Leicester University, UK.
Bianca’s research interests include digital inequalities and policies, Internet use among vulnerable groups, and cross-national comparative studies that apply both qualitative and quantitative methods. She has been involved in the research project “Access Denied: A Qualitative Study of Inadequate Broadband Access in Rural Britain” (http://rural.oii.ox.ac.uk/) and she currently is developing a new study on the consequences of lack of Internet access in prisons for ex-convicts in their rehabilitation process.

Bianca received her D.Phil. degree in Information, Communication and the Social Sciences at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, in 2012, having completed an M.A. in Sociology at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, in 2008. At Oxford, Bianca was part of the team that conducted the Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS), which tracked the use and impact of the Internet in Britain from 2003 through 2013.

At the Quello Center, Bianca is playing a key role in the Center’s Network Neutrality Impact Project, and in the development of new projects around issues of digital inequality.

More information at: http://quello.msu.edu/team-details/bianca-reisdorf-quello-post-doctoral-research-fellow/.”

Best,

Johannes Bauer
Professor and Chairperson
Department of Media and Information
and
Associate Director of the Quello Center

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