School of Interactive Computing Ph.D. student Michaelanne Dye was awarded an Achievement Rewards for College Scientist (ARCS) Scholar award for the second year in a row, recognizing her research in Cuba and its potential for future global impact.
Specifically, she was awarded the Global Impact Award, which goes to just one ARCS Scholar each year. The award, which she also won last year, provides $10,000 of unrestricted funding, meaning that she is able to choose what to use the money for.
“It allows me to spend longer periods of time conducting field work by helping cover the costs of having my son travel with me,” Dye said.
Dye’s research in human-centered computing explores interaction and development issues from a social computing perspective. Drawing on her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and master’s in cultural anthropology, Dye uses qualitative methods to investigate socio-technical issues surrounding internet and social media use and non-use among low-resource communities during times of political, economic, and social transitions.
Currently, her research lies in Cuba, where, up until recently, internet access was limited to 5 percent of the population. Through fieldwork, observation, and interviews with Cubans, Dye is developing a holistic understanding of how new internet infrastructures interact with cultural values and local constraints.
Using Cuba as a case study, her work explores how future internet access initiatives might successfully map onto local information infrastructures to provide meaningful, sustainable engagements among under-connected communities in resource-constrained parts of the world.
The ARCS Foundation is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization started and run entirely by women who boost American leadership and aid advancement in science and technology. According to the foundation’s website, nine out of 10 ARCS Scholars work in their sponsored fields after they graduate.