Affiliated Faculty

Joe Walther
  • Director
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Joseph B. Walther is the Mark and Susan Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Technology and Society, and a Distinguished Professor of Communication at UCSB. A behavioral scientist and theorist, his work concentrates on how people present themselves to one another via the Internet and how they use the Internet to shape how they want to be known to each other; how they get to know others and decide who to like or trust, and how they develop relationships online that affect their work or social roles. Applications of his work in personal relationships, online groups, education settings, and inter-ethnic conflict have had a significant influence across a number of fields.

Linda Adler-Kassner
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Linda Adler-Kassner is Professor of Writing Studies, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education in the College of Letters and Science, and Associate Vice Chancelor of Teaching and Learning. Always working at the intersection of research and practice, her interests include how technological affordances shape ideas about good learning and good learners; the datafication of education, learning, and learning processes; and how technological affordances can support learning at scale, i.e., in large lecture-based courses. Dr. Adler-Kassner is an author or co-editor of nine books and dozens of articles and book chapters; she also was awarded UCSB’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2015. 


Divy Agrawal
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Divyakant Agrawal is a Professor of Computer Science whose research expertise is in the areas of database systems, distributed computing, data warehousing, and large-scale information systems. Dr. Agrawal's involvement with CITS reflects his research philosophy, which is to work on data management problems that have both practical as well as theoretical significance. He has published approximately 300 research manuscripts in prestigious forums (journals, conferences, symposia, and workshops) on a wide range of topics related to data management and distributed systems.

  • Academic Coordinator

Melissa Bator (PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara) was the CITS Academic Coordinator from 2017 to 2020, and an assistant in CITS for years prior. Melissa coordinated the Information Technology & Society PhD Emphasis Program, managed graduate and undergraduate student workers, administered the Center’s finances, coordinated Center events, and partnered with the Center’s directors in strategic planning and implementation of the Center’s goals and activities. She also started the Sustainable Technology Repair Initiative in 2019 in order to fill a resource gap at UCSB: the provision of affordable, sustainable digital device repair and device maintenance education for UCSB students. Melissa now works in Strategic Research Initiatives in the UCSB Office of Research,

  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Elizabeth M. Belding is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Associate Dean in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Elizabeth’s research focuses on mobile and wireless networking, including network performance analysis, and information and communication technologies for development (ICTD). Her work has focused on improving Internet accessibility in developing communities worldwide. She is the founder and director of the Mobility Management and Networking (MOMENT) Laboratory. Elizabeth is the author of over 100 technical papers and has served on over 60 conference technical program committees. She is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and an IEEE Fellow. She received the UCSB Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in 2012 and the NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award in 2015 for her mentorship of graduate students. She was the Associate Director of CITS from 2012-2015.

Bruce Bimber
  • Past Director
  • Steering Committee Member
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Bruce Bimber is a Professor in the departments of Political Science and (by affiliation) Communication. Dr. Bimber’s research examines the relationship between digital media and patterns in human behavior, especially in the domains of political organization and collective action. He is a founder and Director Emeritus (from 1999-2006) of the Center for Information Technology and Society. He is a fellow of the International Communication Association. 

John Bowers
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

John Bowers holds the Fred Kavli Chair in Nanotechnology. He is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In addition, her directs the Institute for Energy Efficiency and the Center for Energy Efficient Materials. His research interests are primarily concerned with silicon photonics, optoelectronic devices, optical switching and transparent optical networks.

  • Visiting Research Scholar

Dr. Belén Casas-Mas is  a European Doctor and Master in Social Communication from the University Complutense of Madrid (UCM, Spain), where she obtained the Extraordinary Doctorate Award in 2017. She works as an Assistant Professor in the area of Sociology at the Faculty of Information Sciences of the UCM, where she has been teaching since 2013. She is a member of the Complutense Innova Group - Docentia with which she is currently participating in the project "University and society: Communication and integration in companies and public institutions and non-profit organizations” since 2016. She has evaluated papers for various scientific journals such as Labor Studies Journal, Spanish Journal of Sociological Research (REIS), Documentation of Information Sciences, Politics and Society. At present, she is researching in the area of communication in social networks specializing in the polarization of political and social debates and the analysis of hate speech, as a member of the UCM Research Group "Data Science and Soft Computing for Social Analytics and Decision Aid" in the R+D project  "The Structure of Network Communication and Inclusive Public Opinion. A Study with Big Data Techniques and Analysis of Social Networks". (2020-2014).


Link to recorded talk:

Dolores Inés Casillas
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Dolores Inés Casillas is a Professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, a Faculty Affiliate in both of Film & Media Studies and Applied Linguistics at UCSB.

Her research focuses on immigrant engagement with U.S. Spanish-language media.    Co-author of several award-winning books including a recent project that examines how Spanish-dominant communities rely and revive specific media industries in the United States from DVD rentals via Red Box and smartphone applications such as What’s App, to language learning media, both online and audio-lingual, like Open English and Inglés Sin Barreras. Her 2020 NPR interview "Latino Empowerment through Public Broadcasting," is available at


Alenda Y. Chang
  • Faculty Research Affiliate

Alenda Y. Chang is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies. With a multidisciplinary background in biology, literature, and film, she specializes in merging environmental criticism with the analysis of contemporary media. While at Berkeley, Chang served on the Executive Committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media and worked as the executive producer for AirQuest, a civic-action game designed to motivate young people to learn more about air-quality issues in their local communities as well as the triggers and risk factors for asthma. She also maintains an informal resource blog for game studies and environmental humanities scholars.

Dr. Chang was featured in WalletHub's recent piece about the best and worst cities for gamers.