Student Research Profile

Bryan Dosono, Informatics 2013

Ph.D. student, Syracuse University

What research did you do at the iSchool?
I found my calling as a scholar when I began conducting research with Dr. Ricardo Gomez, Chair of the Information & Society Center at the iSchool. Under his tutelage, I investigated fieldwork data he collected in South Africa that assessed the country’s current challenges in Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICDT). As his research assistant, I contributed to the paper’s literature review of ICTD; transcribed dialogue from interviews and focus groups with managers of public libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés in South Africa; and interpreted how these information venues add value to South Africa’s public access computing ecosystem.

Why was it interesting to you?
I had many questions surrounding the discourse of ICTD that weren't answered within the scope of an undergraduate class. Conducting groundbreaking research with the iSchool allowed me to explore these questions in greater depth.

In what ways did you benefit from the experience?
I'm incredibly grateful for all of the research opportunities the iSchool provides. The encouragement and training I received from advisers and faculty empowered me present my research at venues like the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium and the National McNair Research Conference at the University of Wisconsin. Engaging in the exciting talks and poster sessions at these academic conferences allowed me to increase the visibility of my research topic to people outside my specific discipline. Presenting my work developed my expertise in discussing my research in a clear and meaningful way, and the feedback I received from my colleagues shaped further exploration into my research questions. At the conclusion of our research project, Dr. Gomez and I submitted our findings to The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, which accepted our paper for publication. This marked my first publication as a coauthor of an academic work, and I was thrilled to know that with Dr. Gomez’s guidance I made a novel contribution to academia. The success from this initial research experience fueled the curiosity for my subsequent research projects, which garnered support from funding sources like the National Science Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Why would you suggest other students engage in research?
I would suggest other students to engage in research to build strong relationships with world-class faculty and add value to the information field. Establishing strong research skills is key to any student who aspires to solve the world's most challenging problems.