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PhD students Megan Threats and Kristen Bowen selected as i3 teaching fellows

Megan Threats and Kristen Bowen, doctoral students at the UNC School of Information and Library Science, are two of the four PhD students selected from a nationwide search to co-teach modules on research design and programming for the iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3).

Portrait photos of Megan Threats and Kristen Bowen
Megan Threats and Kristen Bowen

An undergraduate research and leadership development program hosted by the University of Pittsburgh, i3 prepares students from underrepresented populations for graduate study and careers in the information sciences. Only 25 students are chosen for the program each year.

Threats, Bowen, and the other two teaching fellows will be on-site in Pittsburgh from June 21 to July 6 for the summer introductory institute. In addition to teaching modules that will help prepare the undergraduate i3 Scholars to conduct their yearlong team research projects, fellows serve as role models and mentors, according to the announcement from i3.

Megan Threats, a doctoral candidate at SILS, is studying the impact that information and the rapid expansion of new technologies have on the utilization of HIV prevention, treatment, and care services among high risk populations. In the future, she hopes to design technology-based HIV prevention and treatment interventions, and improve the user experience of consumer health websites and applications.

While pursuing her doctorate at SILS, she has been awarded the Clarivate Analytics/MLA Doctoral Fellowship, the Chancellor’s Doctoral Candidacy Award through the Graduate School’s Initiative for Minority Excellence, and the P.E.O. Scholar Award, among other honors.

Kristen Bowen is researching the health information behavior of Black & Latinx emerging adults, specifically in relation to socially stigmatized topics such as sexually transmitted diseases, sexual abuse, and mental health. This includes examining the influence that social media and technological advancements have upon these actions.

Bowen is a triple Tar Heel, with an MSLS and BS in Information Science with a second major in English from Carolina. She is also an alum from the 2012 cohort of the i3 program. Bowen said her initial i3 experience was transformational.

“When I found i3, I found my academic home,” she said. “I found a place where even when others may not completely understand me, I know they care about my development and my success. I felt comfortable sharing my perspectives, my concerns, and my passions. My i3 home is a place where I no longer have to be the voice for all black professionals, or female professionals. I can see the richness of diversity in my i3 family’s experiences and thoughts — and I know that I am home.”

Related Research Areas: Equity and Inclusion, Health Informatics