Advisory Council

Rachel S. Anderson is a Professor of English whose research interests range from early medieval hagiography to contemporary science fiction.  She teaches courses in Anglo-Saxon language and literature, Shakespeare, and recently developed an introductory science fiction course. She also teaches DS 201, Digital Identities and Communities in the minor. She has long been interested in the ways the medieval can be understood using both digital tools and contemporary biopolitical theory.  She contributed to the manuscript coding work on the MLA edition of The Digital Ælfric and is currently completing a book on understanding medieval saints’ relics through the lens of biopolitics.  

Email: anderach@gvsu.edu | Phone: (616) 331-8536 | Office 212 Lake Huron Hall

Rachel Anderson

Dr. Wendy Burns-Ardolino is Professor of Liberal Studies and director of the Professional Master's in Social Innovation. She teaches interdisciplinary courses that cross the disciplines of media, cultural, and gender studies. She is particularly interested in the ways that social media have been used to amplify cultural messages and to cultivate social activism. Her monograph, TV Female Foursomes and their Fans, explores meaning making through online fandom. She remains curious about the ways in which watching television has changed and what this means for the shared conceptual map of old style mass media. As a cultural studies practitioner, she continues to question how humans communicate and connect through digital communities and how these processes shape our understanding of ourselves as digital citizens engaging in a progressively mediatized world. 

Email: burnsarw@gvsu.edu | Phone: 331-8191 | Office: 245 Lake Ontario Hall

Wendy Burns-Ardolino

Michelle Dowling is an Assistant Professor of Computing and Information Systems. She teaches usability design and information visualization, as well as introductory computer science courses. Her research focuses on visual analytics and combining ideas from human-computer interaction, data analytics and data science, and machine learning to support the human sensemaking process with human-in-the-loop interaction techniques, such as semantic interaction. By its nature, this research is very interdisciplinary, overlapping with topics like statistics and human cognition, and may be applied to domains such as quantitative high-dimensional data analysis, text analytics, and urban computing. In the past, she has collaborated with people from statistics, intelligence analytics, and journalism backgrounds to more deeply explore how her work may be applied in context.

Email: dowlinmi@gvsu.edu  | Phone: (616)  331-4370 | Office: C-2-209 Mackinac Hall

Profile picture of Michelle Dowling

Hazel McClure serves as Head of Liberal Arts Programs in the library and was the library liaison for Digital Studies from fall 2017 until winter 2019. She is interested in the ways that Digital Studies affect and are present in so many disciplines, much like information literacy.  She's also interested in the way digital information has transformed information consumer behavior; peoples' access to information is often mediated by digital means, and creation of information is increasingly digital, which raises issues about the ways that people create, share, and interpret information. 

Email: mcclureh@gvsu.edu | Phone: (616) 331-3077 | Office: 240 Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons

Hazel McClure

Christopher Toth is the Department Chair and an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing. He teaches courses in document design, business communication, professional writing, multimodal composing, and visual rhetoric. His research interests revolve around the intersections of visual rhetoric and professional communication, specifically the emerging use of infographics in business and professional documents. His scholarship has been published in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Business Communication, and in other edited collections on information literacy. Christopher chaired the task force responsible for creating the digital studies minor.

Email: tothc@gvsu.edu | Phone: (616) 331-3367 | Office: 326a LOH

Christopher Toth

Paul Wittenbraker received a BA from Wabash College and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He was director of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in downtown Grand Rapids, and he is now Professor at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). In 1999, he started Civic Studio, for which he received a Michigan Campus Compact Award. Wittenbraker led the development of the Visual Studies studio major at GVSU. In addition to teaching and advising in Visual Studies, he teaches Making and Meaning in Foundations. Recent public presentations include the lecture "Civic Studio and the Plastic City" as part of the Cranbrook Academy of Art's Critical Studies Series and the exhibit "Facing Michigan" at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. Research interests include theories and representations of public space, technology and culture, and policy and cultural institutions.

Email: wittenbp@gvsu.edu  | Phone: (616) 331-3486 | Office: 1117 Alexander Calder Fine Arts Center

Paul Wittenbraker