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Texas iSchool Welcomes Six New Post-Doctoral Research Fellows

The University of Texas at Austin School of Information recently hired six new post-doctoral research fellows to join the Texas iSchool, including the first three scholars supported as part of the new Bullard Research Fellow program.

“I am excited to have such a large and high quality cohort with us this year!” said Texas iSchool Dean Eric T. Meyer. In commenting on the strength of the pool of applicants, Meyer noted, “We were impressed with the quality of applicants from leading universities around the world. The six who are starting between now and October all stood out, but we had many more strong candidates as well. This successful process makes me look forward to continuing to bring additional post-doctoral researchers into our community in the future,” said Meyer.

The Bullard Research Fellow program was launched in 2019 with funding from the Professor Fred M. Bullard Endowment. The Bullard Research Fellows program is designed to allow exceptionally promising young scholars the time to develop their own research while collaborating with leading established scholars and researchers. It is designed to accelerate careers, and to maximize the ability of Bullard Research Fellows to build independent research trajectories. To accomplish this, a portion of each fellow’s time will be reserved for their own independent research and publication efforts, including publishing results from their dissertation. Additionally, all Bullard Research Fellows will work with a mentor or mentors on research projects.

Bullard Research Fellow Robert Bautista will join the Texas iSchool in October 2019 from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he earned his Ph.D. in Communication Science earlier this year. Bautista specializes in how professionals combat health misinformation online, and he will be working with Associate Professors Jacek Gwizdka and Yan Zhang, as well as Dean Eric T. Meyer.

Stephen Slota, the second Bullard Research Fellow, joined the Texas iSchool this past week from Washington, where he was a postdoc after finishing his Ph.D. in Informatics at UC Irvine in 2018. Slota will be working with Associate Professor Ken Fleischmann and Assistant Professor Jakki Bailey on algorithmic fairness, accountability, and transparency, and also on his own work on how data is transforming agricultural production.

The third Bullard Research Fellow, Abigale Stangl, earned her Ph.D. in Technology, Media, and Society, from University of Colorado at Boulder in 2019. Stangl will be working with Assistant Professor Danna Gurari on research that broadens inclusion and participation of people with visual disabilities in the media and information landscape.   

Two of the post-doctoral research fellows, Edward Helderop and Jake Nelson, earned their Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2019. Helderop received his Ph.D. in Geography, while Nelson received his Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy. Both post-doctoral fellows moved to Austin with Associate Dean for Research Tony Grubesic, and will be working closely with Grubesic for the academic year on his work in geographic information science.

The sixth post-doctoral fellow, Caroline Stratton, earned her Ph.D. in Information Studies from the Texas iSchool in 2018. Stratton will be working with Associate Professor James Howison on a funded project about the role of ICT in Latin American development efforts.

All six post-doctoral fellows will begin their work at the Texas iSchool between August and October 2019. 

Dean Meyer expressed his enthusiasm around the iSchool with having six new post-doctoral research fellows on board who demonstrated great promise as exceptional scholars and researchers: “We have designed our newly expanded post-doctoral program to maximize the ability of scholars to start their careers with a bang,” he said. 

“By providing them the time and resources to work with senior faculty on projects while also having time protected to work on their own projects and publications, we anticipate that the fellows will have a huge impact here at Texas, but also across the field through their scholarly activity,” said Meyer.

Aug. 31, 2019