SIS Assistant Professor Xiaohua (Awa) Zhu was awarded a 2019 Summer Graduate Research Assistantship grant from the University of Tennessee Office of Research and Engagement to continue pursuing her work on digital ownership and possession. School of Information Sciences master’s student Amy Moore will be the graduate student supported by the grant for the three-month summer period.
“This is very helpful because I need someone to help me with data collection, literary review and data analysis. [Moore] can analyze the interviews to get a sense of how people feel, what people say about this and then we can design a survey based on the interview data,” Zhu said.
While Zhu has previously conducted surveys for this research, she wants to build a different survey based on additional interviews and qualitative data. She previously submitted her research to a journal and, while it was turned down, the reviews she was given were so constructive that she is using research from psychology, consumer behavior, law, and information science to inform her new take on the research.
As for Moore, she is thrilled to be participating in the research and supported by the grant. She has a bachelor’s degree from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, with a double major in English literature and anthropology.
“How people perceive the digital objects they have is becoming more and more important. Just knowing how the landscape of all our media is changing, both from a legal standpoint and public perspective, is really important and interesting,” Moore said, noting that she has done independent research on digital ownership for work in her social informatics course through SIS.
She said she looks forward to using her technical writing skills to assist Zhu in her research.
“Amy is a good writer and a deep thinker and I found her papers really interested to read when she was in my class,” Zhu said.