In winter quarter 2022, Katie Gonser, a Jackson School doctoral candidate in international studies, was one of five students across the University of Washington to be selected as a participant for the eScience Institute Incubator Program.
With help from Jose Hernandez, a UW alum and data scientist at the eScience Institute, Gonser worked on a project that aims to identify the main themes of mis/disinformation being discussed on Twitter during the announcement and implementation periods of COVID-19 policies in Washington and Louisiana. For Gonser, this is all part of her current position as a research assistant on a National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID grant being led by Jackson School faculty Sara Curran (PI) and Jessica Beyer, in partnership with Louisiana State University environmental sciences and engineering faculty, for collaborative research on COVID-19 dis/misinformation disparities.
“The NSF work has been an invaluable opportunity to explore data science methods in a highly topical field while incorporating a social science perspective,” she said. “The NSF and eScience incubator project have enabled me to communicate more effectively with the data scientists on our larger, interdisciplinary research team, improving the quality of our collaboration and enabling me to develop a new skillset that puts me in good standing for the job market after graduation.”
Gonser also has served as Senior Cybersecurity Fellow and Program Manager for the School’s International Policy Institute Global Research Group. Her doctoral research looks at human rights and humanitarianism in North Korea, with a focus on US and South Korean nonprofit organizations (NGOs) working in both fields.