Pamela Wisniewski – Promoting Adolescent Online Safety and Privacy through Human-Centered Computing

This talk is part of the CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy. For more information and to view other talks in the series, go to:

Risk and Resilience: Promoting Adolescent Online Safety and Privacy through Human-Centered Computing

Pamela Wisniewski, University of Central Florida
May 17, 2022

Privacy is a social mechanism that helps people regulate their
interpersonal boundaries in a way that facilitates more meaningful
connections and safer online interactions with others. Dr. Wisniewski’s
research focuses on 1) community-based approaches for helping people
(adults and teens) co-manage their online privacy with people they
trust, 2) teen-centric approaches to online safety that promote
self-regulation and empower teens to effectively manage online risks,
and 3) online safety interventions that protect our most vulnerable
youth from severe online risks, such as sexual predation. Through her
research trajectories above, she has become a leading HCI scholar at the
intersections of adolescent online safety, developmental science,
interaction design, and human-centered computing. She has created an
impactful research program that intertwines research and education to
engage teens, college students, experts in adolescent psychology,
experts in participatory design and research methods, community
partners, and industry stakeholders in a community-based effort to build
the village needed to protect our youth from online risks by empowering
them to protect themselves. During her talk, Dr. Wisniewski will provide
an overview of her on-going grant-funded research, as well as her
career-long aspirations as a “scholar activist,” which is someone
committed to scholarly research and scientific rigor, but equally
committed to their situations of origin and are passionate about making
the world a better place through their learned experience.

Dr. Wisniewski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer
Science at the University of Central Florida. She is a Human-Computer
Interaction (HCI) scholar whose research lies at the intersection of
Social Computing and Privacy. Dr. Wisniewski is an expert in the
interplay between social media, privacy, and online safety for
adolescents. She was one of the first researchers to recognize the need
for a resilience-based approach, rather than an abstinence-based
approach to adolescent online safety, and to back this stance up with
empirical data. She has authored over 95 peer-reviewed publications and
has won multiple best papers (top 1%) and best paper honorable mentions
(top 5%) at top conferences in HCI. She has been awarded over $4.69
million in external grant funding, including two prestigious career
awards. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s
prestigious CAREER Award for her innovative, teen-centric approach to
adolescent online safety, “Safety by Design: Protecting Adolescents from
Online Risks,” and was the first and only computer scientist to ever be
selected as a William T. Grant Scholar. Her research has been featured
by popular news media outlets, including ABC News, NPR, Psychology
Today, and U.S. News and World Report.