Authors, Organizers, and Moderators

Digital Youth Seattle Think Tank White Paper Authors

Karen Fisher, Professor

Dr. Karen E. Fisher, a boundary-pusher, boundary-spanner, and Professor in the University of Washington Information School and Adjunct Professor of Communication. Her obsession is how people experience information as part of everyday life, particularly in informal social settings (aka, Information Grounds). Her current work (, asks how underprivileged youth, especially ethnic minority and immigrant youth help other people through information, and how they can be supported through co-designing technology, services and policy. InfoMe has been presented at conferences in cognate fields, including: the American Library Association, iConference, European Council on Information Literacy, ACM SIGCHI Interaction Design & Children (IDC), ACM SIGCHI Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), and the MacArthur Digital Media and Learning. Co-author of the ASIS&T top monograph, Theories of Information Behavior, Karen was twice awarded the ALA Jesse H. Shera Award for her research with youth and libraries. Supporters of her work include the IMLS, Google/YouTube, the LEGO Foundation, Microsoft, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. She holds a Post-doc from the University of Michigan; a PhD and MLIS from the University of Western Ontario; and a BA from the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Photo By Tamell Simons
Katie Davis, Assistant Professor

Katie Davis is an Assistant Professor at The University of Washington Information School, where she studies the role of networked technologies in teens’ lives. Some of her current projects include investigating identity development in informal learning spaces; using digital badges to recognize anytime, anywhere learning; building public librarians’ capacity to incorporate digital media into their work with youth; and the causes and consequences of cyberbullying. Davis is the co-author with Howard Gardner of The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World (2013, Yale University Press). She holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in Human Development and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition to publishing and presenting her research in scholarly venues, Davis regularly shares her work with parents, teachers, and librarians in an effort to build connections between educational research and practice.

Jason Yip, Assistant Professor

Dr. Yip’s research focuses on how digital media and new technologies support participatory cultures in youth and their families. First, he examines how digital media and new technologies can support bridging STEM learning for children between different learning domains (e.g., homes, schools, afterschool, libraries). Second, Dr. Yip examines how children and families participate together with researchers in the co-design (participatory design) of new technologies for other youth. At the University of Washington, Dr. Yip leads an intergenerational team of children (ages 7–11) and designers to examine how participation together in design supports learning for youth. Finally, as a Senior Research Fellow at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, Dr. Yip examines how Hispanic-Latino heritage families and children use digital media together and how culture, family, environmental factors, and technological design can support active participation in learning.

Negin Dahya, Assistant Professor

Dr. Negin Dahya is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Information School, specializing in the area of Digital Youth. Her research is grounded in anti-oppressive education for ethnoracial minority groups, with a focus on girls and women using technology. Specifically, Dr. Dahya’s work explores the following research areas: sociocultural context of digital media production and technology use in under-served schools and communities; transnational teaching/learning through digital technologies for refugees living in refugee camps in Kenya; and, studies focused on ‘serious play,’ ranging from examinations of social and political content in educational videogames to girls’ videogame development for teaching/learning STEM in schools.

J. Elizabeth Mills, PhD Candidate

J. Elizabeth Mills is a PhD candidate with an MLIS degree from the University of Washington Information School. She is interested in researching how librarians plan and design their storytime programs with respect to learning theory and information behavior, with particular interest in the Connected Learning framework. She is a published children’s author and former children’s book editor.

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Mike Eisenberg, Professor and Dean Emeritus

Dr. Mike Eisenberg is the founding dean of the Information School at the University of Washington, serving from 1998 to 2006. Known as an innovator and entrepreneur, Mike approached the iSchool as a startup—transforming the school into a broad-based information school with academic programs on all levels (bachelors through doctorate), increasing enrollment 400%, generating millions in funded research, and making a difference in industry, the public sector, and education on all levels. Mike’s current work focuses on information & technology literacy, virtual worlds, and library information and technology programs, K–20. Mike is co-author of the Big6 Approach to Information Problem-ssolving—the most widely used information literacy program in the world. Mike is a prolific author (nine books and dozens of articles and papers) and has worked with thousands of students—pre-K through higher education—as well as people in business, government, and communities to improve individual and organizational information and technology access and use. Mike particularly enjoys working with undergraduate students, introducing them to the opportunities and challenges of the information field.

Additional Event Organizers and Moderators

Lassana Magassa, PhD Student

Lassana Magassa is a graduate candidate at the University of Washington’s Information School (iSchool). He is interested in the relationship between forms of control and peoples uses and perceptions of technology. His dissertation research will investigate the digital literacy levels of incarcerated people and their perceptions on the concept of digital literacy. He has over ten years of experience working with at-risk youth on a range of issues including teen dating violence, racism and effective communication. Prior to joining the iSchool he worked at the Association of National Advertisers where he helped manage to look and feel of their website and tracked web usage patterns. Lassana has a Masters in Library Science from Queens College and a Bachelors in Science (computer science) from Saint Paul’s College.

Jeff Tillinghast, Director of Academic Technology and Introduction to Digital Media Teacher, University Prep

As Director of Academic Technology at University Prep, Jeff Tillinghast leads a 1:1 device program infusing technology usage into curriculum and instruction school-wide. In addition to his work in curriculum development, he is a national leader in music education technology, a passionate advocate of student-centered learning, and currently holds a NWAIS Fellowship for Collaborative Innovation as member of a regional team building best practices in school-based Makerspaces.  Prior to working at University Prep, he has served as technology director and music educator in both public and independent schools in the United States and internationally.

Eliza T. Dresang, in memoriam

Eliza T. Dresang was the Beverly Cleary Professor of Children’s and Youth Services at the University of Washington Information School. Together with Drs. Fisher and Davis, she was a key organizer of the DYSTT as part of her dedication to serving digital youth. Her theory of Radical Change was a primary framework for the DYSTT. Eliza is greatly missed.