Title: Assistant Professor
Office: 105C Kolbe Hall
With the prevalent use of various information and communication technologies (ICTs), people often engage in communication and coordination through multiple communication modalities. To address these growing patterns of mixed-mode relationships and organizing, Dr. Lai's research focuses on investigating how individuals, groups, and organizations use ICTs to communicate and coordinate across different media modalities, and how relationships evolve or emerge through these processes. In particular, Dr. Lai's research investigates technology use for voluntary participation and organizing in community and disaster contexts. She also analyzes social implications of online and mobile applications and examines how a social network perspective can be salient in understanding the use of these applications and how that may dovetail with the pursuit of communication among users.
Please see her CV on the webpage listed above for a detailed list of publications, conference presentations, and works in progress (i.e., affiliation networks and community social capital, citizen groups and disaster response, intercultural and organizational communication of the Confucius Institutes). The work on emergent citizen groups and disaster response is supported through NSF RAPID program (CMMI-1324180). The project on affiliation networks is supported through the Faculty Research Grant by Buchtel College of Arts and Science at the University of Akron.
Research interests: organizational communication, communication technology and society, social network analysis, small groups
Ph.D., Communication and Information, Rutgers University, 2012
M.A., Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, Michigan State University, 2005
B.A., Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Taiwan University, 1999