Jessica Wendorf Muhamad, Ph.D. is the Director of PEAKS laboratory, an Assistant Professor of Communication, and Associate Director of the Center for Hispanic Communication in the School of Communication at Florida State University. Dr. Wendorf Muhamad’s research focuses on understanding how and why enacted, entertainment-educational experiences (e.g., game-based interventions) influence individuals. Her primary line of research focuses on (1) the development of culturally relevant, experientially-based health interventions constructed through a participatory and engaged approach; (2) examines how prosocial, persuasive narrative embedded within experiential learning opportunities influences individuals’ attitudes and behaviors regarding health and social issues; and (3) extends beyond active entertainment-education mechanisms to a holistic understanding of intervention adoptability through an examination of implementation climate pre- and post- development. Her research has been published in Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, Computers in Human Behavior, and Journal of Industrial Medicine, among others, as well as book chapters on serious games and communication engagement.

Research Associates

Laura-Kate Huse is a community-based participatory researcher who utilizes communication theory to create holistic and culturally appropriate interventions to promote physical, mental, and social well-being within marginalized communities. Specifically, Huse analyzes the methods of communication used within CBPR designs between the researchers and marginalized community members. Huse is currently a PhD student at Florida State University, and has worked on teams that have designed digital opioid prevention tools, and has worked with rural health clinics in Appalachia. She is a doctoral student in the School of Communication in the FSU College of Communication and Information.

Tracy A. Ippolito is well-versed in health-related information practices (seeking, encountering, assessment, management, sharing, and use); information interventions (surveillance and communication) for target populations and public health; and health communication/information disparities. Ippolito’s research interests include experiential knowledge acquisition, particularly as it relates to sense-making, self-efficacy, and stigma. She is also pursuing research on the impact and potential of interactive data visualization, with a focus on the dynamics of user interaction and information flow. Her most recent work investigated pertinent theory and research on the influence of individual and environmental factors on help-seeking behaviors through an ethnographic approach within the alcohol recovery community. Her professional experience spans across a wide range of service-related, public policy, and scientific research areas and has included academic, corporate, governmental, and non-profit communication; technical assistance to local and state coalitions and partnerships; writing/editing; and graphic design. Ippolito is a doctoral student in the School of Communication in the FSU College of Communication and Information.

Juan S. Muhamad is an engaged researcher whose primary research interest focuses on investigating the effects of participatory intervention design, implementation, and application of information systems (i.e., platforms, interfaces, assistive technology) to music therapy-based interventions centered on mental health. More precisely, how vulnerable and disenfranchised populations engage with assistive technologies for health outcomes, as well as prosocial attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. To date, there exist empirical evidence of the benefits of participatory-based interventions for health outcomes, as well as the adoption of these by practicing clinicians, yet there is a substantial gap in understanding the benefits, barriers, and effects of music therapy-based mental health interventions that incorporate information technologies. His background includes training and over 10 years of experience working with under-served communities. His advanced training in group and community facilitation as a mental health professional has allowed him to assist in the translating of health campaigns to communities through the localization of campaign materials, including cultural and contextual translation. Muhamad has worked providing direct service to clients and families (direct care) and consulting with service providing organizations (referral and service design). In this capacity, he has worked on both federally funded projects (e.g., United Way Early Head Start Childcare Partnerships), as well as foundational, federal, and university sponsored activities. Muhamad has a B.A. in Anthropology and a certificate in African Diaspora studies, as well as a Masters in Mental Health Counseling and a Masters in Music Therapy. He is a doctoral student in the School of Information in the FSU College of Communication and Information.

Maedeh Agharazidermani is a doctoral student in information program at Florida State University. Her educational background covers both education and information technology. She is interested in data analytics and social informatics. Trust in the workplace and online environments, and the process of decision-making in different contexts fascinates her. She did some data mining projects related to cancer data. Also, she did her master’s dissertation on the perception of English language learners using Twitter as a learning tool. Currently, she is working with Dr. Rankin on her project on the underrepresentation of African-American women in computing. She is currently working as a data analyst at ischool.

Vivian Buchanan is a first-year doctoral student from New Orleans. Before venturing into Information studies, she spent a considerable amount of time as a music student. She studied opera performance in Boston for my undergraduate degree before returning to my home state to receive my master’s in Musicology. Buchanan is now interested in studying music librarianship, particularly autograph manuscripts and special collections within music libraries. Her current research focuses on digitization projects in cultural heritage centers and user behavior within digital collections.


Fatih Gunaydin is a doctoral student in School of Information at Florida State University. He interested in Data Curation, Research Data Management, Digitization of Cultural Heritage, Digital Libraries, and Linked Data. He got his Bachelor’s Degree in Information and Record Management from Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey in 2013. After two years of professional librarian experience on the digitization of cultural heritage materials, cataloging, and digital libraries. He moved to Denver and got his MLIS degree from University of Denver in 2019. His master’s dissertation was on the Assessment of Research Data Centers in Terms of Technical Services in the US. Currently, he is a doctoral student in FSU iSchool.

Muhamad Prabu Wibowo is currently a Ph.D. student and a teaching assistant in Information Science, Florida State University (2018 Cohort). He has interests in areas of Library and Information Science, Data Analytics (Knowledge Discovery from Data), Knowledge Management, Text Mining, Information Literacy, and Digital Library and Electronic Archives. He has published several books and scientific articles and journals in related fields. He earned his Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from University of Indonesia (Library and Information Science) in 2008 and Master’s Degree (M.S.) from a joint degree program of both Middle East Technical University (Information Systems) and Blekinge Institute of Technology (Computer Science) in 2014. His latest projects are the development of fisheries prices and fisheries logistics information systems in the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Republic of Indonesia and the development of several knowledge management systems and tools in University of Indonesia and IPC University. He is also active in several community service projects, related to the library and archives and information literacy program for people on how to find, search, and use information effectively, efficiently, and ethically.

Pooja Ichplani is skilled at designing and conducting participatory evaluations for programs, and is well-versed in using narrative inquiries, particularly the Most Significant Change Technique – a participatory monitoring and evaluation method. Her areas of interests include social and behavior change communication, public health, community media and humanitarian communication. Her present work seeks to understand the linkages between underlying social norms and contextual (interpersonal and community) networks that drive individual behavior. Informed by this and driven by communication theory, she aims to facilitate development of community-led, culturally compatible health interventions. Ichplani was awarded Gold Medal after graduating M.Sc. Development Communication and Extension which she pursued from Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi (India). Her master’s dissertation evaluated Video Volunteers as a participatory video collective and how it created spaces for micro- as well as macro-level changes, including normative shifts. This work was recognized by IAMCR 2019 as the winner of Schiller Award, and is published in academic platforms including The Journal of Development Communication and The Indian Journal of Home Science. She has also worked with Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Communication Programs and Kantar’s Public Division in India before joining the doctoral program at the School of Communication in FSU’s College of Communication and Information.