Leah Lievrouw infused theoretical rigor and a sensitivity to social factors. Sociologist Melvin Pollner taught me ethnographic methods in a manner that sparked both my mind and heart. To my disappointment, in the last week before the final defense, Professor Pollner had to leave the committee. Susan Abler was an indispensible navigator of university forms and policies, and receptionist Lydia Doplemore always offered a smile. Justin Scott and David Cappoli resolved all my technological questions and problems with patience and skill.
Eighteen months of my doctoral studies were spent as a guest of the Department of Information Studies at the University of Tampere, Finland. The year in Finland was the pinnacle of my student career, and in my lifetime I will never forget the cold lakes, glistening winters, and eerie sunny nights of this beautiful northern country. I am indebted to this community for the warm welcome and intellectually stimulating and productive environment. Especially, Reijo Savolainen helped clarify the main concepts in my study and meticulously reviewed early drafts.
In Tampere I met my most like-minded collaborator, Jarkko Kari. We discovered a shared interest in the informational features of pleasurable and profound life experiences. Over working lunches at the university cafeteria we crafted a research umbrella that grounds and unifies our projects. Many other people made my tenure overseas wonderful. Thank you U of L.
Go Cards for life! With specific regards to my experience, and the work produced, during my doctoral program; my time at the University of Southern California has truly been transformational. My initial resistance to the ethos of the program evolved into appreciation, as considerable changes were made institutionally, as well as by me, on a personal level. I am truly grateful for all the staff and faculty I have interacted with at USC at-large, and the Rossier School of Education, specifically.
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Laura Romero is hands-down the best program coordinator anyone can ask for. Since day one, I know that myself and every other graduate student has been appreciative of her work and guidance through the administrative tasks required of us. I also want to thank Cynthea Jackson at the Race and Equity Center, who has played a vital role in helping with scheduling and disseminating my letters of recommendations in a timely manner.
Another key figure at the Race and Equity Center has been Dr. Charles H. Davis, who has offered authentic support and a shared appreciation for fried chicken that has helped cultivate a caring culture for Black graduate students. My time at USC has also been filled with the support of friends and allies in and across various programs. To the Latinx collective, it has been a pleasure sharing this experience you all. Specifically, future Dr. Cynthia Villareal deserves major credit for being that person that I could share snacks and jokes with during our first year in the program.
Cynthia and Elias game nights were also great times. Also shout out to Dr.
Arely Avilez, another member of the Brownies who has made this experience far more enjoyable. I am also greatly appreciative of the mentorship and friendship of Drs. Roman Liera and Eric Felix who have been incredible role models in the program. I also need to thank Dr. Ann Kim who worked closely with me during my early years in the PhD program, and was in many ways a second advisor for me.
Last, but most certainly not least, my dear friend Dr. Hadass Moore. I am not sure I could think of a better, and more thoughtful friend that I have made in my time at USC. Your allyship on social issues and ability to provide a unique perspective and wit on life topics was instrumental in shaping my journey. Now, for my riders.
The Slaughterhouse. It has been this growing community of Black scholars that has truly changed the culture and made my experience in the program truly worth it. To the Super Six, future Drs. I also need to shout out future Drs. Eupha Jeanne Daramola and Nicole Yates who are foundational to our community, and who also let me distract them when I was on campus and did not feel like working.
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To the homie, future Dr. Sy Stokes, I appreciate you coming through in the clutch with your insights and help in various ways. Even if the Warriors dynasty is over, you are still a champ. Future Dr. Martin Gamboa, my Fortnite partner, and reliable friend who is always down to hook me up with free food.
I am thankful for our friendship and always enjoy our wide ranging conversations. Also, my dear friend, future Dr. Liane Hypolite, I really want to be like her when I grow up. She accomplishes more in a week than I do in a year, and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to kind of learn from her ways. My cohort, Dr.
Marissiko Wheaton, we made it. We walked in together and we got out together! It has been an incredible journey and I appreciate all the support she has shown along the way. To the godfather of the Slaughterhouse, Dr. Antar Tichavakunda words cannot describe how important his mentorship has been to me over the years. Having Antar as a mentor has been critical to my personal and professional development, and no one can ask for a better friend to help them through this process.
Rounding out the Slaughterhouse, of course, is my friend, my sister, my ace, TheMachine, future Dr. Ashley Stewart. This dissertation does not exist without your support as a friend and insights as a scholar. I cannot convey how important her presence as a fellow mentee to Dr. Tynes has been over the last three years has been. Whenever I needed help on a paper, or just needed someone I could vent to, my first text was to Ashley. In sum, the Slaughterhouse, as my community of friends has been instrumental in the production of this dissertation directly and indirectly.
I cannot thank this group enough.
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To my incredible committee, the amazing group of scholars who molded my academic journey, and whose intellectual fingerprints are all over this dissertation. I could not ask for a better group of experts, who not only lent their expertise, but also their affirmations in my ability. I appreciate what she brought to this study, and I am excited to see her academic career unfold.
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I also want to thank my ghost-committee member, Dr.