Tamara Peyton

I found this year’s CSCW experience to be much more rewarding and professionally fulfilling than it was last year. This was due, in part, to the ability to present a ‘lightning talk’ of my poster at the conference, which enabled me to meet a few of the key senior CSCW scholar-researchers; people like Cliffe Lampe, who seemed to appreciate my paper’s approach and findings, based on his tweets and comments to my adviser. Additionally, the way the posters were setup this year during the reception, I was able to talk to fellow students presenting posters during lulls in the conference traffic. Also, because the scholarship funding enabled me to stay in the conference hotel, I was able to run into colleagues I’d met at CHI last year while waiting for the elevators one evening, and we ended up hatching ideas for a new project collaboration. The “Monday Lunch Group” activity broke the ice for me with some scholars from University of Washington who do similar work to my own. I also took the opportunity to live blog the tracks I found noteworthy, sending out frequent tweets on interesting ideas from the various sessions I attended.

In what was one of the larger highlights of the conference for me, I came to the attention of ACM Fellow and IBM Distinguished Scientist Michael Burke. After engaging a scholar from University of Maryland, who was presenting a paper on value-driven design in HCI, I ended up in a conversation with Michael, who later asked me to setup a conference call between him, myself and my advisor about the values framework in our mobile HCI work with marginalized populations. He was very enthusiastic and encouraging, and the experience of meeting and talking with him was eye opening and very exciting for a junior scholar like myself.

My attendance at the conference overall created new connections that I hope to leverage in the future, and opened my eyes to new ways I can contribute to research within the ACM community. None of these opportunities would have been possible without the financial support of ACM-W. I thank you for choosing me for the scholarship, and for supporting my professional development .