Our lab is virtual. That means that we not only study technology, but we also depend on technology to facilitate our interactions. While "traditional" lab models are derived from a single institution, our lab is built around people first. We bring together a diverse and talented group of individuals from all over with a strong desire to understand the emotional, psychological, and social aspects of being a human who interacts with technology. Because we're not tied to one institution, our lab members can be undergraduates, graduate students, or not even current students at all. Therefore, this group often does research "for fun" in their spare time. Calling themselves "research hobbyists", they are motivated by their sheer passion for research and the other people they get to interact with as part of the lab. Don't let this fool you; they are serious about conducting high-quality, impactful research.
Sometimes it's difficult to find opportunities to get involved in the research process. And sometimes it's even more difficult to find a group of people where you feel supported and understood. This is often exacerbated if you're from an underrepresented group. As a first-generation college student herself, Dr. Eikey understands the challenges to navigating the academic world. This lab creates a community around research that is not bound to a school and does not hinge on your understanding of "how things work" at a university. This is crucial to recruiting and retaining individuals from underrepresented groups in technology domains. Our lab members are diverse in many ways, which means they each bring unique and desperately needed perspectives to studying and designing technology.