I am a scholar in human-computer interaction and assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where I direct the Security and Privacy Experiences (SPEX) research group.

I work in usable privacy and security. My focus is on understanding how people's security attitudes and social environments weigh in their decision to adopt - or not adopt - secure behaviors (such as sharing passwords securely or ignoring UX cues to scams and "fake news"). I employ a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods from social science, computer science, and design. My work also is informed by prior experiences as a journalist, IT/UX specialist, and social media manager.

In 2018-19, I created the SA-6 security attitude scale. SA-6 is a six-item, self-report measure of a person's engagement with and attentiveness to cybersecurity measures. You are free to use it with attribution. Also, see my SA-13 inventory and the associated working paper for items measuring resistance and concernedness.

If you would like to become an advisee of mine at UNC Charlotte, please send me your CV and a brief summary of what you can contribute to our research group. I have mentored almost 25 students, many from outside computer science. My research examines the experiences of people who differ from the "ideal user" a system was designed for. This statement adds details about my philosophy and plans to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia.

Recent news:

  • Excited to be a plenary speaker for the Charlotte AI Institute on Smarter Learning, Thurs. May 18, 2023! Slides of my talk, "An Introduction to Generative AI," are available at
  • For Fall 2023, I am teaching two face-to-face courses: Collaborative and Social Computing (ITIS 6010/ITSC 8010) and Usable Privacy and Security (ITIS 4420). The first is a graduate seminar course - students will present key CSCW papers in class and create a publishable research project. The second is an undergraduate course designed for active learning - students read articles and watch mini-lectures before class time, then participate in activities when we meet.