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People  •  Communication Studies  •  Assistant Professor

Michael Ann Devito

Departments

Communication Studies

Education

  • Ph.D., Media, Technology and Society, Northwestern University
  • M.A., Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University
  • B.A., Journalism and Mass Communications, The George Washington University

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Michael Ann Devito is an Assistant Professor in Khoury College of Computer Sciences, with a joint appointment in the Department of Communication Studies. She works in the areas of AI & Social Justice and Extraordinary HCI. Dr. Michael Ann DeVito (she/her) is a qualitative, interdisciplinary researcher and designer. She studies how users and communities understand and adapt to the challenges of AI and machine learning-driven sociotechnical environments. In the Human-Computer Interaction space, her focus includes folk understandings of and responsible/ethical approaches to human-centered AI/ML. In the Social Computing and Computer Mediated Communication spaces, her focus is participatory, community-centered system design values and evaluation work with users and communities who are marginalized on the basis of sex, gender, and neurotype.

Michael Ann most often acts as a member-researcher, employing her own positionality as a neurodivergent, transgender lesbian as a key tool in her grounded theory-based approach. Recent topics include adaptive self-defense for transfeminine content creators and educators experiencing harassment and shadowbanning; the impact of algorithmically driven curation and content moderation on mental health content and community on TikTok; and dating and connection apps for diverse populations of trans and/or neurodivergent sapphics. Her work has won multiple Best Paper Honorable Mention and Diversity and Inclusion awards in top Computer Science venues such as CSCW and CHI.

Michael Ann holds a PhD in Media, Technology, and Society from Northwestern University’s School of Communication, as well as degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication and Media and Public Affairs from George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. She has never once tried to pursue any degree that does not include an “and” in the name. She joins Northeastern University after completing a postdoctoral Computing Innovation Fellowship at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Information Science, sponsored by the Computing Research Association and NSF.