Student Successes

Cori Faklaris

M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction

What degree are you working toward?

I am a graduate student in the Department of Human-Centered Computing in the School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) at IUPUI. Right now, I am pursuing a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction. I plan to follow this with studies toward a doctoral degree in the same field.

I love Indianapolis. It’s the cultural and business hub of the state, and it’s been growing and diversifying in exciting ways.

Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?

First of all, I love Indianapolis. It’s the cultural and business hub of the state, and it’s been growing and diversifying in exciting ways. Second, as a social media consultant and former journalist at IndyStar.com, my personal and professional connections here are important to my research at the center of media, law and technology. Most importantly, this department has been very welcoming to a person like myself who is an adult returning student. Both the people and the program have helped me become a success and affirm my new identity as a graduate student.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

Getting the chance from my first semester to co-author a paper with Prof. Sara Anne Hook that was subsequently accepted for publication in the May 2016 edition of the Federal Lawyer, the magazine of the American Bar Association, and we were able to travel to present our work at the 2015 International Conference on Law in Athens, Greece.

What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?

It’s been a terrific place to see grow and change into a world-class city. We have still an affordable quality of life even for Downtown residents like myself, yet many of the cultural amenities of a coastal city like Portland or San Diego (except the ocean!). And I am still close enough to my Illinois-based family and friends here and on the East Coast to easily hop a flight or get in my car to see them.

Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.

My research sits at the center of media, law and technology, informed by my years of print journalism and digital media experience. In my academic studies and my work as a research assistant to SOIC Prof. Sara Anne Hook, I explore legal and ethical concerns with the use of social computing, mobile messaging and “social devices,” or the Internet of Things. We have been fortunate to co-author several well-received publications and presentations in the past year and are planning more.

I also am one of the SOIC students involved with the newly revived IUPUI chapter of Women in Technology. We aim to provide support and encouragement for students who are practicing or considering STEM fields of study, where we are still sadly underrepresented.

I try to make time for community service outside campus, too. Since last fall, I have been a member of the Engagement Committee for Indiana Landmarks, which is the largest private statewide historic-preservation organization in the country as well as my neighbor on the Near-Northside. I’ve been contributing my time and my expertise as they launch a new website, social media, email newsletters and offline efforts to boost involvement, membership and donations. I believe in their mission to help preserve and celebrate the state’s architectural history for this and future generations (I myself live in a historic building, the Mill No. 9 condo development off of Mass Ave.), and I admire their forward-thinking approach on digital engagement.

Finally, I try to give encouragement whenever I can to other professionals who are debating whether to return to school as an adult. I want to help pay forward the advice and support I received when I was mulling whether to make the jump back to college – it’s very scary and easy to get discouraged, because a campus environment is so different than the “real world.” One of the consulting jobs I’m most proud of taking on in my non-academic work is copy-editing the Lumina Foundation’s 2015-16 paper series on outcomes-based funding in higher education, which is partly aimed at boosting successful outcomes for adult returning students such as myself.