University of Maryland


Jessica Vitak (PhD, Michigan State University) is an associate professor in UMD’s iSchool and affiliate professor in the Communication Department. Her research interests focus on how people are using new communication technologies to enhance their relationships, as well as how they manage the tensions between privacy and disclosure when interacting with others in these spaces. For more information, see her website or email her directly.

Tammy Clegg (PhD, Georgia Tech) is an associate professor is an associate professor in UMD’s iSchool and School of Education. Tammy’s research seeks to understand how we can help people come to see themselves in new ways by helping them form new relationships with information. Tammy works with Marshini and Jessica on a NSF grant developing privacy and security curriculum for elementary school children For more information, see her website.

Marshini Chetty (PhD, Georgia Tech) is an assistant professor in the Computer Science department at the University of Chicago. Her research evaluates how people manage different aspects of Internet use from Internet constraints such as data caps to Internet security and creating tools to help inform and empower Internet users, particularly in resource constrained settings. For more information, see her website.

Priya Kumar (PhD, University of Maryland) worked on the project during her PhD studies (2016-2021). As of Fall 2021, she is an assistant professor at Penn State’s iSchool. Priya’s research focuses on how parents and children negotiate technology and privacy. For more information, see her website.

Student Researchers

Elana Blinder is a doctoral student at UMD’s iSchool, with a background in elementary education and the design and evaluation of technology-enriched learning experiences. Her research interests focus on understanding the ways in which technology and collaborative design practices can empower children to identify, understand, and design solutions to problems impacting their communities.

Shriya Bansal is an undergrad at the University of Chicago. She is working to analyze commonly used apps in the Google Play store for helping children learn about online privacy and security.

Solomon Dworkin is a master’s student at the University of Chicago, pursuing a degree in computer science. He previously received his BA in sociology, also from the University of Chicago.

Lucy Li is an undergrad at the University of Chicago. She is working to study children’s, parents, and teachers needs to teach and learn about online privacy and security. Find Lucy’s personal website here.

Shai Slotky is a master’s student at the University of Chicago.

Antoine Vignon is an undergraduate student in the iSchool at the University of Maryland.

Project Updates

July 2022: Undergrad researcher Shriya Bansal published a short analysis of 5000 Android apps, finding that none are focused on educating children about privacy and security. Read more here.

Dec 2021: We published a white paper summarizing challenges teachers at our partner schools have when it comes to curriculum and training on privacy and security. Read it here.

Sept 2021: SPE4K welcomes two new PhD students to the project: Elana Blinder at UMD and Kelly Wagman at UChicago.

May 2021: Congrats to Priya Kumar, who graduated from UMD with her PhD! Priya is joining Penn State as an Assistant Professor this fall.

March 2021: Jessica gave a virtual talk at CMU’s Cylab on the overarching goals and outcomes from this project so far. See her slides here.

Dec 2020: Marshini shared our research with attendees at a Chicago Hack Night event.

Nov 2020: Check out our latest publication on enhancing privacy literacy for children, published (open access) in Media & Communication.

Jan 2020: We were awarded a NSF SaTC EDU grant to continue our research.

NSF Disclosure

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1951688.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.