Graduate Students

Kaylee Kruzan – Kaylee studies emotion regulation and anxiety mitigation in online and mediated contexts. She is primarily interested in how new communication technologies can be used to initiate or maintain positive behavior change, specifically in the areas of mental health and wellbeing. Kaylee has explored intervention models for culminating resilience in depressed populations and is currently involved in research examining the efficacy of VR-based interventions to help individuals regulate emotion arousal and triggering situations. She can be reached at

Samuel Hardman Taylor – Sam studies how people connect and relate to one another over digital media, with specific interests in (1) personal relationships and technology and (2) cyberbullying. His research explains how people use mobile phones and social media for interpersonal communication as well as the psychological and social consequences of mediated interpersonal communication. Sam also studies interventions for reducing cyberbullying on social media. Sam has accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow Sam on Twitter at @samuelhardman

Franccesca Kazerooni – Franccesca is primarily interested in researching intergroup dynamics and communication in on- and offline spaces.  Additionally, Franccesca is interested in examining the ways in which marginalized individuals represent their identities on social media, and on creating designs to mitigate cyberbullying. She now works in User Research at Airbnb.

Bin Xu – Bin is primarily interested in bridging system designs and communication theories by exploring system affordances for various communication goals.  Bin recently works on designing ephemerality for communication systems with an emphasis on understanding the effects of ephemeral materiality of media on users’ communication goals and processes. He is now a user experience research at Facebook. Bin’s website is:

Pamara Chang – Pamara is interested in Health and Interpersonal Communication, both in FtF settings and CMC, with a special emphasis on perceptions of health-related disclosures and its effects. Her research interests include the effects of social media and the impact of social networks on health attitudes and behaviors. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at University of Cincinnati. Advisor: Natalie Bazarova.

Megan French – Megan is interested in how social media and technology shapes and reflects peoples’ sense of self and their relationships, with a focus on how people construct and convey their identity online.  She is currently completing her doctorate with Jeff Hancock at Stanford University.

David Markowitz – David’s research interests include the psychology of language, deception, and computer-mediated communication. He is currently completing his doctorate with Jeff Hancock at Stanford University.

Erin Spottswood – Erin’s research investigates how people pursue traditional communication goals via new communication technologies.  She graduated in 2014 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Portland State University in the Department of Communication.  Thesis title: Nudging privacy on social network sites: How contextual cues and surveillance primes affect disclosure behavior and privacy setting decisions.  Advisor: Jeff Hancock.

Sunny Kim – Sunny graduated in 2013 and is currently a post-doctoral associate at Dartmouth College.  Thesis title: Sleep is proven to improve your health – try this special pillow: An information processing approach to health advertorials. 2013. Advisor: Jeff Hancock.

Madeline Smith – Madeline was a member of the Lab between 2010 and 2012, and is currently completing her doctoral dissertation with Jeremy Birnholtz at Northwestern University.

Lindsay Reynolds – Lindsay is now a post-doctoral associate at Cornell’s Department of Information Science.  Her dissertation investigates how the visual features of user interface designs can help make otherwise invisible actions visible, reducing ambiguity around group members’ roles. Advisor: Jeremy Birnholtz.

Jamie Guillory – Jamie’s research focuses on how new forms of technology affect perceptions and behavior. In particular, she studies the way that deception and perceptions of trustworthiness and competence are affected by the structure of social networking websites. Jamie graduated in 2012 and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at University of California – San Francisco. Thesis title: Social support, psychosocial resources and eating: Using social media to encourage healthy eating. 2012. Advisor: Jeff Hancock.

Crystal Jiang – Crystal’s research focuses on psychological and relational processes in computer-mediated communication contexts. She is primarily interested in exploring how socio-emotional information is composed, exchanged and understood in cyberspace. Thesis title: Absence makes the heart grow fonder: Behavioral adaptation and idealized perception in interpersonal media. 2011. Advisor: Jeff Hancock.

Amy Gonzales – Amy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University – Bloomington. Thesis title: The intensifying effect of computer-mediated communication on identity shift: Perceptions of audience size, acquaintanceship, and self-presentation certainty as indicators of self-concept change. 2010. Advisor: Jeff Hancock.

Catalina Toma – Catalina is an Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her research examines how people understand and relate to one another when interacting via communication technologies. Thesis title: Affirming the self online: Motives, costs, and benefits. 2010. Advisor: Jeff Hancock.

Jorge Pena – Jorge is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Thesis title: The puppet and the puppeteer: Priming in online contexts. 2007. Advisor: Jeff Hancock.

Zuoming Wang – Zuoming is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Texas. Thesis title: Social identification and interpersonal perception in computer-mediated communication: What you do versus who you are in virtual groups. 2007. Advisor: Jeff Hancock.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dominic DiFranzo – Dr. Dominic DiFranzo’s research involves collaborating with colleagues across the social sciences and humanities to translate the tools and methods from data science, e-science and informatics to address their research needs and purposes. This includes working with a wide array of research groups and projects including large-scale social network analysis, experimental ethnography, open government data, and web observatories.  He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was a member of the Tetherless World Constellation. Dominic has accepted an assistant professor position in the department of computer science and engineering at Lehigh University.

Philipp Masur – Dr. Philipp K. Masur was a visiting scholar in the Social Media Lab at Cornell University. His research focuses on different aspects of computer-mediated communication, online media use, and empirical research methods. Currently, he is investigating privacy perceptions and self-disclosure processes in different online environments. Philipp received his M.A. in Communication Studies from the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, Germany and his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. Philipp is currently a postdoc at the Department of Communication at the Johaness Gutenberg University.  Find his website here.


Jeff Hancock – Jeff was a Founding Director of the Cornell Social Media Lab and a Professor in the Department of Communication and Department of Information Science until 2015, when he moved to Stanford University.  He is interested in social interactions mediated by information and communication technology, with an emphasis on how people produce and understand language in these contexts.

Jeremy Birnholtz – Jeremy was a Cornell professor and Social Media Lab member from 2008 to 2012. He has since moved to Northwestern University, and started a new SML there.  His research focuses on human-computer interaction issues, such as attention, information sharing, and collaboration through the use of technology.


Nisarg Patel – Nisarg worked as the Social Media Lab’s web developer and applications programmer. He joined the lab while finishing his Master of Science in Computer Science from Binghamton University. His interests include dynamic web technologies, cloud computing, machine learning, and data analytics. Nisarg will be working on technical development and maintenance of web applications for both the Social Media TestDrive and the Truman Platform.