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Collette Sosnowy / Environmental Psychology

Graduate Student Researcher
January 2012 – May 2013

Project: Participatory Patienthood and Personal Health Blogs
NML Award: The History and Public Health Award (September 2012)

Collette Sosnowy

Collette Sosnowy is a Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center, currently writing her dissertation about blogs written by women with Multiple Sclerosis. Collette came to the New Media Lab to develop her skills as an online researcher and designed the methodology for the project, and collected and analyzed the data during her time at the Lab. She viewed exploring and learning many new software programs and digital tools as part of the research project itself and is currently at work on a manuscript about the pedagogical practice of conducting digital research. Ultimately, Collette made use of WordPress, SurveyGizmo and proboards.com to recruit participants, conduct an ethnographic content analysis of blogs, a survey of bloggers, and an online discussion with bloggers. By using a collection of tools, Collette was able to conduct a multi-dimensional project.

Joining the Lab allowed Collette to connect with similarly-minded, interdisciplinary researchers and it exposed her to a host of new tools and ideas. With the help of the NML staff, faculty and fellow students, she quickly developed the skills to consider herself a “digital scholar.” Collette is currently an internet research fellow at the Graduate Center (2012-2013). Inspired in part by the collaboration at the Lab, she co-founded the Internet Research Team, a collective of CUNY students, faculty, and staff interested in digital scholarship, particularly exploring, discussing, and using online and digital research methods. She is a former writing fellow at Brooklyn College (2011-2012) and a former health education fellow at the Graduate Center (2008-2009). Collette has extensive experience in qualitative research and has worked on projects for the New York State Department of Health, Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the New York Academy of Medicine, among others. She has also taught at Brooklyn College and Hunter College, and worked as a journalist and editor.