I go by my middle name ‘Fernando’. I am a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington. I work and collaborate with fellow Ph.D. students in the Proactive Health Lab and in the Center for Computer-Mediated Communication. I am an associate instructor of interaction and user experience design courses for both undergraduate and graduate cohorts. I am currently a mentor for master’s degree students in the HCI/d program working on their final capstone projects (previous capstone project catalogs: 2017 | 2018). During the summers, I also mentor undergraduate students via our Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer program.
I enjoy conducting Human-computer Interaction (HCI) research with stigmatized and marginalized groups. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have experienced and witnessed the negative impact of stigma on physical and mental health. Thus, I have been exploring ways to design and develop technological interventions that could minimize the deleterious impact of stigma in people’s lives.
I apply novel methods to conduct HCI research as well as explore computer-mediated social support exchange with stigmatized populations. My collaborators and I have also explored and evaluated ways in which this type of research can be improved – both from a methodological and ethical perspective – at the time of working with such sensitive and stigmatized populations (more information about this topic can be found here).
Lately, I have conducted research on HIV-related stigma working with health care providers and people living with HIV. Ultimately, the goal is to co-design and assess the impact of technological interventions that could aid in coping with HIV-related stigma.