Hello, I am Fernando! I am a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. I am a member of the GroupLens Research Center working with Profs. Dr. Lana Yarosh and Dr. Stevie Chancellor. I obtained a PhD degree in Informatics from Indiana University’s Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. I also hold a Master’s degree in Informatics from the University of Iowa’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics.
I conduct Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research with stigmatized and marginalized groups. I apply novel methods to conduct research remotely as well as explore computer-mediated social support exchange with stigmatized populations. Fellow researchers 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 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. Lately, I have been doing research on the co-design of technological interventions that could aid in coping with HIV-related stigma.
Teaching & Service
I have been a lecturer of Introduction to Human-computer Interaction Design for undergraduate level as well as an Associate Instructor (AI) of human-computer interaction and user experience design courses for both undergraduate and graduate cohorts. I have also been an Associate Instructor (AI) for master’s degree students in the HCI/d program working on their final capstone projects (sample catalogs: 2017 | 2018 | 2019).
I have also mentored underrepresented undergraduate students via the i3Program at the University of Pittsburgh under the guidance of Profs. Kayla Booth and Elizabeth Eikey. I have also mentored undergraduate students via the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer program under the guidance of Prof. Katie Siek. I am also a founding member of the Luddy Ambassador Graduate Program.