Hi! I am Fernando.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington advised by Prof. Patrick Shih. I work and collaborate with fellow Ph.D. students in the Proactive Health Lab, Societal Computing Lab (SoCo 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 (project catalogs: 2017 | 2018). During the summers, I have also mentored undergraduate students via our Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer program.
I conduct Human-computer Interaction (HCI) research with stigmatized and marginalized groups. I apply novel methods to conduct 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).
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.