As an inveterate geek and professor, my life revolves around research, teaching, and spending time with my husband Everett. I also enjoy travel, hiking, photography, knitting, and birding. I tweet (fairly often) at @AndreaWiggins.
I spent my formative years in Lansing, Michigan. I was often asked to use smaller words. I went to Alma College and majored in math, mostly because it was an interesting challenge. I also minored in economics once I discovered that it wasn’t nearly as dull as high school made it out to be.
After graduation, I moved to Ann Arbor, MI, and joined AmeriCorps*VISTA as a volunteer coordinator for an adult literacy organization. I worked in nonprofit management for a few more years, at a nonprofit management support organization and an Equity theater. I got frustrated watching people struggle with technology, so I enrolled in the MS in Information at University of Michigan for the human-computer interaction specialization. While I worked on my MSI, I learned the craft of web analytics at an awesome web shop.
Pretty soon I decided that I wanted to earn a PhD, which I’d actually planned to do since I was 7 years old. I really enjoyed research, so after doing a thesis on hiring patterns in iSchools to finish my MSI, I moved to upstate New York for a PhD in Information Science & Technology at Syracuse University. I studied lots of interesting things, mostly related to online communities and open source, and wrote a dissertation on citizen science.
Upon graduating for the last time ever in 2012, I started a postdoc with DataONE, doing research and writing to support data management excellence in citizen science. I was co-appointed at University of New Mexico and Cornell University, working out of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which is an awesome place to be, especially for studying citizen science!
After finishing up my postdoc, I joined the faculty of the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park as an assistant professor in 2014. It was a great place to get started, but a great job with great colleagues isn’t always enough to make things work out. So this fall, I’ll join the Information Systems & Quantitative Analysis department of the College of Information Science & Technology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
- I love long-distance backpacking: 2010 NPT trail journal, 2011 NPT trail journal, 2012 CL50 trail journal
- I’ve cut back to about two dozen cameras, most of which are lo-fi and vintage film cameras. My photos have appeared in the New York Times, tech magazines, and juried art shows. They’ve also been used for posters, CD cases, vendor booths, book covers, and more.
- I learned how to knit at the public library when I was about 8 years old. I often knit during faculty meetings.
- I took up birding for my dissertation research and enjoyed it enough to keep at it. My eBird life list now includes over 480 species.
- The team mascots of my schools have included 4 animals (Bears, Wolverines, Lobos, Terrapins), 3 cultural stereotypes (Crusaders, Big Reds, Scots), 2 colors (Orange, Big Red), and 1 behavioral profile (Mavericks).