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Athena SWAN @KMi Celebrating The OU's 50

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU)'s Athena SWAN award is a national charter mark that recognises the advancement of gender equality in higher education, encompassing representation, progression and success for all. KMi received its Athena SWAN Bronze Award in the November 2017 award round (http://kmi.open.ac.uk/news/article/18975) and since then, new initiatives, policies and procedures have been set up, raising awareness and changing culture within the lab. In this OU's 50 Celebrations, KMi wants to celebrate all its female members of staff, for their invaluable contributions to the lab, to the university, to the higher education sector, and to science!


Dr. Anna De Liddo

US Navy grant / leading KMi's research strategy / research work on collective intelligence

Dr. De Liddo's role is a Senior Academic in KMi conducting high quality research, contributing to the internal management and life of the lab and attracting new funding. Dr De Liddo recently secured a prestigious individual fellowship from the Global Office of Naval Research from the US. This is the ever first project awarded by the ONR Global to the OU.

Her research focuses on the socio-technical factors influencing the design and uptake of Collective Intelligence infrastructures. These are online environments which seek to improve collective awareness of the changing environment, and collective capacity to make the best use of expertise to problem solve, and adapt appropriately. She has particular interests in knowledge construction through discourse, and the role of technology in scaffolding dialogue and argumentation in contested domains, in which there is more than one point of view. You can see a video of her recent research above.

Tracie Farrell - Photograph

Tracie Farrell

Tracie Farrell is a research associate working with the Web Science research group at KMi. Her current research interests include the impact of new technologies on society and culture, in particular, the opportunities and challenges presented by communication and interaction at scale. Her research about online misogyny within manosphere was recently covered by BBC Radio 4 and WIRED an international magazine that focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture. Tracie is also a diversity champion, strongly involved with the work of Q:alliance (a charity that provides support for the LGBTQ+ people who live, work and play in Milton Keynes) and in the organisation of community events like MKPride 2019!

Anita Khadka - Photograph

Anita Khadka

Anita is a PhD candidate in KMi. She works on recommender systems for discovering scientific publications that are relevant to researchers. She is currently working on understanding natural texts used by authors in their research publications for designing academic recommender systems. Her research work was one of the selected works in the London hopper colloquium 2017 https://www.bcs.org/content/conEvent/10987.

Dr. Miriam Fernandez - Photograph

Dr. Miriam Fernandez

Dr. Fernandez is a Senior Research Fellow and Athena SWAN champion for KMi, leading key initiatives to increase equality diversity in higher education; from the organisation of international events to increase the visibility of female scientist, to championing and mentoring female colleagues, to contributing, with her research, to address the problems of online hate directed to women. Her research, at the intersection of the Web Science (WS) and Semantic Web communities (SW), has obtained multiple best paper awards, with the most recent one in 2018 for her work on understanding online extremism.

Jane Whild - Photograph

Jane Whild

Jane leads the Institute's finance strategy, human resource and administrative and communications operations and for her campaigning on equal representation and citizen engagement. In 2014-2017 she coordinated KMi's MK:Smart project. In May 2019, she stood as a local election candidate in Milton Keynes for the Women's Equality Party. She is a member of the Fawcett Society's Milton Keynes Group who carry out local research and stage public campaigns to encourage more women to vote. Jane is a National Ambassador for the 50:50 Parliament #AskHerToStand campaign, a Trustee of Healthwatch Milton Keynes, and a member of the Leadership Group of Citizens:MK.

Alba Morales - Photograph

Alba Morales

Alba Morales joined KMi lab last year as a PhD student and her research goal is to analyse the privacy issues that Information Systems face when exchanging data with public services, she aims to propose a solution that only allows valuable and minimally sensitive information to be exchanged keeping personal data undisclosed and protecting citizens' privacy.

This year she attended the International Semantic Web Research Summer School (ISWS 2019) and presented the initial results of her PhD research, winning the first prize for the best Newcomer Poster.

She is passionate about information security and data privacy fields and has plans to collaborate with education institutes in Ecuador to encourage girls to pursue a career in information security and cybersecurity.

Christina Myers - Photograph

Christina Myers

After three years of research for her Ph.D at the Knowledge Media institute and participatory studies involving 300+ people, Christina created the first initiative that enables anyone to design educational games on social issues in 2 days. Participants are mostly first-time game designers from underrepresented groups in the gaming sector; women, people of colour, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

On the side of her Ph.D Christina has been involved in policy and at local levels to define how online education could be used to impact people positively. She has co-founded a leadership institute, called the Omnis Institute, and was appointed as Special Advisor to Dr. Alaa Murabit, one of the 17 United Nations SDGs advocates (Sustainable Development Goals). Through her activism, Christina has enabled the creation of 190+ games on social topics. She is now taking her work in developing inclusive online education to rural Colombia where she is implementing, with local leaders, the first online gaming school for marginalised women, which is supported by UN Women. Christina has also created the 'Leadership in Action' programme in Colombia, a community-led leadership programme that she launched in collaboration with multinational Unilever.

For her work Christina has been awarded the 'European Women in Games Hall of Fame', the 'Rising Star' award by Inclusive Tech Alliance, was given the prestigious title of 'Women in Game Ambassador' by WIGJ (part of the Google tech maker initiative), and was shortlisted for the 'Diversity leader of the year' by TLA and 'Diversity star' by Develop: games.

Nancy Pontika - Photograph

Nancy Pontika

Nancy Pontika holds a PhD in Open Access from the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University in Boston. Her main areas of interest are open access, open science, responsible research and innovation and the role of text and data mining of open access scientific literature. She advocates for open access, machine access to open access research papers and the promotion of open science for the advancement of research. She is currently an Open Access Aggregation Officer at CORE, a service aggregating millions of open-access research papers. She has previously worked for the Repositories Support Project (RSP) and as a repository manager at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has been involved in five European projects, FOSTER and FOSTER Plus, OpenMinTeD, FIT4RRI and ON-MERRIT. She also serves as the Editor of the Open Access Directory, and a contributing tagger for the Open Access Tracking Project.

Nancy is the first author of the Open Science Taxonomy, which has more than 8,000 views and 800 downloads on Figshare, while the corresponding paper has received more than 47 citations according to Google citation counts since 2015. She has also built the Introduction to Open Science course for the FOSTER project and the Introduction to Text and Data Mining course for the OpenMinTeD project. The latter is addressed to non technical research support members of staff and aims, with practical exercises, to assist them with understanding the concept of Text and Data Mining, a field gradually gaining attention from funders and researchers.This past June, Nancy was one of the authors who won the Vannevar Bush Best Paper Award for the article "Do authors deposit on time? Tracking open access policy compliance", which was presented at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. In July, she published the article "Roles and jobs in the open research scholarly communications environment: analysing job descriptions to predict future trends", which has already more than 900 views and 200 downloads.

Dr. Lara Piccolo - Photograph

Dr. Lara Piccolo

Dr. Piccolo is a Research Fellow and computer scientist addressing human conditions such as values, motivations, etc, in technology design. She has designed inclusive technology for people to be more aware of their energy consumption, to report issues in democratic processes, etc. She was part of SoapBox Science in 2018 demonstrating a tangible (and funny technology) to help kids to make healthier food choices. She also loves going to schools to tell boys and girls that computer science is far beyond coding because more and more technology influences everything we do.

Lara at SoapBox Science

Agnese Chiatti - Photograph

Agnese Chiatti

KMi Robots Logo

Agnese's research is focused on how to make robots more suitable to assist people with their everyday tasks. She is particularly interested in how robots can visually learn how to represent their environment through experience (https://robots.kmi.open.ac.uk).

Recently, she was part of the organising team for the 1st International Robotic competition to be held in a shopping mall (the 2019 SciRoc Challenge: https://sciroc.eu). As part of this initiative, she coordinated the main social media channels and the volunteering scheme for the event, recruiting STEM ambassadors and practitioners from diverse backgrounds (43% of the them were female!).

SciRoc Competition at CMK - Group photograph

While studying at Penn State University, she had the opportunity to attend the 2018 CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop, an amazing outreach event for Graduate Students to exchange their experiences about being Women in Tech to be advised by many female tutors and role models from both industry and academia. Since then she has been on the lookout for more chances to advocate for Women in Tech. On November 9, she will be one of the panelists for the "Women and Technology" talk, one of the events of the Festival of Technology at Politecnico di Torino (Italy).

Audrey Ekuban - Photograph

Audrey Ekuban

Audrey obtained her MSc in Data Science in 2018 from Goldsmiths University, London, and since January 2019 she is a research assistant at KMi. Her passion is Learning Analytics and ensuring that existing research and developed systems follow ethical principles! As part of the Institute of Coding she is currently exploring how the Learning Analytics Dashboard of the Open University (OUAnalyse) can be deployed in different educational institutions. This includes, researching datasets, creating data specifications, and doing the corresponding software design and development to generate data mappings!

Retno Larasati - Photograph

Retno Larasati

Retno is a PhD student in KMi working on interaction with explainable AI systems and how it can affect trust. With her background in Machine Learning, she recognised the potential of explanation in future AI interaction and implementation. She was a STEM Ambassador and member of KCL Women in STEM, that encourage girls and women to participate in science.

On the side of her PhD, she tries to start an education start-up to help early-age education teachers in Indonesia, Qeedee. This start-up won 2nd place in national startup competition education category, The NextDev, and top 20 start-up in LPDP Entrepreneur Summit. She was also selected to participate in OU Accelerate, as part of Student Entrepreneurship Competition.

Dr Danica Vukadinovic - Photograph

Dr Danica Vukadinovic

Dr vukadinovic is a Senior Research Fellow at KMi. She recently published an open access book on predicting electricity peaks (with two female co-authors, girls power!) in SpringerBrief Mathematics of Planet Earth series, https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-28669-9. She is Associate Editor of Royal Society Open Science, STEM ambassador, and loves going to schools and colleges to talk about origami, the beauty of maths and programming.

Venetia Brown - Photograph

Venetia Brown

Venetia is a second-year PhD research student at KMi. Her background is in education; primarily English language teaching, adult literacy and supporting students through learning technologies. Her research focuses on the role that interactive web broadcasts play in enhancing students' sense of community, engagement and learning within undergraduate STEM modules.

Harriett Cornish - Photograph

Harriett Cornish

With a portfolio of 50+ projects to her name, Harriett has been leading the Graphic Designs of KMi for the last 21 years. Driven by her creativity and vision, she is able to capture complex concepts and futuristic research ideas in an understandable, approachable, and attractive manner. Her artistic designs have driven the success and impact stories of of KMi and the OU! She is also responsible for the general look and feel of the lab, bringing a warm, friendly and exciting atmosphere not only the KMi's online presence, but also to our physical one.


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The Open University
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