Stephanie Carnell, Ph.D.
First Native American woman to earn a Ph.D. from CISE
Brianna Posadas, Ph.D. First Latina to earn a Ph.D. from CISE
SPOTLIGHT: TWO WOMEN MAKE HISTORY AT UF This was a barrier-breaking year for the CISE Ph.D. program. This summer, two women made departmental history when they graduated: Stephanie Carnell was the first Native American to earn a Ph.D. in department history, and Brianna Posadas was the first Latina to earn a Ph.D. in department history. According to the Taulbee Survey, which started documenting Ph.D. graduates by race and gender in 2013, only one American Indian or Alaska Native woman has received
a Ph.D. in computing from 2013 to 2019. This would make Dr. Carnell, the second Native woman to receive a Ph.D. in computing nationwide since 2013. Dr. Carnell graduated with a doctoral degree in Human-Centered Computing (HCC) and was a member of the Virtual Experience Research Group, which is directed by Benjamin Lok, Ph.D., a professor. Dr. Carnell’s research investigates how we can use virtual humans to help medical students improve their communication skills with patients.
14 UF | DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER & INFORMATION SCIENCE & ENGINEERING
Her dissertation explored how medical and healthcare students communicate with virtual humans by studying their message production, or how they craft the questions they ask virtual humans. “I looked into general patterns of students’ message production with virtual humans and whether providing students with example messages could affect their message production in later interactions,” Dr. Carnell said. Dr. Posadas, who wants to pursue agricultural technology policy and