Lynette Yarger

Lynette Yarger

Administrative Fellow, Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO, 2018-2019

Penn State Teaching Fellow, 2014

Associate Professor

College of Information Sciences and Technology

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Research Interests

I earned my Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems from the Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. My current research examines under-represented IT jobseekers’ perceptions of fairness and justice in AI software for talent acquisition. Recently completed projects include the design of a culturally compelling platform to promote health and wellness for Black college students (myhealthimpact.org), and a critical interpretive study that profiles the IT career pathways of Black men. In earlier research, I designed, implemented, and evaluated community computing projects with small businesses and faith-based institutions in economically challenged neighborhoods in Atlanta, West Philadelphia, and Harrisburg, PA. My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Verizon Wireless, the Penn State Africana Research Center, and the Penn State Social Science Research Institute.

As a critical scholar, I'm not content with simply contemplating life. I want to reflect and act upon the world in order to transform it to a more equitable place. This is the essence of praxis, which philosopher Hannah Arendt describes as "the highest and most important level of the active life". This means that in addition to publishing my research in scholarly journals, I seek to use knowledge gained from my research to facilitate social justice and empowerment for historically underserved populations. I actively disseminate knowledge by speaking at community and professional events that serve non-academic audiences. I also seek to change the world by cultivating the next generation of ICT professionals. I do so by serving as a faculty mentor in several organizations committed to equal opportunity and maximizing diversity including the KPMG Future Diversity Leadership program, the iSchool Inclusion Institute for Information Sciences (i3), and the Penn State FastStart mentoring program. I also use my classroom as a space for engaging students in meaningful discussions about the ways in which ICT offers both freedom and oppression.

My research contributes to two discourse communities: 1) socio-technical policy interventions for redressing digital inequality, and 2) critical and feminist perspectives on the intersection of gender, race and class in shaping digital inequality. My scholarly manuscripts have been published in Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Information Systems Journal, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, New Media and Society, and Information, Communication and Society. My work has been presented at leading information systems and communications conferences including the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), the Association of Computer Machinery Special Interest Group on Management Information Systems (ACM SIGMIS), the International Federation of Information Processing Conference Working Group 8.2 (IFIP 8.2), Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC), the Hawaiian International Conference on Systems Science (HICSS), and the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS). I have also published numerous peer reviewed book chapters and encyclopedia articles. My research and teaching have been supported by the National Science Foundation, as well as the Africana Research Center and the Social Science Research Institute at the Pennsylvania State University.