Dr. Andrea H. Tapia  Personal Page
Curriculum Vitae
Director of Graduate Programs
Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology
Affiliate Assistant Professor, Department of Labor Studies and Industrial Relations
Affiliate Appointment with the Sociology Department
Affiliate Appointment with the Science, Technology and Society Program
Member of the Institute for Information Policy, Department of Telecommunications
301B IST Building
College of Information Sciences and Technology
Penn State University
University Park, State College, PA 16802
1.814.883.3463 (mobile)
atapia @

Personal Statement

I decided to become a traveler. Just as a traveler leaves her home and moves between countries and cultures, I have left my sociological home behind and have made my way to other academic spaces. After taking my first tentative steps outside sociology I learned that I had been gifted with powerful tools that were portable, knowledge and skills in social research methodology and social theory that were applicable to a myriad of focal, topical areas of study. Successful travelers also possess dynamic cultural flexibility in which they learn new languages and cultural behaviors applicable to their current location and assimilate elements of each into their own core value system. I expected to travel to far off academic lands and assimilate as best I could into a new discipline, however, what I found was inter-disciplinarity and many more travelers like myself. There are quite a lot of us living between the disciplines.I see myself as an academic with expertise in social research methods and social theory, who applies that to the study of information and communication technologies (ICT) and their context of development, implementation and use. People like me are to be found in business schools, information schools, library schools, communication schools, and multitudes of smaller programs such as science and technology studies. Some of us have accepted labels as social informaticians or socio-technical theorists, but this does not completely capture the range.I have found a home in the College of IST because of its central belief in inter-disciplinarity. I am unique to IST because of the sociological tools I bring to the table and my central focus on groups and institutions relative to their take up, uses and issues with ICT.


3C Informatics Applied Research Center

3C informatics is an Applied Research Center housed inside the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University.
We are a confederation of loosely and tightly coupled faculty, graduate students and community organizations all aimed at studying and developing strategies for how technologies could improve and empower physical communities, their leaders and their organizations. We are concerned with the ways in which social, cultural, political, economic, and organizational structures impact and are impacted by information technologies.  We are highly interdisciplinary team drawing from several academic fields such as; information science, information systems, computer science, software engineering, social sciences, planning, development studies, and sociology, to answer our questions.We believe that our research has potential to help communities make use of large amounts of citizen-produced data, which in turn may improve the speed, quality, and efficiency of governmental and organizational response, leading to more lives saved (click on the link above to visit the Website).