Monday, February 8, 2021
Benton Names New Senior Faculty Research Fellow
Today, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss named Simmons University Associate Professor Colin Rhinesmith as the new Benton Senior Faculty Research Fellow. Rhinesmith (pronouns: he/him) is the Director of the Community Informatics Lab in the Simmons School of Library and Information Science (iSchool). He is also the Editor-In-Chief of The Journal of Community Informatics.
Rhinesmith’s research is focused on the social, community, and policy aspects of information and communication technology, particularly in areas related to digital inclusion and broadband adoption. During his 2021-2022 fellowship with the Benton Institute, Rhinesmith will examine what he is calling "digital equity ecosystems" in communities across the United States.
"As the nation considers broadband as an essential tool to address our multiple crises," said Furniss, "the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society will continue to invest in research that aids data-driven policy decisions. We need our best thinkers focused on slowing the spread of COVID-19, rebuilding our economy, addressing inequity, and striving for a more just America. Colin's research helps both policymakers and practitioners design, implement, and evaluate digital inclusion and broadband adoption strategies."
Rhinesmith said, "For the past 40 years, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society has been a champion in promoting equitable access to information and communication technology. It's a great honor for me to re-join the Benton Institute as a Senior Faculty Research Fellow. I look forward to using this opportunity to investigate how digital inclusion coalitions across the country are responding to the triple challenges of COVID-19, growing economic inequality, and racial injustice facing communities in the U.S. without access to broadband internet at home."
Rhinesmith is affiliated with the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, as a member of its Scholar’s Council. Previously, Rhinesmith was a Google Policy Fellow and an Adjunct Research Fellow with New America’s Open Technology Institute. He was also a Faculty Associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Rhinesmith received his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Information in Society Fellow, a Researcher with the Center for People and Infrastructures, and a Research Scholar with the Center for Digital Inclusion.
Rhinesmith is the author of Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Broadband Adoption Initiatives (January 2016), co-author of Digital Inclusion Outcomes-Based Evaluation (May 2017), and co-author of Growing Health Digital Equity Ecosystems During COVID-19 and Beyond (November 2020).
The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people in the U.S. have access to competitive, High-Performance Broadband regardless of where they live or who they are. We believe communication policy - rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity - has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities.
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