My research focuses on ways of enlarging access to the public square by helping journalists think computationally, helping computer scientists become better collaborators, and ensuring that digital media tools work better for all. My approach has focused on engaging students in interdisciplinary computing collaborations aimed at creating civic media that address real community problems.

My current research collaboration, Trenton Makes Music: Cultural Memory, Identity and Economic Development, involves the creation of a digital archive, podcast and social platform documenting the contributions of Trenton music professionals to the music industry, and the role of music in Trenton's economic and cultural development. My partners in this endeavor are Dr. Teresa Marrin Nakra of TCNJ's Music and Interactive Multimedia departments, and singer Sarah Dash. We have been fortunate to attract support from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and several sources within TCNJ. Our hope is that this project will support efforts to create culturally responsive curricula, to preserve local history and to foster heritage tourism. We also see it as a potential springboard for research on the role of music education in violence prevention. This project began as a First Seminar class 2014, and is ongoing

I am also co-pi for CABECT: Collaborating Across Boundaries to Engage Undergraduates in Collaborative Thinking,which was funded by National Science Foundation grant 1141170. The PI for the grant is Dr. S. Monisha Pulimood, chair of the TCNJ Computer Science Department. The CABECT project tested the hypothesis that students can become more deeply engaged in computational thinking when collaborating with community members to address a real problem. Our pilot project, attempted to make it easier for affordable housing developers and urban farmers to get information on the real and potential pollutants in their soil. The curricular model for the Trenton Makes Music Project draws from this research. This project began in 2012 and will conclude in 2017.

A list of publications and presentations, as well as information on past research projects is available on my research page.

Sarah Monisha Pulimood, Kim Pearson, and Diane C. Bates. 2016. A Study on the Impact of Multidisciplinary Collaboration on Computational Thinking. In Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education (SIGCSE '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 30-35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2839509.2844636

Kathleen Webber and Kim Pearson. Community Engaged Learning in Journalism and Multimedia Courses Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication, AEJMC, Summer, 2015

President Obama delivers his valedictory State of the Union Address, BlogHer, January 12, 2016
Of Margo Jefferson's "Negroland" November 15, 2015
What I learned from meeting Maya Angelou: Something is always wanting to come May 28, 2014

Please read and rate our proposal to the Knight News Challenge

With my collaborators on the Interactive Journalism Institute for Middle Schoolers I am applying for a grant from the Knight News Challenge to scale up our demonstration program to additional school and community settings throughout Mercer County New Jersey. ┬áThe demonstration project, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation in Computing […]

How stories and network science could improve educational equity and diversity

[This thinkpiece is from 2003.] In all of the research, debate and analysis surrounding affirmative action, I have become convinced that we are missing a golden opportunity to be more innovative in our thinking about ways of achieving educational equality. I believe that if we analyze some of the voluminous data we have using emerging […]

What should journalists know of philosophy?

Carlin Romano, critic at large for the Chronicle of Higher Education and former reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, has taken heat for his recent essay arguing that more philosophers ought to be taking up journalism as a focus of inquiry, and more aspiring journalists ought to be taking a class like the one he has […]

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