Highlight 2015: Kim Pearson on computational journalism
Kim Pearson is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Professional Writing at TCNJ. She received her AB in Politics from Princeton University, and her MA in Journalism from New York University. Before coming full-time to TCNJ in 1990, she was a science writer – first for the Fox Chase Cancer Center and then for AT&T. There, she was among those responsible for explaining the underlying science and practical applications of technologies we now take for granted, such as mobile telephony, high speed data networks, and holography.
At TCNJ, Paarson has taught a broad range of courses in the Journalism, English, African American Studies, Interactive Multimedia and Liberal Learning programs. She co-founded the Interactive Multimedia major, along with Ursula Wolz and Phillip Sanders. Most recently, she chaired the Department of African American Studies. She has served as advisor to a number of campus organizations, including the TCNJ Signal, Ed@TCNJ, and the TCNJ chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. In 2000, Pearson was selected as the Carnegie Foundation/CASE Professor of the Year for New Jersey.
Pearson’s current interdisciplinary research and practice is focused on creating and sustaining models for civic engagement in an environment that has upended traditional journalism and civic culture.
That practice has included publishing a blog, Professor Kim’s News Notes, from 2003-9, providing reporting and informed analysis of politics, culture and media criticism. From 2006 to the present, Pearson has served as a contributing editor for media and law for BlogHer.com, a major online community for women bloggers, where she was integrally involved in coverage of the 2008 election. She also contributed to Poynter.org’s E-Media Tidbits blog and the Online Journalism Review.
Pearson also collaborates with colleagues in computer science and interactive multimedia to help writers and storytellers become better computational thinkers, and to help aspiring computer scientists become better communicators. This work includes helping to conceive the content management system for Unbound magazine, and being part of an interdisciplinary faculty team that created and executed TCNJ’s videogame development curriculum. That curriculum was initially created with support from Microsoft.
Pearson’s work has garnered support from the National Science Foundation. From 2007-10, she was the co-PI of the Broadening Participation in Computing via Interactive Journalism for Middle Schoolers demonstration project. She has been co-Principle Investigator for a second NSF grant, Distributed Expertise in Computing with Connections to the Arts,under the aegis of the cPATH program from 2008-12. Currently, she is co-PI for the NSF grant TUES: Collaborating Across Boundaries to Engage Undergraduates in Computational Thinking, which runs from August, 2012 to July, 2015. This work has led to publications in ACM Transactions in Computing Education and ACM SIGSCE.
Pearson is a member of the Online News Association, a life member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and an associate member of the National Association of Black Journalists.