Alia Reza, PhD Candidate & Instructor
A little about me...
I am a PhD candidate and instructor at the University of Maryland's College of Information.
I am also an active alumni of the iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3), an information studies research group for underrepresented students (2018 cohort). The program is heavily interdisciplinary, with students from various disciplines coming together in teams to research, write, and publish in information studies. I still conduct research with my i3 research group in addition to my PhD work.
My dissertation research looks at the intersection between immigrant information access and museum studies. I focus specifically on what South Asian immigrant communities need from museums and museum programming and ask how museums can better serve those needs through exhibitions, outreach, and educational programming. My work is heavily interdisciplinary and driven by sociopolitical discourse. I value the ability of academic work to make real institutional differences when conducted carefully, and I hope to do the same with my research. By opening the floor to those whose voices have been historically silenced, I believe we can institute lasting change in our museums and other public education institutions.
I also have experience in ethnographic, archaeological, and archival research from my years studying anthropology and art history before beginning my PhD program. In addition, I have been an elementary school teacher and substitute teacher in schools with students of varying backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses.