communication
Name: Deborah Downing-Wilson

Deborah Downing-Wilson  
Education:

Ph.D. Candidate (ABD 2008) Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego

M.A. in Communication, University of California, San Diego 2007

B.S. in Psychology, University College London 2004
Special Emphasis: Evolutionary Psychology

 

Research Interests:

My research is focused on the microgenesis of culture, specifically on the communication practices that help create and sustain small groups and the ways common understandings among previously unacquainted individuals are achieved. The genesis of culture is conceptualized as a collective narrative process – a creative meaning-making endeavor that entails ongoing negotiation and adaptation, affective investment, the synchronization of previously learned systems of symbols and practices, the development of hybrid and new practices, and the formation and management of group boundaries.

A second and related area of interest is the design and implementation of a participatory science pedagogical model in which undergraduate students are situated as embedded ethnographic researchers, reporting from inside the processes they are seeking to understand. This learning/teaching strategy emphasizes the lived experiences of the participating observers, incorporating the students’ “scientific knowing” with the feelings they have as they explore new areas of knowledge in relationship with others. These feelings are conceptualized, not as secondary or auxiliary forms of understanding, but as central elements of our humanity and our cognitive processes.

I am a member of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition where we design and implement collaborative learning environments, both on and off the university campus.

ResearchMethods:

Collaborative Ethnography, Ethnographic Interview, Simulations, Q Methodology

Awards and appointments:

2005-2006 CalIT2 fellowship.

2007-2008 UCSD Graduate Representative to the Committee on Affirmative Action and Diversity - the Academic Senate

2009 Graduate Representative to the Communication Department CAP/HIP Faculty Search Committee

2009-2010 Graduate Representative to the Communication Department Graduate Curriculum Review Committee  

Teaching:

COMT 115/HDP 115 Media & Design of Social Learning Environments (FA 2010)
CAT 124/125 Sixth College Practicum and Writing Series (SP 2010)
HDP 133 Socio-Cultural Foundations of Development (TA WI 2010)

COGN 150 Integrative Senior Seminar (TA FA 2009)
COHI115 Education and Global Citizenship (TA FA 2009)
COHI 130 Cross-cultural Communication (SP 2009) COMT 115/HDP 115 Media & Design of Social Learning Environments (WI 2009)

COMT 115/HDP 115 Media & Design of Social Learning Environments (FA 2008)
COCU 100 Intro Communication and Culture  (TA SP 2008)
COMT 115/HDP 115 Media & Design of Social Learning Environments (WI 2008)

COHI 124 Deaf People in America  (TA FA 2007)
COCU 100 Intro Communication and Culture  (TA SP 2007)
COHI 100 Intro Communication and the Person  (TA WI 2007) 

COMT 115 Media and Design of Social Learning Environments (TA FA 2006)

Conference:

2011 UCLinks Conference
UC Berkeley

2011 Teaching Diversity Conference UCSD
Presentation: Undergraduate Research as a Method for Encouraging the Development of a Critical Understanding of Culture.

2010 AERA Annual Meeting and Exhibition and NCME Annual Meeting 
Denver, Colorado. Presentation I: Combining Theory and Practice in Higher Education: How the design of learning contexts influences undergraduate development in academic service learning. Presentation II: Practicum learning beyond the comfort zone: The pros and cons of including visits to children’s homes in undergraduate practicum curriculum.

2009 Contemplative Heart of Higher Education Conference at Amherst College. Presentation: Creating Spaces and Tools for Unpacking Personal Cultural Inheritance and Introducing Cultural Change.

2009 American Education Research Association. AERA Annual Meeting, San Diego. Presentation: Student Ethnographers: embedded research as a method for the development of a critical understanding of the processes that create and sustain cultural groups.

2008 Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. Menlo Mountain Retreat for Academics in Higher Education.

2008 Meeting of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research. ISCAR San Diego. Design Experimentation and Mutual Appropriation: Two Strategies for Creating Development-enhancing Activity Systems. Michael Cole, Deborah Downing-Wilson & Robert Lecusay. Keynote address delivered by Michael Cole.

2008 San Diego Regional Network Faculty Workshop: Valuing Diversity and Service-Learning in Student Development. USD Center for Educational Excellence

2007 Conference of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity.  National Medical Library, Bethesda MD.  Paper presentation:  Using Q method to investigate attitude change in undergraduate students.

2007 Conference on Changing the Culture of the Academy. UC Berkeley

2007 Western Conference on Service-Learning,  Point Loma Nazarene College

 
Research and Publications: Downing-Wilson, Deborah, Lecusay, Robert and Cole, Michael. (2011) Design Experimentation and Mutual Appropriation: Two Strategies for University/Community Collaborative After-School Interventions

Downing-Wilson, Deborah. (in press) Cross-cultural Experience in Academic Service-learning. Information for Action: A Journal for Service-Learning Research.

Downing-Wilson, Deborah, Lecusay, Robert and Cole, Michael. (In Press) Design Experimentation and Mutual Appropriation: Two Strategies for University/Community Collaborative Interventions. Theory and Psychology: special issue on cultural-historical activity theory and interventionist methodology: classical legacy and contemporary developments.

Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition (2009) "Qualitative research: Cultural-historical activity theory" In: Barry McGaw, Penelope Peterson and Eva Baker (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Education, 3rd edition. Elsevier.

Downing-Wilson, Deborah (2008) Revealing Shifts in Attitude among Undergraduates Participating in Academic Service Learning Programs. Operant Subjectivity: Journal of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity. Vol 30, 1-2, pp. 23-51.

Downing-Wilson, Deborah. (2008) The Microgenesis of Idiocultures. Doctoral Research and Dissertation Prospectus, Defended August 21, 2008

Downing-Wilson, Deborah. (2008) Borderwork in the Fifth Dimension. Qualifying Research, Defended August 21, 2008.

Downing-Wilson, Deborah. (2008) Revealing Undergraduates’ Shifts in Attitude Toward Teaching and Learning Via Participation in Academic Service Learning. Qualifying Research, Defended August 21, 2008.

Other: A Divided Friendship: Borderfield State Park. A pilot documentary film representing a confluence of environmental and human rights issues of sociological import. (2008) Can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwRr7bt7-s8
 

Department of Communication
University of California San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla
CA 92093-0503
Phone: (858) 534.4410
Fax: (858) 534.7315

ucsd