Whitney Lewis Recognized As ITLS Master’s Student Researcher of the Year

Whitney Lewis
Whitney Lewis was selected as the Master’s Student Researcher of the Year for the 2017-2018 academic school year. This award was bestowed by the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences (ITLS) Department at Utah State.

Lewis worked on projects as a member of the L.E.D. Lab by conducting research, facilitating workshops, and designing tools and technologies. Her biography page on the L.E.D. Lab website explains, "She has conducted research with youth in different making contexts such as libraries and maker clubs. Through her education and professional experiences, Whitney has committed to core design principles such as co-design, problem exploration, and rapid-prototyping."

Dr. Breanne Litts, her mentor and advisor, said, “She epitomizes the ethos of our lab culture ... Whitney is one of the strongest graduate students I’ve ever worked with." Litts further explained that Lewis is an example of the type of student the ITLS Department seeks.

Lewis explained she was first introduced to the ITLS Department by starting the Multimedia Development Minor as an undergraduate student. Lewis said that going on to complete a master's degree "was just what made sense at the time." She further explained that she is thrilled her journey led her to USU’s ITLS department. “Pursuing a master’s at USU’s ITLS department allowed me to personalize my learning through independent studies and research. Also, I loved that the focus was beyond how to create learning content; it was on how to solve problems with technology and learning principles.”

"The experiences that have stood out to me most are my mobile technologies class, the L.E.D. meetings, ARIS workshops, and the yummy mints on Deidri’s desk." She said that the mobile technologies class was the point where she decided to complete a thesis: "I fell in love with research."

The experiences she felt were most rewarding included running the ARIS workshops with youth: "It is exhausting, and I love it."

To incoming students, Lewis stresses the importance of giving research a chance. "That means, meet with professors and go to a couple research meetings or a research activity. Just see what it is like." She also points out that jobs do not fall into students laps as soon as they graduate. "Graduation is not the time to start looking for a job ... If you want to do an internship, make it happen."

Lewis completed her own internship at Intuit and secured a job there at the company upon graduation. "My future plans are to work for Intuit and to be a mom!" said Lewis. "I'm excited to not be a student for the first time in six years."

In retrospect, Lewis observed, "I’m definitely glad that the ITLS degree 'just made sense at the time.'"

You can read more about Whitney Lewis on the L.E.D. Lab website.

2018 ITLS Award Recipient Graphic

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