Principal Investigators

Teresa Mangum

Professor, Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies; Director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa

Teresa Mangum is the director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and Professor of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. She is the UI representative to the Mellon-funded Humanities Without Walls consortium headed by Antoinette Burton at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work on 19th-century women, aging, and animals includes her book Married, Middle-brow, and Militant: Sarah Grand and the New Woman Novel (1998); an edited collection, A Cultural History of Women: Volume 5: The Age of Empire, 1800-1920 (2013); her guest-edited issues of Philological Quarterly, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Victorian Periodicals Review, the Journal of Aging Studies; numerous articles; and a future issue of PUBLIC on the digital humanities as public humanities. Mangum co-edits the University of Iowa Press book series Humanities and Public Life and is a member of the National Humanities Alliance Board of Directors, the National Advisory Board of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, and various editorial boards.


Erik Simpson

Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Professor of Humanities and Professor of English, Grinnell College

Erik Simpson is the author of Literary Minstrelsy, 1770-1830: Minstrels and Improvisers in British, Irish, and American Literature (2008) and Mercenaries in British and American Literature, 1790–1830: Writing, Fighting, and Marrying for Money (2010), in addition to articles on British literature, Transatlantic literature, and the use of digital technologies in undergraduate teaching. His current work focuses on the theory and practice of digital pedagogy, as well as developing the physical, institutional, and inter-institutional structures to support such practice.


James Elmborg

Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Science, Director, Public Digital Humanities Certificate Program, Graduate College, University of Iowa

Jim Elmborg served as a co-principal investigator for the UI side of the Digital Bridges grant. He was associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science at The University of Iowa.  He holds a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in American poetry in the 1960s.  He has done numerous digital humanities projects, including the Virtual Writing University Archive, which collects and provides access to over 2,000 recordings of creative writers from around the world talking about their writing while visiting Iowa City.  He served on the steering committee for the Public Humanities in a Digital World initiative and was director of the Public Digital Humanities graduate certificate.


Postdoctoral Scholars

Matthew Hannah

Matthew Hannah was a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Iowa. He earned his PhD from the University of Oregon, focusing on Anglo-American modernism, twentieth-century literature, and digital humanities. His current book project, Networks of Modernism: Toward a Theory of Cultural Production, analyzes modernism as the product of diffuse transatlantic interactions among writers, philosophers, hostesses, and painters. His analysis elucidates a theory of modernist cultural production based in multiplicity and collaboration, and he uses interdisciplinary tools from relational sociology, cultural studies, network theory, and digital humanities to support the project. He has published articles in Journal of Modern Literature and Journal of Modern Periodical Studies and has collaborated on a digital versioning edition of Virginia Woolf’s “Mark on the Wall” published by Scholarly Editing.

Jennifer Shook

Jennifer Shook joined Grinnell College in 2016 as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Mellon-funded Digital Bridges in Humanistic Inquiry. She holds a PhD in English and a Graduate Certificate in book history/book arts from the University of Iowa, as well as interdisciplinary humanities degrees from Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago. She has taught at The Theatre School at DePaul University, Columbia College Chicago, and the Newberry Library, among other places. She worked as a dramaturg, director, and theatre producer in Chicago, where she founded Caffeine Theatre—a company that mined the poetic tradition to explore social questions (2002-2012). Her current work explores the relationship between performance, literature, and digital culture, particularly in promoting Native American artists’ reworkings of historical commemorations. Jen served for four years as Co-Director of Imagining America’s PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Engagement) Fellow Program, and sits on the editorial board of IA’s multimedia journal PUBLIC. More about her at http://www.jenshook.com/ and @poeticsheretic 

Christina Boyles

Christina Boyles was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar of Digital Humanities at the University of Iowa. In this position, she participated in the Digital Bridges initiative with Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. She also assisted with the certificate in Public Digital Humanities at the University of Iowa.  

Her research interests include text analysis, digital storytelling, instructional design, and multicultural American literature. Her forthcoming work will appear in Feminist Debates in the Digital Humanities and Digital Diversity. Her published work is available in the Southern Literary Journal, South Central Review, Plath Profiles, Pupil, and The Write Book. To contact her, write to christina-boyles@uiowa.edu or tweet to @clboyles.

Student Instructional Technology Assistants (SITAs)

Student Instructional Technology Assistants at the University of Iowa work one-on-one with instructors to enhance instruction with technology. SITAs guide instructors through project planning processes, provide consulting on technology and instructional design issues, offer production assistance, and introduce other Instructional Services resources as needed. For the duration of the grant, two SITAs will serve as project managers and technology consultants, working alongside faculty, staff, and students to help fulfill the goals of the four-year initiative.

Mariana Ruggiero Colombo

PhD candidate, Foreign Language & ESL Education, University of Iowa
Mariana Colombo served as project manager for Digital Bridges. Being originally from Brazil, she earned a Masters in Translation and taught English as a Foreign Language in the country before coming to the US as a Fulbright scholar. As a graduate student at the University of Iowa, she has worked as a TA in Portuguese, and in a Multimedia and Second Language Acquisition course. She also worked as a SITA from 2012 through 2016, and was involved in the Large Lecture Transformation Project. Her research interests include learning spaces, language learning and technology, and student motivation. She is currently on fellowship and working toward completing her dissertation.


Heather Draxl

English Instructor, Southeastern Louisiana University
As part of Digital Bridges, Heather served as the grant’s first project manager in 2015 and was instrumental in laying out the four year calendar of grant activities as well as assisting in planning the first of three summer institutes. She earned her PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture in 2016 and received several awards during her tenure at the University of Iowa, including an Outstanding Teaching Assistant award, a HASTAC Scholar Fellowship, and an Obermann Graduate Engagement Fellow, among others. She is currently a member of the English faculty at Southeastern Louisiana University.


Michael Goldberg

PhD student;Language, Literacy and Culture, University of Iowa

Michael Goldberg served as project manager for Digital Bridges. He has earned a BA and MA from the University of Iowa, taught high school English, and teaches theater every summer. His research involves using theater as a way to create representational performances and facilitate in-depth text analysis. He has been working as a SITA since 2015.



Andrea Shultice

MA student;School Counseling, University of Iowa

Andrea is pursuing her MA in School Counseling. She started as a Student Instructional Technology Assistant in the summer of 2016. She is most interested in digital storytelling, blended learning, and working creatively and collaboratively with instructors as they explore ways to improve student learning with the help of technology.



Trevor Templeman

MA Teaching and Learning, Social Studies Education, University of Iowa

Trevor Templeman served as project manager for Digital Bridges. He earned a Political Science undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in 2008. As a graduate student at the University of Iowa, he is studying Teaching and Learning while earning a Secondary Teaching License to teach Secondary Social Studies. He has been working as a SITA since 2015.



Reuben Vyn

PhD student, Foreign Language & ESL Education, University of Iowa

Reuben Vyn served as project manager for Digital Bridges. He comes from a K-12 teaching background, has experience with curriculum and assessment design, and is well versed in pedagogical best practices. He earned a Masters in French Language and Literature in 2008, and has been working as a SITA since he enrolled at Iowa in 2014. His research interests include foreign language teaching methodologies, teacher effectiveness, and student language proficiency development.

Graduate Assistant

Victoria (Torie) Burns

PhD candidate, English, University of Iowa
Torie Burns is a PhD candidate studying American literature from 1900 to the present. Her interests include memoirs, trauma, memory, and food studies. Prior to attending Iowa’s program, she earned a BA in English and Psychology at Duke University and worked at Vanderbilt University’s business school. Torie currently teaches a food-focused Rhetoric course and previously worked as a TA for Foundations of the English Major.