An expert on social media, politics, identity, and the digital divide, Dr. Karen E. Riggs founded the Scripps College of Communication Social Media Certificate program in 2013. It was one of the first such programs in the United States and, with more than 200 students now enrolled, speedily became one of Ohio University's largest certificate programs. Certificate students gain high-demand, emergent career skills and critical social media literacy from faculty teaching in all five Scripps College schools.
Riggs' passions lie in understanding the cultural transformation that social media has spurred. She continues to develop new courses, such as Content Curation — a course that leads students through an emergent and intensifying field where practitioners innovatively filter, organize, present, and maintain aggregated web content — that trail-blaze this popular skill-set in higher education. Riggs has published two books on media technologies and older users: "Granny @ Work: Age and Technology on the Job in America" and "Mature Audiences: Television in the Lives of Elders." In "Granny @ Work” Riggs analyzes how older people in the workplace deal with challenges presented by technological change.
Riggs’ research has been featured in academic journals and articles. Her work has been featured in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune, on the media website CNET and on prominent blogs such as ReadWriteWeb. Riggs’ work has also been highlighted on NPR.
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