Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society
With an emphasis on action-oriented, in-the-field work, Laura Hosman’s research focuses on the role for information and communications technology (ICT) in developing countries, particularly in terms of its potential effects on socio-cultural factors, human development, and economic growth.
Hosman brings her passion for experiential learning to the classroom and beyond by leading real-world focused, project-based courses, and by employing experiential learning whenever possible. Her current work involves students in the design, creation, and deployment of an all-in-one solar-powered digital library, the SolarSPELL (Solar Powered Educational Learning Library), which has already been introduced into over 395 primary schools and health care clinics across the Pacific Islands and East Africa. These libraries contain localized content to ensure that they're meeting the needs of remote, rural communities, and enable the teaching of information literacy and internet-ready skills, even in the absence of connectivity or external electricity.
Hosman has received multiple awards for both teaching and research. She has held prior academic positions at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California (USC).
She has carried out field-work in Comoros, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Haiti, Macedonia, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, the Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tonga, and Vanuatu. Her research has been supported by grants from USAID, Google, the Internet Society, The Information Society Innovation Fund for Asia, The Pacific Telecommunications Council, the National Science Foundation, the University of North Carolina McDowell Research Center for Global IT Management, and Association for Information Systems (AIS)-Microsoft Unlimited Potential. Her research has been published in Information Technology for Development, Review of Policy Research, Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, Information Technology for International Development, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, and Journal of Business Systems Governance and Ethics, among others.