Andrew J. Roback

Curriculum Vitae

Education

Ph.D. - Technical Communication

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, 2017

  • Dissertation: "Uncovering Motives for Social Networking Site Use at Nonprofit Organizations" [read]
  • Research interests include social action in technical communication, social media, text analysis, machine learning, human-computer interaction, activity theory, media bias, and information visualization.

M.A. - English and American Literature

DePaul University, Chicago, 2008

  • Graduated with distinction
  • Conducted research of technical detail in fiction

B.A. - Liberal Arts and Sciences

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2004

Conferences and Publications

Conference Talks

  • Roback, A. (2015). "Should I say that?": Venting, Repercussions, and Self-Censorship on Social Media. Computers and Writing. May 28-31, University of Wisconsin -- Stout, Menomonie, WI, USA [slides]
  • Roback, A. (2014). Make it with friends, break it yourself: Open-source software and DH research. Illinois Institute of Technology Digital Humanities Speaker Series. January 23, Chicago, IL, USA [slides]
  • Roback, A. & Hemphill, L. (2013). How Constituents Lobby Members of Congress on Twitter. American Political Science Association Annual Meeting and Convention, August 29-September 1, Chicago, IL, USA [slides] | [paper]
  • Roback, A. (2012). Users, Data, and Theory: A Framework and Future Direction for Studying Productive Applications of Social Media / Social Newtworking Sites (Poster). GROUP ’12, October 27-31, Sanibel Island, FL, USA. [poster]
  • Roback, A. (2012). Creating a model of user behavior on social networking sites (Poster). Infosocial, October 12-13, Evanston, IL, USA. - also at - Social Networks and Innovation: A Conference on New Frontiers in Methods & Applications, November 1, 2013, Chicago, IL USA. [poster]
  • Roback, A. (2010). The Impact of Emerging Literacies on Instant Messaging and Supplemental Writing Instruction. Computers and Writing Conference, May 20-23, West Lafayette, IN, USA. [slides]
  • Roback, A. (2010). Open Source Tutoring: An examination of the Role of Service-Learning in the Writing Center. Chicagoland Writing Center Association Conference, February 6, Chicago, IL, USA. [slides]
  • Friddle, L., Legleitner, R., Maloof, A., & Roback, A. (2009). Community, Collaboration, Cogitation: The Three "C's" of Tutor Training. Chicagoland Writing Center Association Conference, February 7, Chicago, IL, USA.

Publications

  • Hemphill, L. & Roback, A. (2014). Tweet Acts: How Constituents Lobby Congress via Twitter. 2014 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work and Social Computing, Feb 15-19, Baltimore, MD. [paper]
  • Roback, A. (2013). Uncovering Motives for Social Networking Site Use Among Practitioners at Non-Profit Organizations. 2013 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work, Feb 23-27, San Antonio, TX. [abstract] | [poster]
  • Roback, A. & Hemphill, L. (2013). "I'd have to vote against you": Issue Campaigning via Twitter (Poster). 2013 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work, Feb 23-27, San Antonio, TX. [abstract] | [poster]
  • Roback, A. (2012). A Framework and Future Direction for Studying Productive Applications of Social Media / Social Networking Sites. Proceedings of GROUP ’12, October 27-31, Sanibel Island, FL, USA. [abstract]
  • Dietz, L., Maloof, A., & Roback, A. (2009). The Decline of Writing? DePaul Magazine, Spring/Summer.
  • Roback, A. & Maloof, A. (2009). Hot Topics in Writing [season one]. A podcast available on the Depaul Writing Center podcast page. All episodes written, recorded, edited, and produced by myself, Alexis Maloof, and Julie Glasier.

Teaching

Communications

COM 421: Technical Communication

Illinois Institute of Technology: Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, (Spring 2017)

  • Students learn traditional business and technical communication genres; however, students also learn how to write for the web and generate content for academic publications and presentations.
  • 2017 final project: develop a program to address Chicago's troubled yard waste disposal system. [project details]
  • Visit the 2015 course website for more information or view the current syllabus

COM 601/380: Research Methods and Resources

Illinois Institute of Technology: (Spring 2017)

  • More details coming in December, 2017.

TA: COM 580: Organizational Communication

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago: Spring 2013

  • Course Instructor: Libby Hemphill
  • Graded student memos (short response papers) and maintained course management system

TA: COM 380/580: Social Networks

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago: Fall 2012

  • Course Instructor: Libby Hemphill
  • Graded and curated participation on the course blog
  • Taught class and led class discussion on a few occasions

Literature

LIT 307: The Graphic Novel

Illinois Institute of Technology: Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017

  • A review of comics theory and sequential art as discussed in the works of Scott McCloud and Will Eisner. Students read graphic novels from Speigelman, Satrapi, Bechdel, Baker, Sacco, and Ware, along with critical work from Chute, Baetens, Frey, Growenstein, Kunka, and others.
  • 2017 final project: research an outside graphic novel and create a critical website with annotated images. [project details]
  • Institutionalized into IIT Course Catalogue
  • Read about the Fall 2013 display of student work in Siegel Hall and view some of the exceptional entries. [article]
  • More information available on the current syllabus

LIT 306: Science Fiction

Illinois Institute of Technology: Summer 2012, Summer 2017

  • A course focusing on science fiction novels and film adaptations. Special emphasis on film analysis/critique and comparison to source material.
  • Reading list includes works by Wells, Clarke, Gibson, Crichton, Magary, Bacigalupi, Vonnegut, and others.
  • More information available on the current syllabus

LIT 339: Shakespeare in Film

Illinois Institute of Technology: Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2015, Spring 2017

  • Students performed close readings of Shakespeare's plays and examined contextual material to gain insight into Shakespeare's writing. The course also included sections on the vocabulary and theory of film and stage criticism, with an emphasis on applying those concepts to both traditional and interpretive films and performances.
  • Course included a trip to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
  • Institutionalized into IIT Course Catalogue
  • More information available on the current syllabus

LIT 380: Vietnam War in Literature and Film

Illinois Institute of Technology: Fall 2016

  • Students examined novels, biographies, films, television, and historical accounts of the Vietnam War.
  • In the final paper, students used their knowledge of the Vietnam War and associated works to analyze an outside film.
  • More information available on the current syllabus

LIT 309: Short Fiction

Illinois Institute of Technology: Spring 2010, Spring 2012

  • This course featured selections of less frequently anthologized short fiction pieces, as well as a few classics from Poe, Hemmingway, and Faulkner.
  • The goal of the course was to introduce students to this genre, collectively formulate the fundamental tenets, explore the evolution of this genre over the past two centuries, and question why short fiction is still a relevant and an integral part of media we consume today.
  • For their final projects, I encouraged students to go beyond writing a term paper and several students developed collages, photography portfolios, and websites/multimedia content.

LIT 380: Hard Times

Illinois Institute of Technology: Spring 2011

  • A look at historical class conflicts as portrayed in literature. Concluded the semester with a look at the global financial crisis and economic recession.
  • Students worked in teams to research contextual information on the time periods we read about and wrote individual research papers.

LIT 315: The Novel

Illinois Institute of Technology: Spring 2011

  • A course focused on the historical progression of the novel as a genre, from the proto-novels of the 18th century through postmodern and contemporary titles.
  • I provided audio feedback on response papers (in the form of .mp3 files) and we performed in-class research activities, including a collaborative Wikipedia editing exercise.

Humanities

HUM 200: Science Fiction and Pop Culture

Illinois Institute of Technology: Summer 2015, Summer 2016

  • Selections from classic and current science fiction writers and filmmakers, focusing on how their ideas shaped our culture.
  • Students reviewed a film, wrote a research paper, and we used social network visualization software to try to solve a sf murder mystery.

HUM 106: Life Stories

Illinois Institute of Technology: Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2013

  • A course covering the different genres of life stories (autobiography, biography, memoir, creative non-fiction).
  • In addition to introducing literary research to freshman students, this course covered historical context and philosophical concepts that allowed students to engage texts critically through written work, supplemented by instructor and peer feedback at all stages of the writing process.

Guest Lectures

"Writing and designing your professional website"

Illinois Institute of Technology, COM 421: Technical Communication, Chicago: Fall 2012

"Using NodeXL to Emphasize Your SNA Research Findings"

Illinois Institute of Technology, COM 380/580: Social Networks, Chicago: Spring 2012

"The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: A Few Exercises in Critical Analysis"

Loyola University, ELPS 219: History of American Education, Chicago: Summer 2009

  • Course Instructor: Nicole Ortegón

Service and other academic work

Service

  • Invited talk: Researching Communication on the Internet - Oak Park and River Forest High School Summer Program | Oak Park, IL: June 2017
  • Judge: Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium | Chicago, IL: April 2016
  • Paper reviewer: International Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM-16) | February 2016
  • Paper reviewer: CHI 2016 | October 2015
  • Invited talk: Social Media and Venting - lllinois Tech Global Leaders Program, Issues forum on social media | Chicago, IL: July 2015
  • Paper reviewer: Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Conference (CSCW 2016) | June 2015
  • Invited talk: Social Media Planning Workshop - National Park Service / Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore | Gary, IN: June 2015
  • Invited talk: Developing a Content Management Strategy for Your Small Business - Enhancing Technology for Small Business Program - Illinois Institute of Technology | Chicago, IL: 2014
  • Judge (Short Fiction): IIT Annual Writing Contest | Chicago, IL: 2011-2016
  • Judge: Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium | Chicago, IL: April 2014
  • Student volunteer: Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Conference (CSCW) | San Antonio, TX: February 2013
  • Postsecondary outreach with Chicago Public School Students | Chicago, IL: 2006-2009
    • April 2009: Volunteer at Emmit Project luncheon, a community outreach program that promotes college opportunities for CPS students (Loyola University)
    • Spring 2008: Worked with CPS students in Gear Up on college applications (DePaul University)
    • 2007-2008: Volunteer with BUILD at Kelvin Park High School, helping students with college application essays
    • Winter 2006: Worked with students at Orr High School on the Hero's Journey Project, a personal essay telling students' personal journeys of acheivement and loss (DePaul University)

Paid Academic Work

  • Writing Successful Chemistry Lab Reports, an online learning module for the IIT Chemistry Department | Chicago, IL: August 2017
  • Placement essay grader: IIT Writing Proficiency Placement Essays | Chicago, IL: 2012-2017
  • Coordinator: IIT Writing Contest | Chicago, IL: April 2014

Tutoring

Writing Center Tutor

Illinois Institute of Technology: Fall 2009

  • Assisted students primarily with projects relating to scientific reports and papers, art and architectural history, and professional development documents such as resumes, CVs, and applications for graduate study.

Writing Consultant

DePaul University Center for Writing-based Learning: 2006-2008

  • Worked with hundreds of students, including English as a Target Language (ETL) students in collaboration with the English Language Academy.
  • Worked with students in outreach programs from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Gear Up
  • Researched and advocated for the use of instant messaging and distance collaboration techniques with adult and remote learners.

Freelance Writing Consultant

2008-Present

  • Worked with graduate students on completing degree requirement writings such as master's degree theses, dissertation proposals, and dissertations.
  • Experience working with academic professionals to improve their professional and business writing skills.

Recent Professional Experience

Business Manager

DePaul University Center for Writing-based Learning: August 2007- May 2009

  • Tabulated statistics about student engagement, evaluated employee performance, implemented pedagogical procedures, composed training materials, and worked with the director to ensure that the Writing Center operated efficiently and within budget by managing payroll hours for approximately 60 employees.
  • Managed the UCWbL's web presence, including social media and a podcast.

Claims Adjuster, Independent Claims Adjuster

National Claims Services: September 2005-August 2006

  • Settled moving damage claims with the United States Armed Services ranging in value and size from under a hundred dollars to over $30,000.
  • Wrote several appeals that appeared before the federal board regulating Military-Industrial claims settlements in cases where a dispute prevented settlement.
  • Recognized by the president of NCS for my efforts to use Excel to simplify complex liability calculations.
  • After leaving to attend graduate school, remained as an outside consultant for two years.

Remote Storage Barcode Technician

University of Illinois Main Library, August 2002-May 2004

  • Flagged and barcoded monographs for relocation to Oak Street Remote Storage Facility.
  • Consistently among the highest efficiency rate in department.
  • Also worked on shift in the stacks and monograph sorting.

Data collection manager

Chicago Area Transportation Study (now Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning), May 2000-August 2002

  • Managed a team of four data collection interns assessing hundreds of Illinois roadway quality segments in the six-county Chicagoland area.
  • Presented data to IDOT. Earned recognition from director of CATS for report quality.
  • Coordinated a month-long study of dangerous intersections in Will County.
  • Authored an employee training manual and developed a content management system for survey maps.

Technical Proficiencies

I am not a Mac, PC, or Linux person: I can and do use whatever gets the job done. If that means open source software, so much the better. Below is a list of technologies I am comfortable using. It is not comprehensive or final, and I am always ready and willing to learn.

  • Markup, Programming, and Version Control

  • Productivity Software

    • MS Office (all apps) and Open/Libre Office
    • Google (all productivity apps)
    • LaTeX
  • Creativity Software

    • Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign and Photoshop
    • GIMP
    • Audacity
    • iMovie
    • Podcasting via iTunes
  • Social Network Visualization

    • NodeXL
    • Network Workbench
    • Gephi
  • Analysis

    • Microsoft Excel (including analysis toolpack)
    • Weka 3 (machine learning and data mining)
    • TACIT (text analysis)
    • SPSS
    • Dataplot
  • Open Source Content Management

    • LimeSurvey
    • Drupal
    • WikkaWiki
    • Wordpress and BuddyPress
    • phpBB
    • Moodle
  • Project Management

    • Basecamp
    • Clocking IT
    • Redmine
    • Toggl