Katherine Lawrence

Independent Scholar, Research Specialist, Facilitator

University of Michigan School of Information

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Katherine Lawrence is an independent scholar affiliated with the University of Michigan School of Information. She collaborates with individuals and groups as a researcher, writer, educator, and facilitator. Her most recent research project was “Opening Science Gateways to Future Success,” funded by the National Science Foundation’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure. The goal of this project was to identify characteristics of successful science and engineering portals or gateways that warrant long-term funding. From 2008-2012, she directed community engagement initiatives at the University of Michigan Office of Research Cyberinfrastructure (within the Office of the Vice President for Research), with founding director Dan Atkins.

At the School of Information and the Ross School of Business, Lawrence has conducted research on collaboration, new product development, leadership, and creativity, with a particular interest in qualitative research methods.  Since 2005, she has focused on the development of cyberinfrastructure and the social issues associated with the virtual organizations that build and use these systems. As a PhD student in the Department of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business, she co-authored Creativity at Work: Developing the Right Practices to Make Innovation Happen (Jossey-Bass, 2002) with Jeff DeGraff. She also holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA from Yale University.

Lawrence’s interest in creative collaboration and improvisation has drawn her to work as a facilitator of the creative process in large groups. She has led retreats and brainstorming sessions for various units and groups at the university and for-profit organizations; in addition, she uses similar methods in her applied research projects.

In addition, in 2009 and 2010, Lawrence designed and taught “Evaluating Systems and Services,” an undergraduate Informatics course at the University of Michigan that introduces students to usability and user-centered design methods. Before moving to Michigan, she worked as a case writer at Harvard Business School, an educational technology developer, a graphic designer, and a wildlife documentary production manager.