The ‘Roll Call’ series is all about introducing new faculty for the 2015-2016 academic year to the Communication Leadership community. We’re kicking off the series by introducing Sam Ladner. Sam is a sociologist who studies the changing nature of work, technology, and organizations. At the University of Washington, she will be an adjunct professor teaching strategic forecasting.
A big hello to the CommLead community! I am delighted to keep one big toe in academia, and to do so at the University of Washington.
I’m a Vancouver native, having lived in Toronto for the last 15 years. I recently moved to the Seattle area to work for Microsoft. My role is to research emerging productivity practices, and help technologists build more efficient and delightful tools for everyday people. My interest in technology has led naturally to working on future-oriented work.
My last project at Microsoft was the Productivity Vision Video. My teaching at UW is about forecasting changes in communication technologies. I love helping students use rigorous methods to uncover practical and useful insights in the real world. Communication Leadership is a great fit.
I’m a sociologist by training, receiving my PhD in 2008 from York University. I founded my own research company, and worked in various Web design agencies in Toronto. I also held a postdoctoral fellowship at Ryerson University’s School of Information Technology Management, where I researched smartphone usage among information workers. Along the way, I wrote a book, Practical Ethnography, written for academics wanting to practice the method in applied contexts.
In my personal life, I play terrible golf and enjoy good wine. I’ve always been athletic, having played rugby in my youth (but have long since hung up my cleats). Nowadays, I spend my time sweating at the gym instead of on the field. My husband and my kitty cat are my wonderful companions in life, and we all live happily in Capitol Hill.