2023 INSNA Board of Directors Election



jimi adams

University of Colorado Denver

I am Professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. My research examines how social networks constrain or promote the spread of diseases, information, and behaviors through populations. This has been variously applied to models of HIV and COVID-19 epidemics, understanding interdisciplinary dynamics of fields, and recently the diffusion of identity-based clusters of behaviors. I am the author of Gathering Social Network Data (SAGE, 2019).

jimi adams CV

Michele L. Barnes

James Cook University, Australia

I am a social network scientist based at James Cook University in Australia. My research quantifies the critical role of social structures in environmental behaviour and outcomes. For example, my current work uses multilevel network modelling to uncover the social structural foundations of adaptation, transformation, and resilience to climate change and other social and environmental shocks; with study sites in Australia, Kenya, and Papua New Guinea. I have been a member of INSNA since 2014 and have attended six Sunbelts since! I am currently the Vice President of the Australian Network for Social Network Analysis, and was the lead organiser for INSNA’s first Sunbelt Special Theme, which focused on Climate Change and Disaster Recovery at our 2022 Meeting in Cairns, Australia.

My vision is to help INSNA expand its membership, particularly from groups and geographical regions which are currently underrepresented. To do so, I would leverage my considerable experience promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in science. For example, I am the founder and co-chair of the DEI committee at my research institute, was a member of the Global Equity committee for Sunbelt 2022, and have contributed to an INSNA working group focused on developing DEI policies and procedures which seek to guide future Sunbelt conferences and other INSNA activities. I would also work to enable INSNA to more actively support the professional development of early career social network researchers through trainings, workshops, and networking events.

Michele L. Barnes CV

Michelle Birkett

Northwestern University

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University and the Director of the CONNECT Complex Systems and Health Disparities Research Program within the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing.

I have extensive experience in the use of network and quantitative methodologies to understand the social contextual influence of stigma on infectious disease disparities within marginalized populations, and I hold significant NIH-funding supporting this work. I have served as the Principal Investigator on federal and foundation research projects totaling over $6 million, and has served as Co-Investigator on nine projects totaling over $14 million. Of these, the project likely most relevant a leadership role within INSNA is Network Canvas, where over the last six years I has served as PI (R01DA042711) and overseen the development and dissemination of a free and open-source software suite for the capture and management of complex personal network data.

I have been a committed member of INSNA since 2009 - when I attended my first Sunbelt meeting (in San Diego) as a graduate student. Since that time, INSNA has been an important academic home for me and my closest collaborators. Few professional organizations are so interdisciplinary. Therefore, I would be honored to serve as a board member, as I am strongly committed to keeping the INSNA community well-organized while also retaining its core values.

Michelle Birkett CV

Jana Diesner

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I am an Associate Professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. My research focuses on computational social science and human-centered data science. I work on methods from network analysis, natural language processing, and machine learning/ AI, and integrate them with theories from the social sciences to advance knowledge and discovery about socio-technical systems. I direct the Social Computing Lab and serve as Director of Undergraduate Programs at my college. I got my PhD in “Societal Computing” from Carnegie Mellon.

I would be excited to contribute to recruiting and retaining junior and mid-career scholars to participate in INSNA, at Sunbelt and related events, and in the field on network analysis in general. Leveraging my experience in creating and providing education and outreach to empower and enable traditionally underrepresented groups, especially women and BIPOC people, to pursue careers in tech, I would also be thrilled to help advance the representation of these groups in network science.

Jana Diesner CV

Zachary Neal

Michigan State University

I am an associate professor in the Psychology department at Michigan State University, where I regularly teach network courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. My network research has focused on urban, education, and political contexts, and was recognized with the INSNA 2016 Freeman Award. With support from the NSF, I am now working on methods for extracting the backbone from (i.e. simplifying) dense and weighted networks, and incorporating these methods into the R "backbone" package.

I have been an active member of INSNA for 10+ years, serving as the Freeman Award Committee chair, a Sunbelt session organizer, and on the Journal of Social Structure editorial board. Beyond INSNA, I have also served as editor of Global Networks since 2012.

In addition to supporting INSNA’s ongoing mission and activities, as a board member I would like to explore the expansion of new meeting options, and the facilitation of open science practices in network science. First, although an in-person Sunbelt meeting remains a cornerstone of INSNA’s vibrancy, climate change impacts and decreasing travel budgets also require exploring new modes of sharing network research. These could include smaller special-topic virtual symposia hosted throughout the year in addition to the annual Sunbelt meeting. Second, although data sharing is key to research transparency and reproducibility, there is wide variation in practices across the disciplines represented in the network community. As an interdisciplinary organization, INSNA can facilitate the discussion and development of these practices for network science.

Zachary Neal CV

Nynke Niezink

Carnegie Mellon University

At the Department of Statistics & Data Science at Carnegie Mellon University, I work on statistical methods and software for dynamic social network analysis. Much of this work is inspired by interdisciplinary collaborations. To me, the interdisciplinary nature of social network analysis makes INSNA such a unique and inspiring community. I have been a member of INSNA since 2013, and have taught workshops and organized sessions at INSNA conferences for several years. I would be honored to serve the INSNA community as a Board member.

INSNA has the power to significantly impact the careers of early career researchers (ECRs), as it has done for me. As a Board member, I would advocate for ECR-targeted professional activities, such as grant writing workshops or academic job market training, to make the INSNA conference experience even more valuable for this group.

Over the past year, INSNA has translated its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into policies and procedures. This is a great first step towards promoting the representation and participation of different groups in our community. This year, I was granted a Provost Inclusive Teaching Fellowship and have cofounded the DEI working group in our department. I look forward to leveraging this experience by developing creative ways to make our INSNA community more inclusive. All network researchers, whatever their background, should be able to enjoy the knowledge, experience, and collegiality of the INSNA community. More diversity in this community will stimulate progress and enrich the academic experience of our conferences.

Nynke Niezink CV

Mason A. Porter

University of California, Los Angeles

I am a network scientist with a background in applied mathematics. I work on a variety problems in social network analysis, as well as networks in other applications. Unlike many people from the mathematical and physical sciences whon study networks, I engage closely with social scientists and I have enjoyed the welcoming interactions with the INSNA community for more than a decade at Sunbelt, SOCnet, and UCLA. I think that a voice from this perspective can be beneficial for the INSNA board and I welcome the opportunity to engage further as part of INSNA.

Mason A Porter CV

David Tindall

University of British Columbia

David Tindall earned his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and is a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. He has been a member of INSNA, and has actively participated in the Sunbelt Social Network Conference, since the early 1990s when he was a PhD student, and has attended most of the conferences since that time. He was co-winner of Sunbelt Best Graduate Student Paper Prize at 1993. He has played a variety of roles at Sunbelt conferences, including, in addition to giving many presentations, he has assisted the organizers with several of the conferences, and co-organized numerous sessions on social movements/collection action, and on environment/climate change.

Additionally, he regularly delivers a pre-conference workshop on collecting social network data using surveys. He is a long time social network scholar who has been actively connected to the journal Social Networks, where he has published numerous articles, done a considerable amount of reviewing, and he where he is currently co-editing a special issue on social networks and anthropogenic climate change. Additionally, he has published numerous articles on social networks related to social movements, environmental topics, and social capital, in other top academic journals and chapters in academic books. Recently, he has been involved in computational social science, and in particular social network applications relevant to this topic, and has led the Big Data and Computational Social Science Research Cluster at the University of British Columbia. Recently he served on an ad hoc INSNA committee on investigating options for virtual and hybrid conferences.

David Tindall CV

Lindsay Young

University of Southern California

Dr. Lindsay Young (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. Broadly, her work sits at the intersection of public health, social networks, and communication studies and focuses on the social and communicative dynamics that undergird health outcomes, health behavior change, and health advocacy in underserved marginalized communities, particularly BIPOC sexual and gender minorities.

Lindsay became a member of INSNA in 2012 as a Doctoral Student at Northwestern University, where she was advised by Dr. Noshir Contractor. Her social networks training continued as a postdoc at the University of Chicago, where she received mentorship from Dr. John Schneider. Since Sunbelt 2016, Lindsay has been a session organizer for INSNA's Sunbelt meetings around the intersections of health and social, sexual and online networks. She organized similar sessions for Networks 2021 and several North American Social Networks (NASN) meetings. Her work has been published in INSNA journals, including Social Networks and Journal of Social Structure. She has also served as a reviewer for Social Networks. And, in 2021, she served on the DEI policy committee charged with revising INSNA's DEI commitments.

If given the opportunity to serve on the INSNA Board of Directors, Lindsay will work hard to give back to the community that has given so much to her, with an emphasis on ensuring its growth and diversification and working to uplift network scholars from under-represented populations to ensure they benefit from the wealth of resources that INSNA has to offer.

Lindsay Young CV


Laura Koehly

National Institutes of Health, United States

I am a tenured, senior investigator and the chief of the Social and Behavioral Research Branch in the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health in the United States. My program of research applies social network approaches to understand family systems and the interpersonal processes that underpin families’ communicative, behavioral, and emotional responses to inherited disease risk and diagnoses.

INSNA has been my professional home since 1996, when I completed my graduate studies in quantitative psychology at the University of Illinois. I have served on the INSNA Board since 2010; in 2019, I was elected INSNA President. Under my leadership, the Board successfully revised our bylaws and finalized several sections of a policies and procedures manual. We diversified Board membership and increased opportunities for our membership to be involved and have voice in their organization. INSNA is financially healthy.

We are in a great place to think about new initiatives that increase the benefits of membership; if re-elected, developing such initiatives will be one priority for the Board. While we have made significant progress developing a policies and procedures manual for INSNA, we have not finished that task. Thus, another priority is to finalize the manual that guides Board decisions - doing so provides transparency with regards to how INSNA does business.

It would be a privilege to serve INSNA as President for another three-year term and to continue our efforts to cultivate an inclusive culture that creates opportunities to advance our field.

Laura Koehly CV