PWR 91OID: Creating Your Digital Self: The What, How, and Why of Building an Online Presence


Have you ever Googled yourself? If so, what information about you rises to the top? A picture of you in your band uniform from your high school? A poem you wrote and published on your Tumblr? Maybe your scores from a 5K you ran last year?

It might seem like you don’t have much control over what you see about yourself in a Google search, but the fact is, you do. The more that you create your own content, the more that your self-created information will rise to the top. Through learning the theories, tools, and techniques behind digital image management, this class will help prepare you for curating your digital self. In so doing, we can get better connected with the individuals and/or organizations that interest us.    

We will practice several pragmatic techniques for building our own personal ePortfolio (i.e. a website). Through participating in hands-on activities, storytelling exercises, and in-class discussions, you will have the opportunity to enact what we’re learning and to experiment with different forms of expressing yourself online.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Jenae Cohn

Academic Technology Specialist, Stanford Introductory Studies

Jenae Cohn serves as the Academic Technology Specialist for the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR). In this capacity, she develops and implements pedagogically sound ways to teach with technology in the context of writing classes.

She earned her PhD in English with an Emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies at the University of California, Davis in June 2016. While there, she designed hybrid and online first-year composition courses, coordinated faculty professional development in teaching with technology, and supervised the graduate student writing center.

She remains interested in hybrid learning and faculty professional development as well as multimodal learning, information literacy, and digital rhetoric.

Helen Chen

Social Science Research Scholar, Mechanical Engineering

Helen L. Chen is a research scientist in the Designing Education Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She holds an undergraduate degree in communication from UCLA and a PhD in communication with a minor in psychology from Stanford. Helen is a board member for the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) and is a co-author of Documenting Learning with ePortfolios: A Guide for College Instructors and co-executive editor of the International Journal of ePortfolio. She works closely with the Association of American Colleges and Universities and consults with institutions on general education redesign, authentic assessment approaches, design thinking, and personal branding and ePortfolios. Helen's current research and scholarship focus on engineering and entrepreneurship education; the pedagogy of portfolios and reflective practice in higher education; and redesigning how learning is recorded and recognized in traditional transcripts and academic credentials.

Sheetal Patel

CMC Career Content Lead, Graduate School of Business - Career Management Center

Dr. Sheetal J. Patel is a fourteen-year veteran of creating engaging brands, marketing communication strategies, and stories that effectively impact people’s lives. Her recent research has focused on transforming learning and technology for Generation Z and brand management in higher education.

She is currently the Associate Director and Content Lead for the Career Management Center at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and consults regularly in the area of marketing and branding.

Throughout her career, Patel has served in marketing communication roles in Stanford Student Affairs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Texas at Arlington, Sulekha LLC, and freelanced for advertising agencies. She also served as tenure-track faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has a PhD in Strategic Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and a Master’s degree in Advertising and two Bachelor’s degrees in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin.

Patel has published work in journals, such as International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, Journal of Advertising Education and Journal of Health Communication. She was awarded the prestigious NACE/Chevron Award by the National Association of Colleges and Employers for achievement and innovation in branding. She has also been the recipient of over $225,000 in fellowships, grants, and scholarships for her research.

She is dedicated to developing stories that serve her communities in her spare time as well, participating in such activities as the classical dance performance art of Kuchipudi, photography, and writing about women and balance.

Researcher, Data Lover, Storyteller, Strategist
PhD - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MA - University of Texas at Austin
BS - University of Texas at Austin

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