Kristine Lu

Postdoctoral Fellow

Kristine Lu researches and designs community-based civic learning environments, with a focus on sociotechnical systems for civic organizing, democratic deliberation, and participatory politics. She recently completed her PhD in learning sciences at Northwestern University, where she was a graduate researcher in the interdisciplinary Delta Lab and Northwestern’s Center for Human-Computer Interaction + Design. Her work utilizes a mixed methods design research approach to investigate the design of novel social processes and technical tools to support democratic decision-making across a range of collective action contexts. Her dissertation presented a capacity-building model for organizing new participatory democratic institutions, which emerged from over 9 months of community-based participatory research starting participatory budgeting in the City of Evanston to help the community equitably allocate $3 million of COVID-19 relief funds. In this effort, she co-founded and -led a university-based grassroots organization that conducts outreach, designs trainings, and facilitates deliberative assemblies, with a focus on engaging traditionally underserved populations, and was also part of the technical assistance team partnering with the city to implement participatory budgeting. Prior to her doctoral work, Kristine conducted journalism research at the Pew Research Center, where she worked on a variety of quantitative social science projects related to civic engagement and news attitudes and consumption. Her research experience also includes work in computational linguistics, digital humanities, educational technology, and information literacy. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts in English & comparative literature from Columbia University.