Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Yolanda Rankin

Yolanda Rankin is an Assistant Professor in the department of Computer and Information Sciences at Spelman College. Her research interests fall along three trajectories: 1. identifying effective pedagogical strategies and best practices for Computer Science education; 2. designing digital media such as video games to promote Second Language Acquisition; and 3. engaging members of underserved populations and communities in participatory design of information-based technologies. Yolanda is the proud recipient of the prestigious 2016 – 2017 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellowship in support of her research involving the design of intelligent computer game characters that facilitate novice Spanish speakers’ conversational proficiency. In addition, Yolanda has written her first book about using video games to augment English as Second Language students’ proficiency in mainstream English. Yolanda accumulated more than twelve years of industry experience before choosing to pursue a career in academia. She developed software tools that enable geographically distributed employees to work together to provide customers quality IT services and currently holds two patents for game-based virtual services as a result of her tenure at IBM Research Lab Almaden. Additionally, Yolanda has experience as a project manager for the development of an optical-based system at Luxcore Networks and as a customer technical liaison for the development of wireless services and products for multiple service providers. As a software engineer at Lucent Technologies-Bell Labs, Yolanda developed IS41 features and applications deployed for multiple wireless networks. Her industry experience enables her to integrate industry practices in the classroom setting. Yolanda also co-founded the Aspire2B non-profit organization which provides information about career opportunities and preparation in the STEM fields to African American students K-12. Helping African American students to perceive themselves as producers rather than just consumers of technology motivates much of Yolanda’s research and teaching. Yolanda completed her Ph.D. in Computer Science at Northwestern University, her M.A. in Computer Science at Kent State University and her B.S. in Mathematics at Tougaloo College, a Historically Black College/University located in Mississippi.
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