Two Ivan Allen College Research Faculty Members Gain Promotions
Two research faculty in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts have gained promotion, effective July 1, 2022. Nathan Moon, Director of Research for the Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP) and Senior Research Scientist in the School of Public Policy (SPP), will be promoted to Principal Research Scientist. Chris McDermott, associate director for the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, will be promoted to Research Associate II.
Moon is an alumnus of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech, having received his Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science in 2009, and his master’s degree in the same subject in 2006. His research focuses on increasing access to education and employment for people with disabilities, with specializations in the accessibility of information and communications technologies (ICTs), workplace accommodations and employment policy, broadening participation in STEM education, and program evaluation.
To date, Moon has been the PI or co-PI of 13 projects totaling $5.12 million in external funding. Additionally, he has been project director or task leader on nine other projects and been a co-investigator for three other projects. In addition to the projects he has led, he has contributed significantly to a total of $16.1 million in sponsored research, for a total of over $20 million in funding at Georgia Tech. He has developed interrelated programs of research, which share in common the objective to advance independent living outcomes and inclusion of people with disabilities, and to broaden participation of people from underrepresented groups more generally in education and employment. For example, he was the lead evaluator for SciTrain University, a U.S. Department of Education demonstration program led by Georgia Tech, in partnership with the University of Georgia. During this three-year effort to increase inclusive teaching practices, an estimated 3,000 students at Georgia Tech and UGA benefitted from this work. These research programs also are characterized through the novel use of emerging and next generation wireless technologies in ways that are empowering.
Moon has authored or co-authored 30 peer-reviewed publications, including two books, with over 800 citations in the scholarly literature. Additionally, Moon has delivered over 30 refereed conference presentations on the subject of accessibility and disability, and he has given numerous invited talks to diverse audiences. Of note is Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), an NSF-sponsored handbook for researchers, educators, and practitioners in the field. Over 2,000 copies of this publication have been distributed free to the public, and it has been cited nearly 150 times. Moon also holds a courtesy appointment at Adjunct Professor/Lecturer in the School of History and Sociology, where he teaches courses in modern American and European history.
McDermott also is an alumnus of the Ivan Allen College. He graduated with a master’s in international affairs, where he primarily focused on international security issues, specifically cybersecurity and data privacy issues.
In his seven years working with the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, McDermott’s roles and responsibilities have varied, based on the needs of the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP) and the Nunn School. He supports faculty members in writing grants and running events, and he was also in charge of Nunn School communications efforts over the past two years.
McDermott is responsible for preserving and expanding CISTP’s relationships across Georgia Tech, metro Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. for event co-sponsorship and/or grant proposal co-sponsorship. This requires close cooperation with the Nunn School’s three focus areas: emerging technology and security; international affairs, science and technology; and global development. These areas are buoyed by partnerships with the School of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering and the School of Aerospace Engineering, with regular cooperative efforts existing between the schools.
He led the initial effort to bring the United States Space Force (USSF) University Partnership Program (UPP) to Georgia Tech. The USSF established the UPP to recruit, educate, and develop a competent, diverse, and inclusive workforce. The UPP is strategically designed to leverage and support the nation’s top research universities that emphasize high academic standards, quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics degree programs, and research activities. A memorandum of understanding was signed on Nov. 11, 2021, and the Nunn School and the School of Aerospace Engineering are poised to be the leads in the endeavor.
McDermott’s research interests have shifted slightly since his graduate studies, tending to focus on international security and general emerging technology issues. He uses scenario writing as a way to explore these issues, teaching the course Scenario Writing and Path Gaming and utilizing the scenarios developed in the course for his own research. He co-leads simulations in courses such as Energy and International Security (Adam Stulberg), Problem of Proliferation (Rachel Whitlark), Middle East Relations (Lawrence Rubin), and Technology and Statecraft: U.S. & Russia (Jennifer Jordan/Adam Stulberg). He also teaches American Government for the Nunn School.
McDermott earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Kennesaw State University, focusing on world civilizations, the Renaissance, and the Protestant Reformation.