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Tamara Peyton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Social Computing & HCI
717-901-5100 ext 1620


Ph.D. in Information Sciences, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.
M.A. in Sociology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
B.A. in Sociology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Dr. Tamara Peyton lives in Mount Joy, PA with her partner and two lovable goofy rescue dogs. When she is not researching and teaching, she enjoys digital gaming (particularly anything from the B studios (Blizzard, Bioware, Bethesda), reading fantasy and science fiction, and dabble in amateur photography. Dr. Peyton is known among friends for cooking up a storm in her slow cooker and cheering on her favorite NFL football team. She originally hails from the prairies of Canada and is fluent in Canadian French.

Dr. Peyton believes that digital tools and systems are laden with values about how we see ourselves as human beings, and how we view our future health, wellness, and potential. As an interaction designer and social scientist, she spends much of her time studying the actual contexts in which people interact with each other through their favorite technologies, in order to create digital experiences that are meaningful, respectful, and engaging. In the classroom, her passion for user-centered design and good digital experiences engages students through in a mixture of design theory, critical evaluations of existing designs from the world at large, and hands-on user research and product prototyping.

Teaching and Research Interests:

Dr. Peyton is very passionate about designing and delivering human-centered technologies that make a difference for people who are in need, whether the need is because of their health concerns, their age, or their socioeconomic status.

Using principles of value-driven design and participatory design drawn from human-computer interaction, social science, information science, and computer science and engineering, she researches and specifies digital and human design spaces around health and transition life events. The goal of her research and development work is to build and deliver better technologies to support personal wellness and close the tie on social support, particularly for teens, youth, and young adults. Dr. Peyton also researches and design hybrid experience spaces (digital/physical/AR) for public entities (museums, malls, festivals, schools). She tends to use mixed methods, and has an affinity and expertise in qualitative methodologies, particularly ethnographies and interviews.

Dr. Peyton's interdisciplinary research and development work blend interactions in the physical and digital worlds together into a cohesive experience that offers opportunities for a real-world positive impact. In her teaching within IMED and ISEM courses, she teaches human-centered design and digital experience development across delivery platforms: from the web to kiosks; from social media to mobile; and beyond. She also teaches qualitative user research methods and introductory social science as general education (GEND) topics.

Dr. Peyton is interested in recruiting graduate and undergraduate students who have interests in human-computer interaction, health, and wellness, mobile development, robotics, and augmented reality. Internships are available in these areas. While her focus is mainly in the Interactive Media undergraduate concentration in Interaction & Experience Design, and the graduate program in Human-Centered Interaction Design, she is willing to supervise student projects and in other programs whose interests align to her own.

Courses Taught at HU:

Creative Mind I (GEND 102)
Creative Mind II (GEND 103)
Design Patterns & Contexts (IMED 570)
Design Perspectives (IMED 500)
Design Research Studio (IMED 695)
Design Studio (IMED 450)
Design Tools & Processes (IMED 540)
Foundations of Interactive Media II (IMED 340)
Human-Centered Design (ISEM 502)
Human SocioTechnical Interactions (IMED 510)
Interactive Design Perspectives (IMED 325)
Interactive Information Design (IMED 330)
Introduction to Sociology (GEND 120)
Methods for Design Research (IMED 270)
Methods for Design Research (IMED 504)
Patterns & Contexts (IMED 358)
Project I (IMED 298)
Project II (IMED 398)
SocioTechnical Theory (IMED 220)
Tools & Processes (IMED 225)
Users & Populations (IMED 355)
Users & Populations (IMED 520)