Hello! My name is Will Marler. I am a researcher and educator of social marginalization in the digital age. I work as a Senior Research and Teaching Associate (Oberassistent) in the Department of Communication and Media Research (IKMZ) at the University of Zurich. I obtained my PhD in Media, Technology, and Society from Northwestern University in 2020. Before this, I finished an MA in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies in Washington University in St. Louis.
My PhD thesis on homelessness and digital inequality won the Top Dissertation Award in 2021 from the Mobile Communication Interest Group of the International Communication Association (ICA) and a Graduate Dissertation Award in 2021 from the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University.
My studies on digital inequality can be found in leading journals in the communication and technology field, including New Media & Society, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and Mobile Media & Communication. I am a regular presenter at communication conferences including the International Communication Association (ICA), Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), and TPRC, an annual telecommunications policy conference in Washington, D.C., where I received a Top Student Paper Award in 2019.
As a researcher and educator, I am focused on how inequalities emerge and sustain in the digital age. I use community-based, ethnographic research and collaborate on surveys project to explore the impacts of technology within marginalized communities, with core interests in homelessness and older adults. With international experience in education and media fields, I am globally minded and locally engaged in my research and teaching. For more details on my experience and approach, please check out my “Research and Teaching” tab.
If you are a researcher or practitioner interested in working with me on digital inequality issues in marginalised and vulnerable communities, please get in touch with the email provided in the Contact page.