Donna Davis, School of Journalism and Communication

Donna Davis

Practice Areas: Virtual Reality (VR), Digital Embodiment, Tech Equity and Inclusion, Digital Social Capital

Donna Davis is an academic expert in virtual reality (VR), digital embodiment, tech equity and inclusion, and digital social capital. At the University of Oregon, she is an associate professor and director in the Strategic Communication Master’s Program. Her ethnographic research focuses on the potential uses of social virtual worlds, gamification, and other emerging social media, with a special interest in marginalized and vulnerable communities. Her research on embodied experience and identity among people with disabilities in virtual reality was funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation. She has also extensively studied people with Parkinson’s disease who find and build support in the virtual world. Her interests continue to explore the impacts of these experiences on both the promise and peril of technosolutionism, recognizing both isolating and connecting power of these emerging immersive environments. 

Contact: | 503-412-3658


Recent Media:
NIL, Social Media and Leveling the Playing Field (Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Sept. 14, 2021)
Virtual reality could help put the empathy back in pandemic life (Around the O, May 13, 2021)
SOJC virtual reality lab helps people connect in an online world (Around the O, June 11, 2020)
Virtual world provides a real-life haven for the disabled (Los Angeles Times, Oct. 3, 2018)
Spending time in virtual worlds can make real lives better (Around the O, May 11, 2018)
First they got sick, then they moved into a virtual utopia (WIRED, Feb. 13, 2017)

Our Digital Selves: My Avatar is me [full feature film]
Profiles in Excellence: Donna Davis