I have been in the field of User Experience (UX)/Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) since before those terms existed. I participated in the founding of the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) in 1982. Since then, I have continued to serve the community through my work in companies and as a consultant, and through service to both SIGCHI and to the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA), serving on their governing bodies, conference committees, and a variety of other activities to help the profession to grow and flourish, including in the so-called "Developing World." I have published, and spoken around the world, including doing keynotes, giving papers, leading workshops, and teaching. I am honored to have been recognized with a number of awards including Fellow of both ACM and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), SIGCHI's Lifetime Achievement in Practice Award and UXPA's Lifetime Achievement Award (for more information about what I have done, check out my Curriculum Vitae)
I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Panamá at the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá (Technological University of Panama) teaching HCI/UX in the Systems Engineering Department on a Fulbright Scholar Grant. I had the chance to travel throughout the country, both observing and teaching. I met members of all three groups of Indigenous peoples within Panamá: the Guna, Emberá and Ngäbe-Buglé. The first two groups have found ways to tie into the mainstream economy with molas and eco tours (Guna), as well as visits to an indigenous village (Emberá). My UTP colleagues and I were interested in helping connect these two groups with the Ngäbe-Buglé, who have not yet made such connections and are deeply impoverished as a result. I had the opportunity to meet members of all three groups and to discuss both these ideas, as well as ways to help empower them using technology.
It's got to be FUN!
I am known for valuing collaboration, multidisciplinary thinking, and FUN! Since there is a rapper, Dr. Dre, I have taken on the persona of "the other Dr. Dray," (I'm actually the original, but heck...) creating "raps" (actually doggeral with moves), to summarize talks and meetings. [If you're interested, there's an example at the end of the AfriCHI keynote.] I am also known for wearing (and giving) heart sox. In the US, it is all too easy to "wear your heart on your sleeve," but this doesn't mean you actually DO anything. I wear hearts on my feet in order to make sure my feet go in the right direction, guided by my heart.
Tools of the trade
Here are some of my presentations in case you are interested in learning more about what I love:
Susan in action:
© Susan M. Dray, 2020, All rights reserved.