Former Researchers

Megan BernalIn June 2018, Megan Waters Bernal moved to the Library at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Megan earned her master’s degree in Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was Associate University Librarian for Information Technology & Discovery Services at DePaul University Library.  Megan got her start developing and managing information technology of use to readers and researchers as the former Coordinator of the Everglades Digital Library at Florida International University, Systems Librarian providing support for archival collections at the Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA), and as past Director of Information Services at Miami Herald Media Company.  Her current interests and projects beyond Reading Chicago Reading include assisting the Chicago Collections consortium of cultural institutions in increasing public and scholarly interest in Chicago’s rich history and culture and creating a shared repository of historic Catholic newspapers as part of the Catholic Research Resource Alliance (CRRA) newspaper digitization group.

Jessica Bishop-Royse is the Senior Research Methodologist in the Social Science Research Center at DePaul University. Her current projects an analysis of violent crime in 100 US cities during the period 2009-2012 and an examination into the predictors of socioeconomic mobility among American high school students. She joined DePaul after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Florida State University College of Medicine. She has experience with survey research, multi-level analyses, survival analyses, and multivariate regression. Her areas of interest include: research methods, statistics, health disparities, and urban studies. She often finds herself navigating the fields of sociology, demography, epidemiology, medicine, public health, education and policy.


Since 2015, we have had a number of wonderful students work on “Reading Chicago Reading.” They have graduated, taken jobs, and moved on to exciting new projects. We wish them all success!

Emma Mares is a senior at DePaul majoring in Environmental Studies and English Literature. Currently assisting Professor Shanahan on data analysis and writing for the project blog, Emma researches various methods to learn more about the Chicago community’s engagement with literature and public arts institutions. At DePaul, she works as a research assistant, gaining experience with meta-analyses and compiling original data on fungal spores. Fascinated by the interactions between our natural environment and the arts, she hopes to pursue research projects that span the humanities and the natural environment, as the two are mutually informed.

He Yang is a graduate student in the Predictive Analytics program at DePaul. She received her master’s degree in accounting at DePaul University in 2016. Before that, she studied Finance for her undergraduate major. With previous business background, currently she is working on a pricing modeling project for a manufacturing company in her free time. Her research interest of data analysis and statistical modeling prompted her to join the “Reading Chicago Reading” project.

Nasim Sonboli is a Ph.D. student in Computer and Information Sciences at DePaul University under the supervision of Dr. Robin Burke. She received her Master’s degree in Predictive Analytics from DePaul University in 2016. She also worked as a tutor in the DePaul CDM tutoring center for a year and half helping students with R/Python programming and Statistics. Her research interests include Recommender Systems, Data Mining and Machine Learning.

Dan Aasland is a graduate student in the Predictive Analytics program at DePaul. With previous undergraduate work in Public Relations and Advertising at DePaul, currently he is working on a prediction model for patients with Cirrhosis in his free time. His love of literature and adherence to Vincentian values prompted him to join the “Reading Chicago Reading” project.

 Monika Moore is an MA student in Writing & Publishing at DePaul. Previously, she completed an MS degree in Geography at Oregon State University in 2007 and taught undergraduate geography at community colleges in Michigan, Arizona and California. She currently works as a tutor in the DePaul University Center for Writing-based Learning. Her research interests include post-secondary literacy and teaching students about science through literature, for instance using “cli-fi” to teach about climate change.

Hyunyou Choi is a graduate student at DePaul University majoring in Predictive Analytics. She has a genuine interest in data mining and health analytics and especially their potential applications in real world settings. This interest has led her to join the ““Reading Chicago Reading” project while also working on the “Hospital Ranking” project. She always feels privileged to be able to work in the field of data science and she hopes to make an impact by developing machine learning and data mining techniques.

Yingting Guan is a graduate student in the Predictive Analytics Program at DePaul. With interest in data visualization and Natural Language Processing, she recently joined in the “Reading Chicago Reading” project. In her free time, she is passionate about learning the application of data analysis and data mining to social media and humanities topics. She looks forward to focusing on data science in her future career.

IMG_6364Yuxuan (Tim) Zhang is a graduate student at DePaul University majoring in Predictive Analytics. His interest in working on data science problems with social impact led him to join the “Reading Chicago Reading” project, where he helps researchers discover patterns and knowledge via data visualization and analyses. Aside from school work, he is genuinely interested in learning and developing AI-based applications, especially in the interdisciplinary realm of design and evolutionary computing.

yoSam Okrasinski is a senior at DePaul University double majoring in English and computer science. Her educational background at DePaul focuses on literary research and computer programming, with plans to go into programming after graduation. An interest in digital humanities led her to work on the “Reading Chicago Reading” project.


Zack Budde received his B.S. in Mathematics in 2016, with a focus on Statistics and Data Science. His passion for complex problems combined with his altruistic aspirations led him to joining the team, where he aided researchers in discovering insights into circulation trends as well as textual features of the OBOC books.