Cindy Royal

picture of Cindy Royal Cindy Royal is a doctoral student in the School of Journalism and the Doctoral Portfolio Program in Women's and Gender Studies. Her research interests are in the area of the social impact of the Internet as a communications medium.

She is focused on issues of the digital divide beyond access, the relationship of women and technology, and the representations of women online. Cindy has designed a multidisciplinary program of study to supplement her research interests by taking courses in the areas of English and Computers, Sociology, Public Policy, Business, Management Information Systems, Computer Science, and Women's Studies. Her participation in the Doctoral Portfolio Program in Women's and Gender Studies has allowed her to gain a grounding in feminist theory to apply to communication and technology issues. It has also provided her with a community of academics that share her interest in the nature of difference, identity, and power, and how gender is constructed in our culture. The Women's Studies program has introduced her to a variety of qualitative research methods that are applicable to her work, including rhetorical analysis, semiotic studies, and ethnography.

Her papers, "Representations of Women on the Web: A Case Study of" and "Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites," were presented at the UT Emerging Scholarship in Women's and Gender Studies Conferences in 2001 and 2002. She is currently working on a paper that will analyze gender differences in motivation to contribute Internet content, i.e. to create one's own Web site, participate on a discussion board, or enter a chat room.

In addition to her studies, Cindy teaches a Web Publishing course in the School of Journalism. She came to UT after more than 12 years working in the computer industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Richmond in Virginia. More information can be found at