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Relationships & Technology Lab

The Relationships and Technology Lab conducts social scientific research on communication, technology use, and relationships. If you're an undergraduate student who is interested in getting involved as a research associate, please email your CV and a short statement of interest to Dr. Sharabi. If you're a prospective graduate student and would like to learn more about our Ph.D. program, you can find more information here.

Lab Director


Dr. Liesel Sharabi is an associate professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and Director of the Relationships and Technology Lab. Her research explores how technology is changing dating and romantic relationships. She has published dozens of papers on the topics of dating apps and social media, multimodal relationships, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR). She also been featured in media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, and NPR. More information can be found on her faculty page.  

Doctoral Students

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Marco Dehnert is a fifth-year doctoral candidate originally from Germany. He earned his B.A. in General Rhetoric from the University of Tübingen and his M.A. in Communication Studies from Arizona State University. As a multi-method scholar, Marco's research focuses on human-machine communication, artificial intelligence, and the social impact of communication technologies. His work has appeared in journals such as Human-Machine Communication, Human Communication Research, and the International Journal of Social Robotics

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Cassandra Ryder is a fourth-year interpersonal communication doctoral student. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Cassandra's research focuses on romantic relationship initiation through technology, as well as how trauma is communicated via technology and in person to others. She is currently analyzing data from two of her most recent projects, one of which is on bad first date experiences. The other is on how anticipatory and disenfranchised grief is communicated on Reddit after losing a loved one. You can read her work in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.  

Paige Von Feldt is a second-year health and interpersonal communication doctoral student. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Kentucky, where she also minored in Sociology. Paige’s research  focuses on how internalized stigma impacts the disclosure of a mental illness to close friends. Her research also focuses on access and attitudes toward seeking mental healthcare. Currently, she is working on a research project examining young adults’ attitudes and intentions to seek mental healthcare using the theory of planned behavior. Additionally,  she is conducting research with Dr. Sharabi that explores  dating apps and mental health. 

Research Associates

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Sally Tan is an undergraduate sophomore from Goodyear, Arizona. Currently, she attends Barrett, The Honors College, where she is pursuing a degree in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology. As a Dorrance Scholar, she plans to enrich her education through experiences to build her understanding of psychology. In the future, she looks forward to becoming a psychologist.  

Mehek Dhillon is an undergraduate senior from San Francisco, California. She is currently pursuing a degree in Communication. In the future, she hopes to earn a master’s degree in Psychology and pursue a career in consulting.

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Ainsley Coyle is an undergraduate junior from Goffstown, New Hampshire. She is currently studying for her degree in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. After graduation, she plans to earn her master's degree in Public Relations.  


Hadley Allen is an undergraduate sophomore from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She is presently enrolled in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication pursuing a degree in Communication. She is also developing her linguistic skills by minoring in Spanish. At Arizona State University, she is a member of Delta Zeta, a Panhellenic organization. She plans to study abroad in Barcelona for a semester in the spring of 2025, strengthening her global network and cultural education. 

Megan Niehoff is an undergraduate senior from Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently studying Political Science with a minor in Communication with the goal of working for an international non-profit organization. 

Lab Alumni

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Savannah Ambrose

Janine Beer

Krysta Chotkowski

Jordan Coddington

Lauren Dewan

McKenzie Diehl

Sara Downs

Aleksandra Froehlich

Zachary Hlatky

Merial Hutchison

Annamariah Hopkins

Merial Hutchison

Jake Mozden

Matt Mullin

Delaney Overturf

Dominic Palisoc

Christiana Robey

Taryn Stahl

Ishanah Steele

Jennifer Tringale

Madison Wedge

Isabella Werner

Kaitlyn Whyte

Morgan Winner

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