Dr. Valerie Barker is the chair of the JMS Digital & Social Media Research Project in  the School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University. Her most recent research focuses on the processes underlying and outcomes from interaction with various web genre – especially social networking sites. As well, she has investigated the social identity processes associated with social networking sites with regard to the role of gender, culture , and age. Additionally, Dr. Barker's research has focused upon intergroup surveillance and contact via social media (i.e., lurking on Facebook). Other research strings involve two broad areas of intergroup communication: the role of language in social identity, and intergenerational communication from an intergroup perspective. Dr. Barker's publications have appeared in New Media and Society,  Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking , the Journal of Communication , Health Communication , the International Journal of Aging and Human Development , Journal of Intercultural Communication Research , and the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development . Additionally, she has authored book chapters with Howard Giles and colleagues as well as numerous conference papers (which include 13 top paper awards).