Dr. Brenda L. Berkelaar (Ph.D., Purdue University) studies work and careers, in particular how new communication technologies such as social media influence our understandings and practices of work and career. This research includes her ongoing examination of cybervetting—the use of online information to assess the expertise and reputation of current and prospective employees. A complementary line of research focuses on careers across the lifespan and across cultures. This research is reflected in a collaborative, funded multinational project with children from multiple countries. Her research and teaching address the skills, ethics, and literacies associated with career development and informal learning, personnel selection and online screening, socialization, the meanings of work, and the presentation and interpretation(s) of self and information online.
Dr. Berkelaar’s work appears in publications such as Communication Monographs, Management Communication Quarterly, and Communication Yearbook, as well as a number of edited books. Prior to academia, Brenda worked in information technology, non-profits, and as an independent consultant. Drawing from her research interests, work experience, and background in online learning, Brenda currently teaches an original hybrid/blended course that focuses on career theory and practices in the contemporary work environment.