Kathryn Henderson holds an MFA in criticism in Visual Arts from UC San Diego along with her Ph.D. in Sociology. Her 1999 Book from MIT Press Inside Technology Series (On Line and On Paper: Visual Representations, Visual Culture and Computer Graphics in Design Engineering) focuses ethnographic attention on how visual representations mediate design work and how collective cognition and daily practice in such settings are changing with the implementation of computer graphics. An important area of Henderson?s expertise is her focus on the role of visual representation in technological design using a situated action perspective. Her more recent work on the dissemination of grass-roots technologies in the green building movement focuses on visual discourses used between straw bale building advocates and building officials in the development of building standards for straw bale buildings.
As chair of the culture section in the TAMU Sociology Department her initiative for creating a prototype cultural center and participant action research center, by engaging with Katrina and Rita evacuee families as participants in its design and follow-through creates a unique research opportunity for collaboration between those with expertise in culture and in race and ethnicity, culture, sociology of technology and computer science while grounding the endeavor in community needs and perspectives. She has previously conducted Participant Action Research in a group project sponsored through Institute for Research on Learning and Xerox Corporation. (Henderson 1998, Whalen, Whalen and Henderson 2002). Dr. Henderson is presently an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at Texas A&M University.