Dr Susan O'Donnell

Susan O'DonnellAdjunct Professor
PhD (Dublin City University), MA (Cardiff University), BA (University of Ottawa)

Susan’s research expertise includes: community, social and political aspects of digital communications; technology adoption; digital and alternative media; social movements and the internet; remote and rural communities; and technologies in Indigenous communities.

For the first half of her 25-year research career, Susan conducted research in Ireland and the European Union. In 2004, she returned to Canada and joined the UNB Department of  Sociology as an Adjunct Professor. At the time she was a Senior Research Officer in the Human Computer Interaction Group at the National Research Council on the UNB campus. Susan retired from the NRC in 2017 and continues as a researcher with the department of Sociology.

Since 2004, Susan has been the principal investigator on a series of SSHRC-funded research, outreach and policy development projects in partnership with First Nation organizations and universities across Canada. Together the team has been researching, documenting and sharing information and analysis about remote and rural First Nations and digital technologies and infrastructure. The First Nations Innovation project and First Mile Connectivity Consortium website has links to project information, research publications, and policy and regulatory submissions: http://firstmile.ca

Over the years, many UNB graduate students have had the opportunity to work on this project and lead and co-author conference papers and journal articles with research partners and First Nation community members - on topics ranging from settler colonialism and broadband infrastructure to First Nation community perspectives on telehealth. Susan also participates on graduate thesis supervisory committees.

Personal website

Selected recent publications

  • O’Donnell, S. & Perley, D. (2016). Toward a Sociology of the Reconciliation of Conflicting Desires. Canadian Review of Sociology. 54(4) 474-481.
  • Beaton, B., Perley, D., George, C. & O’Donnell, S. (2016). Engaging remote marginalized communities using appropriate online research methods. In N. Fielding, R. M. Lee & G. Blank (Eds) The Sage handbook of online research methods. Sage, London. Pg. 563-577.
  • O’Donnell, S. (2016). Digital Skills: Unlocking the Information Society (Book Review). Information, Communication & Society. 19, 1770-1772.
  • Beaton, B., Burnard, T., Linden, A. & O'Donnell, S. (2015). Keewaytinook mobile: An Indigenous community-owned mobile phone service in northern Canada. In L. Dyson, S. Grant & M. Hendriks (eds.), Indigenous People and Mobile Technologies. New York, NY: Routledge. Pg 109-125.
  • McMahon, R., Gurstein, M., Beaton, B., O’Donnell, S., Whiteduck, T. (2014). Making Information Technologies Work at the End of the Road. Journal of Information Policy 4(1).
  • Molyneaux, H., O'Donnell, S., Kakekaspan, C., Walmark, B., Budka, P. & Gibson, K. (2014). Social Media in Remote First Nation Communities. Canadian Journal of Communication. 39(2) 275-288.
  • Whiteduck, G., Tenasco, A., O’Donnell, S., Whiteduck, T. & Lockhart E. (2014). Developing an e-Community Approach to Community Services in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. Journal of Community Informatics, 10 (2).
  • Simon, J., Burton, K., Lockhart, E. & O’Donnell S. (2014). Post-secondary Distance Education in a Contemporary Colonial Context: Experiences of Students in a Rural First Nation in Canada. The International Review of Research on Open and Distance Learning. 1(15), 1-19.
  • Carpenter, P., Gibson, K., Kakekaspan, C. & O’Donnell, S. (2013). How Women in Remote and Rural First Nation Communities are Using Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). In W. Ashton & A. S. Carson (Eds.), [Special issue]. The Journal of Rural and Community Development, 8(2), 79-97.
  • Gray-McKay, C. Gibson, K., O’Donnell, S. & People of Mishkeegogamang (2014). An Inquiry into Community Members’ Use and Attitudes Toward Technology in Mishkeegogamang Tepacimowin Networks. Journal of Community Informatics, 10 (1).
  • O’Donnell, S., Johnson, L., Kakepetum-Schultz, T., Burton, K., Whiteduck, T., Mason, R., Beaton, B., McMahon, R. & Gibson, K. (2013). Videoconferencing for First Nations Community-Controlled Education, Health and Development. Electronic Journal of Communication. 23 (1&2).
  • Molyneaux, H., O’Donnell, S. & Milliken, M. (2012). Staying Socially Connected with Video Communication: A Case Study. Canadian Journal of Communication, 37(3) 421-441.
  • Milliken, M., O’Donnell, S., Gibson, K. & Daniels, B. (2012). Older Adults and Video Communications: A Case Study. Journal of Community Informatics, 8 (1).
  •  Mather, L., Molyneaux, H., Lebouthillier, A., Guerrette-Daigle, L. Robichaud, S., Leblanc-Cormier, G., O’Donnell, S., Fournier, H., Sirois, P. (2013) Factors Affecting Nurses’ Attitudes Toward an Automated Dispensing Unit: A Cross Sectional Quantitative Study. Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics. Vol. 7 No. 3/4.


Contact information:

Dr Susan O’Donnell