Hoping to understand how smart city technology is evolving because of COVID-19, Gillian Umstead ’22, a business administration/marketing major at Albright College took on a unique Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE) project, working one on one with Bonnie Rohde, M.B.A., CPM, instructor of business accounting and economics.
The pair applied crisis management theory to the uses of smart city technology to understand how cities, like Philadelphia, might utilize these tools to prevent, prepare for, and respond to crises, especially in light of COVID-19.
Working one-on-one with Professor Rohde was really awesome,” said Umstead. “I wanted to explore fields related to business management and information systems, and this helped me to do that.
The study helped me to understand research procedures, and crisis management, as well as smart city technology. And it was great working with someone who has experience conducting research and who is knowledgeable in the field to guide me and help me learn more about the technology and practices.”
After conducting interviews, Umstead was excited to learn about how the technology was being used, and how other people viewed the technology. “Each of our interviewees had a different idea of why smart city technology was important,” said Umstead. “It was so cool to hear about projects using this technology that we hadn’t even thought about. I learned that I’m a lot more interested in this technology than I originally thought. I’m especially interested in how it can be used to combat issues of social inequity, and it’s definitely an area of study I’d like to pursue further.”