ELIZABETH ANKRAH

About me

Elizabeth Ankrah (Liz) is a third-year Ph.D. student at the University of California, Irvine in the Department of Informatics. She is advised by Dr. Gillian Hayes and is a member of the STAR Lab and affiliated with the Steckler Center for Responsible, Ethical, and Accessible Technology (CREATE) and the Laboratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction (LUCI).

Research Area of Interest:

Her research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Health Informatics, Health Equity, and Community Health. Her research focuses on the co-design and evaluation of socio-technical interventions to support the lifestyle and chronic illness management of adolescents and young adults. Currently, she works with adolescent and young adult childhood cancer survivors at a local hospital in Southern California.

Research Approach:

Liz loves learning through actions. She is a design and qualitative researcher. She employs action research principles, working to address identified problems with community partners (i.e. patients, clinicians, community non-profits, and other researchers) through co-design of socio-technical interventions. Liz uses methods such as interviews, focus groups, co-design workshops, diary studies, digital health interventions, and more.

Passion and Pre-Graduate School:

As a First-Gen, Ghanaian-American, graduate student, Liz is passionate about the recruitment and retention of Black/ African-American students in higher education. Check out her work with TrailBlazer. Feel free to reach out to her with questions about grad school.

Elizabeth received a Bachelor’s in Bioengineering from George Mason University. Her concentration was in Healthcare Informatics. During her undergraduate, she participated in the UMN Big Data REU, worked to create an HIV education-based game, and worked with Weinberg Medical Physics as part of her senior design project. 


“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”

― Erin Hanson