B.A., English Literature, University of South Carolina
MLIS, Library & Information Science, University of South Carolina
Prior to starting his Ph.D. at the iSchool, Nick Vera worked in the low-country region of South Carolina with a local nonprofit to provide innovative and collaborative solutions to support underserved communities' access quality-of-life resources. Prior to his involvement with nonprofits, Nick also served as the graduate assistant for Cocky’s Reading Express, playing a pivotal role in promoting children's literacy in Title-I schools across South Carolina. Nick’s experiences provide a well-rounded perspective that informs his research and approach to working with different communities and stakeholders.
Nick’s research examines the impact of social media on the sexual health information-seeking behaviors of young adults. It bridges a critical gap between experts such as health practitioners and teachers – who may not provide accurate, relevant, and comprehensive sexual health information to youth – and social media sources that support health information needs but may lack critical context, quality, or accuracy. His research responds to a call within the field to connect better LIS to Public Health and to develop strategies that encourage young adults to navigate the digital landscape effectively and make informed decisions about their sexual health.
Ultimately, Nick's research contributes to a holistic approach to sexual health education for young adults, recognizing the role of both traditional health practitioners and emerging digital platforms. By combining the strengths of both realms, his research aims to empower young adults with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions about their sexual health, promoting overall well-being and reducing the potential risks associated with missing, inadequate, or misleading information.
Funding and Awards
2023 - William M. Trafton III Outstanding Student Award for Leadership
University of South Carolina, School of Information Science
2023 - CIC Internal Research Track II Grant – ($1,000)
University of South Carolina, College of Information and Communications
2019 - Graduate Civic Scholars Program ($500)
University of South Carolina
Nick's recent publications have appeared in Roles and Responsibilities of Libraries in Increasing Consumer Health Literacy and Reducing Health Disparities, Journal of the Association for Information Science, and the International Journal of Critical Media Literacy.
Vera, A. N., Kitzie, V. L., & Wagner, T. L. (2023). Queer Mediated Practices as a Method to Center and Sustain Critical Health and Media Literacies. The International Journal of Critical Media Literacy, 3(2), 160-177.
Kitzie, V. L., Wagner, T. L., Lookingbill, V., & Vera, N. (2022). Advancing information practices theoretical discourses centered on marginality, community, and embodiment: Learning from the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 73(4), 494-510.
Vera, A. N., Wagner, T. L., & Kitzie, V. L. (2020). “When it’s Time to Come Together, We Come Together”: Reconceptualizing Theories of Self-efficacy for Health Information Practices within LGBTQIA+ Communities. In Roles and Responsibilities of Libraries in Increasing Consumer Health Literacy and Reducing Health Disparities (pp. 263-282). Emerald Publishing Limited.