Laurel Hellerstein received her B.A. and M.A. in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State University and went on to earn her Doctorate in Communication from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her dissertation and ground-breaking research undertaken while at UMASS more than 25 years ago uncovered how people use computers to talk to each other and build community online. In addition to teaching about \"life online,\" and research methods, Dr. Hellerstein provides academic over-site to the students and faculty in the School of Communication.