People Directory


Rob McMahon, PhD

Assistant Professor


Communications | Community Engagement

About Me

Dr. Rob McMahon is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. He teaches in the Master of Arts in Communication and Technology (MACT) and Master of Arts in Community Engagement (MACE) programs. Rob's PhD dissertation in Communication Studies from Simon Fraser University, “Digital Self-Determination: Indigenous Peoples and the Network Society in Canada”, was awarded the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. Rob worked as a postdoctoral researcher with the First Nations Innovation Project at the University of New Brunswick and co-founded the First Mile Connectivity Consortium, a national nonprofit association of Indigenous technology organizations.

Rob’s research focuses on the appropriation of broadband and internet technologies by rural, remote, Northern and Indigenous communities. His approach involves working with communities to ensure that their voices are heard in all stages of research. He and his partners are exploring ways to house project data and build research capacities in communities, and are involved in efforts to contribute to digital policy and regulation.


* Community informatics research and practice
* Indigenous, rural, remote and Northern communities and ICT
* Telecommunications policy and regulation
* Digital media and infrastructures

Current research projects include:

* Digital Literacy Workshops with Piikani First Nation (AB) and Gwich'in Tribal Council (NWT)
* 'We Are All Related' Augmented Reality mobile application development
First Mile Connectivity Consortium -- policy and regulation to support Indigenous broadband in Canada
Digital Futures -- Rural Broadband in Alberta and Understanding Community Broadband: The Alberta Broadband Toolkit (with Dr. Michael McNally (PI) and Dr. Dinesh Rathi, School of Library and Information Studies)
Community Leadership Mapping Project (with Dr. Mary Beckie (PI) and Dr. Kevin Jones)


* COMM 509 - Advanced Seminar in Research Design

* COMM 506 - Strategic Communication

* MACE 501 - Principles and Practices of Community Engagement