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Christiana Varda


[email protected]

+357 2469 4000


PhD Communication and Internet Studies (Cyprus University of Technology, 2020 – present)

MA Interactive Multimedia (Cyprus University of Technology, 2016)

BA Journalism (Pennsylvania State University, 2005)

BA English (Pennsylvania State University, 2005)



Learning Sciences: emotions and epistemic cognition

Employment Track

Lecturer, UCLan Cyprus (Sept. 2022 – present)

Research Associate, Media, Cognition and Learning Research Group, Department of Communication and Internet Studies, Cyprus University of Technology (Jan. 2019 – present)

Founder, Media What, NGO (Feb. 2019 – present)

Special Teaching Staff, Department of Communication and Internet Studies, Cyprus University of Technology (Sept. 2021 – Dec. 2022)

Associate Lecturer, Web Design and Development, UCLan Cyprus (Sep. 2018 – Aug. 2020)

Research Associate, Cyprus Interaction Lab, Cyprus University of Technology (Sep. 2018 – Dec. 2018)

Media & Communications Coordinator, American Academy Larnaca (Sep. 2016 – Aug. 2018)

Media Studies Teacher, American Academy Larnaca (Sep. 2010 – Aug. 2018)

Academic Counsellor, American Academy Larnaca (Sep. 2009 – Aug. 2012)


Memberships (Academic/Professional)

  • International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
  • JURE European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)
  • Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR)
  • ACM-W, Cyprus Chapter


Research Interests

Christiana’s research focuses on understanding the role of emotions during the evaluation of online information on social media to derive implications for the design of learning environments that can support an engaged citizenry.

Research interests: Media Literacy, Epistemic Cognition, Emotions, Informal Learning, Information Evaluation, Misinformation, Social Media, Digital Journalism


Roles and Responsibilities (including past roles and responsibilities)

Teaching and Course Leadership 

  • Course Leader, BSc (Hons) Media Production
  • Current Module Leadership/Delivery: Introduction to Media Literacy, Introduction to Audiovisual Technologies, Multimedia Production, Video Post-Production.
  • Past Module Leadership/Delivery: The Public Communication of Science and the Role of the Media, Introduction to the Information Society.

Selective Publications 

  • Varda, C. & Kyza, E. A. (2022, June 6-10). The role of epistemic emotions during engagement with online information encounters. In Chinn, , Chan, C., & Kali, Y. (Eds). Proceedings of the 16th International Conference for the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2022 International Collaboration toward Educational Innovation for All: Overarching Research, Development, and Practices. (pp. 735-142). Paper presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS). Hiroshima, Japan. [Online]. [ICLS Best Student Paper Nominee].
  • Kyza, E. A. & Varda, C., Konstantinou, L., Karapanos, E., Perfumi, S. C., Svahn, M. & Georgiou, Y. (2021, October). Social media use, trust and technology acceptance: Investigating the effectiveness of a co-created browser plugin in mitigating the spread of misinformation on social media. Paper presented at AoIR 2021: The 22nd Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers. Virtual Event: AoIR. Retrieved from
  • Kyza, E. A., Varda, C., Panos, D., Karageorgiou, M., Komendantova, N., Perfumi, S. C., Shah, S., & Hosseini, A. S. (2020). Combating misinformation online: re-imagining social media for policy-making. Internet Policy Review9(4), 1-24.
  • Varda, C., & Ioannou, A. (2019, October). How Can Facebook Use in Education Be Realized as Crowdsourcing of Learning? An Exploration of Junior, Senior and Graduates Working Together. In Interactive Mobile Communication, Technologies and Learning(pp. 367-378). Springer, Cham.

Selective Conference and Seminar Presentations

  • Varda, C. & Kyza E. A. (2021, August 23-27). “Liking” social media posts with credibility labels: The role of epistemic aims and criteria. In F. Hendriks, M. Zimmerman, & E. Mayweg-Paus (Organizers),“Is this credible information?” Investigations on the Evaluation of Scientific Online Information [Symposium]. Presented at the 19th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI 2021) [Online].
  • Varda, C. & Kyza, E. A. (2021, April 8-12). Countering the spread of misinformation on informal social media networks: Media literacy implication Paper presented at the 2021 American Educational Research Association (AERA) [Online].
  • Kyza, E. A. & Varda, C. (2019, September). Navigating the post-truth era: trust, misinformation, and credibility assessment on online social media. Paper presented at the 20th Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers, Brisbane, Australia.

Invited talks and workshops:

  • Varda, C., (2022, April). Engaging readers through live blogging [Workshop]. Digital Journalism Against Misinformation Workshop Series. Cyprus University of Technology.
  • Varda, C., (2022, March). Communicating science and the power of the crowd in digital journalism [Workshop]. Digital Journalism Against Misinformation Workshop Series. Cyprus University of Technology.
  • Varda, C., (2022, March). Let the data do the talking: Tools and good practices for data journalism [Workshop]. Digital Journalism Against Misinformation Workshop Series. Cyprus University of Technology.
  • Varda, C., (2022, February). Journalism in action: Developing competencies for mobile journalism [Workshop]. Digital Journalism Against Misinformation Workshop Series. Cyprus University of Technology.
  • Varda, C., (2022, February). Navigating data worlds: Instructional approaches to developing critical data literacy [Workshop]. Media Lit Conference 2022, Belgium.
  • Varda, C. & Papadema I. (2021, July). Το σενάριο της πραγματικότητας: Αφηγηματικές Προσεγγίσεις [A script for realism: Narrative Approaches] [Workshop]. 4th Cyprus Archaeological, Ethnographic and Historical Film Festival, Cyprus.
  • Varda, C., (2021, February). Η διαδικτυακή περσόνα της γυναίκας: Μια ματιά στις αναπαραστάσεις γυναικών στα κοινωνικά δίκτυα από γυναίκες φωτογράφους. [A woman’s online persona: A look at women’s representations on social media mediated through female photographers] [Talk]. Fotodos Gallery.
  • Varda, C. (2021, January). Σκέφτομαι καιμιλώ την γλώσσα των Media [Thinking and speaking in media language] [Presentation]. Film Literacy Conference: Cinema in Schools, Cyprus.
  • Varda, C. (2020, February). Developing critical thinking through cross-generational storytelling [Workshop]. Media Lit Seminar 2021, Belgium.
  • Varda, C. (2019, March). Have Social Media Failed Us? [Video]. TEDx Larnaca, TED Conferences.
  • Varda, C. (2018, December). Storytelling and branding [Workshop]. Tech Camp Cyprus: Digital Citizenship in the Disinformation Age, Cyprus.
  • Varda, C. (2018, October). “Το γυναικείο βλέμμα και η σημασία του στον κινηματογράφο” [The female gaze and its importance in cinema] [Video]. Larnaka Cinema Society.

Selective Research Funding/ Grant Capture

  • US Department of State’s Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund. Title: Journalists Resisting Disinformation through Science Communication Online. Researcher/Task Leader. Budget: $24,900 (September 2021- December 2021)
  • US Federal Assistance Grant. Title: Portraits of Women’s Empowered Representations (POWER). Principal investigator. Budget: $4,700 (September 20200 – September 2021)
  • World Learning, Alumni TIES. Title: Your Story: Developing Critical Thinking Through Cross-Generational Storytelling. Principal investigator. Budget: $3,390 (September 2019 – December 2019)
  • Tech Camp Cyprus. Title: Media Learn: A Media Literacy Lesson Plan Repository for Secondary School Teachers. Principal investigator. Budget: $4,000 (June 2019 -September 2019)
  • Association of Computing Machinery Council of Women in Computing (ACM-W). Principal investigator. Title: Women In Maker Cultures. Budget: $6,000 (September 2018 – May 2019)


  • Cyprus State Scholarship Foundation (2020 – present)
  • Schreyer Honors College, Pennsylvania State University (2002 – 2005)
  • Cyprus-America Scholarship Program (CASP): Full Scholarship for undergraduate studies (Fulbright Commission) (2002 – 2005)

Other Scholarly and Outreach Activities

  • Communications Officer, International Learning Sciences Student Association (June 2022 – present)
  • Associate Chair for Work In Progress (WIP), ACM Interaction design and Children (IDC) Conference, Online (June 2021)
  • Co-Chair, European Conference on Social Media, Pyla, Cyprus (July 2020)
  • Co-organizer:
    • Nurturing Digital Citizenship through Media Literacy, Online (September 2021)
    • Combating Misinformation Through Media Literacy Conference, Limassol, Cyprus (June 2019)
    • Media Lit Seminar 2020, Brussels, Belgium (February 2020)