Karen Sobel-Lojeski

  • Karen Sobel Lojeski
  • Assistant Professor

Dr. Karen Sobel Lojeski is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University.  Her current research focus is the impact of technology on people including how technology impacts educational and business performance as well as overall well-being at the cognitive and emotional levels.  Dr. Lojeski’s research draws on social science, neuroscience, cognitive science, economics, industrial and organizational psychology as well as innovation, creativity, and contemplation research.  In her first book, “Uniting the Virtual Workforce:  Transforming Leadership and Innovation in the Globally Integrated Enterprise”, published by John Wiley & Sons in April, 2008 and part of the Microsoft Executive Leadership series, Dr. Lojeski describes her award-winning discovery of Virtual Distance.  This new phenomenon, a perceived distance that grows when we rely heavily on communication technology, results in major changes to learning, business performance, and a person’s ability to develop close personal relationships.   Dr. Lojeski mathematically modeled this phenomenon with the development of the Virtual Distance Index, a tool that can now be used to quantitatively measure and predict Virtual Distance and its effects.  Her research has yielded new insights into the nature of our societal development and the need to pay as much if not more attention to our “people-based world” as we do to our “technology-based world” to maintain and grow a healthy and civil society. 

Dr. Lojeski is currently working on her second book, “Leading the Virtual Workforce:  How Great Leaders Transform Organizations in the 21st Century” to be published by John Wiley & Sons in the Spring of 2009.  This second work will also be part of the Microsoft Executive Leadership series.  By continuing to use applied research methods, Dr. Lojeski is on the cutting edge of understanding how leaders in education, business, policy and other arenas motivate and inspire people to action in the technological age. 

In addition to her on-going research into Virtual Distance and related areas like leadership and innovation, Dr. Lojeski is launching a new initiative, The Future of Thought Consortium (www.futureofthought.com).  Dr. Lojeski has gathered luminaries from around the world in academia, business, education, policy-making, world peace initiatives, contemplation scholars and more to begin looking seriously at the questions around how today’s technologies are fundamentally changing the way we think, the way we feel, the way we behave with ourselves and with one another as well as the ways in which we contemplate – or lose the capacity to do so as we become more ensconced in a technological world.  The Future of Thought Consortium, now housed in the Technology and Society Department at Stony Brook, aims to develop authoritative, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional positions around these and related societal issues. 

Prior to joining Stony Brook, Dr. Lojeski worked in industry for eighteen years.  After 9/11/2001, she returned to university to pursue her Ph.D.  Dr. Lojeski’s dissertation, “Virtual Distance:  A New Model for the Study of Virtual Work”, won the award for Best Dissertation, 2006, from Stevens Institute of Technology.  Dr. Lojeski has been published in both academic as well as practitioner journals and magazines.  Her work has been highlighted by BusinessWeek, The New York Times, Forbes.com, Reuters.com, and more.  She is a sought-after speaker on the topic of virtual work and education.  She continues to work with world-renown companies and non-profits on improving innovation and effectiveness.  Some of these relationships include Western Union, Genentech, National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, The US Navy, Center for Naval Analysis, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, J&J, Merck, and more.

Dr. Lojeski also works with other academic institutions as well.  She is a Director’s Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, a Presidential Fellow at Polytecnic/NYU and a Collaborator with Stanford University’s MediaX Lab.

Dr. Lojeski earned her Ph.D. in 2006 from the Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken.  Her undergraduate degrees are in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from SUNY Albany.