Distinguished Teaching Professor of Communication and Information, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University
Mary Chayko (M.Ed, Counseling Psychology; M.A., Ph.D., Sociology; Rutgers University) is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Communication and Information and Director at Rutgers' School of Communication and Information (SC&I). She was formerly the Chairperson and Professor of Sociology at Saint Elizabeth University. Her research explores the impact of the internet and digital technology on society, self and identity in the digital age, tech access and inequality, and the use of digital technologies in education. It has contributed to current understandings of the reality of the online experience, the intersection of the online and the offline, and opportunities for and consequences of digital social connectedness. Her book Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media and Techno-Social Life (Sage Publications; third edition), is a broad-based interdisciplinary primer on technologically mediated communication and society rooted primarily in the fields of sociology, psychology, and communication. She is also the author of Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Internet Age and the award-winning social science bestseller Portable Communities: The Social Dynamics of Online and Mobile Connectedness, both with SUNY Press, and many published articles. Dr. Chayko is a participant in the "public sociology" movement and has co-edited (with Corey Dolgon) the anthology Pioneers of Public Sociology: Thirty Years of Humanity and Society. Honored with the Rutgers University Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching (2019) and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributors to Undergraduate Education (1993), Dr. Chayko directs and teaches in the SC&I Digital Communication, Information & Media program and Gender & Media programs and is known for using social media in her classes in innovative ways.