Mary Chayko teaching


I’ve been teaching for over twenty years at Rutgers University and the College of Saint Elizabeth, and am currently a Teaching Professor of Communication and Information and Director of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies at Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information (SC&I). I am also an affiliate member of the Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies faculties at Rutgers.

At SC&I, I direct the interdisciplinary Digital Communication, Information, and Media and Gender and Media minors. I teach in the Honors College/SAS honors program at Rutgers, and I teach Byrne seminars on my research. And I enjoy serving as mentor to students in the undergraduate honors program and athletic department.

I believe that the ideal conditions for learning are: (a) a relaxed, positive, challenging atmosphere; (b) respect for classroom norms and rules, which must be firmly and fairly set, communicated, and enforced — especially regarding promptness to class and in handing in academic work (motto in my classroom and my home: “If you’re on time, you’re late!”); and (c) the use of a mixture of teaching methods as appropriate to the class (in-person lecturing, group work, online exercises, use of audio and video, field trips, guest speakers, service learning). I teach at all levels in my program — introductory, mid-level, advanced — and for our college honors program as well, and have high expectations for my students and myself.

Professional development in teaching is important to me, as is the encouragement and retention of higher-risk college students.  For six years at Rutgers, I designed and implemented the academic component of the five-week summer program experienced by the students in its Educational Opportunity Program for lower-income students. I am known for using social media in my courses in innovative ways, and I have received the Rutgers University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributors to Undergraduate Education.

I regularly research, experiment with, and implement new teaching methods and formats, and develop new courses in a variety of formats (in-classroom, online, hybrid or blended). Here’s a link to a webinar I offered on Teaching with Twitter.

Some of the courses I have taught:

At Rutgers University:

Social Media

Digital Technology and Disruptive Change — Created course, regular and honors sections

Leadership in Digital Contexts

The Structure of Information

Mediated Communication in Society

Capstone in Digital Communication, Information, and Media

Capstone in Gender and Media

Selfies and Digital Culture — Byrne Seminar

Twitter and Society — Byrne Seminar

The Internet and Social Interaction — Created course

Community and Social Involvement – Co-created course

Diversity in the Workplace – Created course

Mass Communication in Modern Society

Expository Writing

Sociology of the Family

Law and Society

Sociology of Education

Introduction to Sociology

Culture, Identity and Education

Mass Media and Popular Culture

Building Community

At the College of Saint Elizabeth:

The Internet and Society — Created and taught course

Social Problems – Taught in both online and traditional formats

Sociological Theory

Social Change

Sociology of the Family – Regular and honors sections

Senior Seminar in Sociology

Social Stratification

Introduction to Sociology

Race, Class and Gender