Mary Chayko teaching

I’ve been teaching for over twenty years at Rutgers University and Saint Elizabeth University, and am currently a Distinguished Professor of Teaching, Communication and Information, and the Director of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies, at Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information (SC&I). I am an affiliate member of the departments of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sociology Studies faculties at Rutgers, and I’m a Faculty Fellow in Residence  at the Rutgers University Honors College – New Brunswick. I am known for using social media in my courses in innovative ways, and I have received the Rutgers University Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching (2019) and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributors to Undergraduate Education (1994). For more on my most recent teaching award:


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 first-year Byrne seminars on my research. And I enjoy serving as mentor to students in the undergraduate honors programs and the athletic department. Here’s a story that was published in “Rutgers Today” about my Byrne seminar “Selfies and Digital Culture”:


My teaching and teaching-related work such as curriculum and program development are thoroughly grounded in research and informed by my commitment to service and public and scholarly engagement. A sociologist with a widely interdisciplinary perspective, I develop and teach courses that integrate the theories and methodologies of multiple disciplines (including sociology, educational psychology, communication, media studies, and information science) with respect to digital technology and society. I teach in all modes (online, hybrid, and traditional face-to-face) and do not see these as discrete but overlapping; I try to bring the most effective features of each to provide students in all of my courses with an optimized experience.

Here are the short animated videos I produced and voiced describing the programs I direct at Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information — the Digital Communication, Information, and Media Minor and the Gender and Media Minor.

The pedagogies that I employ are current, engaging, and relevant to students’ everyday lives. I use social media to help achieve course objectives and bring such concepts and processes as networked communication “to life.” Students in my courses, and those in the programs that I oversee, study and practice the thoughtful, safe, effective, ethical, professional uses of communication technology, probe the theories and research findings that will help them understand a changing digital world, and are encouraged to become first-rate 21st-century scholars, practitioners, and citizens.

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 Saint Elizabeth University:

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