Graduate Faculty

Chayko, Mary



Ph.D., Sociology, Rutgers University

M.A., Sociology, Rutgers University

Ed.M., Counseling Psychology, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University

B.A., Communication and Psychology, Seton Hall University

Research Interests

Impact of the internet and digital technology on community, society, and self; social media; public sociology; social bonds and community formation in digital spaces

Biographical Notes

Dr. Mary Chayko is a longtime member of the Rutgers community, having earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from the Graduate School - New Brunswick and an Ed.M. in Counseling Psychology from the Graduate School of Education. As Professor of Teaching and Director of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies at SC&I, she oversees the Digital Communication, Information, and Media (DCIM) and Gender and Media minors. She teaches in the DCIM and Communication programs, where she is known for her use of social media, especially Twitter, in the classroom. Dr. Chayko serves as a faculty mentor for students in the honors program and the athletic department at Rutgers and is on the board of the Women, Media and Tech joint initiative of the Institute for Women's Leadership and SC&I. She has been honored with the Rutgers University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributors to Undergraduate Education.

A sociologist of communication technology, Dr. Chayko speaks and publishes widely on the impact of the internet and digital technology on community, society, and self. She is the author of Portable Communities: The Social Dynamics of Online and Mobile Connectedness (named a 2009 Social Science Bestseller by Library Journal and runner-up Book of the Year by the Association for Humanist Sociology) and 2002’s Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Internet Age, both with SUNY Press, plus many published articles. Her forthcoming book with Sage Publications will be entitled Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life. 

Coauthor and editor of the 2010 anthology Pioneers in Public Sociology: Thirty Years of Humanity and Society (Sloan), Dr. Chayko also participates in the “public sociology” movement that advocates scholarship that directly benefits people in their everyday lives and inspires civic engagement and social justice. 

Prior to her arrival at SC&I, Dr. Chayko was Chairperson and Professor of Sociology at the College of Saint Elizabeth, Assistant Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Rutgers University - Livingston College, and an announcer and disc jockey at the radio stations WNEW-AM/New York, WDHA-FM/Dover, NJ, and WMGQ-FM/New Brunswick, NJ.