Welcome Dr. Mary Chayko, Our Newest Faculty Fellow in Residence!

By Donel Young
Dr. Mary Chayko being interviewed

Dr. Mary Chayko is a sociologist, a professor of communication and information at the Rutgers' School of Communication and Information (SC&I), and the author of four books, including Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life (Sage, 2016), which will come out in an updated second edition this spring. Her research explores the impact of the Internet, digital technology, and social media on the way we live our everyday lives and form communities with one another. Dr. Chayko will be the keynote speaker at the "Rethinking Community" conference in Dresden later this month, and will be speaking at the Free University of Berlin while in Germany as well.

"I'm excited to explore with HC students how we create and share knowledge in the 21st century," said Dr. Chayko. "I look forward to supporting HC students in shaping their own social media presence to achieve their goals, and, as a three-time Rutgers alum who also has a faculty perspective, helping them navigate life here overall."

Like the Honors College Forum, which is based on interdisciplinary collaboration among our students, Dr. Chayko values, and her work models, interdisciplinarity. "To me, the most interesting things happen at the intersections between different disciplines and fields of study," she remarked.

Get to know Dr. Chayko at these upcoming events

Kill It to Save It with guest author Dr. Corey Dolgon October 12, Coffee with the Deans October 19, Dinner with the Mazzeos October 19 (where she will discuss how social media can help you relate more effectively to friends, colleagues, parents, and professors), and Hip-Hop and the Changing Music Industry, a talk to be offered by SC&I's Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika Nov. 2. She is also assisting with Disrupt HC and will, along with other HC staff, be taking over the HC Twitter feed from time to time, starting Oct. 19. Finally, feel free to drop by E241 for Chili with Chayko on Monday nights, where you can sample some of her famous chili and say a quick hello.

Dive deeper into Dr. Chayko's work

You may be able to contribute to Dr. Chayko's upcoming research projects and take her Honors and SC&I courses:

  • Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar on Digital Technology and Disruptive Change where you can study emerging technologies and their transformational effects on society and individuals. Even the social media-intensive classroom experience disrupts the norm!
  • Byrne Seminar on Selfies and Digital Culture where students create a group blog of their freshman experiences at Rutgers.
  • Courses in the Digital Communication, Information and Media Minor and Gender and Media Minor at SC&I, which she directs. Contact her to learn more: on Twitter @MaryChayko, email at mary.chayko@rutgers.edu, or her website marychayko.com.

Dr. Chayko's top tips...

For life

"Leave 10 minutes earlier than you think you need to for everything, and then relax when you get there. Less stress and more time to organize your thoughts can change your entire day!"

For social media

"Keep in mind that you leave a digital footprint everywhere you go, and that everything you do (even texting) is potentially public. Read everything that you post or text at least twice before you send it, and ask yourself: how would I feel if my professor, boss, parent, or younger sibling happened to see this?"

For professional success

"Begin a new, professionally oriented Twitter account asap, and build a professional identity and network that will lead to all kinds of current and future opportunities. Drop by my open door hours or 'chili chats' any time to talk more about this or get some hands-on help."

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