Michael Stern Ph.D.

Michael Stern

Department Chairperson

  • Media & Information
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Michael J. Stern (Mike) is a Professor and Chair for the Department of Media & Information at Michigan State University.  Before joining MSU, Stern held research and academic appointments NORC at the University of Chicago, the College of Charleston, and Oklahoma State University.
Substantively, his research focuses on theories of information seeking and digital inequality in the context of health. That is, his work focuses on the exclusion of marginalized and traditionally underrepresented groups in the areas of internet usage, social media, and mobile emerging technologies as they relate to health information seeking and other pursuits. Most of his work in this area centers on how diverse segments of society effectively use information and communication technologies and what this means to the future in terms of broadening inequality through access to information and proficiency in using these technologies regarding health information seeking, the “rural” penalty, health information seeking and communication with heath providers, educational opportunities, and economics.
Methodically, he has done considerable work in mobile technology use, data science and analytics, on web survey design and administration, effective use of limited dependent variables, customizing growth curve models to time series data, employing administrative and big data to augment survey responses, and using qualitative data from cognitive interviews to design more effective questionnaires for paper, web, and mobile surveys.  His experimental research in emerging technologies and social media has included in-depth analysis of client-side para data, diverse approaches to probability and non-probability sampling for web-only surveys, and assessments of response patterns to examine spatial clustering and geographically based coverage error for internet use. Over the past 12 years, he has conducted hundreds of experimental treatments in web and mobile surveys in order answer important questions about technology usage in data collection.


Department Chairperson, Media + Information

Research and Teaching

Research Centers and Labs

Health and Risk Communication Center

Selected publications

Stern, M., Fordyce, Erin and. Felicia LeClare (Forthcoming) “Web Survey Design and Implementation: An Evidence-Based Approach” in Richard Williams (ed.) Sage Handbook on Quantitative Research Methods.

Stern, M, I Bilgen, C McClain, and *B Hunscher. 2017. “Can We Effectively Sample From Social Media Sites? Results from Two Sampling Experiments.” Social Science and Computer Review. 35 (6): 713-732.

Stern, M, I. Bilgen, and D. Sterrett. 2016. “The Effects of Grids on Web Surveys Completed with Mobile Devices.” Social Currents.  3 (3): 217-233.

Contact Information

404 Wilson Road, Room 409
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University