Shelia Cotten


Shelia Cotten

  • Title: Professor
  • Email:    Phone: (517) 353-6336
  • Office: 404 Wilson Road

Shelia R. Cotten is an MSU Foundation Professor in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. She is the Director of the Sparrow/MSU Center for Innovation and Research and the former Director of Trifecta. She studies technology use across the life course and the social, educational, and health impacts of that use. She conducts large-scale community based intervention studies designed to use technology to enhance various aspects of quality of life. With funding from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Cotten has studied the largest dissemination of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO laptops in the United States. She recently finished a large randomized controlled trial, funded by the National Institute on Aging, designed to enhance quality of life among older adults through the use of technology training. In 2016, Dr. Cotten was named a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. She is a past Chair of the Communication and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association (CITASA), the 2013 recipient of the Public Sociology Award and the 2016 recipient of the William F. Ogburn Senior Career Achievement Award from the CITASA section of the American Sociological Association. Dr. Cotten enjoys teaching courses on the social impacts of technology, survey research, and research methods. Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Cotten was a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Associated Programs: MSU Foundation Professor, Department of Media and Information; Adjunct Professor in College of Nursing; Adjunct Professor in College of Engineering
Research Areas: Technology use across the life course; the health, educational and social impacts of teachnology use; emerging technologies; health and quality of life
Selected Publications:

Shelia R. Cotten, Elizabeth Yost, Ron Berkowsky, Vicki Winstead, and Will Anderson. 2016. Designing Technology Training for Older Adults in Continuing Care Retirement Communities. CRC Press (a division of Taylor and Francis).

William J. Chopik, RV Rikard, and Shelia R. Cotten (2017). Individual difference predictors of ICT use in older adulthood: A study of 17 candidate characteristics. Computers in Human Behavior, 76, 526-533.

Hsin-yi Sandy Tsai, Ruth Shillair, and Shelia R. Cotten. (2017). Social Support and “Playing Around”: An Examination of How Older Adults Acquire Digital Literacy with Tablet Computers. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 36(1): 29-55. DOI: 10.1177/0733464815609440.

Kuo-Ting Huang, Shelia R. Cotten, and RV Rikard. (2017). Access is Not Enough: The Impact of Emotional Costs on African American Students’ ICT Use Patterns. Information, Communication, and Society, 20(4): 637-650.

LaToya O’Neal Coleman, Philip A. Gibson, Shelia R. Cotten, Michael Howell-Moroney, and Kristi Stringer. (2016). Integrating Computing Across the Curriculum: The Impact of Internal Barriers and Training Intensity on Technology Integration in the Elementary School Classroom. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 54(2): 275-294.

Laura Robinson, Shelia R. Cotten, Hiroshi Ono, Anabel Quan-Haase, Gustavo Mesch, Wenhong Chen, Jeremy Schulz, Timothy M. Hale, Mike Stern. (2015). Digital Inequalities and Why They Matter. Information, Communication, and Society, 18(5): 569-582.

Shelia R. Cotten, George Ford, Sherry Ford, and Timothy M. Hale. (2014). Internet Use and Depression Among Retired Older Adults in the U.S.: A Longitudinal Analysis. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences, 69(5): 763-771.

Curriculum Vitae: Download