Shelia R. Cotten

Shelia R. Cotten
  • Professor
  • Department of Sociology
  • PhD, North Carolina State University, 1997


Shelia R. Cotten


Shelia Cotten is an MSU Foundation Professor and the Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Media and Information. She holds Affiliate Professor positions in the Department of Sociology and the College of Engineering. Her research examines technology use across the life course and the health, workforce, education, and social impacts of this use. She is a past Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology section and has also won the William F. Ogburn Senior Career Award and the Public Sociology Award from the section. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Center for Mobility, among others. She publishes in a range of interdisciplinary focused journals.


Dr. Cotten’s current research focuses on ways to decrease the digital divide and how to use technology to improve people’s lives, particularly older adults. In addition, she is currently researching public perceptions of autonomous vehicles and how autonomous vehicles will impact the workforce.


Christopher Ball, Kuo-Ting Huang, R. V. Rikard, Shelia R. Cotten (2019). The emotional costs of computers: an expectancy-value theory analysis of predominantly low-socioeconomic status minority students’ STEM attitudes. Information, Communication & Society, 22(1): 105-128. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1355403. To link to this article:

Travis Kadylak, Taj Makki, Jessica Francis, Shelia R. Cotten, RV Rikard, Young June Sah. (2018). Disrupted Copresence: Older Adults’ Views on Mobile Phone Use During Face-to-Face Interactions. Mobile Media & Communication, 6(3): 331-349.

Timothy M. Hale, Sylvia Choi, and Shelia R. Cotten (ed.). 2018. e-Health. Studies in Media and Communications, Volume 14. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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.

Shelia R. Cotten, Elizabeth Yost, Ron Berkowsky, Vicki Winstead, and Will Anderson. 2017. 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. 

Chris Ball, Kuo-Ting Huang, R.V. Rikard, & Shelia R. Cotten (2017). Pressurizing the STEM Pipeline: An Expectancy-Value Theory Analysis of Youths' STEM Attitudes. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 26(4): 372-382.


  • College of Engineering


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Twitter: @shelia_cotten