Curriculum Vitae

Susannah R. Stern

Department of Communication Studies, University of San Diego. 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA  92109 * 619-260-7814 *


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Ph.D. in Mass Communication, 2000.

University of Washington at Seattle. School of Communication. M.A. in Mass Communication, 1997.

Northwestern University. School of Speech. B.S. in Communication Studies, 1995.

Academic Appointments

Professor (2013- present); Associate Professor (2007-2012); Assistant Professor (2004-2007). Department of Communication Studies, University of San Diego.

Assistant Professor (2002-2004); Visiting Assistant Professor (2000-2002). Communication Department, Boston College.

Administrative Appointments

Director (2018-present). Honors Program, University of San Diego.

 Course Instruction

    • The Social Dilemma, Deconstructed (team-taught)
    • The Digital Self
    • Introduction to Media Studies 
    • Introduction to Research
    • Media Processes & Effects
    • Communication Research Methods
    • Children & the Media 
    • Teens & Popular Media 
    • Interpretive Research Methods)
    • Cultural Constructions of Motherhood: Ideologies, Practices & Contradictions (Honors team-taught course)
    • Kids, Cartoons & Culture
    • Research Experience/Practicum
    • Independent Study
    • Honors Senior Thesis Seminar

Selected Publications

Stern, S., Zakaria, S., Prather, C., Gonzalez, J., Lucky, C., & Turner, L. (2021). Youth homelessness in San Diego: Understanding obstacles to service use.  Urgent Challenges Collective, University of San Diego.

Stern, S. & Gonzalez, O. (2018).  How are teens’ digital experiences integrated into their everyday lives?  In S. Mazzarella and N. Bryant (Eds), 20 Questions about Youth & The Media (2nd Edition).  NY: Peter Lang.

Stern, S. & Burke Odland, S. (2017).  Constructing dysfunction: News coverage of teenagers and social media.  Mass Communication & Society.

Stern, S. (2015).  Regretted online self-presentations: U.S. college students’ recollections and reflections. Journal of Children and Media, 9(2). 248-265.

Stern, S. & Morr, L. (2013).  Portrayals of teen smoking, drinking and drug use in recent popular movies.  Journal of Health Communication,18(2), 179-191.

Stern, S. (2012). Encountering Distressing Information in Online Research: A Consideration of Legal and Ethical Responsibilities. In J. Hughes (Ed.), SAGE Internet Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (Reprinted from New Media & Society, 5(2003), 249-266.

An, Soontae & Stern, S. (2011).  Mitigating the effects of advergames on children: Do advertising breaks work? Journal of Advertising, 40, 43-56.

Brown, J.D., Keller, S., & Stern, S (2009).  Sex, sexuality, sexting, and sex-ed: Adolescents & the media. Prevention Researcher, 16(4), 3-6.

Stern, S. (2008). Producing sites, exploring identities: Youth online authorship.  In D. Buckingham (Ed.)  Youth, Identity, and Digital Media, pp. 95-118. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Stern, S. & Brown, J.D. (2008).  From twin beds to sex at your fingertips: Teen sexuality in movies, music, television and the Internet (1950-2005). In D. Romer and P. Jamieson (Eds.) The Changing Portrayal of Youth in the Media and Why it Matters, pp.313-346. Oxford University Press.

Stern, S. (2008). How do various notions of privacy influence decisions in qualitative internet research?  In. A. Markham & N. Baym (Eds.) Internet Inquiry: Dialogue Among Researchers, pp. 94-98.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Stern, S. (2008). Girls as Internet producers and consumers: The need to place girls’ studies in the public eye (Review & Commentary). Journal of Children and Media, 2(1), 85-86.

Stern, S. & Willis, T. (2007).  What are teenagers up to online?  In S. Mazzarella (Ed.), Kidstuff: 20 questions about youth and the media, pp. 211-224. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Mastro, D. & Stern, S.  (2006).  Race and gender in advertising: A look at sexualized images in prime-time commercials. In T. Reichert & J. Lambiase (Eds.), Sex in Advertising: Content, Representations, and Campaigns (pp. 281-300). Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., Hillsdale: NJ.

Stern, S. (2006).  The role movies play in alcohol consumption by youths.  International Psychiatry, 3(2), 34-35.

Stern, S.  (2005).  Messages from teens on the big screen:  Smoking, drinking, and drug use in teen-centered films.  Journal of Health Communication, 10, 331-346.

Stern, S. (2005).  Self-absorbed, dangerous, and disengaged: What popular films tell us about teenagers.  Mass Communication & Society, 8, 23-38.

Stern, S. (2005).  Growing up online.  Telemedium: The Journal of Media Literacy, 52(1/2), 55-58.

Stern, S. (2004).  Expressions of identity online: Prominent features and gender differences in adolescents’ WWW home pages.  Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 48, 218-243.

Stern, S. & Mastro, D. (2004). Gender portrayals across the lifespan: A content analytic look at broadcast commercials.  Mass Communication & Society ,7, 215-236.

Stern, S. (2004). Studying youth online: A consideration of ethical issues.  In E. A. Buchanan (Ed.) Readings in Virtual Research Ethics: Issues and Controversies (pp. 274-287).  Hershey, PA: Idea Group, Inc.

Stern, S. (2004).  All I really needed to know (about beauty) I learned by kindergarten: A cultivation analysis.  In R. Lind (Ed.), Race/Gender/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences, Content and Producers (pp.22-29).  Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Longman.

Mastro, D. & Stern, S. (2003). Representations of race in TV commercials: A content analysis of primetime ads. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 47, 638-647.

Stern, S. (2003).  Encountering distressing information in online research: A consideration of legal and ethical responsibilities.  New Media and Society, 5, 249-266.

Stern, S.  (2002). Virtually speaking: Girls’ self-disclosure on the WWW.  Women’s Studies in Communication, 25, 223-253.

Brown, J.D. & Stern, S.  (2002).  Mass media and female adolescents’ sexuality.  In G. Wingood & R. DiClimente (Eds.), Handbook of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health (pp. 93-112)NY:  Plenum Publishing.

Stern, S.  (2002).  Sexual selves on the World Wide Web: Adolescent girls’ homepages as sites for sexual self-expression.  In J. Brown, J. Steele, & K. Walsh-Childers (Eds.) Sexual Teens/Sexual Media: Investigating Media’s Influence on Adolescent Sexuality (pp. 265-286).  NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates.

Stern, S. (1999).  Adolescent girls’ expression on WWW home pages: A qualitative analysis.  Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 5(4), 22-41.

Selected Speeches/Workshops

Digital Media in the Everyday Lives of Teens (2017, Feb.) Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Funder Collaborative Meeting.

Stories: Where media, youth and health intersect. (2016, Aug.). International Association of Pediatrics 28th Congress. Vancouver, Canada.

 I REALLY wish I hadn’t posted that: Teens Regrets on Social Media. (2016, Mar). College of Arts & Sciences 5×5 series.  San Diego, CA.

 Helping children navigate digital media. (2014, Feb). Del Mar Heights Elementary School, Del Mar CA.

 My journey as a researcher & what I learned about teens and media along the way (2012, Dec.) Advances in Research Colloquium, University of San Diego, CA

Teens & Technology. (2012, May). Boys and Girls Club of America National Convention, San Diego, CA.

Adolescence, Online Expression & Regret: Preliminary findings (2010, 2011) Conference on Media & Family Part I & II, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

Teen Media Use: Beyond Demographics & Psychographics. (2007, July). DraftFCB / American Education Foundation Visiting Professor Program Lecture. DraftFCB offices, New York City, NY.

Gender, Youth Cultural Production, and the Internet. (2006, Apr.) Gender and Technology Speaker Series, University of Texas at Austin.

Plugged In: Growing Up Online. (2004, June). “Covering Youth Culture: Getting Beyond Fads” symposium for American journalists. Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, University of Maryland.


The Glenn D. White, Jr. ’78 Faculty Research Award (2018).  Awarded annually to a senior scholar who brings respect and excellence to the practice of mentoring undergraduates in research and scholarly activities, and for demonstrating a longstanding commitment to the development of research scholars.  Sponsored by the University of San Diego’s Office of Undergraduate Research.

Keck Faculty Fellow (2014-2015). One-year fellowship awarded to faculty to work collaboratively with an undergraduate student on a scholarly project.

Roy H. Park Doctoral Fellow (1997-2000). Competitively awarded three years of fellowship support to complete Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Selected Departmental & University Service

  • University Faculty Senate, member (2017-present)
  • Dean’s Advisory Council on Faculty Advising, member (2017-present)
  • Community Committee Member (2017-present)
  • Junior Faculty Mentor (2012-present)
  • Search Committee member for USD’s Vice President for University Advancement (2018)
  • Faculty Integration Coordinator for Transfer Learning Community “Inspire” theme (2017-2018)
  • Institutional Marketing Plan Core Committee, member (2016-present)
  • Faculty Director for Social Sciences Division of the Student Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program (2015-present)
  • Student Undergraduate Research Experience Faculty Mentor (2016)
  • Coordinator, Research Working Group, Communication Department (2006-2016)
  • Honors Thesis Advisor (2009-2010; 2014-2015; 2016-2017)
  • SURE Working Group, member (2016-present)
  • Faculty Research Grant Committee (2013-2015)
  • Policy & Procedures Committee member (2014-2016)
  • Assessment Coordinator (2013-2014; 2010-2011) & Committee member (2009-2011)
  • Student Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Selection Committee (2013)
  • Undergraduate Goals Committee (2010-2011)
  • Co-Coordinator, Academic Program Review (2009-2010)
  • First Year Experience/FRESH Workshop Committee & session coordinator (2005-2011)
  • First Year Experience Online Resources Advisory Council (2007-2009)
  • Preceptorial Advisory Committee, USD (2009-2010)
  • First Year Experience Torero Days Advisory Council (2007-2009)
  • Honors Committee (2007-2009)
  • Mortar Board Advisor (2005-2009)

Selected Community & Professional Service

  • Monitoring & Evaluation volunteer researcher, Creativity for Peace (Santa Fe, NM, 2018-present)
  • Board of Directors, ImpACT OnStage (2016-present).
  • Teaching & Learning Committee, National Collegiate Honors Council (2018-present)
  • Ad Hoc Manuscript Reviewer (2002-present) for over 25 journals in the fields of Communication, Media Studies, Women’s/Feminist Studies, Medicine, Psychology, Identity, Information Science, Adolescent Health.
  • Conference Manuscript Reviewer (2004-present) for 4+ conferences in Media and Communication Studies
  • Parent Education Workshop coordinator, Del Mar Heights Elementary School (2016-2017)
  • SafetyNet Advisory Council member, San Diego Police Foundation (2013-2017).
  • Children and Media Literacy Workshop for Parents presenter (2005-present)
  • International Rescue Committee mentor/volunteer, San Diego, CA. (2003-2009)