Professor of Digital Media, Department Head
Dr. Mike Yao is Professor of Digital Media and Department Head of the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is an Affiliate Researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advance Science and Technology, the Institute of Communications Research, and the Cline Center for Democracy, and a Specially-Appointed Research Fellow at the Shanghai Institute of Computing Technology. He is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, a flagship journal in the field of communication science. Dr. Yao’s research focuses on technology-mediated social behavior and computer-mediated human communication. His interdisciplinary work spans across psychology, communication, information science, advertising, and marketing. He has a strong international background with a deep understanding of the media markets and consumer culture in China and the U.S. Before joining the University of Illinois, Dr. Yao taught at the City University of Hong Kong, a top-ranked university in Asia, for over nine years. He was the program director of the BA in Strategic Communication program and worked closely with many advertising, PR, and marketing partners in Greater China. In addition to his academic endeavors, Dr. Yao is actively involved in community development and social justice on issues such as gender and racial diversity. He served two-terms on the Board of Governors of The Women’s Foundation Hong Kong and chaired its Research and Communication Committee for over four years. Dr. Yao was born in China. He moved to the U.S. with his family as a teenager. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a double-major BA in Psychology and Film Studies, and a Ph.D. in Communication.