Dr. Stephanie Tong



Stephanie Tong is an Associate Professor in the communication studies area and the Director of Graduate Studies (Interim). She currently serving as a member-at-large on the Wayne State Academic Senate. Her research interests lie at the intersection of social media and relational communication. Specifically, she studies how people initiate, maintain, and terminate relationships using popular social media platforms. Her research has appeared in a variety of top journal outlets including, Social Media + Society, Psychology and Health, Personal Relationships, New Media and Society, and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. She teaches interpersonal communication, communication theory, research methods, and pedagogy at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Tong is the Director of the Social Media and Relational Technologies (SMART) Labs, which investigates how technology affects how people make decisions about their relationships.

Outside of the lab and the classroom, you will find her in the great outdoors. Her free time is spent rock climbing, running, and hanging out with her husband, son, and rescue dog--a “Chug” (Chihuahua-pug mix) named Panzo.

If you're interested in learning more about Dr. Tong's research or want to join the lab, please visit the SMART Labs homepage. We are always looking for new talent--contact her to discuss open research assistantships and volunteer positions.

Degrees and Certifications

BA, University of California, Davis

MA, Michigan State University

PhD, Michigan State University

Primary Research Interest

relational communication, interpersonal communication, social media, relationships, AI

Primary Research Link


Recent Publications


Recent Book:

Tong, S. T. & Van Der Heide, B. (2022). Up to Date: Communication and Technology in Romantic Relationships. Peter Lang. https://doi.org/10.3726/b18758

Recent Articles:

Tong, S. T., & DeAndrea, D. C. (2023). The effects of observer expectations on judgments of anti-Asian hate tweets and online activism response. Social Media + Society, 9 (1). https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051231157299

Gortney, J. S., Agnihotri, S. K., Stepho, M., Yousef, A., & Tong, S. T. (2023). Helping fourth year student pharmacists develop their professional brand. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 15 (10), 903-910. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cptl.2023.08.002

Tong, S. T. (2023). Understanding Asian Americans’ resilience to COVID-19 pandemic online hate through latent profiles of ethnic identity. Human Communication & Technology, 3(2). https://doi.org/10.17161/hct.v3i2

Tong, S. T., Stoycheff, E., & Mitra, R. (2022). Racism and resilience of pandemic proportions: Online harassment of Asian Americans during COVID-19. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 50(2), 595-612. https://doi.org/10.1080/00909882.2022.2141068


Member-at-Large, Wayne State Academic Senate

Chair, Graduate Committee

Faculty Advisor, Communication Graduate Student Association