Assistant Professor


  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Assistant Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Media Psychology, Digital Advertising, Problematic Media Use, Video Gaming
  • Department:

    • Journalism & Media Communication
  • Education:

    • Ph.D. Michigan State University
    • M.A. University of Missouri


Samuel M. Tham is an assistant professor in the department of Journalism and Media Communication. As a media psychologist, Tham’s research interests lies in the domain of digital advertising, ad avoidance, and problematic media use especially in video gaming. He is interested in understanding processes of media engagement, and developing ethical advertising messaging for vulnerable populations that are susceptible to problematic media use. His published research looks at the intersection of digital advertising, problematic media use, and mental and social health.

Prior to academia, Tham worked in the advertising and public relations industry for over a decade, first as a founder of his online gaming company, then as an advertising account executive, and later in corporate communications. His return to academia after a successful industry career was driven towards mentoring students and developing their research toward careers in academia and industry.

Tham is passionate about closing the gap between academia and industry. Work done as a researcher should bridge, guide, and complement the industry. As an educator, he develops curriculum that connects students with industry clients. As a first-generation college student, he understands the importance of opportunity and hard work . Tham has published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Journal of Interactive Advertising, and Psychology of Popular Media. He has won the top faculty paper award in the media ethics division at AEJMC in 2022, and Addy awards in advertising.