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Gabriel E. Hales

Ph.D. Candidate and Research Assistant, Michigan State University

Gabriel (he/him) is a third-year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Media and Information, College of Communication at Michigan State University. He works closely with Keith Hampton, Ph.D. as a research assistant for the Quello Center (Aug. 2022 to present), including advanced statistical analysis, data modeling, management, and cleaning (SPSS, MPlus) of two large surveys of rural Michigan students and their Internet use. He has likewise co-taught as a graduate teaching assistant and instructor of record for numerous undergraduate courses within the department.

Gabe’s research primarily focuses on the relationships between students’ academic achievement/social networks and their access, use, and skillsets related to digital technologies, and how such relationships may be limited by or framed within the field of digital inequalities. He specializes in advanced statistical analyses, such as path analysis, multi-level modeling, and social network analysis, while also having experience in qualitative methods like ethnographic observations and in-depth interviewing, particularly related to adolescent students and their digital media use. His co-authored work has been accepted at conferences such as the National and International Communication Associations and the American Sociological Association, has co-authored an in-depth report on student broadband access over the COVID-19 pandemic with the Quello Center, and has multiple manuscripts in progress, under review, and published with peer-reviewed journals.

Prior to his current degree, Gabe completed his Master of Arts (2021) and Bachelor of Arts (2020) in Media and Information at Michigan State University. His thesis focused on the reciprocal norms associated with varying dimensions of culture. If not working on projects related to his research, he enjoys marathon running, listening to podcasts (mostly while running), and spending time outside with his dog.


  • 2021–2025
    Doctoral Candidate, Michigan State University
  • 2022–2025
    Graduate Researcher, The Quello Center