Associate Dean, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor Emeritus of Media and Public Affairs, The George
Career: Dr. Sterling taught for more than four decades, and served as a member
of the GW faculty for much of that time, from 1982 through 2011. He directed the university's
former graduate telecommunication program from 1984 to 1994, and
again from 2001 to 2003. He served as associate dean for graduate
studies in the arts and sciences from 1994 to 2001, and again as associate dean for special projects beginning in mid-2011. . Before
coming to GW, he served as a special assistant to one of the
members of the Federal Communications Commission from 1980
to 1982. Through the 1970s he was on the communications faculty
at Temple University in Philadelphia.
primary research interests focus on the history of and policy
for both electronic media and telecommunications. With several
books still forthcoming, he has authored or edited some 25 monographs since the first appeared in 1973 (these are
pictured on the full listing reached by clicking on "publications").
He was general editor of a three-volume and multi-author Encyclopedia
of Radio (2004), edits Communication Booknotes
Quarterly, and serves on the editorial boards of six
scholarly journals. Among his recent books is Shaping
American Telecommunications: A History of Technology, Policy,
and Economics (co-author, 2006). Among his earlier
monographs are Stay
Tuned: A History of American Broadcasting (co-author,
3rd ed., 2002), The
Focal Guide to Electronic Media (editor of this CD-ROM,
1998), and Broadcasting in America: A Survey of Electronic
Media (co-author with others, several editions). Sterling
has also contributed articles to a variety of scholarly books
and journals (among them is "Pioneering Risk:
Lessons from the U.S. Teletext/Videotex Failure." in
the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, as well
as numerous encyclopedia entries and essays.
Sterling enjoyed wide experience overseas, having been
a part of conferences, delivered talks or courses, or undertaken
consulting in (among others) Belgium, Chile, England, France,
Hong Kong, Monaco, Spain, Venezuela, and Central Europe.
Education: Born in Washington, DC, Sterling
grew up in Wisconsin, earned his B.S. (political science,
1965) and M.S. (communication, 1967) and then his Ph.D (communication,
1969) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
His recreational interests include development of commercial
air transport, passenger liners, medieval castles and fortification
history, pre-Columbian archeology, classic cars from the 1930s,
and works by and about Winston S. Churchill. He has published
articles and reviews in several of these fields.
Personal: Chris and Ellen Sterling
have lived in northern Virginia since 1980. They enjoy the
company of two daughters and grandchildren who live