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CHRC Staff

xiaoli nan

Xiaoli Nan
Director

Email | Personal Website

Dr. Xiaoli Nan is a social scientist studying health and risk communication, focusing on a) the design of persuasive messages to influence health risk perceptions and behaviors and b) the role of traditional and emerging media (e.g., social media, mobile media, virtual reality) in promoting (and hindering) public health. Dr. Nan’s research addresses the basic processes of human judgment and decision making related to health risks and the implications of these processes for effective risk communication. Her work prioritizes several health domains including cancer control, vaccination, food safety and nutrition, and climate change. Dr. Nan has published extensively in her areas of specialization and has received research funding as PI or Co-PI from sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and the Food and Drug Administration, totaling over $7.5 million. Dr. Nan is Vice-Chair of the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association and a senior editor of the academic journal Health Communication.

Victoria Ledford

Victoria Ann Ledford
CHRC Assistant

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Victoria Ledford is currently pursuing her 2nd year of doctoral coursework in Communication Science and Social Cognition in the UMD Communication Department. She earned her M.A. in Communication Studies from Marshall University in 2017. At UMD, she has taught courses in empirical research methods, public speaking, and argumentation and debate. Victoria’s research interests center around understanding how individuals process and respond to stigma. She is particularly interested in understanding how internalized stigma attitudes affect health-related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. She is also interested in understanding the dimensionality of perceived health risks. Past projects have sought to understand the stigma process in relation to obesity and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Victoria continues to investigate obesity and ASD in her current projects, but she is also working on a project related to sexual health and aims to develop projects related to a variety of stigmatized conditions.

Yan Qin

Yan Qin
CHRC Assistant

Email

Yan Qin is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland. Yan received her M.A. degree at Communication University of China, majoring in Communication Methodology. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Communication with a focus on persuasion and health communication, particularly the use of traditional and emerging media in shaping health beliefs and behaviors. Her current research focuses on the psychological effects of media technologies, and media psychology in general. She is especially interested in how technological affordances influence the processes and outcomes of health-related information presented in the emerging media environment.

CHRC Steering Committee

jiyoun kim

Jiyoun Kim

Email

In employing quantitative research methods as a communication science researcher, Dr. Jiyoun Kim have focused on the intersection of science, media & public opinion. In recent years, she has explored what the dominant sentiment of online public discourse is related to controversial scientific issues, investigated the ways in which people process risk information, and examined how priming people with various cues differentially influences public engagement with an unfamiliar issue. Concerned with the dynamics of public engagement in emerging interactive media, her current focus is on the extent to which the internet and social media may help individuals understanding of, form opinions, and engagement toward contested issues, such as health, science, and emerging technologies. Her research has been presented at several conferences and appeared in numerous academic journals including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Risk Analysis, Energy Policy, and Journal of Nanoparticle Research.

Brooke Liu

Brooke Liu

Email

Dr. Brooke Liu’s research investigates how government messages, media, and interpersonal communication motivate people to successfully prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters such as tornadoes, terrorist attacks, and infectious disease outbreaks. Recently, her research focuses on the potentially unique roles that social and mobile media play in building community resilience along with factors such as demographics, emotions, hazard knowledge, religiosity, and risk perception. Liu is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland. She also leads the Risk Communication & Resilience Research Program at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence.

Kang Namkoong

Kang Namkoong

Email

Kang Namkoong, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland. He earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the interrelationships between emerging media and health communication, with areas of focus including web- and mobile-based eHealth system effects, cancer communications, health promotion, occupational health and safety, and nutrition education for underserved populations. His recent work investigates the potential of mobile communication technologies in public health campaigns. He has over 20 peer-reviewed articles published in such prestigious journals as Journal of National Cancer Institute Monographs, Cancer, Health Psychology, Journal of Health Communication, and Health Communication.  For his emerging media and health communication research, Dr. Namkoong has secured extramural grants from government funding agencies, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

xiaoli nan

Xiaoli Nan
Director

Email | Personal Website

Dr. Xiaoli Nan is a social scientist studying health and risk communication, focusing on a) the design of persuasive messages to influence health risk perceptions and behaviors and b) the role of traditional and emerging media (e.g., social media, mobile media, virtual reality) in promoting (and hindering) public health. Dr. Nan’s research addresses the basic processes of human judgment and decision making related to health risks and the implications of these processes for effective risk communication. Her work prioritizes several health domains including cancer control, vaccination, food safety and nutrition, and climate change. Dr. Nan has published extensively in her areas of specialization and has received research funding as PI or Co-PI from sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and the Food and Drug Administration, totaling over $7.5 million. Dr. Nan is Vice-Chair of the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association and a senior editor of the academic journal Health Communication.

Anita Atwell Seate

Anita Atwell Seate

Email

Anita Atwell Seate researches in the area of intergroup communication. There are two primary areas to which her scholarship contributes. The first area examines the role of communication in social identity-based processes and the second area examines the role of social identities in media influence. These research streams provide insight into the complications that occur when people communicate based on their social identities. She studies these issues in a variety of contexts, including health, politics, and sports, using social scientific methods.

Leah Waks

Leah Waks

Email

Leah Waks (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1991) is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Undergraduate Studies Program in Communication at the University of Maryland. Her main interest is in studying the interplay of cognitions, attitudes, and emotions in decision making in the areas of conflict management and health. She also studies the impact of media messages and culture on decision making approaches. Her current research includes studying the influence of media content on individuals’ attitudes and decision making. Her latest research includes analysis of HPV vaccine coverage on YouTube and a content analysis of HPV vaccine information online.

Affiliate UMD/UMB Faculty

Adebamowo_Clement faculty portrait

Clement Adebamowo

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Dr. Clement Adebamowo is a tenured Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Cancer Epidemiologist and Associate Director of the Population Sciences Program of the Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center University of Maryland School of Medicine. He studies epidemiological and genetic risk factors of breast and cervical cancers and conducts implementation and dissemination science research in cancer. His research has characterized the distribution and pattern of prevalent and persistent high-risk HPV infections, identified environmental, genomic, microbiomic and metabolomic risk factors for cervical cancer, and develops new technologies for global cancer research. Dr. Adebamowo directs a graduate course in cancer epidemiology that is offered to students at the University of Maryland Baltimore and College Park. Dr. Adebamowo has published extensively in cancer epidemiology, global health and has received funding from National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, CDC and from industry. For more about Dr. Adebamowo, please see http://www.medschool.umaryland.edu/profiles/Adebamowo-Clement/

Linda Aldoory

Linda Aldoory

Email

Linda Aldoory is Associate Dean for Research and Programming for the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, and Professor in Communication. She is also former, Endowed Chair and Director of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, in the School of Public Health at Maryland. Dr. Aldoory’s research focuses on health communication and campaigns, specifically focusing on effects of media on underserved health populations. Some of her current, funded work includes a health literacy campaign developed for the Health Enterprise Zone in Capitol Heights, Maryland, and special curriculum development integrated into Worcester County Public Schools, in Maryland. Her research is published in the top journals in the field and has consulted for the CDC, FDA and USDA. She formerly worked for The Bronx Perinatal Consortium, a maternal child health organization in The Bronx, NY, and for the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, DC, in public affairs and communication.

James Butler Photo

James Butler III

Email

Dr. James Butler III, DrPH, MEd, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health and an Associate Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity in the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Dr. Butler’s research is anchored in an ecological framework that incorporates individual, social structure, and environmental influences in understanding and eliminating tobacco-related health disparities. He is dedicated to building ongoing and permanent relationships with community members for the purpose of designing and conducting interventions where the community participates fully in all aspects of the research process – i.e., developing research questions, collecting data, conducting analysis, and disseminating the findings. Dr. Butler has extensive experience carrying out community engaged research and practice with racial and ethnic minorities. Moreover, he is an experienced qualitative researcher who conducts focus groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnographies to gain an understanding of the underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations that underpin health behaviors. Dr. Butler completed postdoctoral training in cancer prevention and tobacco control at the University of Kansas School of Medicine; focusing on strategies for recruiting and retaining low-income, minority individuals in community-based, cluster-randomized clinical trials. Further, he is a Graduate Fellow in Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials.

Robert H. Feldman

Robert H. Feldman

Email

Robert H. Feldman, Ph.D., is a cross-cultural health psychologist and Professor of Health Behavior in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at UMD. For the past five years he has been Director of the Post-Doctoral Program of the Tobacco Center for Regulatory Sciences at UMD. In addition, he is an Affiliate Professor in the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health (MIAEH) and UNIBE Professor of Psychology at the Universidad de Iberoamérica (UNIBE) in San José, Costa Rica. Domestically Dr. Feldman has conducted research among African Americans, Latinx, and Native Americans.  Internationally, his research has been carried out in Kenya, Australia, Haiti and Costa Rica. Dr. Feldman is currently examining workplace health and occupational practices among Latinx workers in the US and stress and smoking among Costa Rican university students and workers. He has collaborated with Dr. Xiaoli Nan investigating self-affirmation and responses to smoking risk among African Americans.

Dale Hample

Dale Hample

Email

Dale Hample (Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1975) specializes in interpersonal arguing, persuasion, conflict management, and interpersonal communication. Among his recent projects are an investigation of emotional support messages to HIV survivors (with Ling Na), a study of reasoning in response to persuasive messages about binge drinking (with Adam Richards), a study on parental influence on teenagers’ food consumption using the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Survey (with Zexin Ma), and the effects of evidence quality, intrinsic credibility, and scientific jargon on reception of messages about several health topics (with Jessica Hample).

Cheryl Holt

Cheryl L. Holt

Dr. Cheryl L. Holt, PhD, FAAHB, is a Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health and Co-Director of the Center for Health Behavior Research, in the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She is a member of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensvie Cancer Center and serves as Co-Leader of the Population Science program. She is founding Director of the Community Health Awareness, Messages, and Prevention research lab. Dr. Holt holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Her health disparities research involves community-based health communication studies, and the role of culture in health cognitions and behaviors. Dr. Holt’s research program has generated more than $13 million in extramural support as Principal Investigator, from sources such as the NIH and ACS. The program has resulted in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, most including student co-authors. Dr. Holt’s research program involves community-engaged translational research in dissemination/implementation science, where she aims to find ways to increase use of evidence-based interventions in cancer control, primarily working through faith-based organizations. Her research program also involves the scientific study of religious involvement in health among African Americans, which she uses to inform her intervention research.

Sahar Khamis

Sahar Khamis

Email

Sahar Khamis is an associate professor in the department of communication and an affiliate faculty with the department of women’s studies and the consortium on race, gender and ethnicity at the University of Maryland. Dr. Khamis holds a Ph.D. in mass media and cultural studies from the University of Manchester in England. The title of her Ph.D. was: “Egyptian rural women, television and public awareness programs.” It was based on an in-depth ethnographic audience study that analyzed women’s patterns of media reception and interpretation of government family planning, literacy and health awareness campaigns. Dr. Khamis conducted a series of longitudinal ethnographic follow-up studies in the same research site in rural Egypt over a number of years to detect the impact of social, political and communication developments on women’s reactions to these issues. These studies resulted in a series of publications including a chapter titled: “Multiple literacies, multiple identities: Egyptian rural women’s readings of televised literacy campaigns” in the book “Women and Media in the Middle East: Power through Self-Expression”, edited by Naomi Sakr and published by I.B. Tauris, London in 2004; an article titled: “Multiple meanings, identities, and resistances: Egyptian rural women’s readings of televised family planning campaigns”, which was published in the International Journal of Communication in 2009; and an article titled: “New media and social change in rural Egypt”, which was published in the journal Arab Media & Society in 2010.

jiyoun kim

Jiyoun Kim

Email

In employing quantitative research methods as a communication science researcher, Dr. Jiyoun Kim have focused on the intersection of science, media & public opinion. In recent years, she has explored what the dominant sentiment of online public discourse is related to controversial scientific issues, investigated the ways in which people process risk information, and examined how priming people with various cues differentially influences public engagement with an unfamiliar issue. Concerned with the dynamics of public engagement in emerging interactive media, her current focus is on the extent to which the internet and social media may help individuals understanding of, form opinions, and engagement toward contested issues, such as health, science, and emerging technologies. Her research has been presented at several conferences and appeared in numerous academic journals including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Risk Analysis, Energy Policy, and Journal of Nanoparticle Research.

Sun Young Lee

Sun Young Lee

Email

Sun Young Lee is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. She earned her doctorate in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. Prior to Maryland, she held a professorship at Texas Tech University. Her research interests include the effects of CSR practices in a crisis context, visual strategies in corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages, and strategies to engage the public with CSR activities. Lee’s research has appeared in the Journal of Business Ethics, Communication Research, Public Relations Review, and elsewhere. Her current projects focus on the role of emotions and of public empowerment in CSR, risk, and environmental communication.

Brooke Liu

Brooke Liu

Email

Dr. Brooke Liu’s research investigates how government messages, media, and interpersonal communication motivate people to successfully prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters such as tornadoes, terrorist attacks, and infectious disease outbreaks. Recently, her research focuses on the potentially unique roles that social and mobile media play in building community resilience along with factors such as demographics, emotions, hazard knowledge, religiosity, and risk perception. Liu is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland. She also leads the Risk Communication & Resilience Research Program at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence.

Kang Namkoong

Kang Namkoong

Email

Kang Namkoong, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland. He earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the interrelationships between emerging media and health communication, with areas of focus including web- and mobile-based eHealth system effects, cancer communications, health promotion, occupational health and safety, and nutrition education for underserved populations. His recent work investigates the potential of mobile communication technologies in public health campaigns. He has over 20 peer-reviewed articles published in such prestigious journals as Journal of National Cancer Institute Monographs, Cancer, Health Psychology, Journal of Health Communication, and Health Communication.  For his emerging media and health communication research, Dr. Namkoong has secured extramural grants from government funding agencies, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Calre Narrod

Clare Narrod

Dr Clare Narrod is the Director of the Risk Analysis program at JIFSAN and leads the monitoring and impact effort associated with the evaluation of JIFSAN’s capacity building efforts. She received her Ph.D. in Energy Management and Environmental Policy in 1997 and a Master’s Degree in International Development and Appropriate Technology both from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1998-2000 she served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Risk Analysis Fellow at USDA. Prior to coming to JIFSAN she worked at the International Food Policy Research Institute, the United States Department of Agriculture, and at the Food and Agriculture Organization. She has consulted for the World Bank and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. She has field experience in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Thailand, Mali, Mexico, Vietnam, and Zambia. She has taught in Colombia, China, India, Malaysia, Russia, and the US.

Dr. Shana O. Ntiri

Shana O. Ntiri

Email

Dr. Shana O. Ntiri, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine where she divides her time between patient care, community outreach and cancer health disparities research.  She is the Medical Director for the Baltimore City Cancer Program and the Director for Baltimore City Community Outreach at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center.   She is a member of the Population Sciences Program within the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center Program in Oncology, which fosters collaboration with investigators throughout the University of Maryland System to improve population-based cancer outcomes.  Dr. Ntiri’s research focuses on cancer control in low-income African Americans in the primary care setting and community-based interventions to improve cancer health disparities.

Anita Atwell Seate

Anita Atwell Seate

Email

Anita Atwell Seate researches in the area of intergroup communication. There are two primary areas to which her scholarship contributes. The first area examines the role of communication in social identity-based processes and the second area examines the role of social identities in media influence. These research streams provide insight into the complications that occur when people communicate based on their social identities. She studies these issues in a variety of contexts, including health, politics, and sports, using social scientific methods.

Leah Waks

Leah Waks

Email

Leah Waks (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1991) is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Undergraduate Studies Program in Communication at the University of Maryland. Her main interest is in studying the interplay of cognitions, attitudes, and emotions in decision making in the areas of conflict management and health. She also studies the impact of media messages and culture on decision making approaches. Her current research includes studying the influence of media content on individuals’ attitudes and decision making. Her latest research includes analysis of HPV vaccine coverage on YouTube and a content analysis of HPV vaccine information online.

Min Qi Wang

Min Qi Wang

Email

Min Qi Wang (MS, PhD) is a Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland. He is a behavioral scientist with a focus on research methodologies and technologies. He has spent his career at three universities: the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Maryland. He has obtained federal funding to conduct research on smoking, alcohol, and substance abuse. He has consequently published a number of peer reviewed articles in these areas. Since joining the faculty at the University of Maryland, he has developed a strong interest in public health informatics. He has been awarded external funding to develop the Maryland Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (EPHTN) with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). He has obtained over 90 grants as PI or co-investigator and has published over 240 referred articles. Currently, he is working with grant funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to investigate the data analysis and data quality issues in the public health discipline. In addition to that, he teaches two graduate courses at the University of Maryland in Quantitative Methods, I and II.

Andrew Wolvin

Andrew D. Wolvin

Email

Andrew D. Wolvin (Ph.D., Purdue University, 1968) works in the communication areas of listening behavior and communication management. His current research interests extend dimensions of listening to the health literacy model and to a narrative model of listening to stories. A widely-published communication scholar, his recent work includes an edited book, Listening and Human Communication in the 21st Century (Blackwell), and “The Art of Listening—Communicating Effectively with a Patient in Pain” in Moule and Hicks, Diagnosing Dental and Orofacial Pain. Professor Wolvin applies his work in listening behavior to the development of a model of “listenability,” preparing briefers in government agencies.

Affiliate UMD/UMB Students

Dr. Btrh

Junhan Chen

Email

Junhan Chen is currently a doctoral student in UMD with a focus on health communication and science communication. She is interested in social network analysis, social media and selective exposure. Prior to her study in UMD, she earned her M.A. in communication from UW-Madison and her B.A. in journalism from Peking University in China.

Shawna Dias

Shawna Dias

Email

Shawna Dias is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland. She earned her master’s degree in Public Relations from Montana State University Billings, in 2016, and has a professional background in the humanitarian services sector. Her research interests include intercultural communication, risk communication and cause promotion for NGO and health organizations. She serves as a teaching assistant for COMM107 Oral Communication: Principles and Practices.

Sumin Fang

Sumin Fang

Email

Sumin Fang earned her B.A. in Journalism and M.A. in Communication Studies and Education. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. Her research interests include technology and health communication, organization-public relationship, and crisis communication.

Samantha Stanley

Samantha Stanley

Email

Samantha J. Stanley (M.A., University of Arizona) is a doctoral student studying health and risk communication. She is particularly interested in the influence of group membership (i.e., gender, sexual orientation, smoking status) and identity on the processing of health messages. Samantha previously worked as a research assistant on a grant-funded research project to improve the health literacy of children in a rural school district. She is currently an ORISE fellow at the Food and Drug Administration. Her research has been published or is forthcoming in Health Communication, Computers in Human Behavior, and Communication Quarterly.

Yuan Wang

Yuan Wang

Email

Yuan Wang is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication with an emphasis in Communication Science. Currently Yuan focused on health communication and media psychology. She is interested in how people seek, share, and adopt health information from Computer-mediated communication, and how do the process affect people’s health attitudes, cognitions and behaviors.

Gareth Thomas Williams

Gareth Thomas Williams

Email

Mr. Williams is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication. He is currently working on a multipart analysis of outreach communications by agricultural chemical manufacturers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture following the 1962 release of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. This study includes rhetorical analysis of communications by the companies and examination of multimedia information and disinformation campaigns seeking to undermine Carson’s work. This work follows on a rhetorical analysis of Ms. Carson’s speeches in 1963 that rebut the industry and governmental challenges to her work. Future work will likely address the presidential commission launched in response to “Silent Spring,” which ultimately found the assertions in the book credible and warranting immediate intervention. Mr. Williams is also working on an examination of the Heartland Institute’s “Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming.” This study is part of a broader analysis of the means of persuasion employed by government and nonprofit organizations and NGOs, and their use and/or manipulation of science to suit policy advocacy. A previous phase of this study included the broadcast of climate data by the Badlands National Park Twitter account on Inauguration Day 2017. This action ultimately spurred the current alt/rogue government galaxy of social media, numbering more than 35 as of July 2018.

Yumin Yan

Yumin Yan

Email

Yumin is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication. She is interested in health communication in the rapid evolving digital media landscape, especially the use of communication principles and practices to create desired outcomes from given audiences. She wants to study the way in which digital media technologies influence individual psyche and interpersonal communication, with a focus on the roles they play in enhancing individual health. She would like to explore how non-traditional, interactive social media channels help form social networks that provide individuals with social support and health information, Further, she would like to analyze how traditional media outlets employ specific persuasive strategies to promote healthy behaviors. Based on her own cultural background and life experiences, she is particularly interested in how these technologies help groups that experience cultural and social maladjustment (e.g., international students) improve psychological health (e.g., easing depression) and physical health (e.g., preventing eating disorder).

Other Affiliate Researchers

Carl Lejuez

Carl W. Lejuez

Dr. Carl W. Lejuez received his Ph.D. in 2000 from West Virginia University and completed a Clinical Internship at the Brown University Brown Clinical Psychology Training Consortium in 2000. He joined the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas in 2016 and has served as Interim Provost since 2018. Dr. Lejuez’s research is translational in nature, applying laboratory methods to understand real world clinical problems and then applying this knowledge to develop novel assessment and treatment strategies. His research spans the clinical domains of addictions, personality pathology, and mood disorders, and he is most interested in the common processes across these conditions. Dr. Lejuez holds several leadership positions including Founder and Director of the Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research (CAPER), Director of a NIDA T32 institutional training grant at the intersection of basic science and addictions treatment development, and Founding Editor of the Journal entitled Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Dr. Lejuez also is very committed to teaching and mentorship. His students publish and attain NIH funding at a high rate and also successfully pursue top clinical science internships and sought after positions after graduating.

Ben Sheppard

Ben Sheppard

Ben Sheppard’s research focuses on the political and psychological consequences of man-made and natural disasters on population centers, and risk communication strategies to elicit desired behaviors. Dr Sheppard holds a Ph.D. in the terror of strategic terrorism from King’s College London. Research includes investigating societal ripple effects from terrorist attacks and risk communication strategies based on fear and anger, developing risk communication guides for emergency managers as part of a risk communication training and simulation project at START. Sheppard was a principal investigator for an Improvised Nuclear Device Communications study, and ran a war game simulation project at King’s College London. As a futurist at the Institute for Alternative Futures, Sheppard employs scenarios to identify national security challenges and opportunities. Recent projects include cyber security and hardware hacking scenarios 2022. Dr Sheppard’s research has been funded by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute, the UK government, and pharmaceutical companies. He has also collaborated with CREATE at the University of California. Sheppard is the author of Psychology of Strategic Terrorism (Routledge, 2009). Sheppard teaches the graduate courses Political Risk Analysis and Global Terrorism at George Washington University. He is also an Adjunct Fellow of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.

Xiaoquan Zhao

Xiaoquan Zhao

Xiaoquan Zhao (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is associate professor in the Department of Communication, George Mason University. Dr. Zhao’s general research areas are health and risk communication, persuasion, media effects, and information seeking. The substantive topics of his work include smoking, drug use, cancer, medical adherence, and climate change. Dr. Zhao’s recent projects include research on the effectiveness of graphic warning labels on cigarette packets, evaluation of climate change communication campaigns featuring TV meteorologists as message sources, and studies of self-affirmation as a method to reduce resistance to health and risk communication messages. Dr. Zhao’s has published in leading journals both within and outside of the field of communication, such as the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Communication Research, Communication Monographs, and Nature Climate Change. His work has been supported by both public and private foundations such as the National Science Foundation, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Merck & Co., Inc.

Gregory Zimet

Gregory Zimet

Dr. Gregory Zimet is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Adolescent Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine and serves as co-leader of the IU Simon Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program. He received his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Duke University in 1985 and completed his pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral training at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Zimet moved to his present position at Indiana University in 1993. His research addresses psychosocial/behavioral issues associated with acceptance of biomedical approaches to the prevention and diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections, with a primary focus on behavioral and social determinants of HPV vaccination. His research has also included randomized controlled evaluations of brief message interventions designed to influence decisions about HPV and HBV vaccination and HIV testing. Dr. Zimet particularly enjoys and values the interdisciplinary collaboration inherent in his research and regularly works with colleagues from other disciplines, including medicine, marketing, nursing, and public health. He recently organized an HPV Research Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, which is comprised of 22 faculty members whose research interests range from basic laboratory science to social science and public health.

Advisory Board

Cristine Bruhn

Christine Bruhn

Dr. Bruhn has training in consumer behavior, food science, and consumer economics. She taught food science and consumer courses at the University of California and California State University for over ten years before joining cooperative Extension in 1986. As a Consumer Food Marketing Specialist, Dr. Bruhn studies consumer attitudes toward food safety and quality and conducts educational programs which inform consumers about new products and new technologies. She recently served as Chair of FANSA, the Food and Nutrition Science Alliance composed of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, the American Dietetic Association, the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, and the Institute of Food Technologies, is past Chair of the Institute of Food Technologies Food Science Communicators and the Nutrition Division, and served as a Scientific Lecturer for the Institute, from 1992-97. Research conducted by the Center generates knowledge that lays the basis for effective decision making by consumers at a personal level and for effective policy and actions by public and private organizations. Dr. Bruhn has authored over ninety popular and professional papers on consumer attitudes toward food. She receives numerous national and international requests to address consumer issues.

Joseph Cappella

Joseph N. Cappella

Joseph N. Cappella (PhD, 1974, Michigan State University) is Professor of Communication and holds the Gerald R. Miller Chair at the Annenberg School for Communication at The University of Pennsylvania. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University and a visiting scholar at Stanford and the University of California Santa Barbara. His research has resulted in more than 180 articles and book chapters and four co-authored books in areas of health and political communication, social interaction, nonverbal behavior, media effects, and statistical methods. The articles have appeared in journals in psychology, communication, health, and politics. His research has been supported by grants from NIMH, NIDA, NSF, NCI, NHGRI, The Twentieth Century Fund, and from the Markle, Ford, Carnegie, Pew, and Robert Wood Johnson foundations. He has served on the editorial boards of 20 different journals. He is a Fellow of the International Communication Association and its past president, a distinguished scholar of the National Communication Association, and recipient of the B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award. His book with Kathleen Hall Jamieson entitled Spiral of Cynicism has been awarded the Doris Graber Book Award from the American Psychological Association and the Fellows Book Award from the International Communication Association.

Vicki Freimuth

Vicki Freimuth

Vicki Freimuth is Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia where she was Director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication and held a joint appointment as a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. She received her B.S. from Eastern Illinois University, her M.A. from the University of Iowa, and her Ph.D. from Florida State University. Before joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, she served as Director of Communication at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Her research focuses on health communication, specifically the role of communication in health behavior change programs. She is author of Searching for Health Information, co-editor of two books on HIV/AIDS and communication, and author of chapters in several major books on health communication. Her research has appeared in such journals as Human Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Journal of Health Communication, American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, and Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases. She has received grants from the CDC and the National Cancer Institute. She has served on the editorial boards of several journals including the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, and the Journal of Health Communication. She received an honorary doctorate from Emerson College in 2010 and won a Distinguished Career Award from the American Association of Public Health in 2003. She was selected as the first Outstanding Health Communication Scholar by the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association and was selected as the Woman of the Year at the University of Maryland in 1990.

Gary Kreps

Gary L. Kreps

Gary L. Kreps is a leading health communication scholar. He serves as University Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Communication, and Director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University. His research examines the design, implementation, and evaluation of communication interventions for promoting health and reducing health disparities. He publishes widely (more than 350 scholarly articles and books) concerning health communication/promotion, health informatics, multicultural relations, social organization, and research methods. From 1999 to 2004 he was the founding Chief of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NIH), where he developed/directed major national health research programs, including the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), the Centers of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, and the Digital Divide Pilot Projects. He serves as a senior scientific advisor to the DHHS, NIH, CDC, AHRQ, FDA. HRSA, SMHSA, WHO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, National Minority AIDS Council, Sun Safety Alliance, Breast Health Global Initiative, and several major research firms, health care organizations, and international government agencies. His recent work examines the health information needs of vulnerable populations both domestically and internationally. He also helped found and co-directs the Global Advocacy Leadership Academy (GALA).

Timothy Sellnow

Timothy L. Sellnow

Timothy L. Sellnow joined the University of Central Florida in 2015 as professor at the Nicholson School of Communication. Dr. Sellnow’s research focuses on bioterrorism, pre-crisis planning, and strategic communication for risk management and mitigation in organizational and health settings. He has conducted funded research for the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Geological Survey. He has also served in an advisory role for the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization. He has published numerous refereed journal articles on risk and crisis communication and has co-authored five books on risk and crisis communication. Dr. Sellnow’s most recent book is entitled, Theorizing Crisis Communication.

Jana Telfer

Jana L. Telfer

Jana serves as Strategic Projects Officer, NCEH/ATSDR at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also served as CDC’s communication officer in New York City during the first wave of response to the anthrax attacks of October of 2001. In January 2003, she was asked to assume the post of CDC’s Acting Director of Media Relations. In this capacity, she oversaw the agency’s public response to the national smallpox vaccination program; the SARS, monkeypox, West Nile, and influenza outbreaks; a new HIV prevention initiative. She also was one of only three Department of Health and Human Services communicators on a tiger team advising the Greek government on risk communication before the 2004 Olympic Games. Under her leadership, CDC initiated broadcast news briefings that extended the reach of public health information to a broader audience, and more than doubled the monthly volume of media calls to the agency.

CHRC Student Alumni

  • Rowena Briones, Copywriter, Communications Team in the Marketing Department at Vectorworks, Inc.
  • Kelly Madden Daily, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, La Salle University
  • Michelle Futerfas, Project Manager at Red Nucleus
  • Josie D. Ganzermiller, Lecturer, Business Communication, Management & Organization, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
  • Irina Iles, Cancer Prevention Fellow at National Cancer Institute
  • Jungmi Jun, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of South Carolina
  • Jarim Kim, Assistant Professor, School of Communication, Kookmin University, South Korea
  • Rowena (Rowie) Kirby-Straker, Lecturer, Department of Communication, University of Maryland
  • Lindsay (Liang) Ma, Assistant Professor, Department of Strategic Communication, Texas Christian University
  • Zexin (Marsha) Ma, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, Oakland University
  • Adam Richards, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Texas Christian University
  • Beth Sundstrom, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, College of Charleston
  • Jill Cornelius Underhill, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Marshall University
  • Bo (Maggie) Yang, Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Public Health, Georgia State University
  • Xinyan Zhao, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University