Sumin Fang

CHRC Faculty and Alum Publish New Article in Communication Studies

Fang, S., & Aldoory, L. (2021). Acquaintance, Coach, or Buddy?: Perceived Relationships between Chinese Women and Mobile Fitness Technology, Communication Studies, DOI: 10.1080/10510974.2021.2011351 Chinese women are among the most frequent users of fitness technology, and yet the least likely to adhere to a fitness regimen. Little research has been done on preference, use, and perceptions of […]

Brooke Liu

Professor Brooke Fisher Liu Receives FDA Grant to Study How to Combat Health Misinformation

Professor Brooke Fisher Liu and researchers at the University of Georgia are partnering with the FDA to develop and test messaging strategies to combat misinformation during public health emergencies. Learn more here.

xiaoli nan

CHRC Director and Alums Publish New Article in Health Communication

Nan, X., Iles, I. A., Yang, B., & Ma, Z. (2021). Public Health Messaging during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond: Lessons from Communication Science. Health Communication, 1-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that effective public health messaging is an indispensable component of a robust pandemic response system. In this article, we review decades […]

Faculty, Graduate Students, and Doctoral Program Alum Publish Chapters in the Updated Routledge Handbook of Health Communication

CHRC faculty and graduate students, and a Maryland alum have co-authored two chapters in the revised Routledge Handbook of Health Communication (3rd edition). Professor Xiaoli Nan and doctoral candidates Yuan Wang and Kathryn Thier co-authored “Health Misinformation.” Assistant Professor Sarah A. Aghazadeh, a graduate of the doctoral program in communication and now at Auburn University, and Professor Dr. Linda Aldoory co-authored “Inroads into Healthy Decision Making: The Role of Health Literacy in Health Communication.” Details below.

Nan, X., Wang, Y., & Thier, K. (2021). Health misinformation. In T. Thompson & N. Harrington (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication (3rd edition). Routledge.

Research on health misinformation has grown rapidly as concerns about the potential harmful effects of health misinformation on individuals and society intensify amid a “post-truth” era. In this chapter, we provide a broad overview of current research and evidence concerning the many facets of health misinformation, including its sources, prevalence, characteristics (both content and diffusion features), impact, and mitigation. We conclude that health misinformation originates from many sources, most notably mass and social media; is fairly prevalent, both in interpersonal and mediated settings; and tends to feature negative sentiments, anecdotal evidence, and anti-science narratives. Although there is no conclusive evidence that health misinformation spreads more broadly than scientific information, health misinformation reliably leads to misperceptions on health issues. Efforts to mitigate the impact of health misinformation show early promise in correcting misperceptions. We offer several directions for future research.

Aghazadeh, S. A. & Aldoory, L. (2021). Inroads into healthy decision making: The role of health literacy in health communication. In T. Thompson & N. Harrington (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication (3rdedition). Routledge.

Health literacy, commonly defined as the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand health information, serves as an important determinant of healthy decisions and is central to the work of health communication researchers and practitioners. This chapter outlines the state of the field of health literacy: its definitions, models, measurements, and central debates at the intersection of health communication, medicine, and public health. The chapter includes an example of an applied intervention where a health literacy campaign was implemented in a community. It considers future research directions to position health communication scholars at the front lines of health literacy research, with the hopes of encouraging scholarship that inspires social change, community approaches, and attention to digital media contexts.

xiaoli nan

Professor Nan Receives The Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication Award

xiaoli nan

Congratulations to Dr. Xiaoli Nan from the University of Maryland for being named the 2020 Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication!

The Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication Award was established in Dr. Donohew’s name in 1998 to recognize outstanding research contributions to the health communication field made during the biennium preceding each conference. The list of award recipients includes some of the most highly funded and recognized communication scholars in the world, including Seth Noar, Jeff Niederdeppe, Rick Street, Mohan Dutta, Gary Kreps, Kim Witte, and others.

Dr. Nan will receive the award at the upcoming Kentucky Conference for Health Communication in April:

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CHRC Holds Workshop on Meta-Analysis of Communication Research

Photo: CHRC holds the Workshop on Meta-Analysis of Communication Research

On February 21th, 2020, the Center for Health and Risk Communication held the Workshop on Meta-Analysis of Communication Research. Given by Dr. Seth Noar from the University of North Carolina, the full-day workshop provides a step-by-step guide of how to undertake a meta-analysis. Nineteen participants, including COMM faculty and graduate students, joined this workshop.


CHRC Fall 2019 CHRC Distinguished Speaker – Dr. Rajiv Rimal from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

We are pleased to announce the Center for Health and Risk Communication’s Fall 2019 Distinguished Speaker – Dr. Rajiv Rimal, Professor and Chair of the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Rimal’s talk is entitled: “Social norms as sources of both influence and health communication refraction: Why and how the company you keep matters so much.” The talk is scheduled for December 6th (Friday) from noon to 1:00 pm in Skinner 0200.

About Dr. Rimal:

“Rajiv N. Rimal, PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Rimal is a leading expert on health behavior change and on social norms. His research focuses on the use of social and behavioral theory for disease prevention and harm reduction. Rimal has more than 25 years of experience in the conceptualization, implementation and evaluation of health promotion interventions throughout the world. He is the author of the Theory of Normative Social Behavior, which has informed work to reduce violence against women, improve driver safety among adolescents, reduce anemia among women, and study alcohol consumption among college students. This theory is also being used in numerous interventions to bring about social change.

Rimal’s current research includes a project in India, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that uses a social norms-based approach to design, implement and evaluate an intervention to reduce anemia among women of reproductive age. Another study investigates how structural changes in health clinics affect service uptake in developing countries. He is also leading studies that aim to understand how people with different political orientations process information about climate change and how mass media and social media can influence people’s attitudes and behaviors related to climate change.

Rimal has served as chair of the Health Communication divisions of both the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association. He was a recipient of the American Public Health Association’s Everett M. Rogers Award for Public Health Education and Health Promotion.

Rimal received a PhD in communication from Stanford University in 1995 and a Master of Arts in journalism and mass communication at Southern Illinois University in 1991.”


CHRC Hosts the Inaugural Mini-conference


Photo: The inaugural mini-conference of CHRC Research groups

On November 8th, 10 am-12 pm, the inaugural mini-conference of CHRC Research groups is successfully held in Skinner 0200. This event is open to all faculty, students, staff, and affiliates of the Department of Communication. Five research groups showcase their wonderful projects that have been going on in the CHRC research group in the past year:

Opioid Addiction: Prevention & Stigma Reduction

  • Junhan Chen, Victoria Ledford (Presenter), Jungkyu Lim, *Kang Namkoong, &Yan Qin

“I Lose, I Gain” vs. “They Lose, They Gain”: The Influence of Message Framing on Donation Intention

  • Allison Chatham, *Jiyoun Kim, Lingyan Ma, & Yuan Wang (Presenter)

How the National Weather Service Builds Relationships with Core Partners: Coordinating Across Multiple Partners to Communicate Uncertain Scientific Information

  • Allison Chatham, *Brooke Liu, *Anita Atwell Seate, Samantha Stanley (Presenter), & Yumin Yan

How do Visuals Convey Distant Suffering? A Content Analysis of the Framing of Visuals on Disaster Aid Organizations’ Social Media

  • *Sun Young Lee, Jungkyu Lim (Presenter), & Duli Shi

Food Safety Risk Communication in the Age of Social Media

  • Haley Dick, *Xiaoli Nan (Presenter), Samantha Stanley, *Leah Waks, Xiaojing Wang, Yuan Wang, & Ben Yehuda

*Faculty Mentors

CHRC Research Group promotes research collaboration in CHRC’s core areas (health, risk, and science communication) among COMM faculty and students. Over the past year, the five research teams conduct diverse projects unified by the topic of the year – Emergency Risk Communication. CHRC holds monthly meetings where all the teams participated to share their progress and give each other suggestions. Our group members are now moving forward with manuscript preparation and submissions. We hope the CHRC Research Group will work as a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaboration within the Department of Communication and beyond!

CHRC Presents Spring 2019 CHRC Distinguished Speaker – Dr. Robert Hornik from the University of Pennsylvania

About Dr. Hornik

“Robert C. Hornik (Ph.D., Stanford University) is the Wilbur Schramm Professor of Communication and Health Policy at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. He directs Penn’s original Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science funded by FDA/NCI. His major current research project under that grant examines the effects of mass and social media diffused information about tobacco products on youth and young adult decisions about tobacco use. Between 2003-2014 he directed Penn’s National Cancer Institute-funded Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research. That program involved major population studies of the ways information seeking and scanning influenced decision-making throughout the cancer spectrum from prevention through screening, treatment and post-diagnosis survival. He has led the evaluation of more than 20 public health communication campaigns including those focused on child survival, HIV prevention and tobacco use throughout the world as well as the evaluation of the US National Youth Antidrug Media Campaign. He is the author of Development Communication, edited Public Health Communication: Evidence for Behavior Change and co-edited Prediction and Change of Health Behavior as well as more than 140 refereed articles and papers. He has served on five US National Academy of Sciences Committees, is a Fellow of the International Communication Association and received the Mayhew Derryberry Award from the American Public Health Association and the Lindback award for distinguished teaching at Penn.”

Professors Nan and Aldoory Receive Research Communicator Impact Award

Congratulations to Professors Xiaoli Nan and Linda Aldoory who will be awarded the 2019 Research Communicator Impact Award at the Inaugural Maryland Research Excellence Celebration!

Faculty who have been selected for the award have demonstrably elevated the visibility and reputation of the University of Maryland Research Enterprise through meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  • Research finding that is both highly-cited and transformative to their field
  • Research achievement with demonstrable societal impact, such as change in policy, major external press coverage
  • Recognition by national or international group
  • Published in a renowned scholarly journal or publication in their field
  • Selection for award for a funding competition with limited submissions
  • Selection for a Division of Research Tier 1/New Directions award
  • Recipient of significant external research funding from a federal funding agency, foundation, corporation, non-profit, national laboratory, medical center, or other entity


xiaoli nanLinda Aldoory










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