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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Sahar Khamis

Associate Professor Khamis Receives Research Communicator Award

Sahar KhamisAssociate Professor Sahar Khamis was selected as a winner of the 2019 Research Communicator Impact Award in the “Op-Ed” category from the University of Maryland’s Division of Research. Communicating the value of University of Maryland research is an essential component in our mission to achieve global impact, infuse knowledge, and improve human life. The Research Communicator Impact Award was established in 2015 to recognize researchers who take a proactive approach to sharing their research or opinions on research issues and policies with the public.

The Research Communicator Impact Award is administered by the Division of Research and winners are selected by a committee of faculty and staff representing multiple disciplines. Distinguished University Professor Ben Shneiderman, of the computer science department and founding director of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, initiated the award as part of his advocacy for broad communications about research.
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Kang Namkoong

Assistant Professor Namkoong Receives $20,000 Pilot Grant for Augmented Reality Research

Kang NamkoongAssistant Professor Kang Namkoong is the Principal Investigator on a $20,000 one-year pilot research grant from the National Children’s Cancer for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS). The main goals of this pilot study are to (1) develop an innovative farm safety education program entitled, Augmented Reality Intervention for Safety Education (ARISE), for farm parents and children, (2) examine the feasibility and usability of the AR health intervention, and (3) evaluate the potential of the intervention as a sustainable agricultural safety education program.

AR technology enables us to provide a high level of system-user interactivity, which allows users to freely change angles and distance to the simulations with seamless transitions. Thus, ARISE is expected to help improve the quality of farm safety education, because it is designed to provide the participants with: (1) maximum autonomy in their use of the intervention; (2) vivid second-hand experience of incidents that frequently occur in farms; and (3) interactive learning tools that present farm safety tutorials.

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Interdisciplinary research group

CHRC Launches Interdisciplinary Research Group

classroom imagePhoto: CHRC Research Group holds its first group meeting for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Introducing the new Center for Health and Risk Communication (CHRC) Research Group! The goal of this research group is to promote research collaboration in CHRC’s core areas (health, risk, and science communication) among COMM faculty and students. CHRC Research Group is a cross-disciplinary initiative and is intended to energize research collaboration and dialogue among diverse traditions in communication scholarship – quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical, social scientific, humanistic, etc. Members of the research group share a common interest in substantive issues related to health, risk, or science that are of societal significance nationally or internationally. Below are a few key features of the CHRC Research Group:

  • At the beginning of each academic year, interested individuals sign up for the research group, which runs through the fall and spring semesters, with periodical group meetings (3-4 times a semester) to plan research studies, monitor progress, and share findings;
  • Group members form smaller research teams with at least one faculty mentor, one or more graduate students, and (possibly) one or more undergraduate students; One can choose to be on multiple teams;
  • Students have the option of participating for independent study credit during the fall and/or spring semesters (with a faculty mentor in the research group);
  • Each year a substantive topic is chosen by the research group as the topic of the year (e.g., Ebola, GMO, climate change, fake news, antibiotic resistance, opioid addiction, genetic editing, terrorism, nuclear energy, etc.);
  • Each team proposes and completes a research study addressing that topic using their chosen methodology/approach;
  • It is expected that by the end of the academic year, each team will produce at least one journal-submission-ready manuscript;
  • When possible, a CHRC white paper on the chosen topic will be prepared by all group members;
  • Budget permitting, CHRC will support data collection by the research teams.

We hope the CHRC Research Group will work as a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaboration within the Department of Communication and beyond!

Dr. Shana O. Ntiri

CHRC Welcomes New Members

Jiyoun KimKang-NamkoongAbdbamowo ClementJames ButlerRobert FeldmanSun-Young-LeeShana NitriMin Qi WangJunhan ChenShawna DiasSumin FangSamantha StanleyYuan WangGareth Thomas WilliamsYumin Yan

CHRC welcomes its newest members from across the College Park and Baltimore campuses of the University of Maryland. Please join us in welcoming our new affiliate faculty members and students!

New Affiliate UMD/UMB Faculty

  • Clement Adebamowo, 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.
  • James Butler III, 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.
  • Robert H. Feldman, 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.
  • Jiyoun Kim, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland who focused on the intersection of science, media & public opinion, and the dynamics of public engagement in emerging interactive media with a special emphasis on contested issues.
  • Sun Young Lee, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. 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.
  • Kang Namkoong, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland whose research focuses on the interrelationships between emerging media and health communication.
  • Shana O. Ntiri (MD, MPH), 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.
  • Min Qi Wang (MS, PhD), 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.

New Affiliate UMD/UMB Students

  • Junhan Chen, 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.
  • Shawna Dias, 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.
  • Sumin Fang, Sumin 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 J. Stanley, 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.
  • Yuan Wang, 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.
  • Gareth Thomas Williams, 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.
  • Yumin Yan, 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.
Dr. Susan Morgan

CHRC Presents Fall 2018 CHRC Distinguished Speaker – Dr. Susan Morgan from the University of Miami

Dr. Susan MorganAbout Dr. Morgan

Dr. Susan E. Morgan (BA, University of Massachusetts, 1990; MA, University of Arizona, 1993; Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1997) is the Associate Provost for Research Development and Strategy at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, USA, where she also holds an appointment as Full Professor in the Communication Studies department. Until 2017, she served as Associate Dean for Research for the School of Communication as well as the Director for the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change.

Dr. Morgan’s research interests involve the design and evaluation of persuasive messages targeting health behavior change in multicultural populations. Her research has been supported by over $12 million in grant funding from state and national sources, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Morgan’s current research uses qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to investigate message design features that increase the effectiveness of health-promotive campaigns. Her current area of primary interest is in cancer communication, particularly the development of multilevel interventions designed to improve clinical trial accrual. Much of her previous research involved developing and evaluating multimedia campaigns to promote organ donation in worksite and community settings. Additionally, Dr. Morgan has conducted large-scale studies of how the mass media frames organ donation and the effects of that framing on public attitudes and behaviors toward donor registration.

Dr. Morgan serves on the editorial boards of five journals and is an active reviewer for 15 journals. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the area of health communication. Her research has appeared in medical and leading social science journals including Clinical Transplantation, Communication Monographs, Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Health Psychology, and the Journal of the National Medical Association. She is also the author of a book, From Numbers to Words: Reporting Statistical Results for the Social Sciences.

Dr. Morgan’s recorded talk can be viewed here.


Mini STOP sign over chalkboard background and table STOP CANCER concept

Introducing CHRCs Cancer Communication Initiative (CCI)


The Cancer Communication Initiative at the University of Maryland is an ongoing, cross-disciplinary research and educational initiative spearheaded by CHRC, in collaboration with the School of Public Health at UMD, the School of Medicine at UMB, the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute, and other organizations and individuals committed to reducing cancer burden in the U.S. and worldwide. The goal of this initiative is to advance the science of cancer communication through innovative programs that promote cross-disciplinary collaboration in cancer communication research, cultivate the next generation of cancer communication scientists, and inform and empower disadvantaged communities in their fight against cancer.

For more information about this initiative, click here.

xiaoli nan

Professor Xiaoli Nan Awarded $2.2 Million Grant from NIH

UMD Right Now masthead

Department of Communication Professor Xiaoli Nan is the Principal Investigator on a $2.2 Million five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Entitled “Framing HPV Vaccination Messages for African American Parents,” this grant is a collaborative effort, involving researchers from Maryland’s School of Public Health and from UMB’s School of Medicine–Nan’s co-investigators include Cheryl Holt, School of Public Health, UMCP; Min Qi Wang, School of Public Health, UMCP’ Shana Ntiri, School of Medicine, UMB; and Clement Adebamowo, School of Medicine, UMB.

Project Description: The 2014 President’s Cancer Panel called underuse of HPV vaccines “a serious, but correctable threat to progress against cancer.” The Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, more recently, identified expanding the use of HPV vaccines as a top priority for cancer prevention, especially in medically underserved populations. Effective communication is crucial to widespread adoption of preventive measures against cancer like the HPV vaccines. Built upon recent advances in communication and behavioral sciences, the proposed project seeks to to develop and evaluate a novel, theory-based message framing intervention to accelerate HPV vaccine uptake among African American adolescents. This project aims to 1) develop culturally appropriate messages framed in gains and losses and pretest these messages through community engagement; 2) determine whether/how the effects of message framing (gain vs. loss) on African American parents’ acceptance of the HPV vaccine are moderated by their prior beliefs about HPV and the HPV vaccine; and 3) evaluate the efficacy of a message framing intervention rooted in message targeting principles through a clinic-based randomized trial. Addressing a critical aspect of health disparities disadvantaging the African American community, this research represents a systematic and timely effort to address the national urgency of optimizing communication strategies for promoting HPV vaccination among key stakeholders.

Kang Namkoong

Assistant Professor Kang Namkoong Publishes New Article in Heath Communication

Kang NamkoongKang Namkoong, Seungahn Nah, Stephanie K. Van Stee & Rachael A. Record (2018) Social Media Campaign Effects: Moderating Role of Social Capital in an Anti-Smoking Campaign, Health Communication, 33:3, 274-283, DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1258616

This study examined the effects of an anti-smoking campaign that employs a crowdsourcing method with a social networking service. Drawing upon social capital scholarship and the expression effect research paradigm in eHealth systems, the study also investigated the roles of social trust and community life satisfaction in the social media campaign that has a specific geographical boundary. To that end, we conducted an experiment using a two-group pretest–posttest design. We randomly assigned 201 participants to two conditions: “campaign message reception only” as a control group and “message reception and expression” as a treatment group in which participants fully engaged in the campaign process by sharing their own campaign ideas with other participants. Findings revealed that social trust and community life satisfaction interacted with the treatment condition to positively affect persuasive intentions, but in distinct ways. Social trust moderated the effect of the message reception and interaction condition on participants’ willingness to encourage community members to stop smoking. In contrast, community life satisfaction moderated the effect of the treatment condition on encouraging others to comply with the community’s anti-smoking policy. These results provide theoretical and practical implications related to the roles of social capital in geographically defined social media campaigns.

Samantha Stanley

Graduate Student Samantha Stanley Co-Authors New Article in Health Communication

Samantha StanleySamantha J. Stanley & Margaret Jane Pitts (2018) “I’m Scared of the Disappointment”: Young Adult Smokers’ Relational Identity Gaps and Management Strategies as Sites of Communication Intervention, Health Communication, DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2018.1440507

While cigarette smoking is decreasing among young adults, rates of nicotine consumption through other devices, most notably electronic cigarettes, are on the rise. Framed by communication theory of identity, this study examines young adult smokers’ experiences with relational others in regard to their smoking. Focus group discussions and individual interviews convened with 20 young adult cigarette and electronic cigarette smokers revealed identity gaps implicating the relational layer of identity, including personal-relational, enacted-relational, and personal-enacted-relational identity gaps. Participants used communicative and behavioral strategies to manage relational discrepancies. The documented identity gaps and management strategies present opportunities for targeted smoking cessation interventions that amplify dissonance created through identity gaps as a motivational tactic.