The organigram describes the overall risk management process.

Managing Chaos through Crisis Communication Leadership

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The organigram describes the overall risk management process. It is composed of 4 steps (arrows) and by sphere which represents communications with risk stakeholders.

Principal Investigator: Brooke Liu
Funding Source: the Department of Homeland Security

Summary: This project improves governments’ crisis leadership capabilities by determining the attributes of effective crisis communication leadership. The project includes: a comprehensive literature review; interviews with federal, state, local, and/or other crisis leaders regarding their experiences and reflections relevant to crisis leadership; and a mini case study of crisis communication leadership.

Cigarettes pack prohibition sign. Vector illustration graphic icon

Reducing Defensive Reactions to Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels through Self-Affirmation

Cigarettes pack prohibition sign. Vector illustration graphic icon

Principal Investigator: Xiaoli Nan
Co-Investigators: Robert Feldman, James Butler, Min Qi Wang
Funding Source: National Cancer Institute; $357,552 (2014-2017)

Summary: The overarching purpose of the proposed research is to harness new developments in psychological and communication sciences to address a key obstacle in communication-based smoking cessation efforts – the tendency for smokers to react defensively toward smoking risk information – and apply relevant knowledge to the promotion of smoking cessation among African American smokers. The proposed project seeks to evaluate an innovative approach based on self-affirmation theory to supressing smokers’ defensive processing of smoking risk information in a laboratory-based randomized trial involving African American smokers. Specifically, this project aims to 1) determine whether self-affirmation (vs. no self-affirmation) reduces defensive responses toward graphic cigarette warning labels; 2) ascertain whether self-affirmation (vs. no self-affirmation) leads to more negative explicit and implicit attitudes toward smoking, greater intentions to quit, and reduced cigarette consumption following exposure to graphic cigarette warning labels; and 3) investigate whether smoking identity moderates the effects of self-affirmation. The proposed project addresses a major public health concern as well as significant tobacco-related health disparities. This study will advance scientific knowledge on self-affirmation as a mechanism for reducing smokers’ defensive processing of smoking risk messages. The findings will be directly relevant to the translation of the basic behavioral science underlying smoking risk communication into enhanced smoking cessation approaches. If self-affirmation functions as expected in the proposed randomized trial, a self-affirmation task can be easily implemented in communication-based smoking cessation interventions to enhance the outcomes. The proposed study will also provide direct evidence relevant to the ongoing public health debate concerning the effectiveness of graphic warning labels as a means of communicating smoking risks in the United States.

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Preventing Farm Injury and Fatalities to At-Risk Youth in Rural Communities in the Southeast

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iot smart industry robot 4.0 agriculture concept,industrial agronomist,farmer using autonomous tractor with self driving technology , augmented mixed virtual reality to collect, access, analyze soil

Principal Investigator: Stacy K. Vincent
Co-PIs: Kang Namkoong, Joan M. Mazur
Funding Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, CDC; $1,356,806 (2016-2021)

Summary: Agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States and tractor overturn is the leading cause of farming-related injuries or deaths. Dr. Namkoong has developed a smartphone-based health communication application (eCROPS) to promote an agricultural safety campaign and prevent tractor operator deaths from overturns.

The mobile communication application was designed to enhance social interactions among campaign participants and the effectiveness of a combined approach of agricultural education, health education, and communication to address the significant public health issue in rural communities. Dr. Namkoong also developed virtual reality tractor safety contents for CROPS project (vrCROPS). The vrCROPS was designed as a service embedded in eCROPS to maximize its effectiveness in tractor safety education. Through immersive virtual reality experience, vrCROPS enhances risk perception about tractor-related accidents and self-efficacy on tractor safety behaviors. This project allows us to examine the potential of a virtual reality immersion system in occupational safety education.

How Forecasters Decide to Warn: Insights on Tornado Risk Communication from the Southeast U.S.

Storm hurricane tornado map realistic composition with weather forecast screen spiral cloud image and text vector illustration

Principal Investigators: Brooke Liu, Anita Atwell Seate
Funding Source: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)

Summary: Tornados can have devastating consequences, and being able to warn the public about tornadic risk can save lives. Social scientists are prolific in their recommendations on how to “better warn” the public about tornadoes,  but they rarely work in partnership with operational forecasters. This begs the question of how applicable social  scientists’ recommendations are to the “real world.” The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just  funded new research on how forecasters decide to warn about tornadoes. Associate Professor Brooke Liu and Assistant Professor Anita Atwell Seate will lead a two-year project, which includes interviews with forecasters, ethnographic observation, and a longitudinal survey. The project involves 20 telephone interviews with NOAA forecasters, two months of ethnographic observations at two National Weather Service offices in the Southeast U.S., a baseline cross-sectional survey, and a six-month longitudinal survey. Project website: How Forecasters Decide to Warn: Insights on Tornado Risk Communication from the Southeast U.S.


The Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model

Lead Researcher: Brooke Liu

Summary: This is an ongoing project aimed at refining and expanding a theoretical model that provides guidelines for effectively integrating new media into crisis management.

Diet and healthy life concept background. The choice between fresh healthy food fruit and vegetables or unhealthy fast food and soda. Top view

Supporting the Health of Kentucky SNAP-Ed Participants through Engagement in Reshaping Local Policy, Systems and the Environment

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Diet and healthy life concept background. The choice between fresh healthy food fruit and vegetables or unhealthy fast food and soda. Top view

Principal Investigator: Daniel Kahl
Co-PIs: Kang Namkoong, Jarius Rossi, Jayoung Koo, Melissa Bond, Sarah Bowker, & Alison Diavis
Funding Source: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA; $450,591 (2015-2018)

Summary: This is a food and nutrition education project funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This project aims to promote healthy life choices in underserved populations. In this project, he has developed communication assessment tools to explore the connections between organizations, networks, and systems that often are not in communication with one another.

Product Recall illustration

Risk Communication During Food Recalls

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3D illustration of “PRODUCT RECALL” title flowing from a loudspeaker

Principal Investigator: Xiaoli Nan
Co-Investigators: Linda Verrill, Kelly Daily, Jarim Kim

Summary: Public health professionals have sought to understand the determinants of public perceptions related to food contamination risks in order to develop more effective means of communicating the risk of foodborne illnesses to consumers. In one study (N = 1,010), we investigated the impact of two risk characteristics—severity and intentionality—on risk perceptions and subsequent protective motivations. Results indicated that severity was an important driver of risk perceptions and it also interacted with intentionality such that when severity was low, an intentional act led to greater risk perceptions and protective motivations; when severity was high, intentionality had limited impact. These findings hold implications for effectively communicating food contamination risks.


Classroom Desk And Drawn Blackboard Of Chemistry Teaching Top Vi

Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach

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Classroom desk and drawn blackboard of chemistry teaching with books and instruments. Chemical sciences education concept. Horizontal composition. Top view

Leader Investigator: Xiaoli Nan
Co-Investigators: Clare Narrod, Victoria Ledford
Funding Source: Food and Drug Administration through the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; $40,000 (2018)

Summary: The Food and Drug Administration, in coordination with the Secretary of Agriculture, seeks to provide consumer outreach and education regarding agricultural biotechnology and biotechnology-derived food products and animal feed. The education and outreach is intended to be implemented through publication and distribution of science based educational information on the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian impacts of such biotechnology, food products, and feed. Through in-depth interviews with leading agricultural biotechnology consumer organizations, the research team is tasked to provide recommendations on dissemination strategies for reaching and providing information to various stakeholder groups. The research team develops strategies related to the “How,” “Where,” and “Why” of using particular information content, format, and channels.

A Man Is Using A Smartphone

Social Support and Social Media

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A man is using a smartphone with social media network notification icons in the city

Lead Researcher: Yuan Wang

Summary: This project explores how people obtain social support from social media usage, and how the process affects their subjective well-being.

Hand holding smartphone with fitness app concept on touchscreen. Modern flat vector icons of healthy lifestyle fitness and physical activity. Healthy lifestyle concept.

A Meta-Analysis on the Effectiveness of Mobile Devices to Promote Physical Activity

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Hand holding smartphone with fitness app concept on touchscreen. Modern flat vector icons of healthy lifestyle fitness and physical activity. Healthy lifestyle concept.

Lead Researcher: Yan Qin

Summary: This project involves systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of mobile devices to promote physical activity. Moderators such as use of behavioral change theories/techniques and targeted audience groups are also investigated in the study.