The Southern Center For Communication, Health & Poverty
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Center Director

Dr. Vicki Freimuth (Center Director, P.I. Multiple Risks Study, Administrative Core )

Dr. Vicki FreimuthDr. Freimuth serves a joint appointment in the Department of Speech Communication and Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. Dr. Freimuth’s research focuses on the role of communication in health promotion both in the U.S. and in developing countries. She established one of the first graduate programs in health communication at the University of Maryland and was awarded the first annual Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award from both the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association in 1999. In 2004, Dr. Freimuth received the Distinguished Career Award given by the American Public Health Association. She has been the recipient of several research grants including those from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She is the author of Searching for Health Information: The Cancer Information Service Model, and the co-editor of Communication, Language, and Health, and AIDS: Communication Perspectives. She has authored chapters in several major books in health communication and articles in such journals as Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Health Communication, Communication Research, Journal of Communication, American Journal of Public Health, and Health Education Research: Theory and Practice. Dr. Freimuth was the first Associate Director for Communication at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and had the responsibility of building a communication infrastructure throughout the agency and establishing quality health communication programs. The widely-used health communication planning and training CD-Rom, CDCynergy, was developed under her direction at CDC.

Principal Investigators

Dr. Doryn Chervin ( Co-P.I., Multiple Risks Study and Co-Director, Communication and Marketing Core)

Dr. Doryn ChervinDoryn Davis Chervin, Dr.P.H., ORC Macro vice president, directs CDC health communication and program evaluation tasks, multi-site evaluations, and the health communication evaluation practice area. For over 25 years, she has developed, managed, and evaluated public health programs, policy, and research for Federal, State, national, and community-based organizations (CBOs). Dr. Chervin has conducted community health intervention and health communication evaluations with diverse audiences at every life stage, in most settings, and across health content areas. Her work over the past two decades has focused on eliminating health disparities through community, communication, or policy interventions. She guides a staff of technical directors, methodologists, research associates, and other support staff to provide theoretically sound, evidence-based evaluation services. Dr. Chervin has been responsible for $14.1 million dollars of work, 35 task orders, and projects with almost all CDC Centers. Through her experiences managing IDIQ contracts, she is adept at resolving the conflicts that can arise at the task order, agency, and contract levels.

Dr. Celeste Condit (P.I., Genetic Predispositions to Disease)

Dr. Celeste Condit Dr. Condit’s research centers on rhetorical understandings of the impact of genetic technologies and human reproduction. She is the author or editor of six books, the most recent being The Meanings of the Gene: Public Debates about Human Heredity (1999). In addition, she has published more than 100 articles and chapters in leading journals and books in several disciplines, including the fields of rhetoric, communication, science, medicine, genetics, and women’s studies. Dr. Condit also co-edited Critical Studies in Media Communication and Women’s Studies in Communication.

Furthermore, Dr. Condit has been the recipient of numerous high honors and top teaching and scholarship awards, as well as frequently was the principal investigator of large grants from, for instance, the University of Georgia, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Condit works from a critical-qualitative perspective influenced by the tradition of rhetorical criticism.

Dr. Karen King (P.I., Preconception Health Message Bundling)

Photo of Karen KingDr. King is Professor and Department Head in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication Department of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Georgia. Dr. King's research principally focuses on health communications and advertising industry issues. She has published her research in leading academic journals including Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Newspaper Research, Journal of Health Care Marketing and Journalism Educator. She was the editor of the 1994 Proceedings of the American Academy of Advertising Conference. In addition, Dr. King has presented her work at numerous advertising, marketing and mass communication academic conferences.

Dr. Dean Krugman (P.I., Communication and Marketing Core)

Dr. Dean KrugmanDr. Krugman is a Professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia. His expertise includes health communication, health warnings and advertising/marketing communication. Dr. Krugman’s work in this area has been published in such journals as the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Journal of The American Medical Association, Tobacco Control, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Health Communication, and the Journal of Advertising. In March, 2002, he was given the “Outstanding Contribution to Research Award,” by the American Academy of Advertising designed to honor an individual who has made a substantial contribution to the discipline of advertising through a systematic and sustained program of published research. He is the recipient of a research award from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine for an article on adolescents and warnings in cigarette advertising.

Dr. Krugman has worked with US Justice Department, National Association of Attorneys General and several states regarding the influence of cigarette advertising/marketing communication on adolescents and adults, the effectiveness of anti-smoking strategies and the effectiveness of cigarette warnings. His work has been funded by the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, National Association of Broadcasters and The James Cox Center for Media Management. Dr. Krugman is a senior co-author of Advertising: Its Role in Modern Marketing.

Dr. Ruth Ann Lariscy (Co-P.I., New Media Health Information)

Photo of Ruthann W. Lariscy Dr. Lariscy is a Professor in the Department of Advertising & Public  Relations in the Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication. Her  research interests are centered on persuasion and communication  phenomena in both political and health campaign contexts. She has  authored numerous book chapters, journal articles and conference papers.
  Her work appears in Health Communication, Journal of Advertising,   Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Public Relations Research Journal, Public Relations Review, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Business Research, Political Communication. Journal of Health Communication, Handbook of Health Communication, and both political and health encyclopedias and reference books. Dr. Lariscy's research has been written about in popular press publications (New Scientist, Research Reporter) and covered in broadcast news (Italian National Television, Georgia Week in Review,  PBS).

Dr. Jennifer Monahan. (P.I., Smoking Study)

Dr. Jennifer MonahanDr. Monahan is an Associate Professor of Speech Communication at the University of Georgia where she is also a Fellow of the Institute of Behavioral Research and a Fellow of the Behavioral Health Science Institute. Her research examines message reception specifically focusing on addiction. For example, for the Southern Center for Communication, Health and Poverty her project examines how adolescents process public service messages about smoking. Dr. Monahan’s work also examines how alcohol consumption affects both message production and message reception within dyadic communication interactions.


Dr. Hye-Jin Paek (Co-P.I., New Media Health Information)

Photo of Hye-Jin PaekDr. Paek’s topical research interests are health communication and  promotion, social and cultural issues in advertising, communication  theory and research methods. Her theoretical orientation focuses on how  promotional media messages influence individuals' beliefs, attitudes, and  behaviors and how such influences are augmented by social perceptions,
  social interactions, and social contexts. She has published her research in  leading academic journals including Communication Research, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Mass Communication and Society, Journal of Advertising, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, International Marketing Review, Sex Roles, Asian Journal of Communication, Howard Journal of Communication, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and Korean Advertising Research.

Dr. Bryan Reber (P.I., New Media Health Information)

Photo of Bryan ReberDr. Reber's research focuses on public relations theory, practice and pedagogy. He has published his research in the Journal of Public Relations Research, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Communication Management, and Newspaper Research Journal among others. In addition, Dr. Reber has presented his research at numerous
  academic conferences.



Dr. Jennifer A. Samp (Co-P.I., Drug Abuse and Empathy)

Dr. Jennifer A. SampJennifer A. Samp (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999) is Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Georgia. Her programmatic research on message production in close relational contexts centrally locates her within scholarship on interpersonal communication. Broadly construed, her research focuses on how communicators’ thoughts about themselves and their relationships influence what they say during conversations with close friends and romantic partners. Additionally, some of her current work examines how perceived and actual alcohol use affects decisions about relational problems and the behaviors enacted during discussions about those problems. Her research has been acknowledged by several top paper awards at national conventions and publications in a variety of journals within the communication discipline including Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Western Journal of Communication, and Communication Studies. Dr. Samp teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses on interpersonal communication, personal relationships, conflict, communication theory, and quantitative research methods.

Dr. Jeff Springston (P.I., Research Methods and Biostatistics Core)

Dr. Jeff SpringstonDr. Springston is Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  He is widely published in cancer screening and communication in health institutions. He has been a lead or co-lead investigator on three NIH and two state and regional foundation funded projects. Dr. Springston's research areas of expertise are in public relations, health promotion and organizational communication. Within these areas, Dr. Springston uses a multitude of methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative. He has expertise with experimental, quasi-experimental, survey, content analysis, focus groups, in-depth interview, and descriptive statistic research.

Dr. Lijiang Shen, Ph.D. (Co-P.I., Drug Abuse and Empathy)

Dr. Lijiang Shen, Ph.D.Dr. Shen researches the effects of message framing in the psychological processing of persuasive health communication about, for example, genetic risk, smoking, and specific diseases such as SARS. He has authored and co-authored several articles that have been published in and presented at a number of leading national and international communication journals and conferences, generating him several top paper and thesis awards.

Dr. Shen also received a junior faculty grant from the University of Georgia and is the co-investigator on grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Shen is a quantitative researcher.

Dr. Donald L. Rubin (P.I., Workforce Development Core)

Dr. Donald L. RubinThe Public Health Workforce Development Core of the Center is led by Dr. Don Rubin, Professor in the Departments of Speech Communication and Language and Literacy Education and the Program in Linguistics. Rubin has more than two decades of experience teaching intercultural communication, including cultural competence in health communication. He has conducted professional development workshops for public health nurses on dissemination of innovations in cultures and served as invited panelist for intercultural counselors on issues of providers’ ethnic/racial identity. Rubin has also developed capacity at learning outcomes assessment, a type of program evaluation paradigm that seeks competence-based information beyond just participants’ post-test attitudes.

He has published in such journals as Health CommunicationInternational Journal of Intercultural RelationsResearch in the Teaching of English, and Journal of Communication, and is past editor of Communication Education.  His research interests encompass such areas as health promotion messages (e.g., impact of social cognitive development), audience adaptation in language (e.g., tobacco industry strategies), intercultural contact (e.g., outcomes of studying abroad), and instructional discourse (e.g., classroom interaction).



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