I am an Associate Professor in the College of Communication & Information Sciences at The University of Alabama in health communication (Ph.D., Purdue University, 2012). I am a computational social scientist and mixed methods researcher (qualitative and quantitative) using theory to identify and examine social and behavioral health phenomena. I focus on the use of large sets of web data to examine health discourse, dynamics of structure and temporal features in online systems, often examining interpersonal and organizational factors associated with health disparities and rural health. I conduct research in health campaign design, disparities, and interpersonal and organizational issues in online collectives. My current projects address information access in rural communities; theorizing about platform affordances, examining chronic illness experiences, eHealth and mHealth affordances, and I am always excited about new studies. My work also connects the role of social media influence and effects on lifestyle, health and behavioral outcomes.
At a broader level, I am working to examine health communication in emerging technologies, largely through the use of computational methods to devise optimal approaches that consider the role of agency, ethics, the interpersonal nature of communication, semantic and structural changes over time. This likewise extends to active work I am pursuing on theorizing about computational science (independent of behavioral data alone) in health. I use many methods in my research, including computational, quantitative, qualitative, and rhetorical approaches in my work, and I thrive on research teams.
I collaborate with the Institute for Communication and Information Research and the Public Opinion Lab at the University of Alabama, and I am part of the Alabama Reddit Research Group.
I live with my husband, Dr. Brian C. Britt, associate professor in the College of Communication & Information Sciences, and our calico cat, Caramel!