I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism and Creative Media in the College of Communication & Information Sciences at The University of Alabama. My research is largely interdisciplinary, and I apply theoretically driven approaches to interpersonal and mass media based health research. In my work, I tend to study health disparities, build public campaigns via mass and social media, and conduct online research. Several of these lines of work have led to grant funding, including internal and external sources.
An exciting new area in research for me has been exploring communication practices/subculture of video games and mobile games. I’m exploring current social and communication effects of game play, the potentially influence of socialization and entertainment therein, and the influence of mass media and narratives on gamers. As a gamer (FEH daily) and frequent con-goer (Otakon since 2002), this is an area where I personally understand and engage in the social dynamics that can affect game play.
In addition, I use my skills in web design and art to leverage new media, help design apps, web sites, and social media to promote public health. I teach these concepts in my classes and collaborate with community and state partners, such as state health departments, non-profit organizations, clinics, tribal partners, and other organizations.
I am also an artist, and actively enjoy drawing and painting. You can find me on Instagram, Tumblr, and Deviantart. I update my Instagram account with works in progress, sketches, paintings, and occasionally short videos of timelapses.
I teach courses including a doctoral seminar in health communication, data visualization and news design, persuasion, communication theory, and others. Students apply theory and appropriate methods in their projects. They create and participate in campaign development and build strong portfolio pieces for a variety of careers or to prepare them for graduate school. My hope in mentoring graduate students is to prepare them for either academic careers (through research, publications, presentations, and professional development) or careers in a professional industry, or working on a freelance basis (through connecting them with employers, building a professional portfolio and body of representative projects). My approach in guiding students is that each project should have meaning and contribute towards their research or professional goals. I build timelines with students and ensure that they stay on track during their program and have a position ready by the time they graduate.
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