IMG_7478 2I am an Associate Professor who focuses on health communication and computational social science in my research, and I likewise engage in quantitative and qualitative scholarship. In my research program, I seek to address health equity issues in rural and underserved communities; study the processes of online communities, such as social support, networks, branding and health influencers. I also investigate how new media technologies impact access to information and affect behavior over time. 

My research program also investigates the social dynamics of message diffusion across networks, from individual to organizational levels, and designing interventions and campaigns to improve health behaviors, such as vaccine uptake (HPV; flu). Broadly speaking, as a communication scholar, I examine social networks, organization, knowledge sharing and social change to address societal issues. I often use large web data, network analyses, natural language processing (NLP) and have interests in artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in my work.

I am located in the Department of Journalism and Creative Media where I am currently a Reese Phifer Fellow (2023-2025), housed in the College of Communication & Information Sciences at The University of Alabama (Ph.D., Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University, 2012) and a Faculty Fellow at the Alabama Life Research Institute, where you’ll find my office in the Northeast Medical Building. 

My work is highly collaborative: I work with the Institute for Communication and Information Research. I am an Affiliate Faculty with the Public Opinion Lab, Affiliate Faculty with the Alabama Water Institute, and the UA Cyber Institute AI/ML Group.  I am affiliated with the Center for Youth Development and Intervention, and a member of the Alabama Reddit Research Group. I am a member of the Alabama Rural Health Association.

Professionally, I am active within the Health Communication Division and the Japan-U.S. Communication Association at the National Communication Association, and a member of the International Communication Association in the Health Communication Division and Computational Methods Interest Group.

My partner is an outstanding scholar; Dr. Brian C. Britt, Associate Professor and Associate Director of Data Analytics in the Public Opinion Lab in the College of Communication & Information Sciences. Please also visit the web site of my doctoral students: Courtny L. Franco, Khadiza Tul JannatRaka Chakraborty, and Andrew J. Morris

Where to Find Me