Health Communication



Bradley Adame


Bradley Adame, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma, is an assistant professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. He studies risk and crisis communication related to health and environmental threats, sustainability, and resilience. His research investigates theoretical and methodological issues surrounding health and prosocial campaign development, execution, and evaluation. Using strategic communication principles, his research seeks to explain and predict how message characteristics influence health-related and prosocial behavior outcomes.


Olga Idriss Davis


Olga Idriss Davis, who earned her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is a professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. She is passionate about enhancing communication to improve the health and well-being of underserved populations. She helped establish a health coalition for Refugee women in Maricopa County and was appointed by Governor Napolitano to serve on the State Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health.  In addition, Professor Davis is intricately involved in promoting health among the African American community in Arizona. She works with the Phoenix-based Coalition of Blacks Against Breast Cancer and has created a narrative play, The Journey: Living Cancer Out Loud, based on interviews of the experience of African American survivors and caregivers of breast cancer which has been performed in various community and hospital venues in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Raising awareness in Black barbershops, Professor Davis addresses knowledge of cardiovascular disease among African American men in Phoenix, Arizona.


Uttaran Dutta


Uttaran Dutta, who earned his Ph.D. at Purdue University, is an assistant professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. He studies creative ways to address development, health, and social disparity issues. His research focuses on sustainable development and social change in marginalized communities, analyzing the importance of culture, communication, design, and innovation in transforming the lives of people who are socially, politically and economically poor. In all his work, local participants are the key forces in identifying and developing cost-effective solutions using local resources.  For example, in one project, he is developing a computer application for illiterate people in rural India to access useful information regarding local weather, employment, education, and other basic services such as healthcare. In another project, he collaborated with local people to construct a mini-hospital, library-cum-museum, and a protection-wall to save sacred environmental resources in remote indigenous villages in eastern India.


Dr. Gary Kreps

Gary L. Kreps


Gary L. Kreps, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California, is a Health Communication Research Fellow in the Hugh Downs School of Communication and serves as a University Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University.  He examines the health information and support needs of vulnerable populations, such as members of marginalized immigrant groups, the poor, low educated, the ill elderly, minority group members, people living with disabilities, and individuals confronting serious and stigmatized physical and mental health problems. He applies research with these populations to developing evidence-based, culturally sensitive health promotion programs, campaigns, and media. 


Linda Costigan Lederman


Linda Costigan Lederman, who earned her Ph.D. at Rutgers University, is a professor and the director of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. She specializes in the role of communication in health outcomes and is nationally recognized for her work on college campuses in alcohol abuse prevention. Her studies focus on communication, addiction, and recovery, and she is a leading expert in the country on college drinking and the role of communication in reducing dangerous drinking. Professor Lederman’s work has been funded, totaling $8 million, by NIDA/NIAAA, US DoE, and the US Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education (FIPSE), and has been published in leading journals in communication, health communication, alcohol prevention and recovery. Professor Lederman is the author of Changing the Culture of College Drinking, and she is currently finishing Beyond the Bottle: Stories of Women and Men Who Wanted to Stop Drinking, a creative non-fiction account of alcoholism and recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous. Her next book will be on addiction and compulsive dieting.


Paul Mongeau


Paul Mongeau, who earned his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, is a professor and the associate director in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. His expertise lies in communication in relationships, as well as persuasion and social influence. He has expertise in persuasion and health communication campaigns and the study of college students’ sexual relationships.




Jonathan Pettigrew


Jonathan Pettigrew, who earned his Ph.D. at Penn State, is an assistant professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. His research involves collaboration across methodologies and disciplines to understand how to best promote adolescent health through family and school-based interventions.




Anthony Roberto


Anthony Roberto, who earned his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, is a Professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. His areas of interest and expertise are persuasion and social influence and health communication campaigns. His research is largely quantitative and relies heavily on a survey and experimental methods (though he is also versed in some qualitative research methods such as focus groups and in-depth interviews). His research involves the design, implementation, or evaluation of various health behavior change communication programs. He has developed or tested messages to improve health-related behaviors in a wide variety of areas, including adolescent sexual health (i.e., HPV, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, STD, and pregnancy prevention), cyberbullying, kidney disease, gun safety, etc.