I have a background in broadcast journalism and government and healthcare public relations. I earned my PhD from UNC Chapel Hill in Strategic Communications, and my M.A. also from UNC-CH in Interdisciplinary Health Communications.
My area of research focus is qualitative analysis of communication about health care, looking at written and spoken language pertaining to issues of how healthcare services are provided, the legislative policies that affect access to healthcare, and communication between providers (physicians, advocates, etc.) and patients. I’ve published papers looking at the politicization of health coverage during debate over the Affordable Care Act, at news coverage of medical research in the news outlets and on social media, and at physician-patient communication about domestic violence.
My hope for my work with HPU students is to help them learn how they can influence others through public relations and health communication to advocate for patients and for positive change in how health care is provided. At the very least, I draw inspiration from seeing students’ motivation when they gain new skills and understanding of how communication works. It’s also rewarding to watch students grow and gain confidence in their own talents and abilities.
My prior experience is both professional and academic. The start of my career was as a broadcast journalist, in radio and television; after several years doing that, I became a public relations executive in health care–at Kaiser Permanente and with Medicare and Medicaid agencies. My husband and I moved here to North Carolina to build a house (his lifelong dream) and for me to return to school to earn my PhD, which I did at UNC Chapel Hill.
In addition to my graduate degrees, I have a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism, an Emmy nomination for my television journalism, an award from the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD for fair coverage of issues affecting the community while reporting in Atlanta, and several best-paper awards at academic conferences.