Health Communication Scholars Program

Health Communication Scholars Program

Health Communication Scholars Program

2016-17 Information Coming Soon

Information about HCSP for the 2016-17 academic year will be coming soon.

2015-16 Funded Proposals 

The HCSP funded four proposals for the 2015-16 academic year. Congratulations to these students on funding their exciting projects!
Understanding of the Public’s Information Behaviors During Pandemics
Principal Investigator: Jisoo Ahn (Advertising & Public Relations)
Co-Investigator: Teresa Vogt (Health Behavior and Health Education)
Co-Investigator: Hyeseung Koh (Advertising & Public Relations)
Faculty Mentor: Yan Zhang (Information)
Emerging pandemic diseases with high death tolls have led to an increased need to manage the public’s uncertainty and anxiety, especially during the initial stage of disease. The purpose of this project is to explore individuals’ information behaviors such as acquisition, transmission, and selection of disease- related information to manage their uncertainty and anxiety as well as understand information sources and targets of information exchange. Participants will be recruited in the U.S. and Korea, where Ebola and Mers-CoV occurred respectively, and will be asked to recall their information behaviors at that time.
Crisis Text Lines as Youth Lifelines? Examining the Utility of the Crisis Text Line Program with Suicidal Teenagers
Principal Investigator: Hannah Szlyk (Social Work)
Co-Investigator: Victor Garcia-Perdomo (Journalism)
Faculty Mentor: Lauren Gulbas (Social Work)
The project will explore the utilization, symbolic interaction and execution of the Crisis Text Line, a crisis intervention hotline accessed through text message, by identifying caller demographics and frames, as well as the approaches used by volunteer counselors to engage teen callers. This project will also evaluate how preexisting theories, such as framing of media effects, and approaches of suicide prevention are being integrated into the crisis text messages by volunteers and how texters respond to these strategies. Therefore, the information provided by the proposed project would inform researchers and program administrators on how effective evidence-based strategies, such as motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy, truly are when administered by volunteer counselors in a less formal crisis setting.
HealthyhornsTXT Targets Messaging: An Evaluation of Linguistic Agency Assignment in Text Messages About Health
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Glowacki (Communication Studies)
Co-Investigator: Daniel Kreitzberg (Kinesiology and Health Education)
Co-Investigator: Emilly Scheinfeld (Communication Studies)
Faculty Mentor: Jay Bernhardt (Communication)
Although there are robust findings on text message delivery and text message outcomes in health, little has been done to look at text message content. A better understanding of how message content impacts message delivery can increase the efficacy of these interventions. Therefore, the goal of this project is to evaluate how language manipulation enhances the quality and persuasiveness of text-messages about health behaviors. We will apply a linguistic agency assignment framework to evaluate how assignments of agency to human or non-human agents influences health behaviors. Text messages about health information and resources on campus will be sent to participants enrolled in the HealthyhornsTXT program run by University Health Services. HealthyhornsTXT an innovative text-message program that sends tips for healthy eating, safe sex, alcohol risk reduction, sleep habits, engagement in physical activity, and mental health to UT students.
Exploring Therapeutic Effects of Expressive Writing: Anticipated Reemergence of Stressors Related to Mental Illness
Principal Investigator: Mackenzie Greenwell (Communication Studies)
Co-Investigator: JhuCin Jhang (Communication Studies)
Co-Investigator: Wenhui Zhang (Nursing)
Faculty Mentor: Jasper Smits (Psychology)
When individuals feel a responsibility to disclose, for example, a mental health condition to friends, coworkers, or healthcare providers, ongoing stressors related to this mental illness might resurface. This study will examine the therapeutic effects of writing rehearsals or practice scripts for situations in which an anticipated stressor related to mental illness may arise. Using a three-group experimental design, the proposed study aims to contribute practical and cost-effective treatment methods for individuals coping with mental illness.

2015-16 Grant Writing Workshop - Save the Date: October 5, 2015

The HCSP grant writing workshop will be held this October 5, 2015, from 9am-1pm in BMC 5.208. Below is the agenda for the day.

Time Topic Speaker
9:00-9:30am Welcome, Introductions, and Program Overview

Michael Mackert, PhD

Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations

Center for Health Communication

9:30-10:15am Grant Funding and the Transition from Graduate Student to Faculty

Julie Maslowsky, Ph.D.

Department of Kinesiology and Health Education

10:15-10:30am Health Communication: Research, Practice, and the Role of Funding

Jay Bernhardt, Ph.D.

Moody College of Communication

Center for Health Communication

10:30-11:15am Selling the Significance and Innovation of Your Proposal

Sharon Brown, Ph.D.

School of Nursing

11:15-11:45am Break and Networking  

HCSP Operation Q&A

Michael Mackert, PhD

Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations

Center for Health Communication


Lessons from a HCSP Reviewer and Faculty Mentor

Erin Donovan, Ph.D.

Department of Communication Studies

Center for Health Communication


Concluding Remarks

Michael Mackert, PhD

Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations

Center for Health Communication

2014-15 Funded Proposals Announced

After a competitive process, the HCSP is funding four proposals for the 2014-15 academic year. Congratulations to these funded teams!

The Relative Impact of Infographics on e-Health Information Comprehension and Health Promoting Behaviors

Principal Investigator: Jisook Ko (School of Nursing)
Co-Investigator: Ji-won Kim (School of Journalism)
Co-Investigator: Seungae Lee (Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations)
Faculty Mentor: Lucy Atkinson (Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations)

Information and communication technologies are widely used, presenting both opportunities and challenges for developing and implementing effective health literacy interventions. In order to be more effective, e-health information providers have begun to use more infographics. This proposed study is designed to examine the critical effects of infographics on individuals’ processing of e-health information, accuracy in perceiving information, and intention of health-promoting behaviors by engaging people in this experimental study.

An Exploratory Study of Accommodating and Non-Accommodating Communication Behaviors between Young Home Health Professionals and the Elderly Clients

Principal Investigator: Hyeseung Koh (Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations)
Co-Investigator: Jisoo Ahn (Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations)
Co-Investigator: Brittany Wittenberg (Department of Human Development and Family Sciences)
Faculty Mentor: Yuri Jang (School of Social Work)

According to the World Health Organization and U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percent of adults aged 65 and older has rapidly increased over the past few decades. This growing elderly population has led to an increased need for healthcare services, including home health service agencies. To achieve mutual satisfaction from both home health professionals and elderly clients, it is necessary to evaluate the quality of services from both the service providers’ and receivers’ perspectives. Thus, this study attempts to identify communication problems between young home health professionals and their elderly clients when delivering/receiving care in the home health setting in order to promote healthy and supportive relationships between home health professionals and their elderly clients.

The Role of Food in the Self-management of Pain: How Teens with Juvenile Arthritis Communicate About Chronic Pain and Food

Principal Investigator: Amanda Mabry (Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations)
Co-Investigator: Kimberly Lewis (School of Nursing)
Faculty Mentor: Tracie Harrison (School of Nursing)

Juvenile arthritis (JA) is a serious health issue that causes chronic pain that is exacerbated in children who are also overweight/obese. The purpose of this study is to explore the meanings adolescents diagnosed with JA place on food choice in the context of pain and pain management, as well as how various messages teens receive about food influences their nutritional self-care beliefs and practices. Six focus groups of adolescents diagnosed with JA will be recruited to represent diverse opinions and experiences that may vary based on ethnicity and current weight status.

Social “Networkout” at Workplace: Boosting Employee Wellness Programs through the Integration of Wearable Devices, Mobile Technology, and Social Media Use

Principal Investigator: Yaguang Zhu (Department of Communication Studies)
Co-Investigator: Teresa Vogt (Department of Kinesiology and Health Education)
Co-Investigator: Donald Robinson (Department of Kinesiology and Health Education)
Co-Investigator: Daniel Kreitzberg (Department of Kinesiology and Health Education)
Faculty Mentor: Jay Bernhardt (Department of Communication Studies)

The advent of easily usable fitness applications, wearables fitness trackers, and social media updates has brought about an opportunity to influence behavior in workplaces by encouraging friendly competition between employees online and off.  The proposed research project is designed to examine multiple aspects of physical fitness behavior related to the use of social media platforms tailored to tracking exercise habits.  To accomplish said goals the proposed research will obtain data through multiple sources including fitness trackers (e.g., Fitbit), social media updates (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Matchup), in-depth interviews, and pre and post intervention surveys distributed to employees via e-mail.

2014-15 Funding: Four $2,000 Projects

As the HCSP enters its second year, the number and amount of awards is increasing. In 2014-15, the program will support four projects up to $2,000 each.

Documents Page Updated

The documents page has been updated for the 2014-15 Academic Year

Application Page Updated for 2014-15 Academic Year

The page with information about applying for the HCSP in the 2014-15 academic year has been updated.

Timeline Updated for 2014-15 Academic Year

The timeline page has been updated for the 2014-15 academic year, including the agenda for the grant writing workshop on September 29.

HCSP Grant Writing Workshop: Speakers Announced

The speakers for the grant writing workshop on September 29 have been finalized. They will be:

Michael Mackert (Department of Advertising and Public Relations, HCSP Director)
Jay Bernhardt (Department of Communication Studies, Center for Health Communication Director)
Mary Steinhardt (Department of Kinesiology and Health Education)
Lori Holleran Steiker (School of Social Work)
Sharon Horner (School of Nursing)
Steve Kelder (School of Public Health)

The event will also feature a panel of funded HCSP PIs from the 2013-14 academic year: Laura Brown (Department of Communication Studies), Sara Champlin (Department of Advertising and Public Relations), and Allison Lazard (Department of Advertising and Public Relations).

Save the Date: HCSP Fall Grant Writing Workshop - September 29

The grant writing workshop for this academic year will be on September 29 from noon-5pm in BMC 5.208. More details about the workshop, including speakers and a full agenda, will be coming soon.

HCSP Featured in UT Provost's Teaching Fellows Newsletter

The HCSP was featured in a story from in the UT Provost's Teaching Fellows newsletter, the program that provides funding and support for the HCSP. You can read it here.

Moody Feature Story: Interdisciplinary Program Gives Graduate Students Experience Designing and Funding Research

The Moody College just posted a feature story about the HCSP and the funded teams. You can read it here.