2011 Fellows

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Paula Baldwin

Ms. Baldwin (MA, Texas State University-San Marcos, 2009; BA, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2007) is a second year PhD candidate in George Mason University's Health Communication program. For the last three years, Ms. Baldwin has worked with a national interdisciplinary research group that focuses on end-of-life communication issues. At the master's level, she focused on interpersonal and family communication. In addition, during the last year of her master's program, she worked on a year-long children's bereavement project identifying key communication issues for children. She is a health communication scholar whose research interests center on end-of-life and palliative care's interpersonal, instructional and organizational issues. During her first year at George Mason, Ms. Baldwin was a Graduate Research Assistant on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant examining the American audience segmentation in respect to climate change and a National Science Foundation grant examining broadcast meteorologists' best practices to effectively communicate to the public about climate change science. Currently, Ms. Baldwin is a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Communication at GMU, where she teaches courses in interpersonal and nonverbal communication as well as public speaking. During the summer 2010, she presented her first international paper in Scotland and then spent the rest of the summer in Greece exploring multicultural perspectives in health. To date, she is author or co-author on eight publications with one article currently in review, and one article, one research brief, and two book chapters in production. Since 2007, she is author or co-author on thirty conference papers presented at communication, medical or science education conferences in regional, national and international communities. This past year, she has been a guest speaker at sustainability conferences in Virginia and Maryland as well as for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences graduate orientation. She is also the 2010-2011 past President of the George Mason University Communication Graduate Students Association. She has been honored for her scholarship by being awarded the Department of Communication's 2009-2010 Dean's Challenge award and 2010-2011 Outstanding PhD Student award. During her spare time, Ms. Baldwin volunteers at Capital Caring in their hospice division.


Kisha Coa

Ms. Coa is a doctoral student in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is interested in the development and evaluation of interventions aimed at changing modifiable cancer risk factors (e.g., obesity, tobacco use). She is also interested in understanding how health information is communicated to the lay public by the media, and how the framing of health information may influence behavior. Prior to beginning her doctoral program, she spent five years as a research associate at a private research company working on a variety of cancer prevention related projects for the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ms. Coa received her MPH from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and her BA in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh.


Patrick Dillon

Mr. Dillon (M.A., Central Michigan University) is a doctoral student in Health Communication at the University of South Florida. His major areas of study include health communication, communication in health organizations, and research methods. His work has been published in Health Communication and the Southern Communication Journal, and will be featured in the upcoming book Reducing Health Disparities: Communication Intervention. Mr. Dillon also currently works as a research assistant on a grant funded project examining HIV/AIDS in minority populations. In addition to his academic work, Mr. Dillon has also served as a communication consultant for various non-profit organizations and taught seminars focusing on various aspects of communication at community health organizations and a prison.


Rachel Faulkenberry

Ms. Faulkenberry, MPH, is pursuing her doctorate in Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. She has earned BAs in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from the University of Georgia and completed her MPH at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University with a major in Behavioral Science and Health Education. Ms. Faulkenberry's interests focus on the role of health communication in the reduction of cancer disparities. For her doctoral work, she hopes to explore aspects of communication that may influence outcomes for cancer patients and survivors, including the influence of patient-provider interactions on treatment and end-of-life care decisions; barriers to accessing information on cancer treatment and survivorship; and ways to engage communities to change the information environment. She is currently a member of the Viswanath Lab at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where she works with a team of health communication researchers to determine how inequalities in the distribution of communication resources and channels relate to health disparities.


Whitney Jones

Pursuing a PhD in Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver, Whitney Jones's research interests include developing and disseminating effective practices in cancer survivorship. Specifically, Whitney is interested in addressing psychosocial needs in the re-entry phase following completion of cancer treatment.  Her dissertation will investigate quality of life in leukemia and lymphoma survivors post-treatment and the influence of age at diagnosis.  In her role at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, she manages two intervention studies at with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyles in cancer survivors as well as increasing breast cancer screening rates in adult survivors of childhood cancers, respectively. Whitney holds an MS in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts Boston and spent three years as a research associate at the University of Massachusetts Medical School working on health policy initiatives.


Rebekka Lee

Ms. Lee recently completed her second year in the doctoral program at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in the Department of Society, Human Development and Health. She holds BA in psychology from Mount Holyoke College and a master's degree from HSPH. Ms. Lee has also been a research assistant at HSPH for the past 7 years. She is currently working on two studies of after-school nutrition and physical activity interventions at the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center (HPRC), one within YMCA programs nationwide and the other within Boston Public schools. Ms. Lee's experience at the HPRC has cultivated her interest in developing effective implementation strategies for community-based interventions that explicitly seek to improve health equity. She plans to focus on issues of dissemination and implementation in her dissertation work. Recently, she has the chance to start this work when she co-authored a chapter for the upcoming text: Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health: Translating Science to Practice. Ms. Lee calls Jamaica Plain, MA home. In her spare time, she enjoys getting a Zumba workout and cooking tasty meals with her CSA produce.


Li Lu

Ms. Lu received her B.A. from Peking University with double majors in Communication and World History. She received her MS from Communication Department, Cornell University. At Annenberg school of communication and journalism at USC, she is interested in knowledge management in groups and organizations. She is currently working on a project examining the effects of transactive memory system on information exchange within groups with Professors Janet Fulk from USC and Professor Connie Yuan from Cornell University. She is also interested in mass collaboration in online communities.


Minal Patel

Minal is a third year doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She received her BA in psychology with a minor in health care and social issues from the University of California San Diego in 2006, and her Master's in Public Health in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2009. Minal's research interests are in patient-provider communication in the context of chronic disease management and is specifically interested in communication related to the cost of care. For the past four years, Minal has been working as a graduate student research assistant at the Center for Managing Chronic Disease at the University of Michigan. In this role, she has assisted the Center with its intervention research in chronic conditions. Her work has included assisting with literature searches, development of research and intervention strategies, and manuscript and grant proposal preparation. In her most current role at the Center, Minal has been coordinating an intervention for an NIH-funded trial evaluating cultural competence training for physicians treating children with asthma compared to a general communication intervention that our Center developed.


Susana Peinado

Ms. Peinado is a doctoral student in Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Her research interests are in health communication and include: patient-centered communication, health literacy, the spread of emotional health messages in social networks, and social determinants of health. At UCSB, Ms. Peinado works with Health Games Research, a national program to advance the effectiveness of digital games that promote health, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Before entering the doctoral program at UCSB, she worked within the Health Communication program at RTI International, a non-profit research institute in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. She has also worked as a health communication program specialist at the National Human Genome Research Institute, National institutes of Health. Ms. Peinado received an M.A. in Communication with a focus on Health from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Philosophy from Grinnell College.


Adam Richards

Mr. Richards is a PhD student in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland with an emphasis in persuasion and social influence.  His research interests include decision making and information management in the contexts of interpersonal and health communication.  He has collaborated with researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health as well as the Center for Communication, Health, and Risk at the University of Maryland.


Rui Shi

Ms. Shi is a PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in health communication and her coursework and research in the past few years have focused on the design and evaluation of anti-smoking messages. Ms. Shi is currently working on a project concerning the social impact of online recommendation systems surrounding cancer prevention messages.


Kathleen Stansberry

Ms. Stansberry is a doctoral student in the communication and society program at the University of Oregon studying public relations, health communications and new media. Using primarily qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews and textual/discourse analysis, Ms. Stansberry's work explores online, interest-based communities and the changing roles professional communicators must assume to effectively communicate with them. She is particularly interested in the rhetoric of health communications and the ways health-based communities challenge and adjust the rhetoric of health and wellness. In addition to her academic work, she has worked in corporate and agency public relations for the last eight years and currently acts as an online community manager for the International Society for Technology in Education.


Rannie Teodoro

Ms. Teodoro recently completed her first year of doctoral study at Rutgers University's School of Communication and Information. Her research interests are in health communication, especially the applications and practice of social marketing and technology to strategically promote individual and social change. Her research projects include mobile phone data collection procedures, alcohol counteradvertising message strategies, and the social implications of MP3 player use. Currently, she is a research assistant for a community-based pilot study that evaluates the first state-wide prescription drug abuse prevention effort to collect unused, unwanted, and expired prescription medicines. She also worked as a policy administrator for Colanta Hematology & Oncology Outpatient Infusion Center and analyzed patient-physician interactions and its effect on the quality of cancer care.


Richard Wood

Mr. Wood, MHA, is a doctoral student at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health.  As Project Director for one of ten centers in the CDC and NCI funded Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN), Mr. Wood is engaged in efforts designed to reach underserved populations and reduce their burden of cancer.  His research interests include prevention and control of chronic disease and cancer, integration of health behavior and safety, social ecological influences on health, dissemination and implementation, and multilevel health interventions.


Sunny Zhao

Ms. Zhao is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She received her B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature from Beijing International Studies University in 2008 and her M.A. in Communication from the University of Albany in 2010. Her academic concentration area is organizational communication, and she has developed particular research interests in organizational identification processes in health care organizations and how these processes are shaped by linkages between external and internal communication.  She is currently working on a field research project at a top-ranked health care organization located in Albany, NY. In the past academic year she also did a case study on organizational practices during her internship at the Corporate Communication Department of another local health care organization. Since she will be completing her course work by spring, 2012, she is considering the exact topic for her dissertation research and sees this seminar as a rich opportunity to become grounded in a specific type of organizational context for health care. Specifically, she hopes to learn about the potential role of organizational identification in collaboration among health care professionals in cancer care teams.