As summer is wrapping up (even through it feels like it just started) I wanted to reflect on the work that I have done. This is an attempt to help me realize that I did actually get stuff done :-).


I have prepped all of my classes. One class was pretty straightforward as I have taught it two times before. I organize a speaker series for PR students with local PR professionals. I’m very happy with this lineup and I think the students will get a lot out of it. I’m particularly excited to welcome Brian O’Connor, VP, Brand & Corporate Communications, Emily Guerrant, VP for Media and Public Information and University Spokesperson, MSU, and Zach Pohl, Director of Communications, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Office, as new additions to the class. You can check out the entire schedule here.

I am also teaching my first PhD course, Media and Technology, and have been working hard to put together the content. This was a great opportunity to reread a lot of the seminal works and a bunch of new papers. It re-invigorated me and thinking about my research path moving forward. I am looking forward to the class and the interesting discussions we will have as a class.



As the new director of the Health and Risk Communication Masters program, I was charged to develop a strategic plan for the program. This gave me the opportunity to review the program’s past and what the future could be, as the program heads into its 25th anniversary in 2024. The four priorities that have been identified in collaboration with Maria Lapinski, Sandi Smith, Marge Barkman, and Prabu David. These priorities include:

  1. Continue to strengthen and grow the HRC MA program’s connections with its community of alumni and supporters.
  2. Continue to recruit top students and provide them with the best possible educational experience.
  3. Develop an online certificate course in conjunction with the college’s Strategic Communication master’s program.
  4. Maintain open communication with both the students and the HRCC faculty.



As far as my research, I submitted two papers. One examined the experiences of first generation college students on campus and their overall health. The other paper was the results of the MyT1DHero pilot project, in which we found some promising results. I’m currently finishing up a revision of a paper, a content analysis of diabetes websites, and hope to get that out in the next week or so. And I have three papers that are in progress, an exploratory study examining social support on Instagram, analyzing results of a survey regarding the MySSP project, and a content analysis on the American Diabetes Association’s presence on Facebook.


Additionally, I had a great meeting on building collaborations with faculty members from Wayne State University and University of Michigan. I am looking forward to working together to develop new and exciting projects.

New Studies.

Along with my research assistant, Katie Mitchell, we started a messaging study for parents with kids with type 1 diabetes. Since it is blinded, I really can’t provide too much information on it now. But just looking at some preliminary data points, I think we will find some interesting findings. I am also starting to look into using HINTS data. I’ve never used this data set before and am excited to start exploring.


In grant news, I’m a co-investigator on an NIH grant with Susan Wysche and we got word this summer that our project has been funded. It’s to build capacity to develop a diabetes app in Kenya. We are going to Kenya at the end of September. I also submitted a proposal to the American Diabetes Association. I also received my comments back from my first R01 submission to the NIH, it wasn’t funded, but scored. I hoping to review those comments, make revisions, and resubmit the grant.


Looking forward to the beginning of the semester, I am hoping to:

Submit papers to ICA, the deadline is Nov. 1 and the conference is in Gold Coast, Australia. I can’t wait to travel to the down under to hear about all the great scholarship that’s being done.

HINTS data, as I mentioned before, I’m looking forward to seeing what types of information that is available in this dataset. I am hoping to work on a paper on some of the results we find this fall.

I’m also interested in reading and exploring about health misinformation that is prevalent online.

Last, I’m excited to lead the HRC MA program. The HRCC is hosting a Day of Innovation and hosting the Bettinghouse lecture in the fall. It should be a great day of networking and scholarship.


I hope that everyone had a productive and restful summer and wish everyone the best in the coming semester.