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Elisabeth Bigsby (M.A. Michigan State University, 2004)

Elisabeth Bigsby (M.A., Michigan State University, 2004).
Ms. Bigsby is a doctoral student in Health Communication at the University of Georgia. Ms. Bigsby’s focus is persuasion and how decisions to engage in healthy or unhealthy behaviors are made. She has previously conducted research on adult and adolescent perceptions of risk factors for breast cancer. Ms. Bigsby also has three years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, including one year as an AmeriCorps volunteer.

Todd Lee Goen (MA, University of Arkansas, 2005)

goenMr. Goen is a research assistant for the Enhancing Anti-drug PSA Effectiveness through Empathy Appeals project. He is a third-year doctoral student studying family communication and communication theory. Specifically, his current research interests are the development, construction, and maintenance of family identity, perceptions of family normalcy, and definitions of family. As a member of numerous professional associations, he regularly presents his research at national and regional conferences, and has received several top paper awards. Mr. Goen primarily employs quantitative methods in his research.
In addition to his responsibilities as a research assistant, Mr. Goen also serves as a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Speech Communication. He teaches courses in family communication, interpersonal communication, communication theory, and interviewing. He is the recipient of several teaching awards from the University of Georgia and the University of Arkansas.

Marita Gronnvoll (M.A., University of Washington, 2003), Ph.D. Candidate

Marita GronnvollMs. Gronnvoll’s scholarship focuses on political rhetoric by and about the Bush Administration and its perspectives on gender, sexuality, and torture. Ms. Gronnvoll has published academic book reviews and presented at competitive rhetoric and communication conferences, for which she has also received a top paper award and reviewed submissions.

In addition, Ms. Gronnvoll has been the instructor of a range of undergraduate communication courses. She was also appointed lead research assistant for a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ms. Gronnvoll approaches her work from a rhetorical perspective.

Shawna Harris (M.A., University of Nevada, 2005), Ph.D. Candidate

Marita GronnvollMs. Harris’s research interests focus on sexual communication and condom use related to HIV-AIDS. She has extensive experience editing videos of focus groups related to children’s perceptions of sex and sexuality in the media.



Shelly Hovick (M.A. 2001, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) Ph.D. Candidate

Shelly Hovick Ms. Hovick is a graduate research assistant for the Multiple Risk Factor Study and the Administrative Core. Prior to coming to UGA, Ms. Hovick worked on health and poverty issues as a community educator for the Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee. She has interests in risk communication, emergency preparedness, and the impact of familial social support upon health.

Cassie Hull (B.A., Simpson College)

Ms. Hull’s emphasis is media psychology, including interest in the effectiveness of anti-smoking media campaigns on reducing adolescent smoking behavior. She is currently working on her Master’s Thesis examining the impact of existing implicit and explicit attitudes on interpretations of film at the University of Alabama.


Nicole Hurt

Bethany Keely (MA, University of Georgia 2007)

Ms Keeley is a rhetorical scholar who focuses primarily on the intersection of religion, politics and media. In addition to her work on grants for the National Institutes of Health, she has held teaching assistantships in the department of Speech Communication. She has presented her work in several national communication conferences and published in communication journals.

Jamie Landau (M.A., University of Georgia, 2006), Ph.D. Student

Jamie LandauMs. Landau analyzes verbal and visual rhetoric of gender, sexuality, and science in mass media and lay communication. She has presented her work at rhetoric and communication conferences, where she additionally chaired panels. Ms. Landau has also been an instructor of public speaking, as well as a newspaper reporter and an editorial assistant in book publishing. Ms. Landau serves as research assistant and lead research assistant on grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Institutes of Health, respectively. Ms. Landau’s scholarship is grounded in the rhetorical tradition.

Lanelle Wright (B.S., University of Georgia, 2006), M.A. Student

Lanelle WrightMs. Wright is a health communication scholar examining race in doctor-patient relationships and the interpersonal nature of genetic communication within families. Her work with the Southern Center focuses primarily on lay understandings of genetic messages. Ms. Wright serves as the project coordinator for the genetics grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health, and as a research assistant on grants funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.





















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