Research

My research areas are rooted in a fundamental interest in how individuals and publics respond to challenges in the context of technological, political, and social uncertainty. Studying these dynamics in the contexts of health, science, and politics, my research interests boil down to one simple question: how can we provide more effective and equitable care and services to vulnerable and marginalized populations in the U.S. and across the globe?

My work has been published in top-tier academic outlets including the Journal Communication, International Journal of Communication, Health Communication, and Journal of Health Communication.

Ongoing and In-Development Projects

COVID-19

As a postdoctoral research fellow with Northwestern’s Institute for Global Health, I am engaged in a range of projects addressing health literacy, equity, and misinformation. As a member of the highly interdisciplinary COVID-19 Vaccine Communication and Evaluation Network (CoVAXCEN), I am part of the core team working to support COVID-19 vaccination in Illinois, particularly among high-risk hesitant and marginalized populations. Among these efforts are the development of effective communication materials for both healthcare professions and laypersons related to the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, and collaborations with state agencies, local health departments, think tanks, and nonprofit organizations to develop innovative and equitable health strategies to engage underserved communities across the state of Illinois.

Refugee Health

Most public health communication campaigns – including current COVID-19 vaccination efforts – fail to address the unique needs, interests, and obstacles of refugees and asylum-seekers. Responding to this need, this mixed-method project will involve close collaboration with RefugeeOne, a Chicago-based nonprofit and the largest resettlement agency in Illinois, to develop and test culturally-specific interventions to address vaccination disparities among newly-resettled Congolese and Somalian populations in the Midwest.

Misinformation in Communities of Color

This project will bring together a transdisciplinary consortium of medical experts, producers, directors, journalists, and communication scholars to design and empirically evaluate an intervention to encourage COVID-19 vaccination in communities of color. The project is a collaboration between two centers housed in Northwestern University’s School of Communication: the Center of Media Psychology and Social Influence (COM-PSI) and Open Television (OTV), a platform for the creation and distribution of intersectional media content.