I came into the field of Communication after several years as a successful competitor in both Speech and Debate (2002 Pi Kappa Delta National Policy Debate Champion). After my B.A. in Psychology from North Central College, I switched to Communication and earned my M.A. from Northern Illinois University in 2006. I continued studying Communication as well as advanced statistics in the Communication Department of Michigan State University where I earned my PhD in 2010. I then joined the faculty in the Communication Department at Western Illinois University as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor there in 2016.
My research activities have been extensive and well-regarded by my peers. I have produced over 60 journal articles, book chapters, and published conference proceedings in such outlets as the Annals of the International Communication Association, Human Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Health Communication, Computers in Human Behavior, Communication Monographs, the Sage Handbook of Persuasion, and the Encyclopedia of Health Communication. The Information Systems Division of the International Communication Association chose my meta-analyses of dual-process findings for the John E. Hunter Meta-Analysis Award. My meta-analysis of the Health Belief Model is both the most downloaded and most cited article in the journal Health Communication. In 2016 Western Illinois University chose me to win the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly Activity that is given the WIU professor who has produced the best scholarly record in the past three years. My work on social media has been discussed in many mass media outlets such as CNN, Forbes, Le Monde, The Guardian, Psychology Today, Men’s Health, and Jezebel.com.