Ciera Kirkpatrick

Ciera Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Advertising & Public Relations

Ciera Kirkpatrick is an assistant professor of advertising and public relations at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She joined the faculty in 2021 and has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, such as Strategic Writing (ADPR 221) and Advertising Issues and Strategies (ADPR 830).

Kirkpatrick’s research is focused on how messaging in the media (e.g., advertising, news, social media content) affects individuals’ mental and physical health and how strategic communicators can effectively design messages to improve individuals’ health outcomes. She uses a social scientific experimental approach to investigate how message features (e.g., the content and structure of the message) interact with characteristics of the audience (e.g., their prior attitudes and risk perception) to influence the cognitive and emotional processing of messages and, in turn, outcomes like message perception, attitudes, and behavior change. Most recently, Kirkpatrick’s research has examined the influence of TikTok on young women’s health-related attitudes and behaviors (e.g., the effects of TikTok videos on young women’s intentions to get Pap tests as a form of cervical cancer screening) and how idealized portrayals of motherhood on social media influence the mental health and well-being of new mothers. Her research has been published in journals such as Health Communication, Computers in Human Behavior and Communication Reports and featured by traditional media outlets such as KLKN-TV, the Lincoln Journal Star and Motherly.

Kirkpatrick was named a 2023 Emerging Scholar by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and won the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s fourth annual Faculty Research and Creative Activity Slam in 2021. Prior to working in academia, Kirkpatrick worked as a copywriter and social media consultant at Ascential Marketing in Wichita, Kansas. Some of her clients included Newman University, NorthStar Comfort Services, ZERO Prostate Cancer and Fliphound.

Kirkpatrick graduated from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communication, with an emphasis on integrated marketing. She has a Ph.D. in journalism, with an emphasis on strategic communication, from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.

Outside of work, Kirkpatrick enjoys spending time with her husband, Devan, and son, Dysen. The three of them can typically be found playing at the park or watching Bluey episodes for the 10,000th time! (She loves Bluey even more than Dysen does.)

Curriculum Vitae