Ciera Kirkpatrick, assistant professor of advertising and public relations, was selected Oct. 15 to participate in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Research Development Fellows Program.
Kirkpatrick joined the College of Journalism and Mass Communications faculty in August of 2021, after completing her Ph.D. in journalism, with an emphasis on strategic communication, at the University of Missouri.
Kirkpatrick's research is focused on how messaging in the media (e.g., advertising, news, social media content) affects individuals’ mental and physical health. She also studies how strategic communicators can effectively design messages to improve individuals’ health outcomes through the promotion of healthy behaviors and the prevention of unhealthy behaviors.
She uses a social scientific experimental approach that involves both online and laboratory experiments. With her experimental designs, Kirkpatrick investigates 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.
The Research Development Fellows program is hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of Research and Economic Development. The program is designed to provide early-career faculty with the information, resources and approaches necessary to position themselves for success in securing external funding for their research, scholarship and creative activity.
The year-long program is limited to 20 participants and consists of a combination of formal and informal learning sessions and interactive workshops.