Abby prestin dissertation of the year Award

Each year, a committee composed of leaders from the Health Communication Divisions of the ICA and NCA reviews Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations submitted for consideration. Authors of the top-rated thesis and top-rated dissertation (and their faculty advisors) are recognized at the Annual Divisional Business Meeting during ICA’s conference with the presentation of a plaque and cash award. A description of the application process can be found here.

The Dissertation Award is given in honor of the late Abby Prestin, an exemplary health communication scholar and person, who tragically passed away on September 3, 2014 at the age of 34 after a year-long battle with lymphoma. Both her MA Thesis and PhD Dissertations won these awards and the Award is endowed by her family and friends.

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Abby Prestin Dissertation of the Year Award Winners


Nan Zhao, University of Southern California
Advisor: Sheila Murphy

Understanding Normative Influence of Neighborhoods: A Multilevel Approach to Promoting Latinas’ Cervical Cancer Prevention Behaviors in Urban Ethnic Communities.


Hanneke Hendriks, Leiden University
Advisor: Bas van den Putte

Let's talk about alcohol: The role of interpersonal communication and health campaigns.


Jessica Gall Myrick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Advisor: Sriram Kalyanaraman

Searching from the heart: The interplay between emotions and customization in online health information seeking


Sherine El-Toukhy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Advisor: Jane D. Brown

Priming Optimism: The Automaticity of Health Risk Perceptions


Joe Phua, University of Southern California
Advisor: Michael J. Cody

The Social Groups Approach to Quitting Smoking: An Examination of Smoking Cessation in Social Networking Sites through the Influence of Social Norms, Social Identification, Social Capital, and Social Support


Elizabeth Gardner, University of Missouri
Advisor: Glenn Leshner

The Role of Narrative and Other-Referencing in Attenuating Psychological Reactance to Diabetes Self-Care Messages


Shelly R. Hovick, University of Georgia
Advisor: Vicki Freimuth

Seeking Family Health Information: A Test of the Revised Theory of Motivated Information Management


Sally Dunlop, University of Melbourne
Co-Advisors: Melanie Wakefield & Yoshihisa Kashima

Changing Health Behaviors: The Roles of Intra- and Inter-Personal Responses to Public Health Mass Media Campaigns


Janice Krieger, Pennsylvania State University
Co-Advisors: Roxanne Parrott & Jon Nusbaum

An Empirical Test of Metaphors as a Strategy for Creating Culturally Appropriate Health Messages


Melissa Harris, University of Kentucky
Co-Advisors: Nancy Harrington & Philip Palmgreen

The Role of Emotion in Anti-Drug PSAs: Investigating the Impact of Guilt Arousal on Perceived Message Effectiveness and Behavioral Intentions to Use Drugs