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Leadership

Seth Noar – Lab Director

Dr. Seth M. Noar is the James Howard and Hallie McLean Parker Distinguished Professor in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and a member of UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has conducted health communication research on the design, implementation, and evaluation of health messages and campaigns for 20 years. His recent work has been focused in cancer prevention and control, especially tobacco prevention and control messaging. Dr. Noar has published more than 200 articles and chapters in a wide range of outlets, and he serves on the editorial boards of several leading journals. Dr. Noar has been a PI, Co-PI, or Co-I on more than 30 million dollars in grant-funded projects from the NIH and FDA testing health communication strategies for health promotion and disease prevention. He has been recognized as being in the top 1% most cited researchers in the social sciences (in 2014, 2018, 2019, and 2020). In 2016, Dr. Noar received both the Lewis Donohew and National Communication Association outstanding health communication scholar awards, and in 2017 he received the American Public Health Association’s Mayhew Derryberry Research award.

Staff

Nora Sanzo – Project Manager

Nora Sanzo, MPH, is a Project Manager at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, running the day-to-day operations of Dr. Noar’s R01 grant. Previously, she worked in healthcare communication, helping manage federal client outreach plans and advocacy efforts for biotech companies. She is interested in adolescent health and tobacco control, as well as the dissemination of research findings to stakeholders.

Hannah Prenctice-Dunn – Special Advisor

Hannah Prentice-Dunn is a Project Manager at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. She directs the day-to-day operations of UNC’s Vaping Prevention Resource (VapingPrevention.org), an educational web resource for US health practitioners, and supports research activities of the 70 faculty members of the Lineberger Cancer Prevention & Control (CPC) Research Program.

Hannah has worked for twelve years in cancer prevention research, clinical trial management, and public health program delivery. In previous roles, she has collaborated with 100+ North Carolina hospital, school, and business employers to pass tobacco-free campus policies; supported 10 healthcare systems in New York City in adopting comprehensive patient quit-tobacco systems; and contributed to numerous tobacco prevention and control research grants and publications. In her current role, she leads an academic, military, and local public health partnership between Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, and UNC system faculty to address critical cancer prevention health behaviors in North Carolina’s military communities. Hannah received her master’s degree in Health Behavior from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Hannah Prentice-Dunn’s LinkedIn Page

Haijing Ma – Postdoctoral Research Associate

Haijing Ma is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current research and interests lie at the intersection of tobacco regulatory science and communication research. She explores how contextual factors, such as the retail point-of-sale of tobacco products and public policies impact tobacco product use, along with how communication can be effectively used in tobacco prevention and control.

Representative Publications:

Ma, H., & Miller, C. H. (2021). The effects of agency assignment and reference point on responses to COVID-19 messages. Health Communication, 36(1), 59-73.

Ma, H., & Miller, C. H. (2020). Trapped in a double bind: Chinese overseas student anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Communication.

Ma, H., Miller, C. H., & Wong, N. (2020). Don’t let the tornado get you! The effects of agency assignment and self-construal on responses to tornado preparedness messages. Health Communication, 1-11.

Students

Alex Kresovich – Graduate Research Assistant

Alex Kresovich is a Roy H. Park Fellow and Ph.D. student in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. His work focuses on the influence of celebrity pop music artists that reference anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts in their music on U.S. youth mental health attitudes and behaviors. His research is published in JAMA Pediatrics, the Journal of Health Communication, and Health Communication.

Representative Publications:

Kresovich, A., Reffner Collins, M.K., Riffe, D., & Dillman Carpentier, F.R. (2021). Mental health discourse in popular rap music: A longitudinal content analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 175(3), 286-292.

Kresovich, A. (2020). The influence of pop songs referencing anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation on college students’ mental health empathy, stigma, and behavioral intentions. Health Communication.

Kresovich, A., & Noar, S. M. (2020). The Power of Celebrity Health Events: Meta-analysis of the Relationship between Audience Involvement and Behavioral Intentions. Journal of Health Communication, 25(6), 501-513.

Emily Galper – Graduate Research Assistant

Emily Galper is a Ph.D. student in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. She is interested in studying the impact of sexual media on adolescents’ and young adults’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors and how to create messages that lead to healthier mental, emotional, and physical outcomes. Ultimately, she hopes to further the emerging research on the psychosocial impact of user-generated media on children and adolescents while helping to shape sexual media and health information dissemination on a multitude of virtual platforms.

Representative Publications:

Keating, D. M., & Galper, E. (2021). An examination of how message fatigue impacts young adults’ evaluations of utilitarian messages about electronic cigarettes. Communication Research Reports.

Keating, D. M., Totzkay, D., & Galper, E. (2021). Norms message features in an alcohol consumption context: Testing the roles of functional matching and numeracy. Health Communication.

Talia Kieu – Graduate Research Assistant

Talia Kieu is a MSPH-PhD student in the Department of Health Behavior at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her work focuses on health equity, with a focus on the prevention of gender and sexual orientation health disparities. She is interested in exploring issues around substance use through community-engaged research and community-based participatory approaches.