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Dr. Walker is an associate professor in the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications. Prior to joining the ZSAMC, she was an assistant professor at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. She held a joint position in the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts and the Indiana University School of Dentistry in 2014-2015, and in the IU School of Journalism, Indianapolis, previously (2011-2014). She earned her Ph.D. in mass communication, with a minor in public health at Indiana University, Bloomington. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Walker worked in public relations at a Midwestern teaching hospital.
Her research focuses on uses and effects of media messages to promote healthy behaviors. Much of her research is inter-collaborative with the fields of medicine, dentistry and nursing, focusing on analyzing and communicating decisions about HPV vaccination and oral cancers. Examples of current research are studies that assess information and emotional processing of HPV vaccination campaigns, communicating risk of immunotherapy for the treatment of lung cancers and examination of communication needs to improve patient/dental provider communication about HPV vaccination and HPV-associated oral cancers. Publications from her research endeavors have appeared in numerous discipline outlets including Health Communication, Mass Communication & Society, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, Operative Dentistry and Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.
Ph.D. Mass Communications (Indiana University, 2009).
M.A.Journalism (Ball State University, 2002)
B.A./B.S. Political Science and Accounting (Anderson University, (1989/1990).