The Health and Risk Communication Center (HRCC) is in the sixth year of its new fellowship award, the Sandi Smith Research Fellowship. This year’s recipients include Ph.D. students Jong In Lim, Department of Communication and Hanjie Liu, Department of Media and Information. Funds awarded from this fellowship are in recognition of each student’s exceptional scholarly efforts and will aid them in their research initiatives.
Lim’s project aims to test how social support perceptions relate to chronic illness patients’ self-concepts. Specifically, he will examine how perceived chronic illness-related stigma changes when patients think they receive less or more social support than they deserve from close others. This fund will be used to gather survey data for this project. Lim’s advisor on this project is Amanda Holmstrom, Ph.D.
Liu’s research aims to understand mental health outcomes and the underlying mechanisms of coping with social media ostracism for socially anxious individuals. This group is more vulnerable to experiencing prolonged negative effects from ostracism, a traumatic experience of being excluded by others. Specifically, Liu will conduct experiments using the social media ostracism paradigm to explore social comparison and self-evaluation processes as well as the mental health outcomes that correspond to these processes. Liu’s advisor on this project is David R. Ewoldsen, Ph.D.
The Sandi Smith Research Fellowship was founded in 2017 to celebrate Sandi Smith’s dedication to health and risk communication scholarship in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. Smith, Ph.D., is the former director of the Health and Risk Communication Center. A prolific scholar and International Communication Association Fellow, Smith’s passion for communication research, teaching and health communication has been an inspiration for students and faculty.