Dr. Maria Lapinski is Director of the Michigan State University (MSU) Health and Risk Communication Center: Healthy People-Healthy Planet, an interdisciplinary research, teaching, and public engagement network of over 50 faculty. She is appointed as a Professor in the Department of Communication and Michigan Ag-Bio Research at MSU. For six years, she served as the Associate Dean for Research for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. In that role she facilitated interdisciplinary research partnerships and supported faculty research including leading the college’s grant support office. From 2012-2016 she led, along with Dr. Julie Funk in the College of Veterinary Medicine an interdisciplinary collaborative: One Health: Emerging Communication Technology for Decision-Making and Behavior which was seed-funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. As a result of this work, she currently serves as a Commissioner for The Lancet’s One Health Commission.
Dr. Lapinski’s research connects global health and environmental issues, cultural dynamics, and communication science. Her work examines the impact of interpersonal and mediated messages and social-psychological factors on health and environmental behaviors with a focus on cultural dynamics. To this end, Dr. Lapinski has conducted collaborative research projects with her students and colleagues in a number of countries in Asia, the Pacific Rim, Central America, and Africa and North America. Recently, she led a National Science Foundation team studying social norms and financial incentives related conservation behaviors among Tibetan populations. Her team’s award-winning work has been presented at national and international communication and public health conferences, published in refereed journals including The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Human Communication Research, Health Communication, Social Science and Medicine, and others. Her research has been funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation, World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, and United States Department of Agriculture and by foundations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Carter Center.
Dr. Lapinski teaches Intercultural Communication, International Health Communication, Interpersonal Influence, Persuasion, Risk Communication, and Health Communication for Diverse Populations.
Whenever she can, she loves to run, ski, surf, and hang out with her two boys and Sherman her dog.