Xuan Zhu

Xuan Zhu is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and is minoring in Public Health in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota (exp. graduation in May 2017). Her research studies the effects and effectiveness of public health communication interventions by integrating psychological theories with health communication science.

Her current work focuses on the role of the self in responding to health communication messages. Particularly, she examines why people often respond defensively to personally relevant health communication messages and how this defensiveness can be alleviated. The objectives of this line of her research are (1) to uncover the psychological processes underpinning individuals’ resistance to public health communication interventions and (2) to develop theory-driven, empirically tested intervention strategies that offer solutions to mitigate the resistance. Her additional research interests include the impacts of construal level on health message processing, effects of message framing on health behavioral outcomes, and public health advocacy on social media.

Xuan is a recipient of the University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) 2016-2017, which is a competitive dissertation award that provides the university’s most accomplished Ph.D. candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to dissertation research. In addition, her research has been recognized with Top Student Paper Awards from the International Communication Association and the Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • M.S.: Advertising, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana-Champaign, IL, 2012.
  • B.A.: Advertising, Xi’an International Studies University, Xi’an, China, 2010.

Curriculum Vitae

Specialties

  • Health communication
  • Health message design
  • Mass media effects
Courses Taught
  • Teaching Assistant: JOUR 5541 Mass Communication and Public Health
  • Teaching Assistant: JOUR 3005 Mass Media Effects
  • Teaching Assistant: JOUR 4274W Advertising in Society
  • Teaching Assistant: JOUR 3745 Mass Media and Popular Culture
  • Teaching Assistant: JOUR 3004W Information for Mass Communication
  • Teaching Assistant: JOUR 1501 Digital Games, Sims and Apps: Storytelling, Play and Commerce
  • Teaching Assistant: JOUR 1001 Introduction to Mass Communication
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Associate Brand Analytics Manager: www.glossybox.com , 12/2012 - 07/2013
  • Brand Analytics Associate: www.glossybox.com , 08/2012 - 11/2012

Research

  • Zhu, X. (2016). Psychological reactance as defensive response of a threatened self. Presented at the International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Conference, Fukuoka, Japan.:
  • Chen. M. & Zhu, X. (2016). I support cancer awareness: The effects of public commitment on intentions to support health causes on Facebook. Presented at the International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Conference, Fukuoka, Japan. Authors contributed equally to this work.:
  • Zhu, X. & Yzer, M., (2016). Ends over means: Self-affirmation changes attitude and self-efficacy effects on behavioral intention. Presented at the Kentucky Conference on Health Communication (KCHC), Lexington, KY.:
  • Zhu, X. (2015). Patients like me: Exploring empathetic interactions about pain in an online health community. Presented at Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.:
  • Zhu, X. & Im, H. (2015). The role of efficacy appraisal and emotions on the health message framing effects. Presented at Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA. Authors contributed equally to this work. :
  • Zhu, X., Lee, J., & Gray, L. (2015). The effects of self-efficacy and message framing on flu vaccination message persuasiveness among college students. Presented at Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.:
  • Zhu, X., Gray, L. & Lee, J., (2014) Social influence on soda consumption behaviors among international students residing in the United States. Presented at Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Annual Conference, Montréal, Canada.:
  • Zhu, X. & Yzer, M., (2014). Testing media health content exposure versus health status as sources of health control beliefs. Presented at Kentucky Conference on Health Communication (KCHC), Lexington, KY.:
  • Nelson, M. R., Zhu, X., & Li, Y., (2012). Get real: How current behavior influences perceptions of realism and behavioral intent for public service announcements. Presented at American Academy of Advertising (AAA) Annual Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC.:

Outreach

  • GSO Conference Co-Chair: Graduate Student Organization (GSO), 2015 - 2016
Publications
  • Zhu, X. & Yzer, M. (2017). Ends over means: Self-affirmation strengthens attitudinal and weakens perceived control effects on behavioral intention. Media Psychology, 1-22. doi: 10.1080/15213269.2017.1282875
  • Nelson, M. R., Zhu, X., Li, Y., Fiese, B., & Koester, B. (2015). Get real: How current behavior influences perceptions of realism and behavioral intent for public service announcements. Health Communication, 30(7), 669-679. doi:10.1080/10410236.2014.894425
Awards
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Graduate School, University of Minnesota, 2016 - 2017
  • Conference Travel Grant, Council of Graduate Students at the University of Minnesota, 2016
  • Top Student Paper Award, Health Communication Division, International Communication Association (ICA), 2016
  • Fourth Place Student Paper Award, Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk (ComSHER) division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), 2015
  • Graduate Research Partnership Program (GRPP) Fellowship, 2015
  • Kriss Research Support Grant, $1000, 2015
  • Joel and Laurie Kramer Health Journalism Fellowship, 2015
  • Hubbard Summer Research Fellowship, 2014
  • William D. Wells Graduate Fellowship, 2013
  • S. Watson and Elizabeth S. Dunn Fellowship: College of Media, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012