seal  Purdue News

September 10, 2003

Leaders in health communication to speak at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Some of the nation's leading authorities on health communications will speak at Purdue this semester as part of a health seminar series.

The Purdue Health Communication Series will start at 3 p.m. on Sept. 17 with Jon Nussbaum, professor of communication and art sciences at Pennsylvania State University. Nussbaum will present "From Theory and Research to Practice in Health Communication with Older Adults" in Stewart Center, Room 214B. Nussbaum, who earned his doctorate from Purdue in 1981, specializes in the communicative behavior of older adults.

"Health communications, especially at Purdue, is a young and quickly-growing field," said Mohan Dutta-Bergman, professor of communication and an expert in health campaigns. "This is an opportunity to showcase this field to the community and introduce students to the founders and leaders in health communication. There are tremendous applications in the realm of human communications, and this public series will interest everyone because we are all health care consumers."

The series, which is free and open to the public, also includes the following speakers and topics:

• Sept. 30, 2-4 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 320. Daniel Callahan, senior fellow from the Harvard Medical School at the Hastings Center. "Ethics, Globalization and Health Policy."

• Oct. 22, 3-5 p.m. Civil Engineering Building, Room 3153. John Finnegan, professor and associate dean of the School of Public Health at University of Minnesota. "Communication Theory and Health Behavior Change."

• Oct. 29, 3-5 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 318. John Heritage, professor of sociology from University of California at Los Angeles. "Conversation Analysis in Health Care Settings."

• Nov. 4, 2-4 p.m. Stewart Center Room 318. Collins Airhihenbuwa, professor of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University. "Health and Culture: Beyond the Western Paradigm."

While on campus, the scholars also will lecture to two graduate-level health communication courses taught by Dutta-Bergman and Marifran Mattson, communication professor. The speakers also will meet with students from these classes. Also, each public lecture will be video streamed and archived on the Internet.

Health communications became an official degree in 2001, and eight graduate students are enrolled in the master's and doctorate program. Faculty interests span a range of health-related topics, including uncertainty and illness, health and human safety, social support, doctor-patient interaction, intimate violence, aging, health organizations, health communication campaigns, cross-cultural issues in health communication and new media applications in health communication.

Funds to organize this series were provided by the School of Liberal Arts.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Mohan Dutta-Bergman, (765) 494-2587,

Marifran Mattson, (765) 494-7596,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: To arrange an advance interview with any of the speakers, contact Mohan Dutta-Bergman at (765) 494-2587,

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