Advisory Board

Christine BruhnChristine Bruhn

Dr. Christine Bruhn is recognized nationally and internationally for her programs in consumer behavior, food science, and food safety. As Director of the Center for Consumer Research and Consumer Food Marketing Specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, she studies consumer attitudes toward food safety and quality and guides educational programs that inform consumers about new products and technologies. Her research includes consumer attitudes toward food safety and labeling, consumer food handling in the home, and innovations used by the food industry to increase food safety. Dr. Bruhn has authored over 150 professional papers on consumer attitudes toward food. Dr. Bruhn is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists in the United States and the Institute of Food Science and Technology in the United Kingdom, and the International Association for Food Protection. She has provided consultations to the FAO and WHO on food safety and food irradiation. In 2011 Dr. Bruhn completed a four year term on the FDA Risk Communication Advisory Committee.


Joseph N. Cappella

Joseph N. Cappella

Joseph N. Cappella (Ph.D., Michigan State University,1974) is the Gerald R. Miller professor of communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cappella’s research has resulted in more than 150 articles and book chapters and four co-authored books in areas of health and political communication, social interaction, nonverbal behavior, media effects, and statistical methods. The articles have appeared in journals in psychology, communication, health, and politics. His research has been supported by grants from NIMH, NIDA, NSF, NCI, NHGRI, the FDA, The Twentieth Century Fund, and from the Markel, Ford, Carnegie, Pew, and Robert Wood Johnson foundations. He has served on the editorial boards of 20 different journals. He is a Fellow of the International Communication Association and its past president, a distinguished scholar of the National Communication Association, and recipient of the B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award.


Vicki FreimuthVicki Freimuth

Vicki Freimuth is Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia where she was Director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication and held a joint appointment as a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. She received her B.S. from Eastern Illinois University, her M.A. from the University of Iowa, and her Ph.D. from Florida State University. . Before joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, she served as Director of Communication at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Her research focuses on health communication, specifically the role of communication in health behavior change programs. She is author of Searching for Health Information, co-editor of two books on HIV/AIDS and communication, and author of chapters in several major books on health communication. Her research has appeared in such journals as Human Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Journal of Health Communication, American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, and Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases. She has received grants from the CDC and the National Cancer Institute. She has served on the editorial boards of several journals including the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, and the Journal of Health Communication. She received an honorary doctorate from Emerson College in 2010 and won a Distinguished Career Award from the American Association of Public Health in 2003. She was selected as the first Outstanding Health Communication Scholar by the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association and was selected as the Woman of the Year at the University of Maryland in 1990.


Gary KrepsGary L. Kreps

Gary L. Kreps is a leading health communication scholar. He serves as University Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Communication, and Director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University. His research examines the design, implementation, and evaluation of communication interventions for promoting health and reducing health disparities. He publishes widely (more than 350 scholarly articles and books) concerning health communication/promotion, health informatics, multicultural relations, social organization, and research methods. From 1999 to 2004 he was the founding Chief of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NIH), where he developed/directed major national health research programs, including the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), the Centers of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, and the Digital Divide Pilot Projects. He serves as a senior scientific advisor to the DHHS, NIH, CDC, AHRQ, FDA. HRSA, SMHSA, WHO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, National Minority AIDS Council, Sun Safety Alliance, Breast Health Global Initiative, and several major research firms, health care organizations, and international government agencies. His recent work examines the health information needs of vulnerable populations both domestically and internationally. He also helped found and co-directs the Global Advocacy Leadership Academy (GALA).


Timothy SellnowTimothy L. Sellnow

Timothy L. Sellnow is professor of Communication and Risk Sciences at the University of Kentucky where he is Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in Communication and teaches courses in risk and crisis communication. He is a past winner of the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information’s Faculty Research Excellence Award. Dr. Sellnow’s research focuses on bioterrorism, pre-crisis planning, and communication strategies for crisis management and mitigation. He has conducted funded research for the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental protection Agency. He has also served in an advisory role for the National Academy of Sciences and the United States Geological Survey. Dr. Sellnow currently serves as theme leader for the risk communication division of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, a Department of Homeland Security center of excellence. He has published numerous refereed journal articles on risk and crisis communication and has co-authored five books on risk and crisis communication. Dr. Sellnow’s most recent book is entitled, Theorizing Crisis Communication.


Jana TelferJana L. Telfer

Jana L. Telfer is Associate Director for Communication Science for the National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. With more than two decades in public relations and health and marketing communications, she is an expert in applied crisis, emergency, and risk communication and has been called on to respond to several national and international events.

Jana served as CDC’s communication officer in New York City during the first wave of response to the anthrax attacks of October of 2001. In January 2003, she was asked to assume the post of CDC’s Acting Director of Media Relations. In this capacity, she oversaw the agency’s public response to the national smallpox vaccination program; the SARS, monkeypox, West Nile, and influenza outbreaks; a new HIV prevention initiative. She also was one of only three Department of Health and Human Services communicators on a tiger team advising the Greek government on risk communication before the 2004 Olympic Games. Under her leadership, CDC initiated broadcast news briefings that extended the reach of public health information to a broader audience, and more than doubled the monthly volume of media calls to the agency.

Since joining NCEH/ATSDR in 2004, she has led the Center’s communication response to Hurricane Katrina, with a focus on plain language communication; she was detailed to Panama when a fatal outbreak of unknown origin called for bilingual risk communication expertise. She coordinated CDC’s communication response to the issues of formaldehyde levels in FEMA- supplied trailers and health effects of contaminated drywall. Most recently, she was deployed to Japan to assist with health risk communication in the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant accident.