Digital Media and Communication for Health & Politics Research Group

At the Digital Media and Communication for Health and Politics (DMC) group, we study how we communicate and interact with digital media about health and political issues. We conduct theory-based, culturally sensitive, and interdisciplinary research using quantitative research methods.  

Our current work examines online misinformation about reproductive health issues (i.e., HPV vaccine, abortion, and postpartum depression) and its effects on women’s knowledge, perception, and behavior regarding the issues. We particularly focus on marginalized groups of women in New Mexico who have barriers to accessing healthcare services. We are currently working on three studies: 

First, from a feminist perspective, we explore how exposure to and endorsement of abortion misinformation influence knowledge, attitude, and political participation regarding abortion issues. 

Second, from a health communication perspective, we examine how different types of misinformation about HPV vaccination influence women’s information processing linked to knowledge, perceived risk, and refusal/ acceptance of vaccination. 

Third, based on selective exposure theory, we investigate whether online (mis)information about controversial health issues leads people to reinforce their own existing beliefs or to access multiple resources to correct potential misunderstanding.


Photo: Yangsun Hong

Yangsun Hong

Assistant Professor


social determinants of health inequities, communication inequalities, social norms approach, perception of media bias, misinformation, intersectionality, public opinion, political conversation, political participation, stigma

Graduate Students

Photo: Sumaira Abrar

Sumaira Abrar

Ph.D. candidate


health communication, patient-provider communication, health disparities, social determinants of health
Photo: Cassidy D. Ellis

Cassidy D. Ellis

Ph.D. student


reproductive justice, abortion, anti-abortion violence, the U.S. South, racialization, auto-methodologies
Photo: Mika Hashimoto

Mika Hashimoto

MA student


health communication
Photo: Hyerin Kwon

Hyerin Kwon

MA student


political communication, digital and social media, public sphere, civic engagement, political participation, public deliberation
Photo: Kimberly Oostman

Kimberly Oostman

Ph.D. student


crisis communication, social media and regret, corporate apology, corporate empathy, female representation in media
Photo: Camille R. Velarde

Camille R. Velarde

Ph.D. student


heatlh communication, health messaging, social media, culture, community health, stigma


Photo: Courtney FitzGerald

Courtney FitzGerald

Research Scientist


resilience, youth development, youth/student voice, culture-centered approaches, community-based participatory research, participatory action research, public health surveillance, survey research
Photo: Nathania Tsosie

Nathania Tsosie

Associate Director


health and intercultural communication, Indigenous and Native American health and community development, social support and connectedness, cultural humility, cultural safety, patient-provider communication, community-based participatory research, participatory action research