Symposium Planners

Maria Ventis

Maria Venetis, PhD, Symposium Co-Chair

Maria Venetis’ research interests lie at the intersection of interpersonal and health communication; her research examines how individuals talk about health and the outcomes of these conversations. She examines patient-provider interactions and communicative practices within medical visits such as the connection between patient and companion question asking and stating of psychosocial outcomes such as satisfaction and adherence. Other work identifies specific patient disclosure strategies when sharing this medically relevant, non-visible, and potentially stigmatizing information. Venetis also studies how relational partners manage ongoing communication concerning cancer and other non-visible health conditions. Recent research includes communicative behaviors that promote resilience among relational partners and supportive communication during cancer care. 


Shawnika Hull

Shawnika Hull, PhD, Symposium Co-Chair

Shawnika Hull’s research focuses on reducing racial inequities in HIV incidence through community-engaged, applied communication science. She develops, implements, and evaluates theoretically grounded communication interventions focused on impacting individual and social-structural barriers to HIV prevention. This research is informed by and developed in close collaboration with community partners. Her expertise includes qualitative (i.e. focus groups) and quantitative (i.e. surveys, experiments) data collection and analytical methods. Her research has been funded through various institutional, non-profit (i.e., MAC AIDS Fund) and governmental mechanisms (i.e., NIH, CDC) and published in communication and public health journals. Her rigorous, theoretically grounded, collaborative approach to research informs health communication theorizing and practice. Hull is currently a Visiting Professor in the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. Hull earned her Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Pennsylvania

Itzhak Yanovitzky

Itzhak Yanovitzky, PhD, Symposium Planning Committee Member

Itzhak Yanovitzky (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is an expert in the areas of behavior change communication, public policymaking, translational research, and program evaluation. Yanovitzky has a secondary appointment at the Rutgers School of Public Health Department of Health Behavior, Society and Policy, is a Core Faculty Member of the Rutgers Global Health Institute, a Research Fellow at the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, and a Faculty Mentor in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. At SC&I, Yanovitzky teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on topics such as persuasion, health communication campaigns, social marketing, communication theory, and quantitative research methods.

Charles Senteio

Charles Senteio, PhD, Symposium Planning Committee Member

Dr. Charles Senteio joined the SC&I faculty in September 2016 after teaching in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), and Certified Community Health Worker Instructor (CHW-I). Charles Senteio uses mixed methods to investigate how healthcare practitioners and patients can better use information to improve chronic disease outcomes for at-risk patients – while reducing cost of care – through financially sustainable care delivery models. He develops and enhances innovative, scalable approaches to care delivery, with a particular emphasis on community-based participatory (CBPR) research strategies. His dissertation describes the psychosocial factors that practitioners consider in providing outpatient diabetes care. Among his findings are the perceived facilitators and barriers to using Electronic Health Record (EHR) tools to document and use pertinent psychosocial information.

Lisa Mikesell

Lisa Mikesell, PhD, Symposium Planning Committee Member

Lisa Mikesell examines the situated communication practices of individuals diagnosed with neurological and psychiatric disorders to provide a grounded perspective on competence and patient engagement; clinical work practices to consider applications of patient-centeredness and shared decision-making; and the use of decision support strategies and health information technology in clinic communication.

Liesl Broadbridge

Liesl Broadbridge, Symposium Planning Committee Member

Liesl Broadbridge is a Ph.D. student in Communication and a Rutgers Presidential Fellow. Shaped by her clinical training as a genetic counselor, her research interests are focused on interpersonal and health communication. In particular, she expects to study the social and environmental factors that influence patient-provider communication and subsequent patient outcomes.