Media Communications Research News

This January the Media Communications Department welcomes new Assistant Professor Dr. Meng Chen. The Chinese native graduated in Chinese Language and Literature from the Beijing International Studies University and holds an MA in Mass Communication from the University of Houston.
After finishing her MA, she went on to teach Interpersonal Communication at University of California, Davis. Additionally, she was a recipient of Provost’s First-Year Fellowships in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences as well as Provost’s Dissertation Fellowships in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Last year Dr. Chen defended her PhD thesis titled “Persuasive Effects of Health Narratives: Examining Story Features and Persuasion Mechanisms” in which she investigates the strategic use of narrative power to persuade people to adopt healthy behaviors.

Her research lies at the intersection of persuasion, health communication, and language use. She is active in two lines of research: one examines the strategic use of narrative persuasion in health contexts. In particular, she tests how narrative features (e.g., linguistic agency assignment, similarity with story protagonist, point of view, and protagonist competence) influence readers’ engagement with the story character and, ultimately, their health-related perceptions and decision-making. The other research line centers on breast cancer patients’ language use and effects on new media. Taking an interdisciplinary and multi-methodological approach, this research program explores the interactions among linguistic features of patients’ online posts, their personal network structures, and social capital flow on social support platforms.

Starting in Spring 2019 she will be teaching Interpersonal Communication and Health Communication here at WVPU, and will also continue to conduct her research.