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K-State Today

November 3, 2014



Health communication students present at international conferences

By Faith Thanji

Health communication students in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism will once again present their research at national and international conferences.

• Xiaofei Song will present the paper "Nutrition Literacy and Motivation to Read Food Labels among College Students" at the International Health Literacy Conference, Nov. 3-4, in Bethesda, Maryland.

The study examined the level of nutrition literacy and other factors that lead to poor food choices and diet-related obesity among college students. Song also will present her study at the 100th annual National Communication Association conference, Nov. 20-23, in Chicago, Illinois.

• Faith Thanji co-authored a paper with Brock Ingmire, communication studies, and Bailey Davis, veterinary medicine, which also will be presented at the Health Literacy Conference in Bethesda, Maryland. Their paper "Understanding the College Hygiene Scare: Health Literacy and Interpersonal Communication for the 21st Century College Student" emerged from the Strategic Health Communication course taught by Nancy Muturi.

The study examined the relationship between levels of health literacy and ability to practice and overcome barriers to personal hygiene. The study also identified the role interpersonal communication plays in hygiene practices within college environments. This is Thanji's second conference this year. She recently presented the paper "Rural Sports as a Communication and Prevention Strategy for Chronic Alcoholism in Kenya," co-authored with Muturi, at the annual International Association for Media and Communication Research conference in Hyderabad, India.

Other health communication students have presented their papers in local research forums.

• Thomas Reust and Echo Zhu presented their paper "Building the Channel: Improving Communications with Veterans" at the K-State Research and the State forum. The goal of their research was to find out what communication strategies are better for veterans who need health care and services particularly in relation to post-traumatic stress disorder. The study found that the preferred strategy was direct interpersonal communication from peers or military personnel. The role of caregivers was found to be crucial in encouraging veterans to seek medical help especially among those transitioning to civilian lifestyle but have not signed on the Veteran Affairs healthcare system.

The students thank the A.Q. Miller School, College of Arts & Sciences and the Graduate Council for the moral and financial support in the growth process of their research experiences. The support for graduate students' research is one of the Miller School's contributions toward the achievement of Kansas State University's 2025 plan. The school also hosts weekly brown bags that provide students and faculty opportunities to share and brainstorm on research ideas and to present preliminary findings on research projects.