Evans

About: Dr. Evans teaches advertising and society, advertising management, and graduate level advertising foundations courses. His research interests examine consumers’ processing and evaluation of immersive and non-traditional advertising formats that include advergames, branded apps, in-game advertising, and native advertising with a focus on public policy implications.

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Education

Ph.D., Communication and Information, University of Tennessee
M.S., Communication and Information/ Advertising, University of Tennessee
B.A., Psychology, Eckerd College

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Evans’ research examines the blurring of boundaries between entertainment and commercial content, and the impact on issues related to consumer information processing, evaluation, and policy. He uses experimental and survey methodology to examine consumers’ information processing, evaluation, and behavioral outcomes of exposure to in-game advertising, advergames, branded games, native advertising, and other immersive or covert advertising formats. His research has examined regulatory and policy related topics in advertising, marketing, communication and health. Dr. Evans’ published work is featured in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Interactive Advertising, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Journal of Consumer Affairs, Health Affairs, andTelevision and New Media.

Selected Research

Best Article Award in the Journal of Interactive Advertising Nathaniel J. Evans and Marilyn Primovic

Nate Evans, associate professor of advertising, Jay Lim (MA ’16, Ph.D. ‘21) and Ph.D. student Marilyn Primovic (AB ’18, MA ’18) received runner-up for the Best Article Award in the […]

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How Disclosure Source and Content-Publication Fit Impact Consumers’ Recognition and Evaluation of Native E-Cigarette Public Service Announcements Nathaniel J. Evans and Joe Phua

Abstract: Given the increasing amount of public and government related attention devoted to issues surrounding e-cigarette use, the current study examined how disclosure source and content-publication fit in an ENDS […]

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Study finds Grady College Advertising/Public Relations excels in advertising research productivity. Hye Jin Yoon, Karen Whitehill King & Nathaniel J. Evans

Faculty and doctoral graduates in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations in Grady College were the most visible authors or co-authors in the three leading peer-reviewed advertising research journals from 2008-2019, […]

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Effects of Disclosure, Placement Type and Ad-Context Congruence on Brand and Advertising Recognition: An Exploration of CARE Model Processing Nathaniel J. Evans and Shuoya Sun

Abstract:  Despite industry and academic attention to disclosures in sponsored content over recent years, questions remain on how consumers process message and context related characteristics. Primarily building upon the Covert […]

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Increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Among Vaccine Hesitant Parents Using Psychological Inoculation Nathaniel J. Evans

Nathaniel Evans has been awarded OIBR seed funding ($5020) through the Grantsmanship Development Program (GDP) for his proposed project titled, “Increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Among Vaccine Hesitant Parents Using Psychological […]

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Exploring how disclosure works for listicle-style native advertising: the role of persuasion knowledge, persuasion appropriateness and supplementary disclosure effect of brand social media Dong Jae (Jay) Lim, Nathaniel J. Evans & Marilyn Primovic

Abstract: Listicles are a new media phenomenon that appear on a news organization’s website; they are articles that use a ranked list and offer concise details about a topic to […]

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Time Heals All Wounds: How Discounting Cues and Multiple Exposures Impact the Effectiveness of Infleuncer Advertising Over Time Nathaniel J. Evans

Abstract: Through an online experiment with a 2 (no ad disclosure/standardized ad disclosure ’paid partnership with the (brand)’) x 2 (single exposure to the influencer content/multiple exposure to the influencer […]

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Using Immersive Virtual Reality to Improve the Beliefs and Intentions of Influenza Vaccine Avoidant 18-to-49-Year-Olds: Considerations, Effects, and Lessons Learned. Nathaniel J. Evans, Glen Nowak, Bartosz Wojdynski, Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn & María E. Len-Ríos

Abstract: Only one-third of adults 18 to 49 years old in the United States receive a recommended annual influenza vaccination. This study examined whether supplementing vaccine information statements (VIS) with […]

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An Interdisciplinary Examination of the Material Effects of Deceptive Sport Beverage Advertisements Nathaniel J. Evans

Abstract: Sport companies frequently make product claims in advertisements to influence consumer purchase decisions. Sport beverages, in particular, often tout health benefits and performance claims. Unfortunately, some sport beverage claims […]

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The Covert Advertising Recognition and Effects (CARE) model: Processes of persuasion in native advertising and other masked formats Nathaniel J. Evans and Bartosz Wojdynski

Abstract: Covert advertisements, or those that utilize the guise and delivery mechanisms of familiar non-advertising formats, differ from other more direct forms of advertising in several ways that are important […]

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Changing the game: The effects of cognitive load and brand prominence on covert advertising recognition Nathaniel J. Evans, Bartosz Wojdynski & Michael Harman

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of advertising format and cognitive load in shaping the effect of covert advertisements on participants advertising recognition and outcomes. […]

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Changing the game: The effects of cognitive load and brand prominence on covert advertising recognition. Nathaniel J. Evans, Michael Harman & Bartosz Wojdynski

ABSTRACT: The present study (N=82) employed a 2 (advertisement format: advergame vs. video commercial) x 2 (brand prominence: low (Asus) vs. high (KFC)) between-subjects factorial experiment to investigate the effect […]

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“Parental Gender Effects On The Regulation Of Sponsored Child Influencer Unboxing Videos.” Nathaniel J. Evans Read More
“Changing the Game: The Effects of Cognitive Load and Brand Prominence on Covert Advertising Recognition.” Nathaniel J. Evans, Michael Harman & Bartosz Wojdynski

Abstract: This study first investigated the effect of advertising format (advergames vs online video commercials) on consumers’ ability to recognize advertising. Second, we tested how advertising format differentially impacted consumers’ […]

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The 2014-15 U.S. measles outbreak and parents’ vaccination beliefs, confidence, and intentions Michael Cacciatore, Glen Nowak & Nathaniel J. Evans

Abstract: While it seems intuitive that highly visible vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks should impact perceptions of disease risk and facilitate vaccination, few empirical studies exist to confirm or dispel these beliefs. […]

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Parenting YouTube Natives: The Impact of Pre-Roll Advertising and Text Disclosures On Parental Responses to Sponsored Child Influencer Videos Nathaniel J. Evans

Abstract: The Children’s Advertising Review Unit’s (CARU) recent cases involving child influencer unboxing videos expressed concern that they did not appropriately disclose sponsorship. Placement of pre-roll advertising was also cited as […]

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Awards and Fellowships

Dr. Evans has received top paper awards at the American Academy of Advertising (2016), best article in the Journal of Interactive Advertising (2014), and the Research Fellowship Award from the American Academy of Advertising (2015).

Chess

About: Shira Chess teaches courses in media studies and media writing. Her research focuses on digital media studies with an emphasis on gender and gaming.

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Education

Ph.D., Communication and Rhetoric, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.A. Media Arts, Emerson College
B.A. English, The University of South Florida

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Chess’ research interrogates the intersections between gender studies and video game studies. In particular, she has written extensively on games that target women audiences. Additionally, she has researched several other topics in digital media including research on “slenderman” memes and pervasive gaming such as the Google game Ingress. Her research has appeared in Journals such as Critical Studies in Media Communication, New Media & Society, Feminist Media Studies, and Information Communication & Society.

How to: Play Like a Feminist in 2020 Shira Chess

Chess, S. (2020).  “How to: Play Like a Feminist in 2020.” Plenary Keynote presentation for the Electronic Literature Organization. (Conference was moved online due to COVID-19.) July 17, 2020. Abstract: […]

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Play like a Feminist by Dr. Shira Chess Shira Chess

Description: “You play like a girl”: it’s meant to be an insult, accusing a player of subpar, un-fun playing. If you’re a girl, and you grow up, do you “play […]

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Effectiveness of a Branching Narrative to Positively Impact Messaging Around Sexual Assault Shira Chess

Abstract: Sexual assault affects one in four women in the United States. Recent studies show that college is the time when sexual assaults are most likely to occur. Prevention involves […]

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). Casual Bodies are Hybrid Bodies. In Hybrid Play: Crossing Boundaries in Game Design, Player Identities, and Place Spaces. Shira Chess

Abstract: “Casual game” is an industry term that is often used derisively or dismissively—it is a catch-all meant to indicate a style of play but is often deployed like a […]

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Book Chapter: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Feminism Shira Chess

Abstract: Kim Kardashian has received much attention for her media empire, including her game, published by Glu Mobile. The game’s premise plays a role in what I characterize as “Feminine […]

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The end of casual; long live casual. Shira Chess

Abstract: When we discuss games, as a culture, the games under discussion are often presumed almost always a “core” (or “hardcore”) games. However, video games are change rapidly. The market […]

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This is What a Feminist (Game) Looks Like. Shira Chess

As video games become an increasingly mass medium — not intended for niche audiences but deployed with different genres, styles, and platforms — it is an apt time to rethink […]

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Dark Play in Paradise: Stardew Valley and the Negotiation of Abuse. Shira Chess

Stardew Valley, on its surface, appears to be yet another invest-express farming game; players grow crops, tend to animals, mine, fish, and do other idyllic tasks that make it almost […]

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Book Chapter: Not So Straight Shooters: Queering the Cyborg Body in Masculinized Gaming Shira Chess

Abstract: This chapter offers a “diffractive” consideration (Barad 2003) of posthumanist and cyberfeminist theory, masculinity studies, and research on gender and gaming, that views digital play between straight white men […]

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Book Chapter: Neko Atsume: Affective Play and Mobile Casual Gaming Shira Chess

Abstract: In this article, I consider the role of affect in the popular app game Neko Atsume. Neko Atsume is a “cat collector” game where players leave food and toys […]

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The end of casual; long live casual Shira Chess

Abstract: When we discuss games, as a culture, the games under discussion are often presumed almost always a “core” (or “hardcore”) games. However, video games are change rapidly. The market […]

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KIm is my new BFF: The Looking Glass Celebrity Shira Chess

Abstract: Mobile-based celebrity games are a byproduct of a new, more feminized video game industry. Within celebrity games, the player engages with celebrity culture in a variety of ways, often […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Chess’ teaches courses that focus on both understanding and creating digital and traditional media. Prior to teaching in Grady College, she taught at Miami University of Ohio and worked as a game developer and web designer.

Cacciatore

About: Dr. Cacciatore teaches research methodology and introduction to public relations in the Department of Advertising & Public Relations. His research focuses on science and risk communication with an emphasis on media coverage of and opinion formation for such topics.

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Education

Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S., Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A., English, University of Manitoba

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Cacciatore’s research has examined the communication of science and risk topics ranging from nanotechnology to food safety to global climate change. A significant portion of this research has tracked media depictions of science and risk issues, paying particular attention to the role of social media in the communication process. His other research has focused most directly on the interplay between media, values and risk in public opinion formation. Dr. Cacciatore’s work has been published in Public Understanding of Science, Science Communication, Risk Analysis, New Media & Society, and Health Affairs among others.

Proposal Title: “Improving Infectious Disease Models with Longitudinal Surveys of Health Decision Making Preferences and Influences.” Glen Nowak and Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: The objective of this project is to create more reliable infectious disease models that are informed by social science regarding health-related preferences, perceptions and intentions/behaviors. This project will design […]

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Measuring the value of public relations: An international investigation at how communication practitioners view the challenges and suggest solutions Michael Cacciatore and Juan Meng

Abstract: This research is motivated to advance our understanding of measurement challenges in communication practice and coping strategies from a global perspective. To do so, we relied on data from a […]

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COVID-19 Vaccination and Public Health Communication Strategies: An In-depth Look at How Demographics, Political Ideology, and News/Information Source Preference Matter Michael Cacciatore and Glen Nowak

Abstract: Widely accepted public health actions and recommendations, particularly those related to vaccines, are critical to U.S. and global responses to infectious disease pandemics, such as COVID-19. Drawing from nationally […]

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Leveraging the cybersecurity function to build influence and strategy: An empirical study of public relations professionals’ cybersecurity acumen Michael Cacciatore, Juan Meng & Bryan H. Reber

Abstract: This study investigated PR professionals’ attention to and perceptions of cybersecurity, and their involvement in handling cybersecurity incidents. Preliminary findings include that practitioners in the US and Canada did […]

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Are you JOKING??? Humor in science communication research and practice Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: Scientists have long incorporated humor into their communication, whether it be in informal presentations or peer-reviewed journal articles. Though it seems evident that humor could make stodgy scientific writing […]

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Following science on social media: The effects of humor and source likability Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: Science communicators have been encouraged to use humor in their online engagement efforts. Yet, humor’s effectiveness for engaging people with science remains an open question. We report the results […]

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Misinformation and public opinion of science and health: Approaches, findings, and future directions Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: A summary of the public opinion research on misinformation in the realm of science/health reveals inconsistencies in how the term has been defined and operationalized. A diverse set of […]

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Measuring the value of public relations: An international investigation of how communication practitioners view the challenge and solutions Michael Cacciatore and Juan Meng

Abstract: This research is motivated to advance our understanding of measurement challenges in communication practice and coping strategies from a global perspective. To do so, we relied on data from […]

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Generating science buzz: An examination of multidimensional engagement with humorous scientific messages on Twitter and Instagram Michael Cacciatore

Abstract:  This study investigates the types of humor embedded in funny scientific posts on social media and their effects on engagement. We mapped the landscape of such posts on Twitter […]

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The Landscape of Misinformation about Science … Revisited Michael Cacciatore

Invited panelist at the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee for Addressing Inaccurate and Misleading Information about Biological Threats through Scientific Collaboration and Communication, online. Dr. Cacciatore served […]

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Measuring the value of public relations: An international investigation at how communication practitioners view the challenges and suggest solutions Michael Cacciatore and Juan Meng

Abstract This research is motivated to advance our understanding of measurement challenges in communication practice and coping strategies from a global perspective. To do so, we relied on data from […]

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Engaging Multicultural Audiences through Inclusive STEM Content on YouTube Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and Michael Cacciatore

PIs: Adam Dylewski (PBS Digital Studios; Project PI); Sara K. Yeo (University of Utah; Co-PI); Michael A. Cacciatore (University of Georgia; Co-PI) Funding Source: National Science Foundation (#DRL-2120006) Total Amount: […]

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UGA Transdisplinary Earth System Science for Global Solutions and Public Engagement (ENGAGE) Michael Cacciatore and Glen Nowak

Michael Cacciatore and Glen Nowak are part of a $2,974,744 five-year University of Georgia proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation to create a UGA Transdisplinary Earth System Science for […]

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Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Response (CIERR) Michael Cacciatore, Glen Nowak, Glenna Read, Bartosz Wojdynski & Itai Himelboim

Glen Nowak, Michael Cacciatore, Bart Wojdynski, Glenna Read, and Itai Himelboim are part of a University of Georgia proposal submitted in response to a National Institutes of Health call for […]

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The science of #scicomm: On emotion and humor. Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: Emotional appeals are encouraged when engaging with public audiences. Yet, we lack evidence of the effectiveness of using such appeals in science communication. Here we present current research on […]

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The effect of science comedy on perceptions of scientists and scientific messages. Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: Humor is an important conduit for public engagement with science that is often recommended for scientists looking to conduct communication activities despite relatively little empirical evidence demonstrating its effectiveness. […]

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Laughing with science: The influence of audience approval on engagement. Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: While there is mounting evidence that humor can be an effective means of engaging publics, much remains to be learned about the contextual factors that shape how audiences receive […]

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How attributes of humorous scientific messages predict engagement on Twitter and Instagram Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: The use of humor is increasingly advocated as a means of enhancing the effectiveness and visibility of science messages on social media. However, the influence of humorous scientific content […]

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Understanding flu vaccination attitudes and behaviors: Exploring a measure of health decision-making preferences. Michael Cacciatore and Glen Nowak

Abstract: Annual influenza vaccination has been recommended for all adults in the United States since 2010, but coverage estimates indicate that less than half of American adults complied during the […]

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Laughing with Science: The influence of audience approval on engagement Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: While there is mounting evidence that humor can be an effective means of engaging publics, much remains to be learned about the contextual factors that shape how audiences receive […]

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Misinformation and public opinion of science and health: Approaches, findings, and future directions. Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: This work summarizes the misinformation literature in the context of science and health. The public opinion work in this space reveals inconsistencies in how the term has been defined […]

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The landscape of mis(dis)information about science. Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: This presentation is a broad overview of the issue of misinformation as it relates to public understanding of science and the communication of scientific information with public audiences. The […]

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Dissecting the Root of Vaccine Misinformation on Pinterest: A Content Analysis of Vaccine-Related Pins by Influential Social Media Accounts Michael Cacciatore and Yan Jin

Abstract: Given the role the Internet plays in communicating anti-vaccine sentiments, coupled with limited research in this area, this study focused on the social media platform Pinterest, analyzing 1,119 vaccine-related […]

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Media Science and Practice Michael Cacciatore and Glen Nowak

Abstract: Given their influence and visibility, understanding how news media cover topics involving medicines and how they provide information to their target audiences is essential when it comes to medicinal […]

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Otherization of Africa: How American media framed people with HIV/AIDS in Africa from 1987 to 2017. Michael Cacciatore and Ivanka Pjesivac

Abstract: This study examined otherization framing of people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa in American print news from 1987-2007. The results of a content analysis of a representative sample of […]

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The 2014-15 U.S. measles outbreak and parents’ vaccination beliefs, confidence, and intentions Michael Cacciatore, Glen Nowak & Nathaniel J. Evans

Abstract: While it seems intuitive that highly visible vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks should impact perceptions of disease risk and facilitate vaccination, few empirical studies exist to confirm or dispel these beliefs. […]

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Inadequate and incomplete: Chinese newspapers’ coverage of the first licensed human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in China Michael Cacciatore and Glen Nowak

Abstract: Glaxo Smith Kline’s Cervarix was the first human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine licensed for use in China in July 2016 and officially launched there on July 31, 2017. Since news […]

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Is Facebook making us dumber? Exploring social media use as a predictor of political knowledge Michael Cacciatore

Abstract: With social networking site (SNS) use now ubiquitous in American culture, researchers have started paying attention to its effects in a variety of domains. This study explores the relationships […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Cacciatore has taught courses in research methodology, data analysis, risk communication, and social marketing, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Experience

Dr. Cacciatore has extensive research experience, including work on several large-scale, National Science Foundation-funded research grants. He has presented research findings at major communication conferences, and has published reports for groups like the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Most recently, Dr. Cacciatore co-wrote a funded grant that will investigate humor effects in the context of science communication.

Ahn

About: Dr. Ahn teaches undergraduate-level research methods, graduate-level user experience research, communication theory, and advertising and society. Her research examines how social media, video/internet games, and immersive virtual environments influence user attitudes and behaviors. She also directs the Games and Virtual Environments Lab (GAVEL), and is the co-director of the new VERGE Lab.

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Education

Ph.D., Communication, Stanford University
M.A., Communication, Stanford University
B.A., Communication/Business Administration, Seoul National University

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Ahn is the director of the Games and Virtual Environments Lab and the co-director of the VERGE Lab. Her main program of research investigates how interactive digital media transform traditional rules of communication and social interactions, looking at how virtual experiences shape the way the way that people think, feel, and behave in the physical world. Her work has helped establish foundations for the theoretical advancement of virtual experiences in mediated environments and how their effects transfer into the physical world in four different contexts: health, consumer psychology, conservation, and education. Her ongoing work includes a NSF funded project exploring the application of virtual agents to promote STEM learning for children in informal learning environments, such as children’s museums. Her work has been published in a number of flagship outlets, including Journal of Advertising, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Communication Research, Journal of Health Communication, Human-Computer Interaction, and Media Psychology.

Virtual Reality Experience in Tourism Advertising: Roles of Immersion and Advertising Engagement Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn and Jooyoung Kim

Jihoon Kim (Grady PhD alum), Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, and Jooyoung Kim. “Virtual Reality Experience in Tourism Advertising: Roles of Immersion and Advertising Engagement.” Presented at the American Academy of Advertising (AAA) Annual Conference, […]

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Pandemic Soundstage: Policy and Reality in Hollywood’s Return to Work Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn and Jooyoung Kim

Kate Fortmueller (2022). “Pandemic Soundstage: Policy and Reality in Hollywood’s Return to Work” Essential: Global Film and Television Production During the Pandemic. April 9-11. Tulane University. New Orleans, LA. https://express.adobe.com/page/ZPOFOt9Mwpd9x/ Abstract: […]

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Advertising in the Metaverse Jooyoung Kim and Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Jooyoung Kim (March 24). Advertising in the Metaverse. Panelist at the half-day American of Academy of Advertising pre-conference, which was designed and led by Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn.

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International Conference Association (ICA) Top Paper Award Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

International Conference Association (ICA) “Top Paper Award: Haley Hatfield and Grace Ahn’s paper “Do Black Lives Matter in the Empathy Machine? Investigating Whiteness and Immersion on Creating a Shared Reality […]

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Do Black Lives Matter in the Empathy Machine? Investigating Whiteness and Immersion on Creating a Shared Reality with 360-Degree Video Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: The summer of 2020 brought increased participation and support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement following accounts of police use of lethal force toward Black citizens. As protests […]

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Virtual Reality Experience in Tourism Advertising: Roles of Immersion and Advertising Engagement Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn and Jihoon (Jay) Kim

Abstract: Building favorable destination image and evoking positive feelings toward tourism ads are essential to the success of destination marketing in the competitive tourism business environment. The current study investigated […]

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A second chance to protect yourself and others: The impact of interactivity and efficacy messages on influenza vaccination intentions in virtual reality Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn and Jooyoung Kim

Lee, Joomi (Grady postdoctoral research associate), Ahn, Sun Joo (Grace), Wu, D., Lin, J.-H., & Kim, Jooyoung. (2021). A second chance to protect yourself and others: The impact of interactivity and efficacy messages […]

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IEEEVR2020: Exploring the first steps toward standalone virtual conferences Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: The global COVID-19 pandemic forced all large in-person events to pivot to virtual or online platforms. IEEEVR2020 coincided with rising concerns and restrictions on travel and large gatherings, becoming […]

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Academic caregivers on organizational and community resilience in academia (F*** individual resilience). Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: Crises, whether society-wide or personal, are endemic to the human condition. Yet academia and its associated institutions persist in having insufficient scaffolding to support its members during periods of crisis. No one […]

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Open science, closed doors? Countering marginalization through an agenda for ethical, inclusive research in Communication Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: The open science (OS) movement has advocated for increased transparency in certain aspects of research. Communication is taking its first steps towards OS as some journals have adopted OS […]

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Virtual tours promote behavioral intention and willingness to pay via spatial presence, enjoyment, and destination image Jihoon (Jay) Kim and Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) tourism provides individuals with a brief, but realistic, preview of travel destinations. Despite the increasing popularity of VR tourism in destination advertising, outcomes and underlying mechanisms of […]

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Embodied congruence as a framework for understanding user experiences with immersive technologies Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Smink, Anne R. (former Grady visiting doctoral student), Hahn, Lindsay (former Grady postdoctoral research associate), Trude, Bryan (Grady doctoral student), & Ahn, Sun Joo (Grace) (2021). Embodied congruence as a framework for understanding user experiences with immersive […]

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onfronting whiteness through virtual humans: A systematic review of 20 years of research in prejudice and racial bias using virtual environments Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Hatfield, Haley (Grady doctoral student), Ahn, Sun Joo (Grace), Klein, Matthew (Grady doctoral student), & Nowak, K. N. (2021). Confronting whiteness through virtual humans: A systematic review of 20 years of research in prejudice […]

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Salient, Interactive, Relevant, Confidence, and Action (SIRCA): Using Virtual Reality Storm Surge Simulations to Increase Risk Perception and Prevention Behaviors. Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

PIs and Co-PIs: Matthew Browning (Multiple PI, Clemson University), Jill Gambill (Co-PI, University of Georgia) Funding Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Total Amount:  $499,931 Project period: 2 years […]

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Using Immersive Virtual Reality to Improve the Beliefs and Intentions of Influenza Vaccine Avoidant 18-to-49-Year-Olds: Considerations, Effects, and Lessons Learned. Nathaniel J. Evans, Glen Nowak, Bartosz Wojdynski, Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn & María E. Len-Ríos

Abstract: Only one-third of adults 18 to 49 years old in the United States receive a recommended annual influenza vaccination. This study examined whether supplementing vaccine information statements (VIS) with […]

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Interactive virtual reality reduces quadriceps pain intensity during high-intensity interval leg cycling exercise. Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Poster presented at the World Congress of Pain of the International Association for the Study of Pain, September 12-16, Boston, MA.

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Book Chapter: Gaming and behavior change Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: This chapter explores how video games interact with individual characteristics to afford unique opportunities for behavior change. It first considers how video games differ from traditional media, and more […]

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Book Chapter: Designing for persuasion through embodied experiences in immersive virtual environments Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: Embodied experiences in virtual reality (VR) involves the reproduction of sufficiently realistic sensory information so that users are able to see, hear, and feel experiences as if they are […]

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Feeling the weight of calories: Using haptic feedback as virtual exemplars to promote risk perception among young females on unhealthy snack choices Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn and Jung Min Hahm

Abstract: Virtual simulations allow users to feel and manipulate objects as they would in the physical world. Guided by exemplification theory and risk communication research, a virtual exemplar was developed […]

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Is desirability of the trait a boundary condition of the Proteus effect? A pilot study. Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: Although previous research has shown that individuals take on aspects of the avatars they embody in virtual environments, studies have not yet tested whether this phenomenon, known as the […]

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Points-based reward systems in gamification impact children’s physical activity strategies and psychological needs Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: Gamification is an increasingly popular form of health intervention but its efficacy remains elusive due to a lack of clarity in its conceptualization and operationalization. This study aimed to […]

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Virtual exemplars in health promotion campaigns: Heightening perceived risk and involvement to reduce soft drink consumption in young adults. Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

Abstract: Virtual simulations allow individuals to concretely view future negative health consequences of present dietary choices. Integrating exemplification theory with risk communication research, the effect of using virtual simulations to […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Ahn’s teaching specialties include advertising research, user experience research, advertising society, communication theory, media processes and effects, digital media technology, and communication and children.

Experience

Prior to obtaining her Ph.D. degree, Dr. Ahn worked as the Assistant Manager of the Survey & Research Division for the Korea Foundation for Asian Culture Exchange under the Korean Ministry of Culture & Tourism. She also worked as an interpreter and translator at the Korean Ministry of Finance & Economy and holds over a decade’s experience in interpretation and translation as a freelancer.

Awards and Fellowships

2019: AEJMC Krieghbaum Under-40 Award
2019: University of Georgia Office of Instruction First-Year Odyssey Teaching Award
2017: University of Georgia Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award
2017: AEJMC Emerging Scholar Grant
2017: Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Outstanding Teacher Award nominee
2015: Mary Alice Shaver Promising Professor Award, American Academy of Advertising
2015: Top Paper/Poster in the Health Communication Division, International Communication Association
2014: Top Paper in the Communication and Technology Division, International Communication Association
2014: Best Paper at IEEE VR 2014 Conference
2014: University of Georgia’s Superstar Researcher Recognition, Office of the Provost
2014: University of Georgia Career Center Faculty Recognition for high impact on student career development
2013: University of Georgia, Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Faculty Summer Support ($5,000)
2009: Top Paper Award in the Nonverbal Communication Division, National Communication Association