Glen Nowak named associate dean for research and graduate studies

Glen Nowak named associate dean for research and graduate studies

March 26, 2021

Grady College proudly announces the appointment of Glen Nowak as the college’s new associate dean for research and graduate studies.

Nowak, a professor of advertising and director of the Center for Health & Risk Communication, assumes the new role as current associate dean, Jeff Springston, takes on a new role of Director of MFA Programs.

“I’m delighted to add Dr. Nowak to the leadership team,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “As a world-class researcher with rich experience at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he’s well positioned to build on existing collaborations not only in the critical area of health communication but across the college and the broader university community.”

Nowak is a prolific researcher specializing in areas of health, vaccine, and risk-related communication including interventions, campaigns, messaging and messages, news media and provider-patient communication. He has been widely consulted and quoted in the media in recent months about COVID-19 vaccine education, messaging and acceptance. He has contributed to several panel discussions and advisory committees about the COVID-19 vaccine, including the UGA Dean Rusk International Center conference in January and the federal National Vaccine Advisory Committee, an entity that advises the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services. Nowak co-authored a paper about vaccination acceptance that was published by the New England Journal of Medicine in September 2020.

His most recent research, published in February, indicated that more U.S. adults appear to have received an influenza vaccination this flu season than ever before.

Nowak also participates in the College’s Crisis Communication Think Tank and recently co-edited a book on the subject, “Advancing Crisis Communication Effectiveness.”

“I look forward to working with the College’s faculty, staff, and graduate students on further strengthening our programs, scholarship and research efforts,” Nowak said. “I plan to continue the efforts to expand awareness of the faculty’s research and communication expertise across and beyond the campus.”

Prior to rejoining the Grady faculty in January 2013, Nowak worked 14 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He spent six years as director of media relations at CDC and six years as communications director for CDC’s National Immunization Program. He has experience in managing and implementing health and risk communications programs, media relations, health information campaigns and social marketing. Prior to joining CDC in January 1999, Nowak taught at Grady College for ten years.

Government and non-government public health agencies frequently seek out Nowak’s vast experience and in 2014, he assisted the Task Force for Global Health in its efforts to develop and implement a communication strategy for a worldwide effort related to polio eradication.  More recently, Nowak was a visiting communications scientist with the Department Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO), working on research projects involving vaccination hesitancy, confidence and acceptance.

Nowak earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

In his new role, Nowak will direct the college’s research efforts, as well as its graduate program, which includes eight Master of Arts programs and its ranked Ph.D. program.

Springston, who ably directed graduate studies at the college for 15 years, will oversee the college’s recent MFA offerings including the low-residency MFA in Narrative Media Writing and the new MFA in Film, Television and Digital Media.