I am an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Kentucky Department of Communication.
Dr. Francis is a health communication scholar. Her research examines the role of communication in reducing health disparities and advancing health equity. She is particularly interested in how to harness media and communication to promote health and well-being among Black populations. This type of research involves: 1) understanding and theorizing about how people communicate about health across various contexts (e.g., interpersonal, social media) and how communication relates to health and well-being (e.g., sexual health, psychological well-being, mental health, cancer screening and prevention); 2) testing message design theories and frameworks to better understand what types of messages will most be resonant and persuasive with target audiences; and 3) developing and evaluating culturally sensitive behavior change interventions in carefully designed randomized and quasi-experimental trials.
My research can be found in some of the top peer-reviewed communication, public health, and medicine journals, including Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Social Science and Medicine, Preventive Medicine, and Patient Education and Counseling.