Katharine J.																 Head

Katharine J. Head

Associate Professor of Communication Studies
Director, PhD Graduate Program in Health Communication
Affiliate Faculty, Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics - IU Health
Adjunct Faculty, Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program
Department: Communication Studies
CA 307C



  • PhD, University of Kentucky 2013
  • MA, Texas A&M University 2008
  • BA, Texas A&M University 2006




  • Outstanding Academic Advisor of AY 2019-2020, IUPUI Liberal Arts Student Council (LASC), 2020
  • Outstanding Professor across the Campus, honored by IUPUI Athletics, 2015 and 2016


  • Cancer Control Champion Award, Indiana Cancer Consortium, 2021
  • Early Career Award, American Public Health Association Public Health Education and Health Promotion Division, 2020
  • Distinguished Article Award, National Communication Association Health Communication Division, 2020
  • Top Paper Award, International Communication Association Health Communication Division, 2020
  • Early Career Award, National Communication Association Health Communication Division, 2019
  • Innovative High Flyer Award for “Commitment to Improving the Health of Hoosiers, Indiana Immunization Coalition, 2019



Head, K.J., Kasting, M.L., Sturm, L.A., Hartsock, J.A., & Zimet, G.D. (2020). A national survey assessing SARS-CoV-2 vaccination intentions: Implications for future public health communication efforts. Science Communication (Special Issue focused on Communicating Risk and Uncertainty in the Face of COVID-19), 42(5), 698-723.

Panozzo, C.A., Head, K.J., Kornides, M.L., Feemster, K.A., & Zimet, G.D. (2020). Tailored messages addressing human papillomavirus vaccination concerns improves behavioral intent among mothers: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Adolescent Health, 67(2), 253-261.

Head, K.J., Johnson, N.L., Scott, S.F., & Zimet, G.D. (2020). Communicating cervical cancer screening results in light of new guidelines: Clinical practices at federally qualified health centers. Health Communication, 35(7), 815-821.

Kasting, M. L., Head, K. J., Cox, D., Cox, A. D., & Zimet, G. D. (2019). The effects of message framing and healthcare provider recommendation on adult hepatitis B vaccination: A randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine, 127, 105798.

Head, K.J., & Iannarino, N.T. (2019). “It changed our outlook on how we want to live”: Cancer as a transformative health experience for young adult survivors and their family members. Qualitative Health Research, 29, 404–417.

Head, K.J., Biederman, E., Sturm, L.A., & Zimet, G.D. (2018). A retrospective and prospective look at strategies to increase adolescent HPV vaccine uptake in the United States. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, 14(7), 1626-1635.

Head, K.J. & Bute, J.J. (2018). The influence of everyday interpersonal communication on the medical encounter: An extension of Street’s ecological model. Health communication, 33(6), 786-792.

Head, K.J., Imburgia, T.M., Zimet, G.D., & Shew, M.L. (2017). Women’s understanding of their Pap and HPV test results: Implications for patient–provider communication. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 10, 37-46.




  • School of Liberal Arts Graduate Curriculum Committee, 2015-2021
  • Co-Chair, School of Liberal Arts Taylor Symposium 2019 Planning Committee (Hosted by Department of Communication Studies)
  • Faculty Mentor, IU School of Medicine Scholarly Concentration in Medical Humanities, 2019-Present


  • Expert Member, Promoting COVID Vaccine Acceptance in Our Communities Advisory Group, Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2020-Present
  • Chair, Advisory Committee, Indiana Immunization Coalition, 2019-Present


  • Steering Committee Member, APHA Health Communication Working Group, 2015- present
  • External Advisory Board Member, Kentucky Conference on Health Communication, 2015-present

Academic Interests

Academic Interests

Health communication, vaccination, cancer screening, social and behavioral science, young adults, women’s health, health campaigns, message design, e-Health


CA 307C
425 University Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46202