Yvonnes Chen

Yvonnes Chen
  • Professor

Contact Info

Stauffer-Flint Hall, room 205C
1435 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045


Yvonnes Chen is a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. She is one of the five 2017 Outstanding Educators awarded by the KU Torch Chapter of the Mortar Board (a senior honor society). She is also a 2017-2018 Keeler Intra-University Professorship recipient and was a Visiting Professor Program fellows awarded from the Advertising Educational Foundation in New York.

Her research — which has received funding from government agencies — centers on designing effective programs to promote healthy lifestyles. Her most recent research focuses on how the brain is a window to understanding the effects of persuasive messages. KU News story.

Chen teaches courses on research methods, strategic campaigns, health communication, grant writing, and data analysis. At the core of her teaching is a desire to nurture students' personal growth and problem-solving ability. One of her greatest joys is to see students succeed – at the personal and professional level. Her students have received university awards (e.g., KU University Awards), competitive fellowships (e.g., FleishmanHillard Diversity Fellow) and regional/national awards (e.g., Bronze Quill and Silver Quill Awards from the International Association of Business Communicators).

Fluent in three languages (with another on the way), Chen is a classical music and opera enthusiast — and a wannabe rock climber.


B.A. in Journalism, Shih Hsin University
Mass Communication & Media Studies, Washington State University
Ph.D. in Mass Communication & Media Studies, Washington State University


Research interests:

  • Media and health literacy
  • adolescents
  • prevention and intervention


Teaching interests:

  • Research Methods
  • Strategic Campaigns
  • Health Communication
  • Social Marketing

Selected Publications

Chen, Y. (2019). Resisting persuasive intent [Book Chapters]. In Wiley The International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy. Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118978238.ieml0213

Porter, K., Chen, Y., Lang, H., & Zoellner, J. (2018). Implementation of Media Production Activities in an Intervention to Reduce Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake among Adults: A Content Analysis of Counter Ads [Journal Articles]. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior , 50(2), 173–179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2017.06.009

Chen, Y., Fowler, C. G., Papa, V. B., Lepping, R. J., Brucks, M. G., Fox, A. T., & Martin, L. E. (2018). Adolescents’ behavioral and neural responses to e-cigarette advertising [Journal Articles]. Addiction Biology, 23(2), 761–771. https://doi.org/10.1111/adb.12510

Erba, J., Chen, Y., & Kang, H. (2018). Using media literacy to counter stereotypical images of Blacks and Latinos [Journal Articles]. Howard Journal of Communication. Published. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10646175.2018.1423652?journ…

Zoellner, J., Chen, Y., Porter, K., Hedrick, V., You, W., Tyhurst, M., & Estabrooks, P. (2017). Predicting Sugar-Sweetened Behaviors with Theory of Planned Behavior Constructs: Outcome and Process Results from the SipSmartER Behavioral Intervention [Journal Articles]. Psychology & Health, 32(5), 509–529. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2017.1283038

Chen, Y., Porter, K., Zoellner, J., & Estabrooks, P. (2017). Development and evaluation of the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Media Literacy (SSB-ML) scale, and its relationship with health literacy and SSB consumption  [Journal Articles]. Health Communication , 32(10), 1310–1317.

Chen, Y., & Erba, J. (2017). Media Literacy as a Consideration in Health and Risk Message Design [Book Chapters]. Oxford University .

Zoellner, J., Hedrick, V., You, W., Chen, Y., Devy, B., Porter, K., Bailey, A., Lang, H., Alexander, R., & Estabrooks, P. (2016). Effects of a behavioral and health literacy intervention to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages: a randomized-controlled trial [Journal Articles]. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13, 38.

Chen, Y., & Cheung, C.-K. (2016). Opportunities for Implementing Media Literacy Education as an Obesity Prevention Strategy in China [Book Chapters]. In Media Literacy Education in China (pp. 91–104). Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-0045-4

Porter, K., Chen, Y., Estabrooks, P., Noel, L., Bailey, A., & Zoellner, J. (2016). Using Teach-Back to Understand Participant Behavioral Self-Monitoring Skills across Health Literacy Level and Behavioral Condition [Journal Articles]. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior , 48(1), 20–26.e1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2015.08.012

Austin, E. W., Pinkleton, B. E., Chen, Y., & Austin, B. (2015). Processing of Sexual Media Messages Improves Due to Media Literacy Effects on Perceived Message Desirability [Journal Articles]. Mass Communication & Society , 18(4), 399–421.

Chen, Y., Ohanehi, D., & Redican, K. (2015). Pilot Evaluation of UV Monitoring Enhanced Skin Cancer Prevention Among Farm Youth in Rural Virginia [Journal Articles]. American Journal of Health Education, 46(2), 79–89.

Selected Presentations

Chen, Y., Fowler, C. H., Papa, V. B., Lepping, R. R., Brucks, M. G., Fox, A. T., ...Martin, L. E. (3/16/2017 - 3/18/2017). Adolescents’ behavioral and neural responses to e-cigarette advertising. Meeting of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society. Los Angeles, CA

Bailey, A., Porter, K., Chen, Y., Dohm, E., Wilburn, G., Tyhurst, M., ...Zoellner , J. (4/22/2015 - 4/25/2015). Perceptions of interactive voice response calls targeting health behavior change in rural adults. Society of Behavioral Medicine Conference. San Antonio, TX

Chen, Y., Porter, K., Zoellner , J., & Estabrooks, P. (1/1/2015 - 12/31/2015). Examining the impact of a health literacy and media literacy intervention on adults’ sugar-sweetened beverage media literacy skills. Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk Division, AEJMC. San Francesco, CA

Chen, Y., Ohanehi, D., Redican, K., Grisso, R., Perumpral, J., Feldman, S., ...Burton, J. (8/6/2014 - 8/9/2014). Pilot Evaluation of a UV Monitoring-Enhanced Skin Cancer Prevention Among Farm Youth in Rural Virginia. Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk Division, AEJMC. Montreal, Canada

Lee, T., & Chen, Y. (8/6/2014 - 8/9/2014). Racial Attitudes, Egalitarian Values, and Media Use. Minorities and Communication Division, AEJMC. Montreal, Canada

Awards & Honors

2017-2018 Center for Teaching Excellence Diversity Scholars

Center for Teaching Excellence

2017 - 2018

2017-2018 Keeler Intra-University Professorship

University of Kansas


2018 Center for Teaching Excellence TREAT Travel Award

Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Kansas


KU Center for Research International Travel Award ($1,000)

KU Center for Research, Inc.


2017 KU Mortar Board Outstanding Educator Awards

KU Mortar Board, a national honor society for college seniors.


Phi Beta Delta Honors Society


Visiting Professor Programs, Advertising Educational Foundation

Advertising Educational Foundation


Grants & Other Funded Activity

Changing adolescents' brain responses to e-cigarette marketing with media literacy intervention. $35000.00. Submitted 3/22/2017 (7/1/2017 - 6/30/2018). http://chlnkc.org/announcements/. Other. Status: Proposal Submitted

Keeler Intra-University Professorship. $12000.00. Submitted 2/10/2017 (1/1/2018 - 5/31/2018). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded

Using C21 funds to redesign a course based on feedback from students and faculty. Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Kansas. Submitted 9/15/2017 (10/2/2017 - 12/31/2018). State of Kansas. Status: Funded

Advertising Education Foundation: Visiting Professor Programs. (6/8/2017 - 6/16/2017). Other. Status: Funded

Designing modules to facilitate team-based communication activities in strategic campaigns. Center for Teaching Excellence Best Practice Institute Grant. $1000.00. (7/1/2016 - 5/31/2017). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded

SIPsmartER: A nutrition literacy approach to reducing sugar-sweetened Beverages. R01 CA 154364-01A1. National Institute of Health/Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. $2947383.00. (7/13/2011 - 6/12/2016). Federal. Status: Funded

Using in-person observations and Google Street View to conduct in-store audits of tobacco marketing and warning messages in areas with a high concentration of American Indian populations in Kansas. University of Kansas. $8000.00. Submitted 4/15/2014 (12/31/2014). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded. University of Kansas

Media Literacy Tobacco Prevention for Youth in Virginia: A Randomized Impact Assessment Pilot Study. Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation (VTSF) & Virginia Youth Tobacco Projects. $34682.00. (6/1/2010 - 5/31/2011). For Profit (company/corporation). Status: Funded