Associate Professor

My research program stems from the belief that the areas of health and communication are interconnected and can be better understood using an interdisciplinary approach. Specifically, I am dedicated to exploring how communication practices shape and are shaped by how we define, make sense of, and organize around health and food issues.

My current projects examine consumer understandings of health risks associated with sweeteners, raw milk, and artisan cheese. I am also using organizational theories to explore the communication practices that characterize alternative food supply chain management along with messages exchanged between the food industry and dietitians.


  • Heiss, S. N. & Bates, B. R. (2016). When a spoonful of fallacies helps the sweetener go down: The Corn Refiner Association’s opportunistic representation of high fructose corn syrup. Health Communication. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2015.1027988
  • Carmack, H. J., Bendi, S., & Heiss, S. N. (2016). Socializing international students to US health: Memorable health messages about university health centers and American healthcare. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 52-72.
  • Dewey, M., & Heiss, S. N. (2015). Inclusive branding strategies for domestic violence agencies: Embracing opportunities to reach and better serve male-identified survivors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi: 10.1177/0886260515618213
  • Heiss, S. N., Carmack, H. J., & Chadwick, A. E. (2015). Effects of interpersonal communication, knowledge, and attitudes on pertussis vaccination in Vermont. Journal of Communication in Healthcare. doi:
Sarah Heiss

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

public communication, health communication, strategic communication, food media, food politics


  • PhD 2011 Ohio University, School of Communication Studies
  • MA 2008 Ohio University, School of Communication Studies
  • BA 2006 Hiram College, Department of Communication


  • 802.656.0036
Office Location:

208F Morrill Hall

Courses Taught

  • CDAE 024: Foundations of Public Communication
  • CDAE 224: Public Communication Capstone
  • CDAE 195/295: Persuasion for Public Communication
  • CDAE 295/395: Diffusion and Public Communication