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Aurora Occa

Assistant Professor

Office: 272 Blazer Dining

Phone: 859-257-3323

Email: Aurora.Occa [at] uky.edu

Personal Website: http://comm.uky.edu/occa

BSc 2011, IULM (Milan, Italy); MSc 2012, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Blacksburg, VA); MSc 2013, USI (Lugano, Switzerland); PhD 2018, University of Miami (Miami, FL)

Health communication, message design, clinical trial communication, cancer prevention

Aurora Occa (Ph.D., University of Miami) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. Her research is focused on advancing practical and theoretical knowledge in the area of health communication and intervention design. She is interested in understanding and addressing the challenges cancer patients and healthcare professionals encounter when discussing about cancer treatments and the opportunity to join clinical trials. She also creates and evaluates multimedia messages to help individuals prevent or screen for cancer. Her recent publications have appeared in Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, BMC Public Health, Health Education and Behavior, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Office Hours
  • Class Hours

6:00 am     
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9:30 am COM 471 - 002
 COM 471 - 002
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12:00 pm     
12:30 pm COM 572 - 001
 COM 572 - 001
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Courses Taught

This course examines theory and research of persuasion. Topics include message characteristics, credibility, compliance-gaining, decision- making and motivational appeals.
This course examines theory and research relevant to health communication including interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication approaches. Topics include the role of communication in general models of health and illness, the relationship between patients and healthcare providers, social support, and health campaigns.
This course focuses on the role of the mass media in contemporary public health campaigns. Most class sessions focus on the application of theory and research to the design of these campaigns. Earlier studies examining the role of the mass media in health campaigns indicated that the mass media played a small and rather insignificant role in changing health behaviors. However, more recent studies indicate that careful targeting combined with formative research often yield successful behavior change.