Professional News

Harrington named 1st ICA Fellow from the University of Kentucky

Nancy Grant Harrington
Nancy Grant Harrington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 24, 2023) — Nancy Grant Harrington, professor in the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information’s Department of Communication, was recently named an International Communication Association Fellow.

Harrington was one of only 30 scholars chosen from across the globe this year to join the esteemed list and is UK’s first ICA Fellow.

“Being named a fellow of the International Communication Association was an incredible honor, one that I still can’t quite believe,” Harrington said. “It means that I’m included in a group of distinguished scholars whose research has made substantial contributions to the discipline of communication. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be an ICA Fellow, a group that comprises less than five percent of ICA’s current membership.”

Jennifer Greer, CI’s dean, called ICA one of the premier associations for scholars in the discipline globally, with more than 5,000 members from more than 80 countries.

“ICA Fellows include the biggest names in our field, ones who have shaped the trajectory of our disciplines,” Greer said. “It is no surprise to us at UK that Nancy has joined this list, because the impact she has had, especially on health communication, is so significant — both as a scholar and as a mentor to other researchers.”

Harrington currently serves as director of the Kentucky Conference on Health Communication and director of the Health Communication Research Collaborative in the college. She also holds the title of University Research Professor for the College of Communication and Information (2018-2019), an academic appointment in the School of Public Health and a position as faculty associate of the Multidisciplinary Center on Drug and Alcohol Research. She stepped down as the associate dean for research in 2022 after serving in that position for 17 years and she was chair of the Department of Communication from 1999 to 2011.

Harrington expressed immense gratitude for the opportunities that this distinction awards her.

“As a fellow, I will have opportunities to attend special meetings, make an invited presentation at next year’s convention and work with my colleagues around the globe to advance the mission of ICA,” Harrington said.

The primary consideration for nomination to ICA Fellow status is a documented record of scholarly achievement, something that Harrington’s research career demonstrates vigorously. Much of Harrington’s research focuses on persuasive message design for health behavior change, particularly in risk behavior prevention and health promotion contexts. She has been a principal investigator, co-investigator or principal evaluator on federally funded studies totaling more than $10 million and has published nearly 100 journal articles or chapters in peer-reviewed outlets such as Health Communication, Social Science & Medicine, Patient Education and Counseling and Health Education & Behavior.

Aside from scholarly articles, Harrington has also worked on several published books. She was co-editor of both the third edition of The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication and “eHealth Applications: Promising Strategies for Behavior Change” and editor of “Health Communication: Theory, Method, and Application.” She also is co-author of the forthcoming book “Health Communication: Research and Practice for a Diverse and Changing World” and has started writing a new book on persuasive message design.

Beyond publishing her own work, Harrington has also held several roles that serve her colleagues in communication such as being an editorial board member for several journals, including Health Communication, Prevention Science and Science Communication and guest editing for special issues of Journal of Communication and Health Communication. She also served as chair to the health communication division of the National Communication Association in 2004-2005 and is a founding member of the Society for Health Communication.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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