Ivanov Honored as a 2022-23 University Research Professor

Bobi Ivanov, Ph.D., one of the 14 University Research Professors. Mark Cornelison | UKphoto
Bobi Ivanov is a 2022-23 University Research Professor. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo

UKNow is highlighting the University of Kentucky’s 2022-23 University Research Professors. Established by the Board of Trustees in 1976, the professorship program recognizes excellence across the full spectrum of research, scholarship and creative endeavors at UK. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2022) — Bobi Ivanov, Ph.D., professor of integrated strategic communication within the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information, is one of the 14 University Research Professors for 2022-2023. The University Research Professorship Awards honor faculty members who have demonstrated excellence that addresses scientific, social, cultural and economic challenges in our region and around the world. 

College leadership develop criteria for excellence within their area of expertise and then nominate faculty who excelled at these criteria. Each University Research Professor receives a one-year award of $10,000. 

“Being named a University Research Professor feels incredible,” Ivanov said. “My immediate thoughts visited the names of research giants residing in our college and university. My mind went to all of their vast accomplishments and the profound mark they left on our discipline, academia and society. Being privileged to join their ranks provided a deep sense of reassurance that the effort expanded in pursuit of new knowledge and solutions to stubborn societal problems matters; the mark that I have left on the discipline, our college and university was not inconsequential. What more can a faculty member hope for while perusing a passion? As such, I am infinitely grateful for this award.”

Ivanov’s research focuses on social influence (persuasion and resistance) and message design, processing and retention. His theoretical work focuses on the study of inoculation theory, images and attitudes and their composition, hierarchical structure and function as applied in various contexts including commercial, health, intercultural, instructional/educational, interpersonal, political and risk/crisis management.

“My research has generally focused on pursuing strategic communication solutions to human problems,” Ivanov said. “These problems may be as simple as reinforcing the practice of brushing one’s teeth or as complex as designing a multi-faceted campaign to improve the sentiment toward, and the acceptance of, refugees, asylum seekers and stateless individuals.”

Ivanov received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma where he studied strategic message design, consumer behavior and strategic communication. At UK he has primarily taught marketing, communication, research and strategic communication-related courses in a number of different departments/units.

Ivanov’s work has appeared in numerous presentations, books, book chapters and top-tier journals including Communication Monographs, Communication Research, Human Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Health Communication, Journal of Public Relations Research, Communication Yearbook and Journal of Applied Communication Research. He has also worked as a market research analyst at Consumer Data Service and Insight Market Research and Consulting.

“The continuous and unwavering support the university has provided for my work through intellectual stimulation, grants, Fulbright assignments and its support for our college and its people has created the impetus to pursue inspiring solutions to difficult societal problems,” Ivanov added.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.