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.

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 $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.