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Photograph of Linda Aldoory

Linda Aldoory Dean, College of Arts & Sciences Academic Affairs

PhD, Syracuse University, 1998
MA, University of Texas at Austin, 1991
BA, The George Washington University, 1988

Linda Aldoory, PhD, joined American University in July, 2022, after working at the University of Maryland College Park (UMD) for over 20 years. She specializes in health communication, diversity and equity, and public relations. She was Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Research, Professor of Communication, and Director of the Center for Humanities Research in the College of Arts and Humanities at UMD. She founded and directed the Center for Health Risk and Communication at the University of Maryland, and served as Endowed Chair and Director of the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy. She is also former editor of one of the leading communication journals, the Journal of Public Relations Research. Aldoory brings to American over ten years of administrative experience and 30 years of professional and academic expertise in the humanities and social sciences. She is a national expert in the development and evaluation of public health campaigns and health literacy programs, and has consulted for federal agencies, such as the US Food and Drug Administration, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and US Department of Agriculture. Her award-winning scholarship addresses social justice and health equity, and also how diversity and inclusion can improve communication professions. Her recent book, The Future of Feminism in Public Relations and Strategic Communication, co-authored with Elizabeth Toth, PhD, won the 2021 PRIDE Outstanding Book Award from the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association. Her community-based health literacy initiatives have been recognized with the Outstanding Rural Health Program by the Maryland Rural Health Conference, and the Health Literacy Hero Award by the Institute for Healthcare Advancement. Aldoory is president-elect of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. She was an elected member of the Board of Directors for HealthCare Access Maryland and a member of the Maryland State Health Information Exchange Policy Board.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Aldoory specializes in health communication, diversity and equity, and public relations. She explores the relationships between health, campaigns and equity, and focuses on audience effects from health messages and campaigns. She has also written about how diversity and inclusion can improve communication professions.

Selected Publications

  • Aldoory, L., & Toth, E. L. (2021). The future of feminism in public relations and strategic communication: A socio-ecological model of influences in the field. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Toth, E.L., & Aldoory, L. (Eds.). (2001). The gender challenge to media: Diverse voices from the field. Cresskill, NJ:  Hampton Press.

  • Fang, S., & Aldoory, L. (2021). Acquaintance, coach, or buddy?: Perceived relationships between Chinese women and mobile fitness technology. Communication Studies, 72(6), 1089-1111. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2021.2011351

  • Aghazadeh, S. & Aldoory, L. (2020). “Health literacy for all”: Exploring the feasibility of an intervention to reduce health disparities among rural children. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 48(4), 478-495. doi: 10.1080/00909882.2020.1789196

  • Aghazadeh, S. A., Aldoory, L., & Mills, T. (2020). Integrating health literacy into core curriculum: A teacher-driven pilot initiative for second graders. Journal of School Health, 90, 585-593. doi: 10.1111/josh.12907

  • Stanley, S. J., Chatham, A. P., Trivedi, N., & Aldoory, L. (2019). Communication and control: Hearing the voices of low-income African American adults to improve relationships with healthcare providers. Health Communication, 35, 1633-1642. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2019.1654177

  • Stanley, S. J., Chatham, A. P., Trivedi, N., & Aldoory, L. (2019). Communication and control: Hearing the voices of low-income African American adults to improve relationships with healthcare providers. Health Communication, 35, 1633-1642. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2019.1654177

  • Lane, H., & Aldoory, L. (2019). It’s time for a pragmatic approach: Recommendations for measurement of child health literacy. Health Literacy Research and Practice, 3, e165-e169. doi: 10.3928/24748307-20190521-01

  • Lane, H. G., Deitch, R., Wang, Y., Black, M., Dunton, G., Aldoory, L., Turner, L., Parker, E. et al. (2018). “Wellness Champions for Change,” a multi-level intervention to improve school-level implementation of local wellness policies: Study protocol for a cluster randomized trail. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 75, 29-39. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2018.10.008

  • Le, D., Aldoory, L., Garza, M. A., Fryer, C. S., Sawyer, R., & Holt, C. L. (2018). A spiritually-based text messaging program to increase cervical cancer awareness among African American women: Design and development of the CervixCheck Pilot Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Formative Research, 2, e5. doi: 10.2196/formative.8112

  • Baghat, K., Howard, D., & Aldoory, L. (2018). The relationship between health literacy and health conceptualizations: An exploratory study among elementary school-aged children. Health Communication, 33, 131-138. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1250188

  • Aldoory, L., Roberts, E., Bushar, J., & Assini, L. (2018). Exploring the use of theory in a national txt message campaign: Addressing problem recognition and constraint recognition for publics of pregnant women. Health Communication, 33, 41-48. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1242034

  • Aldoory, L. (2017). The role of health literacy in higher education and professional training. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 240, 238-248.

  • Macek, M., Atchison, K., Watson, M., Holtzman, J., Wells, W., Braun, B., Aldoory, L., Messadi, D., Gironda, M., Haynes, D., & Parker, R. et al. (2016). Assessing health literacy and oral health: Preliminary results from a multi-site investigation. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 76, 303-313. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12156

  • Aldoory, L. (2016). The status of health literacy research in health communication and opportunities for future scholarship. Health Communication, 32, 211-218. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2015.1114065

  • Aldoory, L., Macek, M. D., Atchison, K. A., & Chen, H. (2016). Comparing well-tested health literacy measures for oral health: A pilot assessment. Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, 21, 1161-1169. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2016.1233308

  • Aldoory, L., Yaros, R. A., Prado, A. A., Roberts, E., & Briones, R. L. (2016). Piloting health text messages for rural low-income mothers: Effects of source similarity and simple action steps. Health Promotion Practice, 17, 702-710. doi: 10.1177/1524839915627457

  • Aldoory, L., Bellows, D., Boekeloo, B. O., Randolph, S. M. (2015). Exploring use of relationship management theory for cross-border relationships to build capacity in HIV prevention. Journal of Community Psychology, 43(6), 687-700. doi: 10.1002/jcop.21755

  • Aldoory, L., Braun, B., Maring, E. F., Duggal, E., & Briones, R. (2015). Empowerment in the process of health messaging for rural, low-income mothers: An exploratory message design project. Women & Health, 55(3), 297-313. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2014.996725

  • Aldoory, L. & Grunig, J., (2012). The rise and fall of hot-issue publics: Relationships that develop from media coverage of events and crises. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 6, 93-108. doi: 10.1080/1553118X.2011.634866

  • Adeleye, O. A., Aldoory, L., & Parakoyi, D. B. (2011). Using local culture and gender norms to improve male involvement in maternal health in Southern Nigeria. Journal of Health Communication, 16(4), 1122-1135. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2011.571340

  • Aldoory, L., Kim, J. N., & Tindall, N. (2010). The influence of perceived shared risk in crisis communication: Elaborating the situational theory of publics. Public Relations Review, 36(2), 134-140. doi: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2009.12.002

  • Aldoory, L., Reber, B. H., Berger, B. K., & Toth, E. L. (2008). Provocations in public relations: A study of gendered ideologies of power-influence in practice. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 85(4), 735-750. doi: 10.1177/107769900808500402

  • Aldoory, L., Jiang, H., Toth, E. L., & Sha, B-L. (2008, Fall). Is it still just a women’s issue? A study of work-life balance among men and women in public relations. Public Relations Journal, 2(4), 1-20.

  • Vardeman, J. E., & Aldoory, L. (2008). A qualitative study of how women make meaning of contradictory media messages about the risks of eating fish. Health Communication, 23(3), 282-291. doi: 10.1080/10410230802056396

  • Aldoory, L., & Van Dyke, M. (2006). The roles of perceived “shared” involvement and information overload in understanding how audiences make meaning of news about bioterrorism. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 83(2), 346-361. doi: 10.1177/ 107769900608300208

  • Aldoory, L. (2005). A (re)conceived feminist paradigm for public relations: A case for substantial improvement. Journal of Communication, 55(3), 668-684. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2005.tb03016.x

Media Appearances

  • Washington Post
  • Baltimore Sun
  • Politico Magazine
  • WNEW 99.1 CBS News affiliate

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • US Centers for Disease Control grant
  • US Department of Agriculture grant
  • Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene grant
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research grant

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • 2021 Outstanding Book PRIDE Award, Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association
  • 2019 Honoree, Maryland Research Excellence Celebration, University of Maryland’s Office of the Vice President for Research
  • The 2017 IPRRC Board of Directors Award, for refereed paper, “Looking Back, Looking Forward: 20 Years and More of Gender Theory for Public Relations Practice,” International Public Relations Research Conference
  • The 2015 Outstanding Rural Health Program, for Atlantic General's Integrated Health Literacy Program, Maryland Rural Health Association
  • The 2015 "Health Literacy Hero" Award for Integrated Health Literacy Program, Health Literacy Month program
  • The 2015 Good Samaritan Award, Capitol Heights Police Department
  • The 2014 Muriel R. Sloan Communitarian Award, University of Maryland School of Public Health
  • 2007 Research Paper Award, Public Relations Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Lilly-Center for Teaching Excellence Teaching Fellow, University of Maryland, 2002
  • 2001 Research Paper Award, Public Relations Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

Professional Presentations

  • “Trying to make sense of it all: How Ghanaian new mothers make meaning of children’s health information on parenting mobile apps.” Co-author Delight Agboada, at D.C. Health Communication Conference, April, 2021.

  • “Health communication research and disparities: What has been done? What more can we do? Co-author Sarah Aghazadeh, at International Communication Association, May, 2021.

  • “The role of health literacy and patient engagement in personal health record systems. National Home & Community Based Services Conference, Washington, DC., September 1, 2016.

  • “The Role of Health Literacy in Mobile Health and Text Messaging Campaigns," The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Risk Communication Advisory Board Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., February 22, 2016.

  • "Community-Based Participatory Methods for Health Literacy Research," Health Literacy Research Conference, Bethesda, MD, November 2, 2015.

  • "Health Literacy and Informed Consent." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Washington, DC, July 28, 2014.

  • “Consumer Food Safety Behaviors: How to Change Them and How to Know When We’ve Done It,” International Association for Food Protection, Charlotte, NC, July 30, 2013.

  • “Risk Communication and Health Literacy: Updated Research and Potential for Theory Development,” Prevention Research Coordinating Committee, Office of Disease Prevention, National Institutes of Health, November, 2011.

  • “Impact of Media on Perceptions of Food Safety Issues,” Food Safety Initiatives Annual Meeting of the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Greenbelt, MD, March, 2010.