You are here: Home / Research / Projects


Health and Heritage Project


Voice of Democracy

The Voices of Democracy project is designed to promote the study of great speeches and public debates. The emphasis of the project is on the actual words of those who, throughout American history, have defined the country’s guiding principles, debated the great social and political controversies of the nation’s history, and shaped the identity and character of the American people. In the process of reinvigorating the humanistic study of U.S. oratory, the Voices of Democracy project aims to foster understanding of the nation’s principles and history and to promote civic engagement among humanities students, teachers, and scholars.

Dyadic Influence & Genomic Medicine

In this project, we test a theoretical model for genomic/genetic medical decision-making (GMD) that formalizes why spouses’ beliefs about genetics predict (a) their within-couple communication about the genetic information and (b) what information they share and with whom (e.g., insurance companies). In turn, their within-couple communication and external disclosures may shape patients’ and spouses’ overall wellbeing (health status, preventative behaviors, stress, social networks, insurance coverage, and marital satisfaction) and protective behaviors (nutrition and exercise). To date, the interdependence in couples’ beliefs and within-couple influences in GMD (i.e., communication, disclosure-decisions, and wellbeing) has been unexamined. By gathering information from both spouses, we can identify intrapersonal, interpersonal, and couple-level influences in GMD. We will identify sub-groups of couples based on their genetic beliefs, conversation patterns, and wellbeing. This project is innovative in its use and development of theory, and its employment of dyadic analysis, causal inference, and latent class analysis to analyze the findings.