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Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith

Liberal Arts Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences, and Human Development and Family Studies

216 Sparks Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-4201

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. B.A., Boston University, 1994 (Psychology)
  2. B.S., Boston University, 1994 (Broadcast/ Film)
  3. M.S., University of Arizona, 1999 (Communication)
  4. Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2003 (Communication)

Rachel Smith is a quantitative scientist whose interests lie broadly in social influence and social systems.  Themes in her scholarship include why some expressions of personal prejudices diffuse and become social stigmas, how social power and affiliation shape persuasion and resistance, and how the process of social influence shapes the typology of social networks. She also develops and evaluates approaches to design effective health campaigns that improve wellbeing, avoid iatrogenic outcomes, and advance theory. Professor Smith teaches undergraduate courses on persuasion (CAS 220), communication theory (CAS 303), health communication (CAS 453), and intercultural communication (CAS 471), and graduate seminars in quantitative research methods (CAS 561), social influence (CAS 550), health campaigns (CAS 567), and advanced methods for dyadic and network data (CAS 563 “Pairs and pairings”). Her research has been funded by NIH, the Gates Foundation, CDC, USAID, and private foundations.

Current students: Youllee Kim (Ph.D., expected 2021) and Lulu Peng (Ph.D., expected 2021)