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Jennifer Anderson

Jenn Anderson


Associate Professor, Graduate Program Coordinator for MA in Communication Studies & Journalism; and Coordinator of Health Communication Minor

Office Building

Pugsley Center



Mailing Address

Pugsley Cont Ed Center 115
School of Communication & Journalism-Box 2218
University Station
Brookings, SD 57007


Jenn Anderson (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at South Dakota State University, the Graduate Program Coordinator for the MA in Communication Studies & Journalism, and the Coordinator of the Health Communication Minor.

In addition to teaching courses in Health Communication, she also teaches undergraduate and graduate research methods, as well as Interpersonal Communication.

Her research has appeared in American Behavioral Scientist, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Human Lactation, and Qualitative Health Research, among others. She is also the associate editor of the state communication journal Discourse.

Dr. Anderson’s community breastfeeding advocacy also appears in local, regional, and national news outlets, as well as a TEDxBrookings talk.


Doctor of Philosophy, Communication, Michigan State University.

Master of Arts, Communication, Miami University.

Bachelor of Arts, Communication, Truman State University.

Academic Interests/Expertise

Health Communication
Community-Based Research
Women's Health
Social Justice
Research Methodology (surveys, measurement, interviews, focus groups, qualitative data analysis, statistics)

Academic Responsibilities

I teach 3 courses each semester.

I regularly teach these courses:
SPCM 201 (Interpersonal Communication)
SPCM 305 (Communication Research)
SPCM 440 (Health Communication)
SPCM 441 (Health Communication Research Methods)
SPCM 787 (Research Methods in Speech Communication)

I also conduct research in partnership with members of the Brookings Community, fellow SDSU faculty, and faculty at other institutions.

Current community partnerships:
-Brookings Health System
-Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce
-South Dakota Department of Health

Research Collaborators at Other Institutions
-Mary Bresnahan (Michigan State University)
-Jie Zhuang (Texas Christian University)
-Rose Clark-Hitt (Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences)
-Amanda Jantzer (College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's)

Committee Activities

University Faculty Senate
• Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 | President
• Fall 2019 – Spring 2020 | Vice President
• Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 | Secretary
University Committees
• Fall 2020 – Five-Year Administrative Review Committee for Vice President and University General Counsel
• Summer 2020 – Faculty Handbook Committee
• Spring 2019 – Spring 2021 | Integrated Marketing & Communications Committee
o Fall 2020 – Spring 2021, Chair [automatic succession from Vice Chair]
o Fall 2019 – Spring 2020, Vice Chair
o Fall 2018 – Spring 2019, Member
• Spring 2019 | Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Member

Specialty Area

  • Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Survey Research Methods

Awards and Honors

2017- Victor Webster Faculty Lectureship, awarded by the SDSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, for outstanding teaching, research, and/or creative activity, $750

2017- Top Paper, Health Communication Division, Central States Communication Association

2015-Sherwood & Elizabeth Berg Outstanding Young Scholar Award, awarded by SDSU in recognition of outstanding accomplishments for early career faculty, $3000

2011-Top Paper, Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association


1. Britt, B., Britt, R., & Anderson, J. (Co-PI). (2015). “Sharing Hope and Healing: Evaluating and Promoting Living Kidney Donation through a Social Media Campaign.” Internal grant through Dean Farhenwald who had surplus funds on an NIH grant. Awarded $99,974.

2. Anderson, J. (Co-PI), Kuehl, R. (Co-PI), Tschetter, L., Schwaegerl, M., Yoder, J., Gullickson, H., Hildreth, M., Bachman, C., Drury, S. (2014). “Baby-Friendly Brookings: Promoting Civic Discourse to Support Breastfeeding.” Funded by the Bush Foundation, $73, 721.

3. Schwaegerl, M., Anderson, J. [Principal evaluator], Hildreth, M., Yoder, J., Gerlach, A., & Klug, S. (2014). “Prenatal Education Outreach to University Students.” Funded by the March of Dimes South Dakota Chapter, $2,000.

4. Schaefer, R., Mehrib, V., Stalley, J., & Anderson, J. [Principal evaluator]. (2013, 2014). “State-wide evaluation of Clubs against Tobacco program at Boys and Girls Clubs in South Dakota.” Funded by the South Dakota Department of Health.

5. Anderson, J. (PI), Hungerford, H., Kang, S. W., Kuehl, R. A., Schwaegerl, M., Delbridge, E., & Yoder, J. (2013). “Rural mothers’ experiences with the innovative doula program at Brookings Health System.” Funded by the Rural Health Research Center at South Dakota State University, $2,500.

6. Anderson, J. (PI), Hungerford, H., Kang, S. W., Kuehl, R. A., Schwaegerl, M., Delbridge, E., & Yoder, J. (2013). “The impact of a volunteer doula program at Brookings Health System: Implications for rural mothers and female SDSU students.” Funded by the Women and Giving Program at the SDSU Foundation, $2,000.

Professional Memberships

National Communication Association
Central States Communication Association
Speech Communication Association of South Dakota

Area(s) of Research

Health Communication

Community-Based Participatory Research

Weight-Based Stigma Communication

To access research publications follow the links to my Google Scholar Profile or Open Prairie page listed at the top of this page. You may also download my CV at the top of the this page.

Associate Editor
Discourse: The Journal of the SCASD

Editorial Board
Iowa Journal of Communication

Guest Reviewer
Health Communication
Journal of Health Communication
Qualitative Health Research
Journal of Human Lactation

Applications of Research

Understanding how we talk about health issues helps us develop innovative, sustainable approaches to improving health in our communities.

For example, in 2014, our team held a public deliberation event about breastfeeding support in local workplaces. Based on the suggestions from community members, we created action steps. Our team then collaborated with the South Dakota Department of Health to implement the Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Initiative, which met many of the community's goals for increasing breastfeeding support. Over 100 Brookings businesses have taken the pledge to be breastfeeding-friendly. The initiative has now spread across the state of South Dakota.



Curriculum Vita (updated 11.02.20)Health Communication MinorGoogle Scholar Profile Breastfeeding is Everyone's Business (TEDxBrookings video)Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Initiative

Open Prairie

Open PRAIRIE - Public Research Access Institutional Repository and Information Exchange

Open Prairie