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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Rikishi T. Smith (Rey)

Assistant Professor
Former Division I Student-Athlete

Office: Daniel Hall 430A

Phone:

Email: rrey@clemson.edu
 

Educational Background

Ph.D. Communication
Chapman University 2022

M.A. Communication
California State University, Fullerton 2019

B.A. Communication
Minor English
California State University, Fullerton 2013

Courses Taught

Advanced Sport Communication
Communication and Health
Communication Theory
Effective Sport/Org Communication
Health and Sport Communication
Introduction to Communication
Social Media and Sport Communication
Strategic Communication in Sport
Survey of Sports Communication
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods

Profile

I am an assistant professor of Health and Sport Communication in the Department of Communication and a faculty fellow at the Robert H. Brooks Sport Science Institute. Originally from Southern California, I grew up and attended CSU, Fullerton with a scholarship to play Division I soccer. After my collegiate career I went on to coach two teams that competed at the ECNL level for the Pateadores Soccer Club. My passion for creativity, sports, health, and research led me to complete her MA (CSUF, 2019) and Ph.D. (Chapman University, 2022) researching strategic communication and marketing, athlete mental-health and well-being, and the overall outcome of sport participation and promotion of athlete success. I am fully trained in mixed-methods and have professional experience with B2B & B2C communication, marketing, advertisement, campaigns, and grant writing (NIH, CDC, and foundations). My professional experience also includes 5 years as a professional wedding photographer shooting 60+ events a year, 8 as a social media director (in charge of B2B, B2C, and content creation), and 8 as a club soccer coach. I am currently training for my second half marathon, I enjoy baking, making sourdough bread, and cooking in my free time, am often traveling, and am always playing with my two dogs, Finley and Harper.

Currently, I am on four research teams pursuing grant funding. First, I am the Lead-PI working on a Student-Athlete Wellness Portal to be implemented into high school athletic programs. Second, I am a part of a larger research team for Power of Patients® (powerofpatients.com) working with Sallie®, a virtual therapy dog who guides patients in their recovery from a brain injury by tracking their brain injury symptoms and triggers. Sallie® is a private HIPAA, GDPR, CCA, EU secured platform designed to provide a personalized approach to TBI management. Third, I am consulting for SOS E-Charging (sosecharging.com) to find and write a foundation grant + SBIR grant for a minority-owned business. Finally, I am a Co-PI working with The Concussion Legacy Foundation (concussionfoundation.org) and PlaySafe (playsafeusa.org) conducting a field intervention to test the efficacy of CLF's Team Up Against Concussions Intervention.

Recently, I was nominated for Emerging Scholar of the Year (Communication & Sport Research, November 2023), Dissertation of the Year (National Communication Association, November 2023), and the Ecroyd Teaching Excellence Award (Eastern Communication Association, April 2023). I have obtained $7500 in grant funding this year from the Robert H. Brooks Sport Science Institute as Co-PI investigating the efficacy of Concussion Legacy Foundation's Team Up Against Concussions intervention in high school student-athletes and The US Center for Mental Health and Sport.

Last year, I concluded my role as Director of Social Media for the Eastern Communication Association (2020-2023) where I grew their social media platforms. During my time, I grew their Facebook likes by 16.57%, Facebook followers by 18.91%, Twitter by 6.88%, and Instagram by 81.49%. I am also actively assisting with Clemson Athletics (2023-Present) and serve on the awards committee for the Department of Communication (2023-Present).
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Advisees
Clemson University
Nicole Pfaff (Expected '24)
Chapman University
Jeffrey McDaniel ('22) - Northwestern University - Master of Arts in Sports Administration program
Cristina Molina ('22) - 2022 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship - "Assessing Latinx Young Adults with ADHD: Late Diagnosis and its Affects."
Committee Member
University of Delaware
Claire Wanzer (Expected '26)

Research Interests

Strategic Communication
Sport Marketing
Health and Sport Communication
Athlete-Coach Communication

Research Publications

Rey, R. T., Miller-Day, M., Craw, E. S., Buckley, T. M., Wozniak, T. R., Hopfer, S. (2023). Engagement with and persuasiveness of HPV vaccination promotion videos: An examination of narrative engagement theory. Atlantic Journal of Communication. https://doi.org/10.1080/15456870.2023.2298858

Rey, R. T., & Pezalla, A. E. (2023). Parents, pain, and over-the-counter medicine: Athletes’ perceived alternatives to prescription opioid misuse. Healthcare. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11192671

Janicke-Bowles, S. H., Buckley, T. M., Rey, R. T., Wozniak, T. R., Meier, A., & Lomanowska, A. (2023). Conceptualizing and assessing digital flourishing: Developing a scale to measure positive mediated social interactions. Journal of Happiness Studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-023-00619-5

Cranmer, G. A., Rey, R. T., Capra, J., Browning, B., Sollitto, M. (2023). Task & social determinants of coaches’ reports of leader-member exchange. Communication & Sport. https://doi.org/10.1177/21674795231155592

Rey, R. T., Capra, J. (2023). "Shut up and dribble": Fans' perceptions of professional athletes' roles in standing up against racial injustices. Communication Research Reports. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824096.2023.2165488

Rey, R. T., Cranmer, G. A., Browning, B., Sanderson, J. (2022). Sport knowledge: The effects of Division I coach communication on student-athlete learning indicators. International Journal of Sport Communication. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsc.2021-0062

Leader, A., Miller-Day, M., Rey, R. T., Selvan, P., Pezalla, A., Hecht, M. L. (2022). The impact of HPV vaccine narratives on social media: Testing narrative engagement theory with a diverse sample of young adults. Preventative Medicine Reports. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.101920

Cranmer, G. A., Rey, R. T., Tallapragada, M. (2021). Exploring the role of parents’ sport orientations in the efficacy of concussion intervention materials. Communication Research Reports. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824096.2021.1936480

Rey, R. T., Johnson, Z. D. (2021). “Detrimental to the team dynamic": Exploring college student-athlete dissent. Communication and Sport. https://doi.org/10.1177/21674795211001938
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Book Chapter

Cranmer, G. A., Rey, R. T. (In Press). Communication within sports teams. In P. Pedersen (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Sport Communication.

Cranmer, G. A., Rey, R. T. (In progress). The impact and influence of family communication in sports. In G. Cranmer, N. Brown-Devlin, & L. Smith (Eds.), Sport Communication: Process, Theory, and Praxis. Cognella.

Rey, R. T. (In progress). Applying psychological reactance theory to sport fandom. In B. Boatwright & G. Cranmer (Eds.), Sport and Social Media, Cognella.

Rey, R. T. (In progress). Sport Organizations and Employee Dissent. In J. Sanderson (Ed), Organizational Communication and Sport: Connections, Applications, and Opportunities, Lexington Books

Cranmer, G. A., Rey, R. T., & Mikkilineni, S. (2022). Coach-athlete communication and implications for health. In J. Sanders & M. Weathers (Eds.), Health Communication and Sport: Connections, Applications, and Opportunities, Lexington Books

Honors and Awards

Jake Liang Outstanding Ph.D. Student of the Year (2022)
Jennifer H. Waldeck Graduate Teaching Associate of the Year (2021)
Michelle Miller-Day Outstanding Graduate Researcher of the Year (2020)
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Top Paper Awards

Cranmer, G. A., Rey, R. T., Capra, J. (Graduate Student), Browning, & Sollitto, M. Task & social determinants of coaches’ reports of leader-member exchange. Paper was presented as the top paper to Communication and Sport Division at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, National Harbor, MD.

Rey, R. T., Pezalla, A. (2022). Refusing to misuse opioid prescriptions: Exploring the recovery process of athletic injuries and athletes’ decisions towards pain medication. Paper was presented as the top paper to Health Communication Division at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Philadelphia, PA.

Buckley, T. M., Rey, R. T., Lounsbury, L., Guzaitis, M. C., Vance, O., Weber, K. (2021). An application of psychological reactance theory and gain and loss framing. Paper was presented as the top paper to Applied Communication Division at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Seattle, WA.

Rey, R. T., Ball, H., Buckley, T. M., Wozniak, T., & Craw, E. S. (2021). College athletes’ responses to recovery plan messages: An application of psychological reactance theory. Paper was presented as a top three paper at the Health Communication Division at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Cambridge, MA.

Rey, R. T., Miller-Day, M., Craw, E. S., Buckley, T. M., Wozniak, T. R., & Hopfer, S. (2021). Engagement with and persuasiveness of HPV vaccination promotion videos: An examination of narrative engagement theory. Paper was presented as the top paper at the at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Cambridge, MA.
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Grants
$600,000 (In Progress) National Institute for Health - PI investigating and implementing the Student-Athlete Wellness Portal in High Schools
$6,000 (2023) Robert H. Brooks Sport Science Institute - Co-PI investigating the efficacy of Concussion Legacy Foundation's Team Up Against Concussions intervention in high school student-athletes
$2,500 (2018-2019) Grant Equity Scholar Recipient, California State University, Fullerton
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Athletic Awards

California State University, Fullerton Women’s Soccer Team – Fall 2009 - Fall 2013
Big West Academic All-Conference – 2011 & 2013
Big West Tournament Champion – 2013
NCAA Tournament Participant – 2013



College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
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