Download Adobe Reader

Faculty and Staff Profile

Karyn Jones

Associate Professor
Research Faculty, School of Health Research

Office: 413 Edwards
Phone: 864-656-2971

 Educational Background

PhD Mass Communication
The University of Georgia 2003

MA Interpersonal Communication
The University of Georgia 1994

BS Communication Arts
Georgia Southern University 1992

 Courses Taught

HLTH 3030, Public Health Communication
HLTH 4110, Health Needs of High Risk Children
HLTH 3100, Womens Health
HLTH 4100, Maternal and Child Health


Dr. Jones has been a faculty member at Clemson University since 2002. Prior to joining the Public Health Sciences department in 2016, she was Associate Professor in Communication Studies, where she also served as department chair from 2011-2015. From 1994-1999, she worked as the communications consultant for the Georgia Division of Public Health, Cancer Control Section, advising local and state program staff on communication strategies and program administration in their breast and cervical screening programs. She has three children, one of whom has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare, randomly-occurring genetic spectrum disorder, which has provided context and inspiration for much of her recent work.

 Research Interests

Dr. Jones' current research interests are in persuasion, motivation, and interpersonal communication about health; tailored health message design and evaluation; agenda setting, media advocacy, social marketing, and media effects related to health; patient-provider communication; response to trauma; and communication and support needs in families of children with multiple or significant special needs. She is a team member on externally funded research examining effects of mHealth technology on diabetes care management (Ron Gimbel, PhD, lead investigator). She has experience conducting research in skin cancer education and primary prevention, effects of breast cancer communication on knowledge and behaviors, media coverage of disability and genetic syndromes, paid and nonpaid campaign strategies of candidates in local political races, and theory building in public relations academic scholarship.

 Research Publications

Jones, K.O. & Crandall, L. (2017, July). Disability. In Encyclopedia of Inter-Group Communication (H. Giles et al., Eds.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Jones, K. O. (2017, June). Agenda setting in health and risk messaging. In Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message Design and Processing (R. Parrott, Ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Gimbel, R., Shi, L., Wiliams, J.E., Dye, C.L., Chen, L., Crawford, P., Shry, E.A., Griffin, S.F., Jones, K.O., Sherrill, W.W., Truong, K., Little, J.A., Edwards, K.W., Hing, M., & Moss., J.B. (2017). Enhancing mHealth technology in the patient-centered medical home environment to activate patients with Type 2 diabetes: A multisite feasibility study protocol. JMIR Research Protocols, 6(3), e38 p. 1.

Pindar, L.M. & Jones, K.O. (2012). Religion, spirituality, and disability: Understanding the role of faith in managing disability. In T. Harris and S. Croucher (Eds.), Handbook of communication and religion.

Jones, K. O. (2010). Breast cancer communication. In S. Priest (Ed.), Encyclopedia of science and technology communication.

Jones, K. O. & Pelton, R. (2009). Attribute agenda setting and breast cancer in newspapers. Journal of Health and Mass Communication, 1(1-2).

Sallot, L.,M., Lyon, L.J., Acosta-Alzuru, C., & Jones, K.O. (2008). From aardvark to zebra redux: An analysis of theory development in public relations academic journals into the 21st century. In T.L. Hansen-Horn and B.D. Neff (Eds.), Public relations: From theory to practice, pp. 343-386.

Jones, K.O., Denham, B.E., & Springston, J.K. (2007). Differing effects of mass and interpersonal communication on breast cancer risk estimates: An exploratory study of college students and their mothers. Health Communication, 21(2), 165-176.

Jones, K. O. & Smith, M. R. (2007). Fat, furious, and forever wanting food: Prader-Willi syndrome in major newspapers, 2000-2005. Disability Studies Quarterly, 27(3).

Jones, K.O., Denham, B.E., & Springston, J.K. (2006). Effects of mass and interpersonal communication on breast cancer screening: Advancing agenda setting theory in health contexts. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 34(1), 94-113.

 Honors and Awards

Clemson University Board of Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence
Top Research Paper, Disability Issues Caucus, National Communication Association, 2010
Clemson University Provost’s Leadership Summit, 2014


Wikipedia, Agenda Setting Theory
breast cancer communication researchgate index
media coverage and disability research
Agenda Setting in Health and Risk Messaging