Director's Message

The Center for Communication, Culture, and Change (the 4C) is a vibrant and exciting research center within the University of Miami’s School of Communication that draws together scholars from across disciplines to create and evaluate innovative projects that address pressing social, environmental, and health issues.

By taking a transdiciplinary approach, we can develop interventions that go well beyond traditional communication campaigns. We are able to combine the unique strengths of our creative, professional, and social science faculty to harness the power of interactive media, script writing and cinematography, data visualization, and theory based persuasive message design to create compelling campaigns that result in positive social and behavioral change. Here are just a few highlights:

  • In a partnership with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, 4C faculty and graduate students are working with firefighters across South Florida to create a campaign to change the types of behaviors that put firefighters at greater risk for cancer, and to persuade them to get routine screenings for cancers that disproportionately affect firefighters. Additionally, we will be encouraging firefighters to use a smartphone app that we are developing, which will help researchers identify specific toxins that firefighters are exposed to as they battle different types of blazes.
  • 4C faculty and graduate students are working to reduce health disparities among minority populations by increasing enrollments in cancer clinical trials and research studies offered by the Sylvester Cancer Comprehensive Center. We are doing this by creating a more effective search tool as well as a highly interactive and visually dynamic website that is adapted to the needs of a limited literacy audience.
  • 4C faculty and graduate students from across the School are also working together to create serious games (also called social impact games) that address health issues and social policy problems and then evaluate the success of those games using established theoretical frameworks related to social influence and entertainment education. This represents a cutting-edge area for the design of innovative interventions for behavior change that we believe will be of great interest to external funders like the National Institutes of Health.
  • In the future, we will be expanding on our new partnership with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. We hope to identify compelling ways to communicate information to the public about the importance of balancing growth and environmental preservation in the Everglades.

We hope that the prospect of working with the 4C on these (and other!) collaborative and transdisciplinary projects is as exciting to you as it is to us. We welcome your interest and participation as our newest member of the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change.

Susan E. Morgan, Ph.D.
Director of Center for Communication, Culture, and Change
Associate Dean for Research