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Dr. Sarah


Assistant Professor, Communication, Columbus State University

I work in the areas of mental health communication, social media and social change, media representations, particularly of mental health concerns and disability, and crisis communication. 


Research, Teaching & Service

Focusing on mental health communication,  social media, media representations and crisis communication

My research focuses on how our communication can stigmatize or destigmatize mental health concerns and disability. I take a critical/interpretivist approach, as I am most interested in how audiences understand and make meaning from these messages, and the larger roles these messages play in our society. While my research approach is primarily qualitative, I am also trained in quantitative methods-- including structural equation modeling.

I've had the opportunity to teach a variety of courses in both communication journalism, at the graduate and undergraduate level. I also have significant experience in online education, particularly through my work with the journalism school, as an instructor and advisor. 

I engage in service at the department, university, and discipline levels. I am a member of and have reviewed conference papers for AEJMC, ICA, NCA and SSCA. I have reviewed journal articles for the Journal of Applied Communication Research and the Journal of Communication Inquiry. I also provide my expertise to agencies, non-profits, local and state government officials interested in learning more about mental health communication, crisis communication, and disability.  



Research Teaching & Service

Contact Me

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Department of Communication

4225 University Avenue

Columbus, GA 31907

smithfrigerio_sarah @

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