Nancy Harrington


273 Blazer Dining

Professor and Associate Dean for Research

Full Membership

Ph.D., University of Kentucky (1992)
M.A., University of Cincinnati (1987)
B.A., University of Cincinnati (1986)


Nancy Grant Harrington (PhD, 1992, University of Kentucky) is a Professor in the Department of Communication and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky. She also holds an academic appointment in the School of Public Health and is a faculty associate of the Multidisciplinary Center on Drug and Alcohol Research. Dr. Harrington’s research focuses on persuasive message design in the health behavior change context, particularly as it relates to risk behavior prevention/health promotion and interactive, tailored health communication using computer technology. She has been a principal investigator, co-investigator, or principal evaluator on several NIH-funded and CDC-funded studies totaling nearly $8.5 million. She has published more 60 journal articles or chapters in outlets such as Health Communication, Communication Monographs, Communication Yearbook, and Health Education & Behavior. She is co-editor of eHealth Applications: Promising Strategies for Behavior Change (Routledge, 2012) and editor of Health Communication: Theory, Method, and Application (Routledge, 2015). Dr. Harrington serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Health Communication, Prevention Science, and Science Communication. She served as guest editor for special issues of Journal of Communication (“Communication Strategies to Reduce Health Disparities,” 2013) and Health Communication (“Message Design in Health Communication Research,” 2015). She served as chair to the Health Communication division of the National Communication Association from 2004-2005. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in persuasive message design, health communication, interpersonal communication, communication theory, and research methods. In 2012, Dr. Harrington was named as the inaugural Douglas A. and Carole A. Boyd Professor of Communication, and in 2016, she was awarded the National Communication Association Health Communication Division’s Dale E. Brashers Distinguished Mentor Award.