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YISE faculty aim to be child and youth-centered in their research, teaching and service work by focusing on the everyday lived experiences of children and youth in communication and information contexts, with particular emphasis on promoting their well-being and creating space for their voices.

The purpose of YISE is to serve as an interdisciplinary space to bring together faculty and students who are interested in the scholarship focused on children and youth's experiences in communication and information contexts (e.g. libraries, museums, online spaces, youth programs, informal and formal learning settings). If you are interested in knowing more about YISE, email


The Instructional Communication and Research group conducts interdisciplinary and collaborative research, including both funded and unfunded projects, within and beyond the classroom (e.g., risk and crisis communication, interpersonal communication, mass communication, engineering, technology, training and development, health communication). In short, this group focuses on communication that provides instruction, regardless of audience, location, context or desired outcomes.

The ICR group participates in university, regional, national and international faculty training and assessment, mentorship of graduate students and monthly group-specific professional development opportunities. The group provides access to the SIS TECHub research lab and is active at conferences as well as with various communication, education and technology journals and professional associations.


The goal of the Health Communication Research Collaborative is to foster interdisciplinary collaborations in health communication research at the University of Kentucky. They do so by sponsoring meetings, workshops, training and professional development programs for faculty and graduate students and hosting the biennial Kentucky Conference on Health Communication.

Our faculty has a reputation for creating innovative interdisciplinary partnerships and multidisciplinary research teams to tackle health communication challenges. Building on the tradition of a small group of National Institutes of Health-funded health communication researchers at the University of Kentucky, today we have more than 50 faculty and graduate students involved in tailored and targeted health message design research, implementation, dissemination and evaluation projects.


The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues helps non-metropolitan journalists define the public agenda for their communities and grasp the local impact of broader issues. It interprets rural issues for metropolitan news media and the academic community, conducts seminars and workshops and publishes research and good examples of rural journalism. Through The Rural Blog, it helps journalists all over America learn about rural issues, trends and events in areas they’ve never seen but have much in common with their own. It helps rural journalists learn how to exercise editorial leadership in small markets. It recently convened the National Summit on Journalism in Rural America to answer the question, “How do rural communities sustain local journalism that supports local democracy?” Journalists, publishers and academics from all over the country attended or watched online, and now deliberate via a Sustainability in Rural Journalism listserv. The Institute also publishes Kentucky Health News, with funding from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, to improve news coverage of health care and health in a state with low health status and conducts research as part of the project.


Sports communication is the study of how people enact, produce, consume and organize sport from a communication perspective. The discipline overlaps with mediated, organizational, interpersonal and cultural communication approaches. Indeed, the global sports market is estimated somewhere between $6-700 billion and the sports industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors for brands, driven largely by media rights and sponsorships. Career opportunities in sport communication continue to grow in line with the industry, specifically in the areas of media/market research, media production, community service and event planning.  

Majors in sports communication will develop a number of useful and marketable skills, including critical thinking, industry analysis, content analysis, sports analytics, digital branding and cultural analysis. In addition to teaching courses in our undergraduate major option in sport communication, our faculty are on the cutting edge of research on team building, team performance, fanship, fandom, sports media, sports representations, sports industries, second-screen viewing, exergames, eSports and marginalized and/or underrepresented sports communities.

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