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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Christina Nickerson

  1. Ph.D. Student
LocationJackson Hall 366



Christina G. Nickerson is a Ph.D. student at the Edward R. Murrow College at Washington State University. She’s a first-generation college student as well as a diverse student from Mexican and Chinese descent. Christina is an outgoing student who has been affiliated with the Communication Graduate Student Organization (CommGrad) since the 2nd year of her M.A. program within the college. Currently, she represents the college’s graduate students as the CommGrad President. One of Christina’s primary goals in this role is to build a strong sense of unity and camaraderie among her peers as a professional student community. When considering research, Christina is primarily interested in the intersection between interpersonal and health communication. More specifically, her research interests lie within the context of family communication and how emerging adults as well as adolescents may maintain or improve sexual health practices through conversations with their families.

Christina’s research interests play a large role in her overarching career goals to create or help develop programs that may work to strengthen relations between families to help minority youth, especially people of color, to make safer sexual health decisions. Much of her passion in research has developed from the direct result of growing up in a suburb (Henderson) of Las Vegas, Nevada, where many adolescents faced consequences from engaging in risky sexual behaviors. This may have likely been the result of abstinent-only sexual health education many received in conjunction with silence around having discussions about sexual health within the family.

In addition to being research-driven, the heart of Christina’s endeavors to approach graduate school draws upon her passion for teaching. She has taught public speaking for a total of four years in multiple formats including: in-person and face-to-face, online synchronously, and online asynchronously. Additionally, for a year and a half, Christina served as the Graduate Assistant Course Director for the “Public Speaking in the Digital Age” course, which included opportunities for her to lead a large mass lecture of 150 students, creating lesson plans for teaching assistants, and working to create a supportive learning environment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. She loves teaching and getting to know the students as her inspiration to become a professor started with taking her first communication course at Oregon State University (interpersonal communication).

Outside of the Murrow College, you can find Christina involved with the university’s music programs. She’s involved with the Cougar Marching Band and plays the tenor saxophone.


  • M.A., Communication, Washington State University
  • B.A., Speech Communication, Oregon State University
  • B.A., Sociology, Oregon State University

Classes Taught

  • COM 102 – Public Speaking in the Digital Age
  • Communication in Higher Education through College Access & Transition Programs (self-developed course)

Research Interests

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Health communication
  • Family communication
  • Sexual health
  • Substance use


  • 2021, Distinguished M.A. Graduate Researcher Award
  • 2019, Keith & Turi Jackson Graduate Fellowship

Selected Publications

Willoughby, J. F., Hust, S. J. T., Couto, L., Li, J., Kang, S., Nickerson, C. G., Price, R., & Tlachi‐Munoz, S. (2023). The impact of sexual scripts in brand‐generated cannabis social media posts on sex‐related cannabis expectancies: Does body appreciation moderate effects? Drug and Alcohol Review.

Kirkpatrick, A. W., Park, M., Domgaard, S., Zhao, W., Steinberg, C., & Hsu, Y. (2021). Vaccine videos and information sharing: The effects of framing, evidence type, and speaker expertise. Journal of Health Communication, 26(9), 608-617.

Conference Presentations

Hust, S .J. T., Couto, L., Kang, S., Willoughby, J. F., Nickerson, C. G., & Price, R. (2023, April). Alcohol-fueled sexual activity in the media: An integrative model approach to understand its effects on sexual consent negotiation [Poster presentation]. Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) conference, San Diego, CA, USA.

Thomas, C., Hust, S. J. T., Willoughby, J. F., Couto, L., Kang, S., Nickerson, C. G., & Price, R. (2023, March). Communicating research across audiences: How to effectively translate academic research to non-academic audiences, stakeholders, and prevention specialists/policy makers [Paper presentation]. 33rd Art and Science of Health Promotion conference, Colorado Springs, CO, USA.

Steinberg, C., & Park, M. (2022, November). Sharing is caring? The role location sharing on mobile media plays in social relationships [Paper presentation]. National Communication Association (NCA) conference [Human Communication and Technology Division], New Orleans, LA, USA.

Park, M., Steinberg, C., & Choi, J. (2022, November). The role of comments in predicting the lifespan of videos [Paper presentation]. National Communication Association (NCA) conference [Human Communication and Technology Division], New Orleans, LA, USA.

Lee., Y., Bolls, P., Mu, D., McKinnon-Crowley, J., Boyd, A., & Steinberg, C. (2022, April). The impact of emotional appeals and university branding on students’ response to COVID-19 messages [Paper presentation]. Kentucky Conference on Health Communication [Influences of COVID-19 Division], Lexington, KY, USA.

Berry, I. Liu, X., Huisman, D. M., Hanna Edwards, A. A., Peterson, J. M., Steinberg, C., Mu, D., Ouyang, X., Berndt, M., McKinnon-Crowley, J. (2022, April). Re-connecting the basic course: Evaluating learning technologies used in the classroom [Panel presentation]. Central States Communication Association (CSCA) conference, Madison, WI, USA.

Steinberg, C., Khan, T., Sultana Ismet, J., Bolls, P. (2022, May). The impact of media literacy on responses to risky sexual content in music videos [Paper presentation]. International Communication Association (ICA) 2022 conference [Music – Information Systems Division], Paris, France.

Park, M., Hsu, Y. C., Domgaard, S., Zhao, W., & Steinberg, C. (2020, August). Brokerage combating misinformation: Examinations of health discussion networks and attitude toward child vaccination. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference [Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk Division), virtual conference.

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