Oxford publishes UWF students’ case studies

Oxford University Press recently published “Real-Life Scenarios: A Case Study Perspective on Health Communication.” Dr. Athena du Pré, program director for the UWF Strategic Communication and Leadership master’s degree program, co-edited the book with Dr. Eileen Berlin Ray, communication professor emerita at Cleveland State University. The press is known as a prestigious publisher in academia.

To create the book, du Pré paired 25 UWF students with 29 scholars across the country to co-write case studies involving varied aspects of health communication. Five of the established scholars are UWF faculty members.

In 2014, du Pré was named Distinguished University Professor at UWF. The award came with a $30,000 grant, with which she funded academic scholarships for students involved in the project.

“Working on this publication has been a dream come true for me, an opportunity made possible by the Distinguished University Professor Award,” du Pré said. “It’s a testament to the talent and achievements of our students.”

The book’s 31 case studies cover topics involving social support, health literacy, health reform, cultural awareness, health and identity and more.

“I never dreamed that one day my name would accompany one of these texts,” said Jimmy Orum, a co-author and graduate student in the Strategic Communication and Leadership program. “It was a great moment to have a faculty member believe in my abilities in such a way.”

Orum co-authored a chapter with Dr. Bryan Whaley, a communication professor at the University of San Francisco. The chapter, “Symbols of Encouragement,” shares the true story of a seriously ill 12-year-old girl who was comforted by a symbolic gift from her physician.

“I had an amazing experience working with a scholar in the field of health communication,” said another UWF co-author, Eryka Wallace. “Dr. du Pré challenged us to write engaging case studies to be read by students studying health communication. The experience has been unforgettable.”

Wallace co-authored the chapter “Friendship and Caregiving” about the real-life experience of two women in their 20s who rely on each other when one of them is diagnosed with breast cancer. Wallace’s co-author is Dr. Mindi Ann Golden, an associate professor of communication studies at San Francisco State University. Golden’s research focuses on aging, family caregiving and dementia.

Oxford University Press has reported that the case study book has already generated a great deal of interest. du Pré is also the author of “Communicating About Health: Current Issues and Perspectives” (5th ed.), published by Oxford University Press.