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Deena Kemp

Assistant Professor
Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations




Deena Kemp completed her doctoral studies in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. Her research draws on persuasion, emotion, and behavioral economics theories to examine the impact of hard-hitting messages on decision making. She addresses the question of whether disturbing graphic content facilitates persuasive outcomes in different contexts including health and charity aid communication. Her dissertation research was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Social and Economic Sciences. She was honored to receive the Anson E. Rowe Advanced Graduate Student Award from Cornell’s Communication faculty in the Spring of 2018.

Before coming to UT, Kemp served as the lead research assistant on an NIH/FDA sponsored project examining the impact of cigarette graphic warning labels among low-income populations. She also provided writing support for multilingual graduate students as a writing consultant with Cornell’s English Language Support Office. Prior to her doctoral studies, Kemp was the associate director of stewardship and communication for the University of South Florida Health System (USF Health). She has more than seven years of experience developing and implementing communication strategies for community and academic health organizations. She received a CASE 2013 Award of Excellence from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education for her work in development and fundraising communications.

Kemp completed both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mass communication and public relations at the University of South Florida where she was a University Graduate Fellow, Provost Scholar, and Latin American and Caribbean Scholar. She also completed training in Health Management and Leadership through the USF College of Public Health.