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Michael T. Stephenson

Michael T Stephenson
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs & Strategic Initiatives
Areas of Speciality
  • Health Communication
  • Jack K Williams Administration Bldg Suite 100
Professional Links


Dr. Stephenson’s primary research focus is on the media’s role in changing or reinforcing health behavior.


Michael T. Stephenson is Vice Provost for Academic Affairs & Strategic Initiatives as well as Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University. Dr. Stephenson previously served as Associate Dean of Liberal Arts from 2009-2013, Associate Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness from 2013-2015, and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs from 2015-2018.  In his capacity as Vice Provost, he oversees the university’s initiatives on student success, academic program reviews, SACSCOC accreditation, institutional surveys, and curricular processes.  Additionally, he supervises the Provost’s office for communication and teaches learning communities with first generation college students.  His research focus is on the media’s role in changing or reinforcing health behavior. His research was recognized in seven “Top Paper” awards at national and international communication conventions. He has authored or co-authored over 40 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, served as lead investigator on a research grant funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce Latino children’s exposure to second-hand smoke, and served as a co-investigator on research funded by the Division of Transplantation. He is not currently accepting advisees but does serve on committees when requested.

Courses Taught

  • COMM 308: Research Methods in Communication
  • COMM 450: Media Campaigns
  • COMM 610: Social Science Methods in Communication Research
  • COMM 670: Health Communication Seminar

Representative Publications

  • Lueck, J., Silva, T., Brannon, G., & Stephenson, M. T. (in press). Depression’s response to threatening health messages: An examination of emotions and attention patterns. Patient Education and Counseling.
  • Beaudoin, C. E., Stephenson, M. T., & Agha, S. (2016). Testing the validity of campaign ad exposure measures: A family planning media campaign in Pakistan. Journal of Health Communication, 27,773-781.
  • Yzer, M.C., Southwell, B.G., & Stephenson, M.T. (2012). Inducing fear as a public communication campaign strategy. In R.E. Rice & C.K. Atkin (Eds.), Public Communication Campaigns – 4th edition (pp. 163-176). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Stephenson, M. T., Quick, B. L., & *Hirsch, H. A. (2010). Evidence in support of a strategy to target authoritarian and permissive parents in anti-drug media campaigns. Communication Research, 37, 73-104.
  • Quick, B. L., & Stephenson, M. T. (2008). Examining the role of trait reactance and sensation seeking on perceived threat, state reactance, and reactance restoration. Human Communication Research, 34, 448-476.