Susan Mello

Assistant Professor

Susan Mello is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University. Broadly, her research interests lie at the intersection of risk perception, health communication and the environment. Her recent work focuses on how exposure to risk information in the media, specifically about cancer and environmental toxins, impacts individual perceptions and protective health behaviors. Her work has appeared in Journal of Health Communication, Risk Analysis, and Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Prior to joining the faculty at Northeastern, Dr. Mello served on the faculty at The Ohio State University. She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also taught undergraduate courses and worked as a research assistant in a National Cancer Institute-funded Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research. Dr. Mello was a 2007-2008 U.S. Fulbright Fellow to Québec City, Canada, and also worked in public relations for Discovery Communications, Inc. – the parent company of the Discovery Channel, Discovery Health, and Planet Green. She graduated summa cum laude from Boston College with a BA in Communication.

At Northeastern University, she teaches classes on communication theory, health communication campaigns and regularly guest lectures for the Bouvé College of Health Science Honors Program. Currently, she chairs her department’s Curriculum Committee and serves on the Academic Affairs Committee for the College of Arts, Media and Design.



Mello, S. & Tan, A. S. (2016). Who’s to blame? Media framing of responsibility for pediatric environmental health and mothers’ perceptions of accountability. Journal of Health Communication, 21(12), 1217-1226. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2016.1240267

Mello, S. & Hovick, S. (2016). Predicting behaviors to reduce toxic chemical exposures among new and expectant mothers: The role of distal variables within the integrative model of behavioral prediction. Health Education & Behavior, 43(6), 705-715. doi: 10.1177/1090198116637600

Mello, S. & Hornik, R. C. (2016). Media coverage of pediatric environmental health risks and its effects on mothers’ protective behaviors. Risk Analysis, 36(3), 605-622. doi: 10.1111/risa.12467

Tan, A. S., Mello, S., Bigman, C., & Sanders-Jackson, A. (2016). Knowledge about chemicals in e-cigarette secondhand vapor and perceived harms of exposure among a national sample of U.S. adults. Risk Analysis. doi: 10.1111/risa.12676

Mello, S., Bigman, C. A., Sanders-Jackson, A., & Tan, A. S. (2015). Perceived harm of secondhand e-cigarette vapors and policy support to restrict public vaping. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 18(5), 686-693. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv232

Mello, S. (2015). Media coverage of toxic risks: A content analysis of pediatric environmental health information available to new and expecting mothers. Health Communication, 30(12), 1245-1255. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2014.930398

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