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People  •  Communication Studies  •  Associate Professor

Diane Francis

Diane Francis is an associate Professor in Communication Studies with a joint appointment in Public Health. She is a communication and health equity scholar—she conducts applied research at the intersections of communication, race, and health. She works in the area of Social Media and Mental Health

Her academic research is centered in how communication strategies—both traditional and digital—can best be harnessed to mitigate health disparities, primarily among Black populations. She is working with a transdisciplinary team of research partners at the University of Georgia and University of Miami to develop evidence-based digital tools to empower birth companions to support Black birthing people before, during, and after childbirth with the goals of reducing birth trauma and addressing the U.S. maternal health crisis.

Her work is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and has been published in leading journals across communication, public health, and medicine including, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Social Science & Medicine, and Preventive Medicine.


Communication Studies


  • PhD, Mass Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Master of Arts, Global Communication, University of Southern California
  • Master of Science, Global Media and Communications, The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Bachelor of Art, Communication, University of Virgin Islands