Temple University Scholar Recognized for Her Work in Public Health Communication

Sarah Bauerle Bass, associate professor in the department of social and behavioral sciences in the College of Public Health at Temple University in Philadelphia, has been named the winner of the American Public Health Association’s Everett M. Rogers Award, a national honor for outstanding contribution to public health communication.

The award, presented by the APHA’s Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section, recognizes professionals who advance public health communication practice, theory and research, mentor students, and advance the field of public health communication. It is named for Everett M. Rogers, a pioneer in diffusion of innovation theory, which explores how some people embrace novel innovations more quickly than others.

Dr. Bass directs the university’s Risk Communication Laboratory, which has been instrumental in the college’s external communications around COVID-19. For more than 25 years, Dr. Bass has focused on how health messages are crafted for diverse audiences.

“Communication is an integral part of any kind of public health that’s done,” Dr. Bass says. “Whether it’s explaining epidemiology or statistics to the public in a way that they understand, or persuading them to change behavior, communication is vital. The more science we can bring effectively to public health communications, the better.”

Dr. Bass began teaching at Temple University in 1997 as an adjunct professor. She was promoted to associate profesor and granted tenure in 2013.

A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, Dr. Bass earned a master of public health degree and a Ph.D. in health studies from Temple University.

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