Jakob D. Jensen portrait
  • Associate Dean for Research College of Humanities
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Health-Kinesiology-Recreation
  • Professor, Communication
Email preferred


  • BA, Politicial Science, Concordia College
  • MA, Communication, University of Illinois
  • PhD, Communication, University of Illinois


Professor Jensen (Ph.D., University of Illinois, 2007) is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Utah with a joint appointment in the Department of Communication and the Department of Health Promotion and Education. His research program focuses on the design and evaluation of strategic health communication. Broadly speaking, he studies whether mass communication (e.g., television, billboards, interactive communication technologies) can improve public health.

Within health communication, Professor Jensen is an expert in cancer communication, a sub-area of cancer control that examines communication features, strategies, and technologies designed to increase cancer prevention and detection behaviors. Examples of his work include campaigns to increase colon and breast cancer screening, evaluations of skin cancer education materials, and the development of psychometric tools for assessing potentially problematic perceptions about cancer (e.g., fatalism, overload, worry).

Professor Jensen has received the Distinguished Article in Health Communication award from the National Communication Association, the Kontos Faculty Fellowship from the Center for Families, and the 2011 Emerging Voices Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). His work has been published in both communication and public health journals, including Cancer Causes & Control, Patient Education & Counseling, the Journal of Communication, Public Understanding of Science, the Journal of Health Communication, and Human Communication Research, and funded by organizations such as the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Cancer Society.