Lab Members

Students I advise in the Media Technology and Society (MTS) doctoral program in the Department of Communication Studies work in the HCID lab. I will be considering doctoral applications for the December 2021 application deadline for students to begin the program in fall of 2022. Undergraduate students are always welcome to join our lab. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about what we do, or if you have any questions.     

Hannah Getachew-Smith, MPH, CHES


Hannah Getachew-Smith is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program and a Northwestern Presidential Fellow. Hannah’s research interests focus on the evaluation of digital health interventions to promote healthy behaviors and address health disparities. Trained in public health, she holds a Master of Public Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Prior to returning to Northwestern, she worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducting research to develop and evaluate national HIV prevention campaigns. Hannah will be on the job market in Fall 2021 and Winter 2022.

For more information, check out her website: 

Sanjana Ramesh, MPH

Sanjana Ramesh, MPH, is PhD candidate in the Media, Technology and Society program in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. Sanjana is primarily interested in health communication research, specifically how messaging and patient-clinical communication influences populations affected by health disparities. She would like explore how these messages either increase self-efficacy or deter individuals from adopting various health behaviors. Sanjana will be on the job market in Spring of 2022. 

Kerstin Kalke, MA


Kerstin Kalke is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University and a member of the Health Communication Interaction Design lab. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of theory- and evidence-based strategies to communicate risk and uncertainty in health. She is especially interested in understanding how emotions inform decision-making processes and how communication strategies may be used to reduce biases, improve provider-patient interactions, and ensure informed decision making. Previous projects were situated in the contexts of cardiac and cancer genetics, colon cancer screening, and breast cancer. Kerstin will be on the job market in Fall 2022.

Callie Sartain, MA

Callie Sartain.jpeg

Callie is a second year PhD student in the Media, Technology, and Society (MTS) program at Northwestern University. With an overarching focus on strategic health messaging, Callie's research explores persuasion, informed decision-making, and information management in contexts of risk and uncertainty. She is particularly interested in developing intervention strategies, rooted in behavioral health theories, that aim to increase self-efficacy and promote preventive health behaviors. She is a graduate of Mercer University (BA, Communication Studies) and Wake Forest University (MA, Communication).

Former Lab Members and Advisees

Phoebe Jean-Pierre, PhD, JD: Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, University of Iowa

Amy A. Ross, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University

Charlotte G. Marshall-Fricker, BA: MPH student at Emory University

John J Brooks, MSHC: PhD Student at Northwestern University

Paige Lake, MPH: PhD Student at University of South Florida

Anna Dolezal, MSHC: Health Comm Project Coordinator at NShore Patient Advocates