Rukhsana Ahmed

Rukhsana Ahmed

Associate Professor and Department Chair

PhD, Ohio University

Rukhsana Ahmed


Teaching and Research Areas: Health Communication, Organizational Communication, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication, Research Methods

Research Interests

My primary research interests lie at the intersections of health, organizational, interpersonal, and intercultural communication. In particular, my research embraces the cross/trans/inter-disciplinary nature of communication scholarship, with specific focus on exploring the role of communication processes in improving health outcomes among marginalized communities and promoting broader organizational and social changes and innovations in local, national, and international health contexts. I study the interaction of people involved in the health care process and the dissemination and interpretation of health-related messages by individuals, groups, organizations, and/or mass media and technology. I pay attention to how these messages are mediated through various socio-cultural, political, and economic factors.

My research agenda is often shaped by questions such as: How do organizational, interpersonal, intercultural, mass mediated, and technological factors shape people’s perceptions of and experiences with health, illness, and health care? How do health and illness experiences, as both physiological and social constructs, vary across race, ethnicity, culture, gender, social class groups, and religion? Using surveys (both face-to-face and online), in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions, in these explorations and examinations, I have used cultural competence models, communication accommodation theory, relational dialectics, ecological perspective, social capital theory, and uses and gratifications theory, among others.

Some selected projects with a focus on health communication in organizational contexts include:

  • Health Care Provider Cultural Competence in Clinical Contexts
  • Dental Health Care Service Quality
  • Immigrants’ Experiences with Health Care Services
  • ICTs and Clinical Practices

By adopting an interdisciplinary perspective within a social justice framework, I have also established fruitful collaborative research partnerships and multi-sectoral projects in complementary areas, including immigrant and refugee health; religious diversity; multicultural media; social media; and risk communication, among others. My research projects have significance for scholarship, policy, and practice. Through my projects, I strive to provide empirical evidence, shed light on the significance of designing theoretically driven and methodologically sound research, and offer user-oriented skills learning and training programs for different stakeholders.

My research projects have been funded by Canadian Federal Government Agencies and Not-For-Profit Organization, and I have presented and published top papers and an award winning book at the intersection of health communication, service quality, culture, and media in respected international, national, and regional interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary conferences and peer-reviewed publication outlets.

Personal Page: