Heather J Hether

Heather Hether Portrait

Position Title
Associate Professor of Teaching

360 Kerr
One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616


  • Ph.D., Communication, University of Southern California
  • M.A., Communication, University of Southern California
  • B.A., Psychology, York University


Dr. Hether teaches courses that focus on applied communication contexts, such as public relations and business communication. As a former practitioner, Dr. Hether draws upon her professional experience to inform her teaching. She is especially dedicated to helping students connect theory with practice through case study analysis.

Dr. Hether has held leadership positions in the National Communication Association, Assessment and Scholarship for Teaching and Learning divisions, as well as the Public Relations Society of America, Educators Academy.

Previously, Dr. Hether held academic and research positions at the University of the Pacific in Stockton and UC Davis' Center for Healthcare Policy and Research in Sacramento. Prior to her academic career, she worked for more than a decade in marketing and public relations for a variety of private organizations in the US and Canada.

Dr. Hether enjoys spending her non-working hours with her family. She also enjoys spending time outdoors and has a weakness for a good cup of coffee.

Research Focus

Dr. Hether uses mixed methods to study novel practices and topics in public relations education in order to more effectively support student learning and professional success. Her pedagogical interests focus on collaboration and open pedagogy practices that engage students as co-creators in their educational experiences. Dr. Hether's research has been published in leading academic journals, including Health Promotion Practice, the Journal of Health Communication, and Public Relations Review and she has presented her work at national and international conferences.


  • Hether, H.J. (2023). Cultivating creative problem‐solving skills in a strategic communication class: Student perceptions of a collaborative assignment. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 57(4), 494-502. https://doi.org/10.1002/jocb.617
  • Hether, H.J., O'Connor-Coates, E., & Crittendon, R. (2023). Process evaluation of a collaborative social media health promotion campaign: An analysis of partner and user engagement. Health Promotion Practice, 24(4), 723-727. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248399231152469
  • Hether, H.J. (2022). Cultivating student creativity during the pandemic: Short-term remedy with long-term value. In D. Macey (Ed.) Persevering through the Pandemic: Communication, Creativity, and Connection.
  • Hether, H.J. (2022). Leveraging the disruption: A call to revisit the flipped classroom in post-COVID higher education. In M. Strawser (Ed.), Higher Education Implications for Teaching and Learning during COVID-19. Lexington Books.
  • Hether, H.J., & Calabrese, C.J. (2020). Beyond #liking: Inspiring user-generated content for health promotion. In J. Kim & H. Song (Eds.), Technology and health: Promoting attitude and behavior change (pp. 291-312). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-816958-2.00013-
  • Malloch, Y.S., & Hether, H.J. (2019). The dark side of addiction support forums: Impacts of poor quality and insufficient emotional support on perceived support availability and health efficacy. Journal of Health Communication. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2019.1631913
  • Hether, H.J. (2019). Taking a swipe at Apple: The Federal Bureau of Investigation v. Apple Inc. In B. Brunner, & C. Hickerson (Eds.), Cases in public relations: Translating ethics into action (pp. 328-343). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Hether, H.J., Crowley, S., & Broaddus, T. (2018). Compassion & Choices and Brittany Maynard help create new medical aid-in-dying legislation in California. In B. St. John III, D. K. Martinelli, R.S. Pritchard, & C. Spaulding (Eds.), Cases in public relations strategy (pp.75-82). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing.
  • Hether, H.J. (2018). United Nations Environment is #WildforLife: A global social media campaign gets personal. In A. V. Laskin (Ed.), Social, mobile, and emerging media from around the world: Communication case studies (pp.11-24). London: Lexington Books.
  • Hether, H.J., Martin, J.C., & Cole, A.W. (2017). The Internet of Things and wearable technology as a classroom resource. In M. Strawser (Ed.), New media and digital pedagogy (pp. 129-145). London: Lexington Books.
  • Hether, H.J., Murphy, S.T., & Valente, T.W. (2016, February). A social network analysis of the supportive interactions on prenatal sites. Digital Health. doi:10.1177/2055207616628700
  • Wilkin, H., Katz, V., Ball-Rokeach, S.J., & Hether, H.J. (2015). Communication resources for obesity prevention among African American and Latino residents in an urban neighborhood. Journal of Health Communication, 20(6), 710–719. doi:10.1080/10810730.2015.1018559


Dr. Hether teaches media, public relations and health communication courses. Her course subjects include Strategic Communication in Public Relations (CMN 131), Social Media for Public Relations (CMN 132), Communication Campaigns (CMN 146), Health Communication (CMN 161), and Interpersonal Communication Competence (CMN 003V).


  • Nominated for Outstanding Educator Award, Public Relations Society of America, 2013
  • Eberhardt Research Fellowship, University of the Pacific, 2012