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Veronica Hefner

Education

  • PhD Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011
  • MA Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005
  • BA The University of Tulsa, 2003
  • Online Course Development and Teaching Certificate, Eastern Kentucky University, 2017

About

Veronica Hefner is a quantitative media scholar with an emphasis in interpersonal communication.  She is the immediate past secretary of the Mass Communication Division of the International Communication Association and currently serves as a Nominations Officer for the Mass Communication Division of the National Communication Association.  She has worked as a consultant for the Entertainment Industry Council, which works to bring awareness and understanding to the mental and substance abuse issues portrayed in entertainment media.  Dr. Hefner has also served as the advisor for the Lambda Pi Eta student honor society at two of her previous academic institutions.

Research Focus

As a teacher-scholar, Veronica Hefner explores the uses and effects of traditional and digital media within the contexts of interpersonal relationships and body image. She has investigated the intersection between media consumption and related interpersonal and health effects with a number of studies, including: romantic comedy viewing and endorsement of romantic ideals, the use of digital and online media and the propensity to compulsively exercise or engage in disordered eating, and online dating and reports of romantic beliefs.  She has also used a number of small grants to explore these topics, including: the effect of gay-related social media content on beliefs and behaviors among online users, and the effects of viewing romantic comedies on beliefs, mood, and satisfaction.

Selected Publications

Hefner, V., Firchau, R. J., Norton, K., & Shevel, G. (in press, 2017).  Happily ever after? A content analysis of romantic ideals Disney princess films. Communication Studies.

Hefner, V. (2017). Variables, mediating types. In Mike Ellen (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781483381411.n665

Hefner, V. (2017). Variables, moderating types. In Mike Ellen (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781483381411.n666

Hefner, V., Levy, A., Au, J. Naude, F., Nitzkowski, Z, Chang, K., Firchau, R., & Mirman, M. (2016). From the Lighthouse to the Campfire: The connection between sharing information online and sharing resources offline. Journal of Social Media in Society, 5(3), 187-213. Retrieve from http://thejsms.org/index.php/TSMRI/article/view/136

Hefner, V., Dorros, S. M., Jourdain, N., Liu, C., Tortomasi, A., Greene, M.P., Brandom, C., Ellet, M., & Bowles, N. (2016). Mobile exercising and tweeting the pounds away: The use of digital applications and microblogging and their association with disordered eating and compulsive exercise. Cogent Social Sciences, 2, 1-11. doi: 10.1080/23311886.2016.1176304

Hefner, V., Galaviz, T., Morse, V., Firachu, R.C., Basile, C., Todd, R., Naude, F., & Nitzkowski-Bautista, Z. (2015). Refusing to tolerate intolerance: An experiment testing the link between exposure to gay-related content and resulting attitudes and behaviors. Sexuality & Culture, 19, 864-881. doi:10.1007/s12119-015-9297-y

Hefner, V. (2015). Tuning into fantasy: Motivations to view wedding television and associated romantic beliefs.  Psychology of Popular Media Culture 4(3), 1-30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000079

Hefner, V., & Kahn, J. (2014). An experiment investigating the links among online dating profile attractiveness, ideal endorsement, and romantic media. Computers in Human Behavior, 37, 9-17. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.04.022

Hefner, V., Woodward, K., Bevan, J. L., Figge, L., Santora, N., & Baloc, S. (2014). The Influence of television and film viewing on midlife women's body image, disordered eating, and food choice.  Media Psychology, 17, 1-23.

Hefner, V., & Wilson, B. J. (2013). From love at first sight to soul mate: The influence of romantic ideals in popular films on young people’s beliefs about relationships. Communication Monographs, 80 (2), 150-175. doi: 10.1080/03637751.2013.776697

Teaching

At UC Davis, Dr. Hefner currently teaches Interpersonal Communication, Social Media, and Family Communication.  She also has experience teaching Research Methods, Media Effects, Mass Communication Theory, Strategic Communication, Interpersonal Theories of Health Communication, and Media and Relationships.

Awards

***Top Paper, Communication and Future Division***

Hefner, V., Dorros, S. M., Jourdain, N., Liu, C., Tortomasi, A., Greene, M.P., Brandom, C., Ellet, M., & Bowles, N. (2016). Mobile exercising and tweeting the pounds away: The use of digital applications and microblogging and their association with disordered eating and compulsive exercise. National Communication Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA.