Ph.D. Student, 3rd year
Ph.D., Degree in Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2015 (anticipated)
M.A., Degree in Communication, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, 2009
B.A., Degree in Speech Communication, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, 2007, cum laude with High Departmental Distinction
Focus of Graduate Studies:
Katherine is a 3rd year doctoral student studying the role of social support and coping in health care situations and family relationships.
Katherine’s research interests focus on the role of support, coping, and end-of life communication among families with individuals who are living with chronic illness. Most recently, she is working on a project that explores the role of religion and spirituality in the coping process for individuals in the mid-stages of living with a chronic illness. She also works as a research assistant in the Patient Advocacy and Research Lab for Katie Mosack, Ph.D. (Department of Psychology).
Katherine is starting her first year as an upper division instructor teaching Health Communication (Communication 381). She spent the past two years teaching Interpersonal Communication (Communication 101). At the University of Illinois she taught Introduction to Public Speaking (Speech Communication 100) and Persuasive Speaking (Communication 321). Katherine has also taught two reading enrichment courses for high school freshman through seniors for Upward Bound College Preparatory Institute (Champaign, IL) and Midtown Educational Foundation (Chicago, IL).
Relevant Professional Service Activities/Non-academic Career Background:
For two years Katherine worked as a McKing contractor for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). She was a member of the Communication Surveillance and Evaluation Team in the Emergency Risk Communication Branch (ERCB). Katherine’s role included the creation and coordination of communication surveillance reports for several activations, most notably the H1N1 pandemic response. She also participated in several evaluation and research projects for CDC.
Becker, K. A., Cramer, E., Priddis, D. (2013, October). In Sickness and in Health: Seeking Information about Spousal End-of-life Preferences. Poster to be presented at International Conference on Communication in Healthcare, Montreal, Quebec.
Billig, A.B, Brouwer, A., Wendorf, A. R., Thomas, C., Olinger, R., Wandrey, R., Becker, K. A., & Mosack, K. E. (May, 2013). Social support, perceived stress, depression, and anxiety among HIV-positive dyads. Poster presented at Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, Illinois.
Becker, K. A., & Freburg, K. (2013, March). Presence of shared experiences, virtual stories, and relationship management: An exploratory study among medical student blogs on “Tour the Life.” Poster session at 2nd biennial DC-area Health Communication Conference (DCHC), Fairfax, VA.
Becker, K.A. (2013, April). Medical student blogs and support solicitation strategies: An examination of Indiana school of medicine Tour the Life blogging website. Presentation delivered at Central States Communication Association, Kansas City, KS.
Peterson, J. L., Becker, K. A., & Bradford, L. (2012, November). “I’m too embarrassed”: College students’ reasons for delaying and avoiding health care. Presentation delivered at National Communication Association, Orlando, FL.
Bradford, L., Peterson, J. L., Becker, K. A. (2012, October). The role of embarrassment on college student health care seeking decisions. Presentation delivered at American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, Providence, RI.