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Dhavan Shah

Dhavan Shah

Louis A. & Mary E. Maier-Bascom Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Director of the Mass Communication Research Center (MCRC) and Scientific Director in the Center for Health Enhancement System Studies (CHESS), University of Wisconsin.



Research Interests

Dhavan's research focuses on the influence of electronic and digital media on social judgments, civic engagement, and health support.


Dhavan earned his BA in journalism and mass communication from the UW-Madison in 1989, after which he worked as a media buyer/planner for Leo Burnett Co. in Chicago, IL and as a consultant to marketing communication agencies, including Fallon, BBDO, and Carmichael Lynch, and public sector entities, including PBS, CPB, and NCME. He received his MA in 1995 and Ph.D. in 1999 from Minnesota in mass communication and political psychology. He earned tenure in 2002, was promoted to full professor in 2004, and was awarded a Bascom Professorship in 2006.


Shah has served on the editorial boards of twelve journals and held leadership positions in three professional associations, AEJMC, ICA, and APSA. He is the recipient of 19 top paper awards from national and international conferences and numerous others honors, including the Nafziger-White Dissertation Award, the Krieghbaum Under-40 Award, and Article of the Year Awards in Political Communication (ICA-2006) and Information Technology and Politics (APSA-2008). In 2016, Shah was elected a Fellow of the International Communication Association, joining a group of 100 living scholars holding this high honor. Within the UW, he has received the Journal Communication Faculty Excellence Award, the Vilas Associates Award, the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, a Hamel Faculty Fellowship, the Kellett Mid-Career Award, and the Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award. He has been invited as a visiting professor, visiting scholar, distinguished lecturer, advisory board member, or external reviewer to over two-dozen major universities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Selected Publications

  • "An eAlert System Between Family Caregivers and Clinicians Reduces Symptom Distress in Patients With Advanced Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of Two Randomized Clinical Trials", David H. Gustafson, Lori L. DuBenske, Amy K. Atwood, Ming-Yuan Chih, Roberta A. Johnson, Fiona McTavish, Andrew Quanbeck, Roger L. Brown, James F. Cleary, Susan Dinauer, Dhavan V. Shah, Journal of Medical Internet Research, forthcoming.
  • "Revising the Communication Mediation Model for a New Political Communication Ecology," Dhavan V. Shah, Douglas M. McLeod, Jaeho Co, Hernando Rojas, Michael Wagner, and Lew Friedland, Human Communication Research, forthcoming. DOI: 10.1111/hcre.1211
  • "Expression and Reception: An Analytic Method for Assessing Message Production and Consumption in CMC", Kang Namkoong, Dhavan V. Shah, Bryan McLaughlin, Ming-Yuan Chih, Tae Joon Moon, Shawnika Hull, and David H. Gustafson, Communication Methods and Measures, forthcoming. DOI: 10.1080/19312458.2017.1313396.
  • "Dual Screening During Presidential Debates: Political Nonverbals and the Volume and Valence of Online Expression", Dhavan V. Shah, Alex Hanna, Erik P. Bucy, David S. Lassen, Jack Van Thomme, Kristen Bialik, JungHwan Yang and Jon Pevehouse, American Behavioral Scientist, 60(14) 1816–1843, December 2016, DOI: 10.1177/0002764216676245
  • "Conversation is the Soul of Democracy: Expression Effects, Communication Mediation, and Digital Media," Dhavan V. Shah, Communication and the Public, 1(1), 12-18, March 2016. DOI: 10.1177/2057047316628310.