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Refereed Conference Papers

Stansberry, K. (2010, November) “A Rhetorical Analysis of Cancer Positioning Within the Stand Up 2 Cancer Telethon.” Paper presented at the meeting of the National Communication Association conference, San Francisco, CA.

Stansberry, K. (2010, August) “Survivorship Online: Using Social Media to Promote Engagement Among Young Adult Cancer Patients.” Paper presented at the meeting of the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media, Atlanta, GA.

Stansberry, K. (2009, August) “Redefining Cancer: A Qualitative Study of Young Adult Cancer Survivors‚ Creation of Alternative Disease Narratives.” Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference, Boston, MA.

Pontius, K. (2008, August) “When War is the Only Option: A Qualitative Analysis of Cancer Narrative Development and Effects.” Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference, Chicago, IL.

Presentations, Panels and Workshops

Conference Presentation: "Building Your Blog," International Society for Technology in Education 2010 Conference, Denver, CO. June, 2010.

Conference Presentation: "Managing and Maintaining Your Online Community," International Society for Technology in Education 2010 Conference, Denver, CO. June, 2010.

Featured Speaker: "Messaging Your Information through Social Media: How to use Facebook, Twitter and Other Tools to Tell Your Story and Engage People." Sustainable Oregon 2010 presented by the Association of Oregon Recyclers. Salem, OR. June 2010.

Invited Member, Panel Discussion: "Covering News or Inadvertent Advertising? How News and PR View Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Efforts," Broadcast Education Association Conference, Las Vegas, NV. April, 2010.

Research In Progress

Public Relations in a Digital World: An active audience approach to health communication research

[Dissertation Topic]

Like most areas of media studies, inquiry in public relations has typically assumed that communication is a transmissive process. However, prominent cultural scholars in the field of communication have challenged the paradigm of communication as a series of message that moved from a producer to the audience, and instead argued for studies that examine communication as the act of creating and maintaining culture itself. Using the assumption that communication is at the core of the construction of a community, I plan to study the burgeoning e-patient movement to determine how professional communicators can work with engaged patients who are performing health advocacy work in online environments.

The Lance Armstrong Effect: A qualitative analysis of cancer narrative development and effects

[Submitted to the Cases in Public Health Communications & Marketing]

Communication campaigns have led to the creation of a generally expected experience for those affected by cancer. This project combines rhetorical analysis of communications material published by the Lance Armstrong Foundation with data from young adult cancer survivor interviews to identify a dominant cancer narrative and examine how cancer patients challenge this narrative. Using the theoretical lens of constitutive rhetoric, this paper illustrates the effects a limited cancer narrative has on cancer patients and survivors.

A Rhetorical Analysis of Cancer Positioning Within the Stand Up 2 Cancer Telethon:

[Submitted to Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies]

Health communications practices that privilege potential donors over people affected by the health issue run the risk of placing patients in a depowered position. This donor-patient dilemma is evident in the rhetorical situation developed by Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C) in their 2008 telethon. While donors are the primary audience for fundraising events, highly visible mass media presentations such as the televised SU2C program build meaning as well as raise money for a cause. Using Burke’s  foundation of rhetorical study and Vatz’s construction of the rhetorical situation, this paper presents a rhetorical analysis of the telethon to explore how the misrepresentation of cancer facts creates a general societal (mis)understanding of cancer that is based on information presented with little supporting context.

Redefining Cancer: A qualitative study of young adult cancer survivors’ creation of alternative disease narratives

[To be submitted to Public Relations Review]

This study seeks to find ways to better engage young adults who are dealing with cancer to increase active participation in the health and survivorship process. The results of this study show the enormous potential for increasing the engagement of young adults facing long-term health issues using social media. By providing a space for patients to engage online, health communicators give individuals an unprecedented amount of control over their disease experience. Using the extended parallel processing model, this study shows that enhancing online outlets for expression and community building by health facilities could increase perceptions of efficacy among young adult patients facing long term health issues and result in greater involvement from this hard to reach population.

Research Interests

·      Critical/Cultural Approaches to Public Relations Research

·      Online Communities and Coping with Chronic Disease

·      Rhetoric of Health Communications

Teaching Interests

·      Principles of Public Relations

·      Strategic Communications Writing

·      Media Ethics

·      Social Media (tool instruction and strategic application)

·      Health Communication

Awards• Outstanding Doctoral Graduate Teaching Fellow 2010• Award recipients chosen based on student and faculty nominations from members of the School of Journalism and Communication.

Teaching Experience

Sole Instructor

·      J350: Principles of Public Relations, Summer 2009 (15 students)

·      J452: Strategic Public Relations Communication, Winter 2010 (17 students) & Fall 2010 (16 students)

Graduate Teaching Fellow/Teaching Assistant• J201: Mass Media and Society (150+ students)• J203: Writing for the Media (120+ students)• J204: Visual Communication and Mass Media (120+ students)• J350: Introduction to Public Relations (120+ students)• J396: International Communication (150+ students)• J445/J545: Advertising and Society (120+ students)• J610: Online Communities (15 students)

Invited Guest Lectures:*Guest lectures were presented in large lecture classes of 100+ students• History of Public Relations• Introduction to Advertising and Public Relations• The Profession of Public Relations• Public Relations Writing• Building and Maintaining Online Communities• International Public Relations• Event Planning• Basics of Social Media• Public Relations Ethics

Charles Snowden Internship Program; Ethics Component Coordinator Summer 2010• Mentored 16 newspaper interns regarding ethical issues in new production• Responded to interns' weekly responses to ethical case studies• Maintained a blog where interns could discuss ethical issues

Allen Hall Public Relations 2006 - Present• Act as assistant adviser to student run public relations agency• Attend AHPR meetings, review and edit student work, and counsel students on the challenges of handling public relations clients


President, Journalism Graduate Student Association, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. 2010 - 2011 • Represent graduate student interests and work with faculty to assess and improve the graduate program• Elected in a popular vote among all graduate students in the journalism school

Co-Research Chair, Graduate Education Interest Group 2009 - 2010• Coordinated review of graduate student submissions for two conferences during the 2009-10 school year.

Work experience

Public Relations Experience

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) - Eugene, OROnline Community Manager: ISTE Connects 2009 - PresentBlog address:

• Manage social media presence for ISTE under the handle "ISTE Connects"• Build, maintain and leverage relationships with technology educators and researchers across the world using Twitter, blog and social network sites• Draft upwards of five blog posts per week on a range of subjects related to effective use of technology in the classroom

KQED Public Media - San Francisco, CA

Guest Blogger         2010 - Present

Blog address:

• Provide bi-monthly guest posts on hot topics in education technology and media in schools for KQED's education blog, MindShift

The Ulum Group - Eugene, OR

Public Relations Consultant/Social Media Consultant 2007 - 2010• Developed Web content, news releases, magazine articles, bylined pieces, and other collateral material for clients from a range of industries including healthcare, heavy equipment, retail, education and financial management• Conducted and analyzed extensive original research for University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business re-branding initiative

OSRAM SYLVANIA - Danvers, MAManager of Corporate Communications 2006Public Relations Specialist 2004 - 2006

• Responsible for all North American public relations activities - including annual budgeting and planning, trade shows, product launches, events, news releases, bylined articles and spokesperson duties - for OSRAM SYLVANIA's automotive lighting and Precision Materials & Components business divisions• Managed all advertising and marketing communications production and distribution for Precision Materials & Components division• Advised construction and implementation of, the online presence for OSRAM SYLVANIA, which receives over 200,000 hits a month• Secured pieces in such top publications as Good Housekeeping, SELF Magazine, InStyle Home, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe, as well as television and radio stations nationwide

Greystone Partners - Poughkeepsie, NYSenior Account Coordinator, Public Relations 2003 - 2004

Account Coordinator, Public Relations 2003• Played integral role in public relations efforts for all OSRAM SYLVANIA channels and divisions, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, and the Culinary Institute of America.

Journalism Experience

The Poughkeepsie Journal - Poughkeepsie, NYStringer 2001 - 2003Intern 2001• Researched and wrote business news articles• Interviewed community figures, business owners, and city officials• Proposed, created and developed story ideas.

Hudson Valley Magazine - Poughkeepsie, NYStringer 2002 - 2003• Researched and wrote local feature stories

The Daily Star - Oneonta, NY Summers, 1999-2001Contributing Writer• Researched and wrote general news and feature articles.• Proposed, created and developed story ideas.


Vassar College

B.A. in American Culture• Area of focus: Media studies and diversity issues

University of Oregon

Ph.D. in Communication and Society Expected 2012• Dissertation [Projected]: Public Relations in a Digital World: An active audience approach to health communication research• Adviser: Dr. Patricia Curtin, SOJC Chair of Public Relations• Areas of focus: Public relations, new media, social media & healthcare communication

M.S. in Communication and Society 2008• Areas of focus: Public relations & healthcare communications• Master's Thesis: "We've Done Drugs Keith Richards Never Heard Of:" A Mixed Methods Study of Identity Development Among Young Adult Cancer Survivors