Research Interests:

Impact of persuasive information on health and environmental attitudes, risk perceptions and behavioral decisions.


Dr. Maria Lapinski is joint-appointed as a Professor in the Department of Communication and Michigan Ag-Bio Research at Michigan State University (MSU). She serves as the Director of the Health, Environment, and Risk Communication Center. For six years, she served as the Associate Dean for Research for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. That role facilitated interdisciplinary research partnerships and supported faculty research including leading the college’s grant support office. Dr. Lapinski received her doctorate in 2000 from MSU and her Master of Arts from University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Her research examines the impact of messages and social-psychological factors on health and environmental risk behaviors with a focus on culturally-based differences and similarities. To this end, Dr. Lapinski has conducted collaborative research projects with her students and colleagues in a number of countries in Asia, the Pacific Rim, Central America, and Africa. Her work has been presented at national and international communication and public health conferences, published in refereed journals including The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Human Communication Research, Health Communication, Communication Monographs, and others. Her research has been funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation, World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, and United States Department of Agriculture. She teaches Intercultural Communication, International Health Communication, Interpersonal Influence, Risk Communication, and Health Communication for Diverse Populations.