Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
Meet the Graduate Program Director
As Graduate Program Director, Timothy Edgar guides students toward careers in the ever-expanding field of health communication.
"Health communication is a fascinating field, and the number of jobs in government, nonprofits, and research organizations continues to grow."
A Career in Health Research
Prior to arriving at Emerson in 2002, Edgar spent nine years as a senior study director at Westat, a contracted research corporation in Rockville, Maryland, where he directed health communication research projects for prominent organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Cancer Institute, and the Indian Health Service.
"I learned to listen, to understand and appreciate people's lives and backgrounds, to know that your needs are not necessarily my needs. Appreciating that difference has been critical to my work."
During his research career, Edgar conducted communication studies on health issues as diverse as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, epilepsy, genetic testing, and peptic ulcers. In addition, his passion for major league baseball and his high school pitching career have guided his extensive research on youth physical activity. He is currently examining effective strategies for negotiating condom use and core competencies for health communication professionals. He has been widely published in academic journals and texts, and he is also on the editorial boards for both Health Communication and the Journal of Health Communication.
A Respected Program
According to Edgar, Emerson's Health Communication program is unlike anything else in the country. "This program is highly respected professionally. It is pragmatic in its orientation—with its home at Emerson, a communication school, and the benefit of its connection to the [Tufts] medical school."
Part of Emerson’s Health Communication program, Professor Tim Edgar’s social marketing course created a campaign to stop teens from texting while driving. Edgar lent the campaign to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and The Boston Globe highlighted the class in a recent article and online video.