Position: Assistant Professor
- strategic communication
- agricultural communication
Professor Abrams' expertise is at the intersection of strategic communication and food system issues. Specifically, she examines how people make sense of and participate in debates about food system issues by looking at interest groups' communication, the role of emerging media, and strategic communication effects. She advises students with interests in public relations, advertising, and public information, as well as those with interests specific to food, agriculture, or natural resources.
She has special interests in food labeling and advertising as an influence on consumer understanding of controversial food system issues, animals/livestock-related issues, and farmers' and interest groups' use of online communication. She uses survey, experimental, in-depth interview, and focus group methodologies in her research.
Prior to joining the department in August 2013, she was a faculty member in advertising and agricultural communication at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Her interests in agriculture come from her degrees in agricultural communication from Purdue University (B.S.) and the University of Florida (M.S., Ph. D.) where she became knowledgeable about the food system and passionate about food labeling, livestock issues, and communication issues facing our food system.
Abrams, K., Evans, C., & Duff, B. (2015). Ignorance is bliss: How parents of preschool children make sense of front-of-package visuals and claims on food. Appetite, 87. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.12.100
Abrams, K., Zimbres, T., & Carr, C. (2015). Communicating sensitive scientific issues: The interplay between values, attitudes, and euphemisms in communicating livestock slaughter. Science Communication, 37(4). doi: 10.1177/1075547015588599
Abrams, K. (2015). Loss aversion and regulatory focus effects in the absence of numbers: Qualitatively framing messages on food labels. Journal of Applied Communications, 99(3).
Abrams, K., Wang, Z., Song, Y. J., & Gonzalez-Galindo, S. (2014). Data richness tradeoffs between face-to-face, online audio-visual, and online text-only focus groups. Social Science Computer Review, 33(1). doi:10.1177/0894439313519733
Abrams, K., & Sackmann, A. (2014). Are alternative farmers yielding success with online marketing and communication tools for their social capital and business viability? Journal of Applied Communications, 98(3).
JTC 211 Computer-Mediated Visual Communication
Covers: 1) How users see and interpret visual cues like color, shapes, depth, and movement. 2) Principles of effective design through understanding and applying visual theories. 3) The nuances of planning for and communicating with layout, typography, photography, video, and websites (including social media).
JTC 661 Information Design
Covers theoretical and empirical approaches to design and presentation of information-based media. It focuses on media products within advertising, journalism, public information, public relations, and technical communication; although, the subject is useful to multiple fields/industries.
JTC 419 Food and Natural Resources Issue Comm
Students analyze and communicate how people form beliefs about food and natural resources issues and the role of news media, PR, and advertising in that process.
JTC 374 Social Media Management
Introduces students to various social media applications used for promotional purposes by organizations and is designed to prepare students for careers that involve social media management.