UW-Stevens Point: CDC communication expert to highlight challenges in communicating health information

A nationally respected expert on health communication issues will be a guest lecturer in communication classes at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on March 8 and 9. Glen Nowak, who serves as the senior adviser to the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, will talk to students in a number of health communication and public relations classes.

Nowak will present a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, in Room 221 of the Noel Fine Arts Center. In his talk, “Communicating About Health, Science and Medicine: Who Knew It Could Be This Difficult,” Nowak will discuss some of the challenges involved in trying to influence people’s health-related beliefs and behaviors. He will also provide tips and strategies for increasing the odds of success when communicating about issues related to health, science and medicine.

Nowak serves as the senior media adviser for all respiratory diseases and immunization issues for the CDC. He was the CDC’s point man during the H1N1 health crisis in 2009. His tenure at the CDC includes assignments as the director of the Division of News and Electronic Media and as the associate director for communications at the CDC’s National Immunization Program. Nowak is a frequently quoted source on important health issues.

A Wisconsin native, Nowak received his undergraduate degree in 1982 from UW-Milwaukee with majors in economics and communication. He earned his master’s degree in journalism (1987) and a doctorate in mass communication (1990) at UW-Madison.