Faculty Profile for Dr. Manu Pokharel

profile photo for Dr. Manu Pokharel
Dr. Manu Pokharel
Assistant Professor — Department of Communication Studies
CENT 327
phone: (512) 245-9025

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Dr. Pokharel holds a B.S. in Nursing from the Purwanchal University, Nepal; an M.S. in Health Promotion and education and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Utah.

Dr. Pokharel's research focuses on the strategic communication of health information to the public. She utilizes foundational approaches to strategic communication—audience segmentation/targeting and message development/testing—to engage pressing issues in health communication. Her primary research program investigates the persuasive impact of visual message features on knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in the context of cancer prevention and control.

She has published several articles within and outside the discipline, in journals such as the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Journal of Health Communication, Risk Analysis, and Journal of Dermatological Science.

You can learn more about her work at www.manupokharel.com

Teaching Interests

Empirical research methods, Health Communication

Research Interests

Health Communication, Cancer Communication, Visuals, Emotion, Skin Cancer, Health Campaigns

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Jensen, J. D., Pokharel, M., Carcioppolo, N., Upshaw, S., John, K. K., & Katz, R. A. (2020). Cancer information overload: Discriminant validity and relationship to sun safe behaviors. Patient Education and Counseling, 103, 309–314. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2019.08.039
  • Pokharel, M., Elrick, A., Canary, H. E., Clayton, M. F., Sukovic, M., Champine, M., … Kaphingst, K. A. (2020). Health communication roles in Latino, Pacific Islander, and Caucasian Families: A qualitative investigation. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 29(3), 399–409. https://doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1177
  • Pokharel, M., Christy, K. R., Jensen, J. D., Giorgi, E. A., John, K. K., & Wu, Y. P. (2019). Do ultraviolet photos increase sun safe behavior expectations via fear? A randomized controlled trial in a sample of US adults. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 42(3), 401--422.
  • John, K. K., Jensen, J. D., King, A. J., Pokharel, M., & Grossman, D. (2018). Emerging applications of eye-tracking technology in dermatology. Journal of Dermatological Science, 91(2), 117--123.
  • Pokharel, M., Christy, K. R., Jensen, J. D., Giorgi, E. A., John, K. K., & Wu, Y. P. (2018). Do ultraviolet photos increase sun safe behavior via fear? A test of the extended parallel process model (EPPM).

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Top Paper Award, National Communication Association (NCA). November 2021
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, National Communication Association. November 21, 2020
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Doctoral Honors Seminar, National Communication Association. 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Graduate Colleague of the Year Award, University of Utah. 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Best Paper Award, Risk Analysis. 2017

Selected Grants

  • Pokharel, Manusheela (Principal). Normative Perceptions and Prevention Behaviors across Time: Studying COVID-19 across 36 weeks, Research Enhancement Grant, Texas State University, $8000. (Submitted: 2021, Funded: 2022 - 2023). Grant.
  • Pokharel, Manusheela (Principal). Developing and Testing Visuals for Improving Melanoma Awareness Among Dark-skinned Individuals, Research Enhancement Grant, Texas State University, $8000. (Submitted: 2019, Funded: 2020 - 2021). Grant.
  • Eger, Elizabeth Kamman, Smith, Tara, Pokharel, Manusheela, Keeley-Vassberg, Maureen, Dailey, Stephanie Layne. Library Online Resource Grant, Alkek Library, Texas State University, $30740. (Funded: March 2020). Grant.
  • Kisi, Krishna P (Principal), Pokharel, Manusheela (Co-Principal). Temperature Extremes (Heat Stress and Cold Stress) in construction and general industries, US Department of Labor, Federal, $154000. (Submitted: August 1, 2022, Funded: September 30, 2022 - September 30, 2023). Grant.
  • Jensen, Jakob D (Co-Principal), King, Andy J (Co-Principal), Lilllie, Helen (Supporting), Ratcliff, Chelsea (Supporting), Pokharel, Manusheela (Supporting). Evaluating Public Communication, Perceptions, and Behaviors related to COVID-19: Improving Health Communication about Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Disease Initiative, Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Utah, $24900. (Funded: March 2020 - Present). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Reviewer / Referee
DC Health Conference
December 1, 2022-Present
UPAC Messaging Committee
August 2022-Present
Reviewer / Referee
Journal of Health Communication
January 2022-Present
Reviewer / Referee
Health Communication
Reviewer / Referee
International Communication Association
November 1, 2019-Present