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Tara Schuwerk

Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies

Dr. Tara Schuwerk is an associate professor of communication and media studies. Her research focuses on the intersections of communication, culture, health and identity using qualitative research methods. Her projects have a focus on food within those intersections, such as hunger-relief, media representations of food and nutrition, and public discourse of food issues. Her research projects in the past have also included such topics as pedagogy, communication and mental health, international and transracial child adoptions, memory and cultural identity, and the culture of college drinking. Her teaching experience includes a variety of lower- and upper-division communication courses, several of which have a service-learning component, in a range of formats, at five different institutions. She values working at a university that emphasizes teaching and learning and that encourages critical thinking.


  • Ph.D., communication, The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University
  • M.A., communication, University of Central Florida
  • B.A., organizational communication, University of Central Florida

Course Topics

  • Health Communication
  • Qualitative Theory and Methodology
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Are We What We Eat? Food, Health, and Controversy
  • Food and Nutrition in the Media
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Organizational Communication
  • Senior Seminar
  • Senior Project

Research Interests

  • Food and communication--food security and hunger relief, food and nutrition discourse in the media, the social construction of food and social identities, policy, culture, the environment, and food in organizational settings.
  • The interaction of communication, health, culture, and public discourse--how race/ethnicity, sex/gender, sexuality, socio-economic status/class, and communication influence how people think about health and health outcomes.
  • The scholarship of teaching and learning


  • Graham, L., & Schuwerk, T. J. (forthcoming in 2016). Teaching qualitative research methods using Undercover Boss. Communication Teacher.
  • Schuwerk, T. J. 2014. "Critical consumption: Analyzing food and nutrition in media artifacts." Teaching Media Quarterly, 2(2).
  • Schuwerk, T. J. and Davis, A. 2013. "Influencing factors on social media adoption in county-level emergency management departments." Florida Communication Journal, 41(2), 11-24.
  • Schuwerk, T. J. (2011). Food bank culture: Food and nutrition communication in a hunger-relief organization. In J. M. Cramer, C. P. Greene, and L. M. Walters (Eds.), Food as communication/communication as food (pp. 381-403). New York: Peter Lang.
  • LeGreco, M., Hess, A., Lederman, L. C., Schuwerk, T. J., and LaValley, A. G. (2010). "An innovative dialogue about college drinking: Developing an Immediate Response Technology Model for health promotion." Communication Education, 59(3), 389-404
  • Schuwerk, T. J. (2010). "Verbal language use: Translating for the situation." In L. A., Janusik, R. M. Berko, and L. Graham (Eds.), Instructor's resource manual for communicating: A social, career and cultural focus (11th ed., pp. 94-95). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Schuwerk, T. J. (2010). "Human outline." In L. A., Janusik, R. M. Berko, and L. Graham (Eds.), Instructor's resource manual for communicating: A social, career and cultural focus (11th ed., pp. 273-277). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Lederman, L. C., LeGreco, M., Schuwerk, T. J., Cripe, E. T. (2008). "A final word: Framing the future of health communication." In L.C. Lederman (Ed.), Beyond these walls: Readings in health communication (pp. 395-408). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Lederman, L. C., Stewart, L., Greenberg, J., Bates, C., LeGreco, M., and Schuwerk, T. J. (2007). LET'S TALK ABOUT IT. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Health Services.

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