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Christine North, PhD, MPH, BCPA

Professor of Communication Studies / Public Health
Communication & Media Studies
120 Freed Center
525 S. Main Street
Ada, OH 45810

Dr. Christine North holds a Doctorate in Interpersonal and Health Communication and her Masters in Public Health in Health Promotion and Education. She most recently passed the national exam and holds credentials as a Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA).  She holds dual-appointment at ONU in the Communication and Media Studies department and with the Public Health degree program housed in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. She is passionate about community health and wellness, especially as it relates to social determinants of health and with marginalized communities. As part of her work and scholarship, she regularly travels to rural Dominican Republic working alongside local and international stakeholders to improve health conditions and to provide basic health services to Dominican people. She frequently travels with students as part of her commitment to teaching about ethical and sustainable aid and development. Her philosophy in traveling with students is that of LEARNINGservice, where the emphasis is on what students can learn from their interactions with another culture more so than on short-term service. The best service is often that of listening and truly learning about another and the other's situation rather than trying to "fix" what we often are not equipped to "fix." 

  This Dominican boy shows how he grinds their freshly roasted coffee beans.       Local farmer shares fresh coconut water with students.      A cultural lesson in basket weaving.

Dr. North was recently elected as Vice-President of the Patient Advocate Certification Board, an organization responsible for the creation and oversight of the first national certification exam for patient advocates. The board began work in 2012 and administered first certification exam in March 2018 with resounding success. The exam continues to be offered twice each year.  More information about the organization and its work can be found at

Dr. North has worked as a data analysis consultant for a Centers for Disease Control  Small Communities Transformation Grant for Lima/Allen County (Ohio), engages in public speaking about ethical volunteering experiences around the world that are responsible and do not create damaging outcomes for those being served, and that focus on development and relationship-building as opposed to rescuing. She has written chapters related to her work with International voluntourism and global communities and advocates for equity and social justice among those who are disadvantaged--especially with relation to health and healthcare access.  She also a strong advocate for study abroad and has taught in a number of different locations, including Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, and Ireland.

ONU students at the University of Costa Rica  Learning about maternal health at the lactation clinic in San Ramón, Costa Rica  Students on a field trip to the Blasket Islands. A view of Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula.

Currently Dr. North is co-authoring a new book about Health Communication and Advocacy expected to be available late 2019 or early 2020.  When not traveling, teaching, speaking or writing (and there really are times when she is not doing those things), Dr. North enjoys working in the yard, relaxing on her patio on the swing and reading books, knitting, enjoying the outdoors, and generally enjoying some of the simpler pleasures in life.

  • Ph.D., University of Oklahoma at Norman
  • MPH, Wright State University
  • MA, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • BA, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Teaching Interests: 
  • Health Communication
  • Ethics of International Aid (Ethical and Sustainable Aid and Civic Engagement)
  • Introduction to Global Health
  • Introduction to Public Health
  • Communication Theory
  • Cross-cultural Communication
Research Interests: 
  • Cross-cultural Health Interactions in Latin America
  • International Aid/Ethical Aid
  • Health Promotion/Health Education/Community Intervention
  • Social Support
Selected Publications: 

North, C. L. & Johnson, M. A. (Under Contract). Health communication: Advocacy for social change. 
Health communication textbook that will be in line with the standards for the new certification for patient advocacy.

North, C. L., Henriksen, B., Beckett, R.D, Etheridge, K. M., & Smith, W. T (2018).  Impact of training and student self-identification on frequency, constructiveness, and professionalism of pharmacy student evaluations of teaching. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, xx, (x). doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2018.06.016

North, C. L. (2018).  Practicing medicine with CLAS. In R. W. Davis & A. Patterson-Matsuko (Eds.) Communication for global engagement across cultural boundaries (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.

North, C. L. (2018).  Global engagement for the greater good. In R. W. Davis & A. Patterson-Matsuko (Eds.) Communication for global engagement across cultural boundaries (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.

Shields, K. M., Sobota,  K. F., Kroustos,  K. R., Bright,  D. R., North,  C. L., & Kisor,  D. F. (2013).  Implementation and evaluation of a student-led, online, longitudinal outpatient case elective. Currents in Teaching Pharmacy and Learning, 5, 351-357.

North, C. L. (2012). A guide for new teachers of introduction to communication (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Reid, K. J., White, R. M., & North, C. L. (2012). Work in progress -- Interdisciplinary international preprofessional service within the first-year engineering curriculum, fie, pp.F1E-1-F1E-5, 2011 Frontiers in Education Conference,

Reid, K. J., & North, C. L. (2012).  International Service Learning (audio podcast). Available from

North, C. L. (2012). A guide for new teachers of the basic course in communication.  Boston, MA: Allyn &Bacon.

Communication and Media Studies

Erin B. Swick

Performing Arts Center 130
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
8 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
8 a.m.-11:30 a.m.