Dr. Elizabeth L. Petrun Sayers is an associate behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation in Arlington, Virginia. Her areas of expertise include risk, crisis, and science communication. Prior to joining RAND, Petrun Sayers worked as the associate director of the risk communication and resilience program for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) located at the University of Maryland, College Park and as a strategic communication liaison for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Petrun Sayers works across the national security and health fields, and is currently conducting research for the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to research, she has taught a variety of communication courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Her work has been presented at national and international conferences, and she has most recently published in Review of Communication, Journal of Risk Research, and Journal of Applied Communication Research. Petrun Sayers received her Ph.D. in communication from the University of Kentucky.
- University of Kentucky, Ph.D., Communication; Risk, Organizational, Health, Science, 2013
- University of Kentucky, M.A., Communication; Mass Media, Risk, Crisis, 2010
- University of Kentucky, Graduate Certificate in Health Communication, 2010
- University of Kentucky, B.A., Integrated Strategic Communication; Advertising and Sociology; Classical, Magna Cum Laude, 2008
- UK Opportunity Fellowship, 2010-2013
- Westley Award for Excellence in Mass Communication Theory and Research, University of Kentucky, 2012
- College of Communication and Information Graduate Teaching Award, University of Kentucky, 2012
- Francis F. Busta Poster Competition Second Place Award, National Center for Food Protection and Defense, 2010
- UK Top 100 Campus Leader, 2006
- Ivanov, B., Burns, W. J., Sellnow, T. L., Petrun Sayers, E. L., Veil, S. R., & Mayorga, M. W. (In press). Using an inoculation message approach to promote public confidence in protective agencies. Journal of Applied Communication Research.
- Liu, B. F., Roberts, H., Petrun Sayers, E. L., Ackerman, G., Smith, D., & Iles, I. (In press). Preparing for the worst: Public perceptions of risk management innovations. Journal of Risk Research.
- Petrun, E. L., Iles, I., Roberts, H., Liu, B. F., & Ackerman, G. (2015). Diffusing controversial technology: Barriers, incentives, and lessons learned. Review of Communication, 15(2), 140-160. doi: 10.1080/15358593.2015.1058410
- Petrun, E. L., Flood, A., Sellnow, T. L., Smith Edge, M., & Burns, K. (2015). Shaping health perceptions: Effectively communicating about chemicals in food. Food Protection Trends, 35(1), 24-35. Retrieved from http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trilix/fpt_20150102/index.php?startid=24#/26
- Ivanov, B., Parker, K. A., Dillingham, L. L., Petrun, E. L., Grant, L. F., & Geegan, S. (2013). Enhancing inoculation: Examining the relationships among attack certainty, threat, and resistance. International Journal of Neuroscience and Behavioral Science, 1(2), 13-23. doi: 10.13189/ijnbs.2013.010201
- Veil, S. R., Petrun, E. L., & Roberts, H. (2012). Issue management gone awry: When not to respond to an online reputational threat. Corporate Reputation Review, 15, 319-332. doi: 10.1057/crr.2012.18
- Liska, C., Petrun, E. L., Sellnow, T. L., & Seeger, M. W. (2012). Chaos theory, self-organization and industrial accidents: The case of the Kingston Coal ash spill. Southern Communication Journal, 77(3), 180-197. doi: 10.1080/1041794X.2011.634479
- Veil, S. R., Sellnow, T. L., & Petrun, E. L. (2011). Hoaxes and the paradoxical challenges of restoring legitimacy: Dominos’ response to its YouTube crisis. Management Communication Quarterly, 26(4), 1-24. doi: 10.1177/0893318911426685
- Vidoloff, K. G. & Petrun, E. L. (2010). Communication successes and constraints: Analysis of the 2008 Salmonella saintpaul foodborne illness outbreak. The Northwest Journal of Communication, 39(1), 65-90.
- Sellnow, T. L., & Petrun, E. L. (2009). ConAgra: Audience complexity in risk communication. In T. L. Sellnow, R. R. Ulmer, M. W. Seeger, & R. S. Littlefield (Eds.), Effective risk communication: A message-centered approach (pp. 119-129). New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.
- Seeger, M., Sellnow, T., & Petrun, E. L. (in press). Creating a food defense and response plan in complex food production systems. In S. Kennedy (Ed.), Food protection and security: Preventing and mitigating intentional and unintentional contamination of food and beverages. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing Limited.
- Fowler, B., Iles, I., Roberts, H., Petrun, E. L., Ackerman, G. (in press). Diffusing portable radiation detectors among first responders: Device acceptance and implications for community resilience. Resilience: A Psychosocial Perspective. United Kingdom: Routledge.
- Petrun, E. L. (2015). The tension of controlling the narrative: Construing and mis-construing risk messages. In R. Littlefield & T. L. Sellnow (Eds.), Risk and crisis communication: Navigating the tensions between organizations and the public (pp. 103-121). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
- Petrun, E. L. (2013). The Hunger Games: A feminist perspective. In D. D. Sellnow (Ed.), The rhetorical power of popular culture (2nd ed.) (pp. 157-166). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
- RAND Corporation, Associate Behavioral and Social Scientist, 2015-Present
- University of Maryland, Lecturer, 2013-Present
- National Institutes of Health, Strategic Communication Liaison, 2015
- University of Maryland, Associate Director, Risk Communication & Resilience Program, 2014
- University of Maryland, Researcher and Project Manager, 2013-2014
- University of Kentucky, Research Assistant, 2008 – 2013
- University of Kentucky, Research Fellow, 2010-2012
- University of Kentucky, Instructor, 2009-2012
- Cooperative Center for Study Abroad, Co-Instructor of Record, 2012
- International Food Information Council, Sylvia Rowe Fellow, 2012
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Consultant, 2012