Ashley R. Kennard

Assistant Professor of Communication


  • Ph.D., Communication, The Ohio State University 
  • M.A., Communication, The Ohio State University
  • B.A., Communication, University of Cincinnati


In the classroom, Dr. Kennard focuses on conveying the applicability of communication concepts to the real-world while challenging students to think critically about communication theories. Her teachings and research are centered on intercultural and intergroup communication, attitudes and persuasion, media effects, and health communication; particularly how each of these pertain to conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. At OWU, Dr. Kennard teaches intercultural communication, persuasion, public speaking, conflict management, and research methods.

She has conducted research on strategic message design within the realm of crafting prosocial/health campaigns and effective interventions, and she has examined the impacts of media representations on identity. Prior to entering academia, she worked as a marketing and sales representative for a national medical equipment provider where she was tasked with developing effective ways to communicate with both doctors and patients. 

Outside of the university, Dr. Kennard likes to spend her time outdoors. In 2017, she traversed through 14 states on foot, covering the entire 2,189.8 miles of the Appalachian Trail. She also likes to read, play soccer, crochet, and spend time with her nieces and nephews.

Publications and Research Awards

  • Kennard, A. R., Anderegg, C., & Ewoldsen, D. R. (2017). Knowledge and comprehension. In R. Parrott (Ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message Design and Processing.
  • Kennard, A. R., Willis-Abdurraqub, L. E., Kaminski, M., Knobloch-Westerwick, S. (2016). The allure of Aphrodite: How gender-congruent media portrayals impact adult women's possible future selves. Human Communication Research, 42, 221-245. 
  • Knobloch-Westerwick, S., Willis, L. E., & Kennard, A. R. (2016). Media impacts on women’s fertility desires: A prolonged exposure experiment. Journal of Health Communication, 21, 647-657.
  • Courtney Anderegg, Ashley R. Kennard, & David R. Ewoldsen, Situation Model Formation and Comprehension of Expository and Narrative Health Information Texts, 2015 Top Paper Award, Health Communication Division, National Communication Association
  • Knobloch-Westerwick, S., Kennard, A. R., Westerwick, A., Willis, L. E., & Gong, Y. (2014). A crack in the crystal ball: Prolonged exposure to media portrayals of social roles affect visions of future selves. Communication Research, 41, 739-759.
  • Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, Laura E. Willis, & Ashley R. Kennard, ‘Child of Mine:’ Impacts of Prolonged Media Exposure on Women’s Fertility Desires, 2013 Top paper Award, Mass Communication & Society Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication