Pregnant woman with hands on belly

Annenberg Conversations: Gendered Conceptions of Preconception Health

January 14, 2022 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • TBA
Audience TBA

Professor Andy Tan and Northeastern University professor Susan Mello (Ph.D. '13) will discuss how men and women conceptualize preconception health and implications for more effective health communication.

Photo Credit: Anastasiia Chepinska / Unsplash

About the Conversation

As mounting evidence underscores the importance of both men and women taking steps before pregnancy to improve reproductive outcomes, public health priorities are shifting toward a more gender-inclusive program of promoting preconception health (PCH). In this conversation, Susan Mello will discuss how men and women conceptualize their personal, collective, and comparative roles related to PCH and implications for more effective health communication. Drawing on insights from her published work on gender norms, she will also explore how the CDC and WHO have communicated most recently to young and pregnant women about COVID-19-related risks and preventive behaviors (i.e., pre-term birth, vaccination).

About the Speakers


Susan Mello

Susan Mello, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Communication Studies Department at Northeastern University. Mello’s research explores the nature and effects of exposure to risk information in the media, with a specific focus on COVID-19, e-cigarettes, and prenatal and pediatric health. Her work has been published in Journal of Health Communication, Maternal and Child Health Journal, Risk Analysis, Health Education & Behavior, and Nicotine & Tobacco Research among others. She is affiliated with Northeastern’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute and a former student fellow of the Wharton Risk Management & Decision Processes Center, the U.S. Fulbright Program, and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She is also a proud alumna of Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication.


Andy Tan

Andy Tan, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication. Tan’s research program is aimed at advancing communication science to achieve health equity for all. His work examines the impact of marketing, media, and public health messages on health behaviors and outcomes among diverse populations including young adults, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations. He mentors students, trainees, and new investigators including individuals from underrepresented minority backgrounds. Tan’s research has received funding from FDA, NCI, and private foundations. He received his medical degree from the National University of Singapore, his Master in Public Health and Master in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University, and his Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication. 

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