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Faculty Profiles

Edwards, Heidi Hatfield

Professor, Associate Head, School of Arts & Communication, Communication Programs Chair, School of Arts and Communication

Personal Overview

Dr. Edwards is a Florida native. Most of her family reside in Lake County. She is married to Ric Edwards, a video engineer at Indian River State College. They live in Palm Bay.

Educational Background

Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Georgia 

M.A., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison 

B.S., Telecommunication, University of Florida 

Professional Experience

Heidi Hatfield Edwards is associate head of Florida Tech’s School of Arts and Communication, communication programs chair, and a professor of communication. She teaches courses in mass communication and society, communication theory, and covering science and technology. Prior to joining the faculty at Florida Tech, Dr. Edwards taught public relations at the Pennsylvania State University. As a doctoral student she worked for the prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards at the University of Georgia. Dr. Edwards has nine years experience in communication, working in television, radio, and print media, and in public relations and marketing.

Current Research

As a communication scholar, Dr. Edwards focuses on communication and social issues, especially corporate social responsibility and the cultural and societal implications of communication regarding health, science and technology. She is especially interested in how audiences use mediated messages, interpreting those messages and engaging in discourse with the message creators, opinion leaders, and other audience members. She engages students to think critically about media and society, bringing industry experience into the classroom. Her collaborations with media organizations like Florida Today/USA Today on science journalism projects yield published student work.

Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Articles and Monographs:

Sohn, Y. & Edwards, H.H. (2018). Strategic ambiguity and crisis apologia: The impact of audiences' interpretations of mixed messages. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 12(5), 552-570. DOI: 10.1080/1553118X.2018.1512111.

Edwards, H.H. (2015). Social responsibility and the evolution of corporate philanthropy: An analysis of successful corporate-cause partnerships in an era of the global corporate citizen. PRism 12(2): http://www.prismjournal.org/homepage.html.

Edwards, H.H. (2015). Fan forums, breast cancer and Sex and the City: Insight for health communicators. PRism 12(1): http://www.prismjournal.org/homepage.html.

Shen, F., Dardis, F., & Edwards, H.H. (2011). Advertising exposure and message type: exploring the perceived effects of soft-money television political ads. Journal of Political Marketing, 10(3), 215-229.

Edwards, H.H. & Kreshel, P.J. (2008). An audience interpretation of corporate communication in a cause-related corporate outreach event: The Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. Journalism & Communication Monographs, 10(2), 175-244.

Dardis, F., Shen, F., & Edwards, H.H. (2008). Negative political advertising, cynicism, and self-efficacy: The impact of ad type and message exposures. Mass Communication and Society, 11(1).

Edwards, H.H. (2006). A rhetorical typology for studying the audience role in public relations communication: The Avon 3-Day disruption as exemplar. Journal of Communication, 56(4), 836-860.

Shen, F. & Edwards, H.H. (2005). Economic individualism, humanitarianism and welfare reform: A value-based account of framing effects. Journal of Communication, 55(4), 795-809.

Weaver-Lariscy, R.A., Tinkham, S.F., Edwards, H.H., & Jones, K.O. (2004). The Ground War of political campaigns: Non-paid activities in U.S. state legislative campaigns. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 81(3), 477-497.

Book Chapters:

Edwards, H.H. (2018). Audience and Organizational Rhetoric. In Ø. Ilhen & R. L. Heath (eds.) The Handbook of Organizational Rhetoric and Communication: Foundations of Dialogue, Discourse, Narrative, and Engagement. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Edwards, H.H. (2018). Communicating social responsibility and the Harris Corporation. In B. R. Brunner & C. Hickerson (eds.) Cases in Public Relations: Translating Ethics into Action. Oxford University Press.

Edwards, H.H. (2016). Entertainment-Education and Online Fan Engagement: The Power of Narrative to Spark Health Discussions/Action. In A. Hutchins & N. Tindall (eds.), Public Relations and Participatory Culture: Fandom, Social Media, and Community Engagement. New York: Routledge.

Sundar, S. S., Edwards, H. H., Hu, Y., & Stavrositu, C. (2007). Blogging for better health: Putting the public back in public health. In M. Tremayne (Ed.), Blogging, citizenship, and the future of media. New York: Routledge.

Edwards, H.H. (2006). Avon calling You! The influence of corporate sponsorship of the 3-day walk for breast cancer. In Power and Public Relations, J. L. Courtright & P. M. Smudde (eds). Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press.

Becker, L.B., Vlad, T., Gans, E.M., Edwards, H.H., Daniels, G.L., & Park, N. (2005). Professionalism of news workers: The creation and evolution of the concept. In Sharon Dunwoody, Lee B. Becker, Gerald M. Kosicki, & Douglas McLeod (eds.). The Evolution of Key Mass Communication Concepts: Honoring Jack M. McLeod, 79-111. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press.