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Heidi Hatfield Edwards

Professor | College of Psych. and Liberal Arts - School of Arts and Communication

Associate Dean | College of Psychology and Liberal Arts

Contact Information

Personal Overview

Heidi Hatfield Edwards is associate dean in Florida Tech’s College of Psychology and Liberal Arts and a professor of communication in the School of Arts and Communication. She began her career as a media professional and worked nearly a decade gaining experience across multiple media platforms and in strategic communication. She teaches courses in mass communication, theory, and science communication. 

Dr. Edwards' research focuses on communication and social issues. She is a Senior Research Fellow with the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication. She and Dr. Fuyuan Shen recently published the book Narratives in Public Communication, a collection of studies funded through their Page Center project. 

Dr. Edwards is a Florida native. Most of her family reside in Lake County. She is married to Ric Edwards. They live in Palm Bay, Florida.

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 dean in the College of Psychology and Liberal Arts at Florida Tech, and a professor of communication in the School of Arts and 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. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow with Penn State's Page Center. 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.

Selected Publications

Books and Monographs:

Shen, F. & Edwards, H.H. (Eds.) (2023). Narratives in Public Communication. New York: Routledge.

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.

Refereed Journal Articles:

Molina, E., Yuran, D., & Edwards, H.H. (2020). International students, immigration policy, and perceived internal support: student reactions to the “travel ban.” Higher Education Theory and Practice, 20(9), 12-26.

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):

Edwards, H.H. (2015). Fan forums, breast cancer and Sex and the City: Insight for health communicators. PRism 12(1):

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.

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.  & Shen, F. (2023). Once upon a time… a story of narratives in public communication. In F. Shen & H.H. Edwards (Eds.). Narratives in Public Communication. New York: Routledge.

Han, J., Lou, S., Edwards, H.H. & Shen, F. (2023). Effects of narrative-based corporate message and sponsorship disclosure in native CSR advertising. In F. Shen & H.H. Edwards (Eds.). Narratives in Public Communication. New York: Routledge.

Shen, F. & Edwards, H.H. (2023). Narratives in public communication: An introduction. In F. Shen & H.H. Edwards (Eds.). Narratives in Public Communication. New York: Routledge.

Edwards, H.H. (2020). Governor Bob Martinez. In B. Murphree & R.A. Taylor (eds.), The Governors of Florida: Essays on Florida’s Chief Executives from Jackson to Scott. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.

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.


Dr. Edwards is a Senior Research Fellow with the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication. She and Dr. Fuyuan Shen at Pennsylvania State University edited Narratives in Public Communication, a collection of studies funded through the Page Center. 

As a communication scholar, Dr. Edwards focuses on communication and social issues, especially mis/disinformation, 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.

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