Skip to main content Skip to navigation
WSU MAC Lab Media, Adolescents and Cannabis

Research Team

The team is led by Dr. Jessica Willoughby and Dr. Stacey Hust, faculty members in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

 

Stacey Hust, PhD, is a professor, chair of the Strategic Communication Department, and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Operations in the Murrow College. She is nationally ranked by the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship for her health communication research focused on media and children, gender, conflict (sexual assault reduction), and substance abuse prevention. Her research identifies effective health communication messaging that can be used to reduce sexual assault and promote healthy sexual relationships among young people.

Dr. Hust’s research has been published in the Journal of Sex Research, Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, Mass Communication & Society, and others. Her research has been sponsored by the United States Department of Education, the Washington State Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, and the Washington State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program.

 

Jessica Willoughby, PhD, is an associate professor in the Murrow College of Communication. She conducts health communication research, often with a focus on the use of digital technology for health promotion. Her work often focuses on risk reduction among adolescents and young adults. Previously, she was a recipient of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Outstanding Early-Career Woman Scholar award and served on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

Dr. Willoughby has published more than 70 articles in journals including Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, the Journal of Sex Research, Social Science and Medicine, and others. Her research has been funded by the Washington State University Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program and the Washington State University New Faculty Seed Grant program.

 

Leticia Couto, MA, is a lead research assistant with the MAC lab. She currently leads the Dedicated Marijuana Account (DMAC) project, which consists of qualitative and quantitative data collection efforts with college students related to cannabis use and sexual activity. She is also the co-lead research assistant (with Soojung Kang) on a project focused on youths’ perceptions of cannabis packaging appeals. Leti’s research interests involve health communication, focusing on women’s health, risky behavior such as sexual risky behavior and substance use, and media effects on health behavior. She has published her work in Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Sex Research, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, among others.

 

Soojung Kang, MA, is a lead research assistant with the MAC lab. She currently leads the Great Plays project, which consists of qualitative and quantitative data collection efforts with college students related to substance use and sexual activity. She is also the co-lead research assistant (with Leticia Couto) on a project focused on youths’ perceptions of cannabis packaging appeals. Soojung’s research focuses on health communication for children and adolescents. Her current research interests include, but are not limited to, helping children and adolescents to have a more balanced healthy life. She has published her work in journals including the Journal of Sex Research and Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.