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Jill Yamasaki, Ph. D.

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Associate Professor

  • Office: Communications Bldg, Room #226 
  • Email:
  • Phone:  (713)-743-3631   

Dr. Jill Yamasaki is an Associate Professor in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. She teaches health communication courses at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as qualitative research methods at the graduate level. Her research focuses on narrative inquiry and practice in health communication and aging, particularly in the contexts of creative engagement, community, and long-term care. She is the lead co-author of Storied Health and Illness: Communicating Personal, Cultural, and Political Complexities, an innovative text that offers a unique narrative approach to the study of health communication.


  • Ph.D. in Communication from Texas A&M University, 2009
  • MA in Speech Communication from the University of Houston, 2005
  • BA in English-Writing from the University of Colorado-Denver, 1998

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Research Interest

  • Narrative Theory and Analysis
  • Health Communication
  • Communication and Aging
  • Aging in Community
  • Interpretive Inquiry and Participatory Methods

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  • Health Communication
  • Provider-Patient Interaction
  • Communication in Healthcare Contexts
  • Multicultural Health Communication
  • Qualitative Research Methods

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Selected Publications

  • Yamasaki, J., Geist-Martin, P., & Sharf, B. F. (2016). Storied health and illness: Communicating personal, cultural, and political complexities. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
  • Yamasaki, J. (2015). Aging with service, socialization, and support: The work of church-based stories in a lifetime community. Journal of Aging Studies, 35, 65-73.
  • Yamasaki, J., & Hovick, S. R. (2015). “That was grown folks’ business”: Narrative reflection and response in older adults’ family health history communication. Health Communication, 30, 221-230.
  • Hovick, S. R., Yamasaki, J., Burton, A. M., & Peterson, S. K. (2015). Patterns of family health history communication among African American older adults. Journal of Health Communication, 20, 80-87.
  • Yamasaki, J. (2014). Age accomplished, performed, and failed: Liz Young as old on The Biggest Loser. Text and Performance Quarterly, 34, 354-371.
  • Yamasaki, J., Sharf, B. F., & Harter, L. M. (2014). Narrative inquiry: Attitude, acts, artifacts, and analysis. In B. B. Whaley (Ed.), Research methods in health communication: Principles and application (pp. 99-118). New York: Routledge.
  • Yamasaki, J. (2013). The poetic possibilities of long-term care. In L. M. Harter & Associates, Imagining new normals: A narrative framework for health communication (pp. 107-124). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.
  • Sharf, B. F., Harter, L. M., Yamasaki, J., & Haidet, P. (2011). Narrative turns epic: Continuing developments in health narrative scholarship. In T. L. Thompson, R. Parrott, & J. F. Nussbaum (Eds.), Handbook of health communication (2nd ed., pp. 36-51). Mahwah, NJ: Routledge.
  • Yamasaki, J., & Sharf, B. F. (2011). Opting out while fitting in: How residents make sense of assisted living and cope with community life. Journal of Aging Studies, 25, 13-21.
  • Yamasaki, J. (2010). Picturing late life in focus. Health Communication, 25, 290-292.
  • Yamasaki, J. (2009). Though much is taken, much abides:The storied world of aging in a fictionalized retirement home. Health Communication, 24, 588-596.

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Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board Member: Health Communication (2010-present), Journal of Applied Communication Research (2014-present)
  • Reviewer: Communication Monographs, Journal of Aging and Health, Journal of Family Communication, Qualitative Health Research, Research on Aging, Oxford University Press
  • Chair: NCA’s Communication and Aging Division
  • Member: Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS), University of Houston

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  • Valenti Impact Award—Outstanding Teaching (Valenti School of Communication, 2016)
  • Top Paper Award (NCA Communication & Aging Division, 2013)
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award (NCA Communication & Aging Division, 2009)
  • Participant, NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar (University of Alabama, 2008)
  • Tiffany Hunnicutt Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award (Department of Communication, Texas A&M University, 2008)
  • Phi Beta Kappa

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