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Jill Yamasaki, Ph. D.

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Assistant Professor

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

Dr. Jill Yamasaki is an Assistant Professor at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. She received her B.A. in English-Writing from the University of Colorado-Denver, her M.A. in Speech Communication from the University of Houston, and her Ph.D. in Communication from Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on narrative inquiry and practice in health communication and aging, particularly in the contexts of community and long-term care. Her work has been awarded by the National Communication Association and appears in such journals as Health Communication, Journal of Aging Studies, Journal of Health Communication, and Text & Performance Quarterly. She has also contributed chapters to The Handbook of Health Communication (2nd ed.), Imagining New Normals: A Narrative Framework for Health Communication, and Research Methods in Health Communication. Her co-edited and co-authored book, Storied Health and Illness: Communicating Personal, Cultural, and Political Complexities, is forthcoming from Waveland Press in 2016.


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

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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
  • Multicultural Health Communication
  • Qualitative Research Methods

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Selected Publications

  • 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: Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC), University of Houston

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  • 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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