Syed Ali Hussain, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor, Communication and Design
School Of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

PhD Mass Media and Information, Michigan State University, USA (2013-2018)
MA Health & Risk Communication (Fulbright Scholarship), Michigan State University, USA (2012-2013)
MA Information Technology Management, International Islamic University, Pakistan (2002-2005)
BA Business Administration, Foundation University, Pakistan (1999-2002)

Teaching Experience
Assistant Professor, School of Media & Mass Communication, Beaconhouse National University, Pakistan
Assistant Professor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Arizona State University, USA
Graduate Research Assistant, Michigan State University, USA

Courses Taught
Social Media Communication Campaigns and Engagement
Social Media Audience Acquisition and Engagement
Communication Campaign Design and Analysis
Digital Audience Research & Behavior
Mobile Phones for Public Health
Social Influence & Persuasion
Persuasive Communication
Media Law and Ethics
Mass Media Theories
The World of Media
Research Methods
Research Interests
Health and Risk Communication
Social Influence and Persuasion
Social Media Marketing


A Fulbright Scholar, Hussain has a Ph.D. in Media and Information (2018), and Master’s degree in Health Communication (2013) from Michigan State University (MSU). Hussain graduated from MSU with an outstanding doctoral student award. During PhD, Hussain have worked on health communication research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). After completing PhD, Hussain taught as Assistant Professor in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University (ASU).

In terms of research, Hussain has co-authored 2 book chapters, 38 conference papers, and 18 peer-reviewed journal articles published in high impact factor journals. The main focus of research is health and intercultural communication. Hussain has also received several grants that includes a $10,000 funding for a study on telepresence robots for healthy aging, another funding to explore nostalgic emotional appeals for smoking prevention ($4000), easing depression through nostalgia ($1800), and summer fellowship ($2500) to develop a timeline of communication history dating back to 3500 B.C.

Hussain is currently a Research Fellow for the ‘Recovering Truth’ project at ASU in collaboration with The Walter Cronkite School and the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.

In terms of industry experience, Hussain has worked with USAID funded international nonprofits on health communication campaigns in disaster hit areas. For example, Hussain worked in Pakistan with International Rescue Committee for mother and child heath campaigns (2008-2010). During his role as a Behavior Change Communication Manager, Hussain managed the creative design, implementation and evaluation of a $1M media campaign in the earthquake hit areas of Pakistan.

Selected Awards and Accomplishments

  • 2020 Recovering Truth Fellowship
  • 2020 Top Paper Award, National Communication Association Conference, Indianapolis, USA
  • 2020 Global Future Leaders: Research Accelerator Program, Arizona State University, USA
  • 2020 Top Paper Award, Broadcast Education Association conference, USA
  • 2019 Top Faculty Paper Award, National Communication Association conference, USA
  • 2018 Top Faculty Paper Award, National Communication Association conference, USA
  • 2018 Outstanding PhD Student Award, School of Journalism, Michigan State University, USA
  • 2017 Top Scholar-to-Scholar Presentation Award, AEJMC Visual Communication, USA
  • 2017 Top Poster Award, DC Health Communication Conference, USA
  • 2016 Innovations Venture Fellow, MSU Technologies Innovation Hub, USA
  • 2016 Best Doctoral Student Presentation Award, Media and Information PhD, US
  • 2015 Best Junior Doctoral Student Presentation Award, Media and Information, USA
  • 2012 Fulbright Scholarship, Masters in Health Communication, USA
  • 2010 Save the Children Outstanding Performance Award, Flood Emergency Program

Selected Publications

  • Ittefaq, M., Hussain, S., & Fatima, M. (2020). COVID-19 and social-politics of medical misinformation on social media in Pakistan [Editorial]. Media Asia. Read
  • Hussain, S. A., & Alhabash, S. (2020). Nostalgic Emotional Valence and Its Effects on Help-Seeking in Depression. An Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior. Health Communication, 1-12. Read
  • Hussain, S. (2020). Is this what depression looks like? Visual narratives of depression on social media. Visual Studies, 1-15. Read
  • Hussain, S., & Alhabash, S (2020): Effect of nostalgia as a motivational force for depressed students to seek professional psychological help. Journal of American College Health. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2020.1754838 Read
  • Hussain, S. (2019). Exploring the Use of Mobile Phones to Improve Child Health Awareness in Rural Pakistan. Journal of Gender and Social Issues, 18(1), 97-97. Read
  • Hussain, S (2019). Google Dataset Search. Journal of American Journalism. 3-36. Read
  • Bresnahan, M., Yan, X., Zhu, Y., & Hussain, S. (2019). The Impact of Narratives on Attitudes toward Muslim Immigrants in the US. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 1-16. Read
  • Hussain S., Ogundimu F., Bhattarai S. (2019). Mobile Phone-Based Chatbot for Family Planning and Contraceptive Information. In: Duffy V. (eds) Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Health, Safety, Ergonomics and Risk Management. Healthcare Applications. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11582. Springer, Cham. Read
  • Dearing, J., Lapinski, M., Shin, S., Hussain, S., Rumbold, Y., Osoro, R., Shell, D (2019). A model for introducing global ideas to the U.S. Unpublished report to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. East Lansing, MI: Health & Risk Communication Center, Michigan State University. Read
  • Francis, J., Hussain, S, Cotton, S.R. (2018). A privacy paradox: Potential barriers and benefits of telepresence robot use among older adults. Gerontechnology, 17(suppl),100s Read
  • Meng J, Hussain S, Mohr DC, Czerwinski M, Zhang M. Exploring User Needs for a Mobile Behavioral-Sensing Technology for Depression Management: Qualitative Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2018;20(7): e10139. DOI:10.2196/10139. Read
  • Ejaz, H; Hussain, A; Raza, A (2018). The Case for IVR-Based Citizen Journalism in Pakistan. MobileHCI ’18, September 3–6, 2018, Barcelona, Spain. ACM ISBN 978-1-4503-5941-2/18/09. Read
  • Hussain, SA., Park, T., Yildirim, I., Xiang, Z., & Abbasi, F. (2018, July). Virtual-Reality Videos to Relieve Depression. In International Conference on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (pp. 77-85). Springer, Cham. Read
  • Hussain, S., & Lapinski, M. (2017). Nostalgic emotional appeals for smoking prevention. Communication Research Reports, 34(1), 48-57. Read
  • Yuan, S., Hussain, S., Hales, K., & Cotten, S. (2016). What do they like? Communication preferences and patterns of older adults in the United States: The role of technology. Educational Gerontology, 42(3), 163-174. Read
  • Kanthawala, S., Yuan, S., Peng, W., & Hussain, S. (2016). A qualitative study of user perceptions of mobile health apps. Bio Medial Central: Public Health, 16(1), 1158. Read
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