William J. Brown, Ph.D.

William J. Brown, Ph.D., Chair

Department Chair of Strategic Communication & Journalism
Research Fellow

Phone: 757-352-4216
Email: willbro@regent.edu

CV CV (pdf)

Dr. William J. Brown is a professor and research fellow in the Department of Strategic Communication & Journalism, as well as the chair of the department and of the doctoral program in communication. He specializes in the study and use of entertainment-education for social change, health communication, and media and social influence. He has conducted academic and professional research in more than 30 nations for the past 25 years.

In addition to his tenure at Regent University, Dr. Brown has taught communication courses at the University of Southern California, the University of Hawaii and the University of the Nations. He also served as the dean of the School of Communication & the Arts of Regent from 1992 to 2002. At Regent, he currently teaches courses on doctoral research methods, entertainment-education for social change, media and social influence, C.S. Lewis and communication, and communication campaigns. Dr. Brown also is serving a five-year appointment as a Fulbright Senior Specialist with the Fulbright Scholar Program in Washington, D.C.

Academic Philosophy

To mentor and inspire a new generation of communication scholars who are committed to Christ and to using communication and the arts for transformational development both in the United States and abroad.

Selected Publications

“Promoting health through entertainment-education media: Theory and practice.” In R. Obregon & S. Waisbord (Eds.), The handbook of global health communication and development (pp. 121-123). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2012

“HIV Prevention in Africa: Local Churches' Use of Participatory Media and Performing Arts.” (with J. Umidi, G. Elvgren and S. Kiruswa), Eastern Africa Journal of Humanities and Sciences, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2010

“Parasocial interaction and identification: Social change Processes for effective health interventions.” (with M. Basil), Health Communication, Vol. 25, 2010

“Sports Celebrities and Public Health: Diego Maradona's Influence on Drug Use Prevention.” (with M. DeMatviuk), Journal of Health Communication, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2010

“Steve Irwin's Influence on Wildlife Conservation,” Journal of Communication, Vol. 60, No. 1, 2010

“Mediated influence of Pope John Paul II.” Journal of Communication and Religion, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2009

“Celebrity identification in entertainment-education.” (with B. Fraser), In A. Singhal, M. J. Cody, E.M. Rogers, & M. Sabido (Eds.), Entertainment-education and social change: History, research, and practice (pp. 97-116). Maywah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. 2004

"Global identification with celebrity heroes.” (with B. Fraser), In S. Drucker & G. Gumpert (Eds.), Heroes in a Global World (pp. 47-65). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. 2008


Ph.D. University of Southern California, 1988
M.A. University of Southern California, 1987
M.A. University of Southern California, 1986
B.S. Purdue University, 1978

Fields of Expertise

  • Entertainment-Education
  • Health Communication
  • Media and Social Influence