Dr. Sarah Bauerle Bass is an Associate Professor of Public Health and undergraduate program director in the Department of Public Health. She has almost twenty years of experience and training in communication message development, public health research and teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
In the undergraduate program, Bass has taught the two-semester writing intensive program planning and evaluation course which is the capstone experience for public health majors (PH3496 and PH3596), AIDS and Society (PH2203), and Health Communication (PH2201In the graduate program, Bass teaches Risk Communication and Public Health (PH5006) and Health Communication (PH8105). Under her leadership as the director, the undergraduate program's curriculum now serves as a national model for colleges and universities seeking to implement public health courses on the undergraduate level. Bass is also faculty advisor of Eta Sigma Gamma, the undergraduate public health student society. Dr. Bass has won the prestigious Great Teacher award (2012), the highest teaching honor at Temple University. She has also won the Lindback award for excellence in teaching (2007), as well as the College of Health Professions' Excellence in Teaching award (2006) and the Distinguished Teaching award from the College of Liberal Arts, Department of Women's Studies (1998).
As Director of Temple's Risk Communication Laboratory, Bass' research focuses on health and risk communication and how public health messages are crafted for all audiences. She also has researched the use of new technologies such as the Internet and their impact on patient/public self-efficacy and behavior intention. She has advanced the field of health communication by applying commercial marketing techniques to the development and testing of risk communication messages. Using perceptual mapping and vector modeling methods, Dr. Bass has shown how 3-D imaging can enhance message development and tailor it for specific behavior or attitude barriers that exist in a population. Using multidimensional scaling (MDS), software produces dynamic models of complex cognitive and communication processes, critical for the development of optimally effective message strategies and decision aids. In addition, Dr. Bass is utilizing psycho-marketing methods to assess emotional and physiological response to and processing of health messages through visual, graphic, Web or textual message elements. Using eye tracking, pupilometer, EKG and skin conductance measures, her research with low-literacy populations has advanced the field of health communication and health literacy research by understanding how physiological responses may effect intake and understanding of tailored messages. She is currently the co-Principal Investigator for a study on developing a multi-media tailored decision aid for African American cancer patients deciding on whether to participate in clinical research studies. She also recently completed an NIBIB study on developing low-literacy materials to educate the public on radiation-terror events, as well as a state funded grant on using literacy assessment tools and bio-physiologic measures in low-literacy populations. In addition, Dr. Bass has developed and implemented a number of community based health education programs, including interventions in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Drug Abuse Prevention and Child Care Education. Before receiving her Ph.D., Bass developed and implemented state-wide HIV/AIDS media campaigns and has been involved with media-developed public health messages for over 20 years.
Dr. Bass is the author of many articles and has presented over 50 abstracts in juried meetings. She has been a reviewer for several scientific journals and sits on the editorial board of Health Promotion Practice. Her recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Health Psychology, the Journal of Health Communication, Epidemiology and Infection, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, the Journal of the National Medical Association, the Journal of Cancer Education and Health Promotion Practice. Dr. Bass is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Public Health Association, the Society for Public Health Education, the Pennsylvania Public Health Association and the American Medical Informatics Association. She also sits on the Health Communication Committee of Healthy People 2020 for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Undergraduate Public Health Education committee for the Association of Schools for Public Health.
Bass received her Ph.D. from Temple University's Department of Public Health in Health Studies, as well as her MPH in Community Health and a B.S. in Communication/Radio-Television-Film from Northwestern University.