5th Annual Virtual Conference: The COVID-19 Pandemic: Media, Misinformation, and Science Communication

May 13-14, 2021

The theme of the 2021 annual CHASM conference is “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Media, Misinformation, and Science Communication.” The COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear how misinformation on the internet can have dire public health consequences and the important role scientists have in communicating to the public. At this two-day conference we will discuss how scientists, clinicians, public health professionals, and patients can work together to counteract the infodemic.

Nationally renowned keynote speakers and panelists will share their work examining online COVID-19 patient communities, vaccine hesitancy and acceptance, health inequities and global health communication.

Natalie Lambert, PhD. Indiana University
Allison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, University of Pennsylvania
Wizdom Powell, PhD, UConn Health
Scott Ratzan, MD, MPA, City University of New York

Monica Wang, PhD, Boston University
Jessica Gold, MD, MS, Washington University in St. Louis
Eleanor Murray, ScD, Boston University
Eugenia South, MD, MSHP, University of Pennsylvania
Natalie Shook, PhD, University of Connecticut
Jasmin Tiro, PhD, University of Texas

We will be accepting abstracts for formal paper sessions and video paper sessions. The conference will include two formal paper sessions, one on each day of the conference. Each paper session will feature 3 paper presenters who will each speak for 12 mins and take questions for 3 minutes. Each day of the conference will conclude with a video paper viewing and discussion with authors.

Click here for agenda and paper submission details.

Webinar: Access to Care and Ethical Issues in the Use of mHealth for HIV Prevention in LMICs: A Case Example from Malaysia

Presenter: Roman Shrestha, PhD, MPH

When: Friday, March 19, 3PM Eastern

Details: Dr. Shrestha’s research is primarily centered on interventions and implementation science at the interface of HIV and substance use with a particular focus on HIV prevention and treatment issues. Specifically, his work emphasizes on the design, delivery, and placement of biomedical and behavioral interventions for optimal use in various settings both domestically and internationally. This webinar will present a case study using an mHealth app to promote HIV testing and linkage to HIV prevention services among sexual minority group (i.e., MSM and TGW) in Malaysia.

Register Here

Webinar: Representation in Research: Recruiting Black Adults in Health Research

Presenter: Loneke Blackman Carr, PhD, RD

When: Friday, April 23, 12PM Eastern

Details: Diversity in research continues to be a challenge to producing results relevant to an increasingly diverse American population. In this webinar we will discuss strategies to improve the diversity of research participants, particularly Black adults. Dr. Loneke Blackman Carr will share her experience recruiting Black adults in weight control and cardiovascular disease research, plus evidence-based practices for success in diversifying research.

Register Here


Webinar: Introduction to Social Network Analysis in mHealth and Social Media Research

Presenter: Ran Xu, PhD

When: Tuesday, February 23, 11AM Eastern

Details: Social network analysis is a set of unique theories and tools to examine the relationship between social structure and various behavioral and social outcomes of interest. It is particularly useful for mHealth and social media research as it is vital to understand how online social networks and interactions change people’s health knowledge and behavior. In this workshop, researchers learn about basic concepts and tools in social network analysis, including graph and network theory, measures of social networks, subgroup analysis, and network visualization, with examples of questions that can be answered by network approach in mhealth and social media research.

Recording is forthcoming

Webinar: What is a “K” Career Development Award and How To Get One Funded

Presenter: Sherry Pagoto, PhD

When: Wednesday, January 27, 12PM Eastern

Details: NIH “K” career development awards support postdoctoral and early career research scientists who are committed to developing an independent program of research and require advanced research training and additional experience to achieve this goal. Training awards are increasingly important to prepare investigators for R01 funding, indeed 37% of R01 holders have had a K award, a number that has increased by 3 fold in the last decade. This webinar will discuss the basics of K awards, funding rates, how to decide if a K is right for you, how to prepare to apply, common mistakes that negatively impact funding potential, and tips and tricks to prepare a successful application. Dr. Sherry Pagoto, Professor of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Connecticut, having mentored dozens of junior investigators in obtaining K awards, will lead this webinar and share her experience helping her mentees prepare successful K award proposals.

Recording Available Soon

Webinar: Using Rtweet and NCapture to gather Twitter data.

Presenters: Molly Waring, PhD

When: Wednesday, December 9, 4-5PM

Details:This webinar demonstrates how to use two free tools for capturing data from Twitter – the Rtweet package in R and the NCapture add-on for Chrome. The webinar includes how to import the resulting data into common statistical software (e.g., NVivo, SAS, SPSS, Stata). Methodological, practical, and ethical considerations are discussed.

Watch Webinar

Slide Deck

Webinar: Health tech is tech: What you should know as you transition into an industry role

Presenter: Gina Merchant, PhD

When: Tuesday, November 10, 11-12PM Eastern Time

Details: The vast majority of careers in the Health Tech industry more closely mirror careers in the Tech industry than they do careers in digital health research in academia. This webinar introduces you to some fundamentals of the Tech Game that will help you transition from a traditional academic role to a career in industry.  Dr. Merchant, PhD Public Health, MA Experimental Psychology, has worked in product development and strategy for a market-leading medical device company, a young fast-growing startup, and as a consultant for numerous health tech companies. In this session she (1) outlines common challenges most academics face as they transition; (2) describes the culture shock she experienced (and still experiences) moving from academia to industry; and, (3) highlights need-to-know health tech terminology, incentive structures, and processes that are not commonly understood in academic environments.

Watch Webinar

Webinar: Who will use it, choose it, and pay the dues for it? Understanding stakeholder needs in healthcare

Presenter: Kate Wolin, ScD

When: Wednesday, October 21, 12-1PM

Details: Healthcare poses a unique set of challenges in that the solutions often have to meet the needs of three different customers – the patient who will use it, the provider who will recommend it and the organization that pays for it. In this session, we bring together health behavior science, user centered design, business model design to discuss strategies and tools to increase the likelihood your solution moves from ideation to implementation.

Watch Webinar: 

Webinar: How did you get that job? A career path panel

Moderator: Sherry Pagoto, PhD

Panelists: Dr. Heather Cole-Lewis, PhD, MPH, Director of Behavior Science at a large healthcare company; Dr. Chad Rethorst, PhD, Director of Clinical Research, WW (formerly Weight Watchers); and Dr. Beth Linas, PhD, MHS, not-for-profit public health strategist.

When: Wednesday, September 30, 1PM. Please note this event was live-only; a recording of the panel is not available.

Details: This career path panel featured three health scientists employed outside of academia: Dr. Heather Cole-Lewis, PhD, MPH, Director of Behavior Science at a large healthcare company, Dr. Chad Rethorst, PhD, Director of Clinical Research, WW (formerly Weight Watchers); and Dr. Beth Linas, PhD, MHS, not-for-profit public health strategist. This webinar is geared towards public health and/or behavioral and social science trainees and faculty contemplating a career outside of academia. Panelists shared their experiences making the transition to industry and provide advice on what sort of training experiences to pursue during grad school and otherwise to prepare oneself to be competitive for jobs outside of academia.

Webinar: How to turn your science into a short video

Presenters: Laurie Groshon and Matthew Schroeder

When: Monday, August 31. 12-1PM

Details: Are you looking for new, creative ways to disseminate your research findings? In this webinar, you’ll learn tips for creating short, engaging, and effective videos as a method for showcasing your work at digital conferences, sharing your findings with the public, and flooding your social networks with easy-to-digest science.

Watch Webinar

Webinar: Moving your behavioral research online

Presenters: Jessica Bibeau, MA, PMP and Kaylei Arcangel, MS

When: Monday, July 27, 12-1PM

Details: Have you recently needed to transition your research online? The Center for mHealth and Social Media Program Director and Research Coordinator shows you how to achieve this. We cover important considerations, online recruitment, IRB protocols modifications, data collection procedures, staff monitoring techniques and materials.

Watch Webinar Here

Research Project Management Webinar Series, Part 2: Developing a plan to guide and manage your projects

Presenters: Jessica Bibeau, MA, PMP

When: Monday, June 15

Details: How do you keep your projects organized and on task? How do you keep on top of accountability requirements? Welcome to part 2 of the project management webinar series where you will learn about developing a management plan for your projects to create a smooth flow through each project phase, from initiation through closing. Reduce the risk of your project going outside of budget, timeline, and quality expectations. Using guidelines from the Project Management Institute, you will learn how to break down the project scope into smaller pieces and develop a plan for managing each piece. Understanding these formal strategies will help align the research environment to project management standards. The first part “Using project management tools to initiate and plan your projects” is not necessary to view first, but you can check it out here.

Watch Webinar

2020 Virtual Conference: Building an Evidence Base for Commercially Available Technology

Speakers: Brie Turner-McGrievy, PhD,University of South Carolina; Yelena Wu, PhD, University of Utah; Heather Patrick, PhD, Private Sector; David Conroy, PhD, Pennsylvania State University; Aaron Coleman, CEO of Fitabase; Jennifer Huberty, PhD, Arizona State University

When: May 14-15, 2020

Description: The UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media (CHASM) 2020 Annual Conference was 100% virtual. The theme of the 2020 annual CHASM conference is “Building an Evidence Base for Commercially Available Technology,” and focused on research that evaluates the reliability, accuracy, efficacy, or real world effectiveness of commercially available technology including mobile apps, sensors, devices, or social media platforms. Digital health is a $200 billion industry with countless apps, devices, platforms and sensors available in the marketplace and in the hands of millions of users. This marketplace offers myriad opportunities for research aiming to improve health outcomes. Evidence is direly needed for commercially available technologies to guide healthcare professionals on which products to “prescribe” to their patients, and to guide consumers on which products are worth their time and money.

We designed the program to catalyze research on commercial health technologies and to lay out a roadmap for best practices, including how to navigate the myriad methodological, logistical, and ethical challenges of research using commercial health technologies. We featured nationally renowned keynote speakers from academia and industry who have expertise in using commercially available health technologies in research. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in virtual breakout sessions to give them closer access to speakers for advice on anything from developing relationships with industry to innovative research designs. Attendees were also strongly encouraged to come ready to develop a research question during the conference and submit seed grant proposals to two funding opportunities that opened shortly after the conference. Three workshops were held on Friday, May 15: Research Designs for Testing Commercially Available Technology, How To Write an Effective Seed Grant, and Introduction to Social Network Analysis.

Video Poster Abstracts: In lieu of a traditional poster session, we hosted a video poster session. Instead of a traditional poster, presenters produced a 1 minute video summarizing their research in any way they saw fit. Awards were given to the video with the most views and to those selected by our judges for Best Video Poster by a Student and Best Video Poster Overall. You can enjoy video posters on our YouTube playlist.

Seed Grants for Conference Attendees: Two funding opportunities are available exclusively to registered conference attendees. One opportunity is open to all attendees and one is reserved for PIs from UConn. The company Calm is kindly sponsoring one funding opportunity for any attendees interested in using Calm in their research. CHASM and UConn’s InCHIP are co-sponsoring the seed grant opportunity reserved for UConn investigators. See more information and submission details here.

Webinar: Large national datasets assessing health-related use of the internet, technology, and social media

Presenters: Molly Waring, PhD

When: Monday, April 6

About: This webinar provided an overview of large, nationally-representative, population-based health datasets that provide information on the use of the internet, technology, and/or social media in the US population. The discussion included how to access the data, an assessment of their strengths and limitations, ethical considerations, methodological considerations including complex sampling and weighted statistical analyses, and interpretation of results.

Watch Webinar

Slide Deck

Webinar: Leveraging social media to recruit research study participants

Presenters: Kaylei Arcangel, MS

When: Monday, February 10, 12-1PM

About: This webinar presents strategies for successful recruitment of study participants using social media, including how to optimize your efforts on different platforms and how to identify and manage fraudulent research participants. Kaylei Arcangel is a Research Coordinator in the Center for mHealth and Social Media and has successfully used social media platforms to recruit hundreds of research participants nationwide.

Watch Webinar

Webinar: An overview of methods for capturing and examining social media data for health research

Presenter: Molly Waring, PhD

When: Monday, December 9, 12-1PM

Details: Interested in capturing and examining social media data for health research? This webinar will provide an overview of methods for data collection and analysis, including considerations related to study design, research topic, social media platform, ethics, and composition of the research team. Several free/inexpensive tools for capturing data from social media platforms will be discussed.

Watch Webinar

Research Project Management Webinar Series, Part 1: Using project management tools to initiate and plan your projects

Presenter: Jessica Bibeau, MA, PMP

When: Monday, October 28, 12-1pm

About: Are you so busy that it’s difficult to keep your research projects organized and moving forward on a timely basis? Learn some professional project management strategies to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your research lab. This webinar is designed to help researchers plan and implement research projects using formal project management strategies put forth by the Project Management Institute. This webinar focuses on the early stages of your project as you plan activities, build your budget, and get your project up and running.

Watch Webinar

Academy Health, RHSProj Back to School Webinar: How to Search, Communicate, and Disseminate Your Research

Presenters: Selene Mak, PhD, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System; Sherry Pagoto, PhD, UConn; Christiane Voisin, MSLS, Cecil G Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC Chapel Hill

When: August 21, 2019

Description: This introductory seminar explored effective search, communication, and dissemination strategies and provided an overview of resources publicly available through the National Library of Medicine for public health and health services and policy researchers to use in their work.

Developed with graduate students and junior investigators in mind, the seminar reviewed systematic search strategies and focused on innovative methods to communicate and disseminate research findings, including data visualization and social media.

View Webinar Here

InCHIP Lecture Series: Teaching and Learning with Impact: Social Media in Higher Education Classrooms

Speaker: Sarah Mojarad, MS, University of Southern California

Title: Teaching and Learning with Impact: Social Media in Higher Education Classrooms

When: Monday, July 22, 12-1p in the InCHIP Colloquium Room

Description: Social media platforms provide new and interesting ways for people to communicate, and faculty are now using these online environments to support teaching and learning objectives in university settings. This talk presents the issues and opportunities with integrating new media into the classroom. Specific examples are provided, and they demonstrate how Wikipedia, Periscope, and Twitter are used to support learning outcomes. The seminar will close with suggestions for how faculty can incorporate social media into their teaching.

Bio: Sarah Mojarad is a lecturer at the University of Southern California with joint faculty appointments in Viterbi School of Engineering and Keck School of Medicine. Her areas of expertise are in social media, science communication, and online medical professionalism. She received her BA in Psychology from Boston University and MS in Corporate and Organization Communication from Northeastern University.

Lecture: Instagram for Academics: A Nuts and Bolts Workshop on How to Use Instagram in Your Work

Date: 5/29/19

Presenter: Paul Jasper, PhD, Res Group

Details: Instagram is a way to directly connect with thousands, if not millions of people. As academics, it is to our advantage to use this tool to source new ideas, stimulate participation in research studies, to disseminate research findings, and ultimately to build a window into your laboratory, clinic, or Center. Integrating social media into your work represents a significant opportunity for both increased funding, innovative ways to engage with student and patient populations, enhanced student/staff recruitment, and media influence. Dr. Jasper, a full time computational biologist, who also runs a successful woodworking company on Instagram (@copper_pig_fine_woodworking), will discuss the nuts and bolts of Instagram with emphasis on how best to grow on the platform for use in your research and/or to represent yourself as a scientist as well as your laboratory. Topics to be covered include: basics of Instagram, growing your following, content development (i.e., what to post), post format (video vs. picture vs. carousel), posting frequency, features (e.g., stories, chat), organic reach vs. paid promotions, how the algorithm works, etc.


3rd Annual UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media Conference

“Social Media and Health”

Date: 5/16/19

Location: Student Union Ballroom, 2110 Hillside Road, U-3008. Storrs, CT 06269-3008

Speakers: Drs. David Cavallo (Case Western Reserve University), Michael Amato (Truth Initiative), Christopher Carroll (Connecticut Children’s Medical Center), Sherry Emery (NORC at University of Chicago), Cesar Gabriel Escobar-Viera (University of Pittsburgh), Philip Massey (Drexel University), and Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch (University of Connecticut)


2nd Annual UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media Conference: Digital Health At the Intersection of Academia and Industry

Date: 5/17/18

Location: Rome Commons Ballroom, University of Connecticut, 626 Gilbert Road Ext., Storrs, CT 06269

Time: 9:00 am – 5 pm

Presented by: UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media

Speakers: Dr. John Torous, Co-Director of the Digital Psychiatry Program, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Dr. Kate Wolin, Chief Science Officer, Interactive Health; Dr. Emil Chiauzzi, Clinical Research Psychologist, Principal Scientist, PatientsLikeMe; Dr. Brennan Spiegel, Director of Health Services Research, Cedars-Sinai Health System

Details: The UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media is pleased to present its 2nd Annual Conference with the theme of Digital Health at the Intersection of Academia and Industry.  The conference will be held at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on May 17, 2018.  Speakers from Cedars-Sinai, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, PatientsLikeMe, and Interactive Health will be presenting state-of-the-art research on mobile apps, devices, wearables, and social media. A panel will discuss the topic of building interdisciplinary and academia-industry collaborations. A poster session and wine reception will be held at 4:00 pm. See full agenda.

Submit Abstract (by 3/19/18):

Registration ($40/free for UConn students):

View post Conference images and information!

Webinar: Developing and Adapting Behavioral Interventions for Social Media Delivery

Date: 12/21/17

Time: 1-2pm EST

Presented by: The Society of Behavioral Medicine

Speakers: Sherry Pagoto, PhD and Ashley Panzarino of UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media

Recording (free for SBM members/$15 for non-members): 


Webinar: How the National Library of Medicine Can Add Evidence to Your Health App

Date: 11/7/17

Time: 12-1pm EST

Presented by: UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media & National Library of Medicine

Speakers: Susan Halpin of National Library of Medicine (NLM) and Sherry Pagoto PhD of UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media


  • Introduce you to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and its free resources
  • Demonstrate how NLM resources carry out the mission to improve public health through free digital websites, databases and other educational tools, health and medical training classes and grant funding opportunities
  • Provide examples of how these health related resources can add value to your app



First Annual UMass Center for mHealth and Social Media Conference: How Digital Health is Revolutionizing Medicine

Date: 5/18/17

Location: Faculty Conference Room, Medical School, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA

Time: 10am – 3:30pm

Presented by: UMass Center for mHealth and Social Media

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Gary Bennett, Duke University



Webinar: The New Social Media Playbook, hosted by the Mayo Clinic & Vanderbilt Health. 

Date: 9/21/16

Streaming location: Shaw Building on 419 Belmont St, 2nd floor, Conference Room #1. 

Time: 1pm-2pm ET

Presented by: Lee Aase, Director, Center for Social Media – Mayo Clinic Cynthia Floyd Manley, Director, Content Strategy – Vanderbilt University Medical Center

This program will provide live discussion and Q&A with these leaders, and attendees will learn:

  • Cutting-edge social media strategies industry leaders are using to strengthen their brand presence and integrity
  • How to interact, share, and engage in discussions that are hyper-targeted to niche audiences
  • The importance of video and how it has become a critical tool for improving patient experience
  • A plan for optimizing staffing and training to ensure consistent brand voice