Patric Spence


Patric R. Spence (PhD 2006) is assistant professor in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University. His research focuses on crisis and risk communication, examining audience perceptions of risk and emergency messages produced by emergency management organizations, government and news agencies; specifically, looking at how these messages motivate various publics to take action in light of perceived threats during the lifecycle of a crisis. Other research examines how the physical and psychological needs of underserved populations are handled in the context of public health events and disasters, industry response and the role of new media in disaster preparation, response and recovery.

He has written widely on the issues of race and class surrounding Hurricane Katrina and issues of gender and information seeking in disasters. He is a Next Generation of Hazard Researchers Fellow and a research affiliate with the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His research was cited in the National Consensus Statement on Integrating Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities into Public Health Emergency Preparedness, released by the Office of Minority Health, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He also works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recent work was published in Communication Research Reports, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Black Studies, theHoward Journal of Communication, Communication Research Reports, Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods, the Journal of Emergency Management, Journal of Radio and Audio Media, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression and Sociological Spectrum. Book chapters can be found in Through the Eye of Katrina: Social Justice in the United States(Carolina Academic Press), Real Data Analysis (IAP Press), Minority Resiliency and the Legacy of Disaster (Edwin Mellen Press) and Interracial Communication: Contexts, Communities and Choices (Kendal/Hunt).