Research Group

Eric Haley photo

Dr. Eric Haley (

Dr. Haley’s research has focused on a wide variety of advertising and society issues, including political, financial and health advertising literacy. He was the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award from the University of Georgia, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Eric holds three degrees (BS, MS, and Ph.D.) from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Chang-Dae Ham (; Website)

Dr. Ham has focused on how consumers proactively assess and engage in the persuasion process, primarily applying persuasion knowledge, as a main lens of his research, to both commercial and non-commercial advertising contexts. He has been particularly interested in how consumers accept, and steel themselves against, technology-driven persuasion, such as behavioral tracking and algorithmic advertising in digital. Prior to joining UIUC, he worked in the advertising industry for ten years, earned M.S. at the University of Florida and Ph.D. at the University of Missouri.

Dr. Michelle Nelson (; Website)

Dr. Nelson studies and teaches advertising and consumer research. She is interested in understanding people’s ”persuasion knowledge” (what they know about persuasion) and media literacy. She has collaborated on media literacy projects and interventions to help children, adolescents, and families learn to critically engage with the media they encounter. Dr. Nelson earned her B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Ms. Kirby Cook (

Kirby Cook received her master’s degree in advertising at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and her bachelor’s degree in classical languages and literature from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. Kirby’s master’s thesis, “Evaluating Gender in Retail Servicescapes: Beyond the Heteronormative Binary Approach,” explored how retail companies communicate gender norms and how consumers of diverse backgrounds receive such messages and process shopping experiences.

Ms. Veranika Paltaratskaya (

Veranika Paltaratskaya is a second year M.S. of advertising student. She received her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and art history at Emory University. She is currently working on a thesis which explores the relationship between global and local mental states and time perception while viewing media.