John																 Parrish-Sprowl

John Parrish-Sprowl

Director, Global Health Communication Center
Professor, Communication Studies
Adjunct Professor, Women’s Studies
Faculty member, Russian & Eastern European Institute
Faculty member, University College
Department: Communication Studies, Global Health Communication Center
(317) 278-3145
Cavanaugh Hall (CA) 307F



John Parrish-Sprowl, PhD currently serves as the Director of the Global Health Communication Center (GHCC) of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts and Professor of Communication Studies. Prior to this he was the Chair of the Department of Communication Studies. He also serves on the coordinating council of the Community Health Engagement Program (CHEP) of the Indiana Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) in the Indiana University School of Medicine and is a member of the WHO Roster of Experts for social and behavioral change.

Professor Parrish-Sprowl has been elected to the legislative Assembly of the National Communication Association, Chair of the Applied Communication Division (2X), and as Chair of Theory and Methodology plus the Applied Division of the Eastern Communication Association. He has been a reviewer and editorial board member for a number of Communication journals. He has presented numerous papers, published 50+ articles, book chapters, several in award winning volumes, as well as edited books. His work is referenced in The Encyclopedia of Health Communication and in the Handbook of Applied Communication Research. He has been a co-investigator and/or had an active role in grants from USAID, NIH, and private foundations.
An award-winning educator and consultant, Dr. Parrish-Sprowl is known for his international applied communication research and project consultancies, focusing on issues of health, economic development, and education. His work has resulted in improved performance for a number of organizations in several countries. He has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, been a visiting faculty member, lectured, conducted research and consulted with universities, businesses, and NGOs in 20 countries. In addition, in the US, he has made presentations to several universities, multiple businesses, and trade groups, as well as TEDx. Dr. Parrish-Sprowl has been honored with awards from his current and past universities, as well as universities in both Macedonia and Poland, plus several other organizations for his work.



  • Ph.D. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 1983
    Communication, Cognate: Management and Marketing
  • MA Miami University, Oxford, OH 1977
  • BS Ball State University, Muncie, IN 1976
    Political Science, Speech (double major), Business (minor)



Global Health, Advanced Communication Theory, Organizational Communication, Intercultural Communication, Study abroad



Parrish-Sprowl, S., Parrish-Sprowl, J. Alajlouni, S. (2020). Innovations in addressing mental health needs in humanitarian settings: A complexity informed action research case study.

Oduglah-Kolev, A. and Parrish-Sprowl, J. (2018). Universal health coverage and community engagement. Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

Parrish-Sprowl, J. (2018). Vaccine hesitancy communication: What counts as evidence. Vaccine,

Parrish-Sprowl, J. (2017). Communication theory. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of communication research methods, M. Allen, Ed.. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. 212-214.

Carr, Z., Clarke, M., Akl, E. M., Schneider, R., Li, C., Parrish-Sprowl, J., Stenke, L., Cui-Ping, L., Bertrand, S., Miller, C. (2016). Using the GRADE approach to support developing recommendations for public health interventions in radiation emergencies. Radiation Protection Dosimetry. 1-12.

Parrish-Sprowl, J. (2015). Intercultural communication and disabilities from a communication complex perspective. Russian Journal of Linguistics. 19(4),101-110. ( )

Reports (selected)

These reports, some of which I either authored or co-authored, and/or relate to meetings/projects in which I played a significant role.

WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) Community engagement Chapeau

The rationale for a complexity-based approach to CE … – UNGM

Global Malaria Program, Strategic Advisory Group on Malaria Eradication, (2019) Malaria eradication: benefits, future scenarios and feasibility (Findings and recommendations from the community engagement work package (Parrish-Sprowl, Odugleh-Kolev, Sadruddin, forthcoming as a book chapter)

SAGme (2018) Fourth meeting of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group on malaria eradication Meeting report 28–29 November 2018, Geneva, Switzerland.

WHO (2017) WHO community engagement framework for quality, people-centered and resilient health services

WHO (2017) Report of the meeting on sustainable local production of influenza vaccines for pandemic preparedness

WHO (2016) Building trust: The GAP for influenza vaccine approach to improving capacity for better communication

Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (State Government) Parrish-Sprowl, J. (2015). An investigation into adolescent sexual assault underreporting in the state of Indiana.

Grants (Selected)

WHO, APW grants related to a proof of concept study in 3 countries of relational community engagement ($34,000, $49,000)

National Minority Quality Forum, Grant to help students produce flu and covid vaccine videos ($17,000)

WHO. APW granted to develop community engagement assessment of the malaria program in Rwanda ($47,000).

Indiana Institute for Criminal Justice. Grant to investigate unreported adolescent sexual assault ($65,000)

Heartspring Foundation. Grant supporting health communication training and campaigns in LMIC countries ($150,000)



Indiana University Bicentennial Medal for distinguished and distinctive service in support of the mission of Indiana University (2020)

Award of Distinction, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw Poland (2018)

John W. Ryan Award for distinguished contributions to international programs and studies, Indiana University (2018)

Susan Sutton Award for Study Abroad and Internationalization, IUPUI (2017).

Recognition for outstanding teaching, National Communication Association (2013)

Honored with a designated title: Visiting Professor, South East European University, Tetovo Macedonia (2006)

University Gold Medal, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw Poland (2002)

Excellence in Teaching award from Student Athletes, IUPUI (2002, 2014)

Excellent Service to the Samuel Morris Passages Program (Teaching in a Saturday School for youth at risk) IPFW, Fort Wayne, IN (1999)

Certificate of recognition for development work in Poland Central Connecticut State University (1994)

Runner-up in the Professor of the year competition (3 times) Central Connecticut State University (1991, 1992, 1993)

University Distinguished Professor Award for teaching excellence The University of Connecticut (1985)

Academic Interests

Academic Interests

Improving education, organizational performance, and health through the development of communication resources and practices.



School of Liberal Arts Budget, Resources, and Planning Committee (2018-2020, chair, 2019-20)

President of the School of Liberal Arts Faculty (2016-17)

Vice President of the School of Liberal Arts Faculty (2015-16)

Currently or in the past, I have served as a reviewer or on the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Journal of Communication in Healthcare, Women’s Studies in Communication, Communication Studies, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Russian Communication Journal, Controversia, Avi Cummunicandi, SEEU Bulletin, Journal of Intercultural New Media Studies, Communication Yearbook, Handbook of Applied Communication Research, Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Vaccine, PLOS Online.

Member of the university board-South East European University (SEEU), North Macedonia