I love learning about and explaining why a particular “frame” or method of presentation works or doesn’t work in a piece of communication.

My research is focused on science and risk communication. Currently, I am working with a few other scholars to better understand the ways in which humor might be used as an outreach tool for science communicators. We’re trying to understand when humor can be effective for engaging audiences and when it might backfire and actually erode public confidence in the institution of science. I’m also involved in work around the topic of vaccines; this work is largely focused on understanding public perceptions of vaccines and what drives those perceptions.​

I like interacting with students and hearing them take concepts or ideas from class and linking them to things happening in their everyday life. I love learning from my students, whether it is how they view the key issues of the day or what’s happening in the world of pop culture.

I hope they see how and why public relations and communication are fields worthy of study, and I want them to think more deeply about the media they consume. I hope I can take a spark of interest in a topic like public relations or communication and help that interest grow. On a more selfish note, I hope they see that I am passionate about the things I research and the materials I cover in class.

In my free time I like traveling with my family and friends. I’m a sports fan and try to build a trip at least once a year to go to some sporting event. My wife and I like the live music scene in a place like Athens. Around the house I like cooking, and I try to keep up with the culturally important TV shows.

Learn more about Michael Cacciatore

Michael Cacciatore, Ph.D.
  • Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.S., Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.A., English, University of Manitoba
Advertising and Public Relations