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USC Aiken Directory


Carl A. Ciccarelli, PhD


Dr. Carl Arland Ciccarelli studies legacy and social media effects in numerous contexts, including health communication as well as the strategic communication functions of public relations, brand marketing, and advertising in for-profit and non-profit sectors. Dr. Ciccarelli received his B.S. in Communication Studies from SUNY Brockport in his home state of NY. He also holds a M.A. in Public Relations from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and earned his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Ciccarelli takes interest in applying theoretically driven research to study pertinent social and societal issues through his research. He has designed various experiments and surveys, conducted content analyses, and employed a broad variety of statistical and qualitative methods in his research work. Dr. Ciccarelli’s primary body of research looks to utilize insights from various communication mediums to help improve access to health information and encourage healthy decision-making at both the social and individual levels.

Dr. Ciccarelli has presented his research at academic conferences, such as the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) annual conference, the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference, and the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC). His research has also been published in peer-reviewed journals such as: the Journal of Health Communication; Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking; & the Southwestern Mass Communication Journal. Ciccarelli has also authored his own textbook, which contains meaningful insights for advertising, public relations, marketing, and business students. The text encompasses Ciccarelli's immersive, practical, and thought-provoking teaching style, while providing a plethora of discussion prompts, reflection assignments, and pertinent research to support each topic. Further, he enjoys teaching a variety of topics housed within the general areas of communications, public relations, advertising, strategic media, theory, and research. Dr. Ciccarelli is grateful for the opportunity to support his students in their endeavors and pass on his knowledge to them in support of their education. He strives to be a consistent, supportive, and accessible advocate for all his students.

Dr. Ciccarelli grew up in a small upstate New York town called Bolton Landing, which is located on the Northwest shore of Lake George and is surrounded by many of the Adirondack mountains. He spends time in the region with his family in the summer months and enjoys boating on Lake George, hiking, camping, swimming, and spending as much time as possible outdoors. Dr. Ciccarelli is also a Fall sports enthusiast. He makes time to watch and cheer on his teams nearly every weekend from August through the Winter. When it comes to the NFL, he is a lifelong (long-suffering) Buffalo Bills fan. Additionally, Dr. Ciccarelli is a season ticket holder for his doctoral alma mater the University of South Carolina and spends many Saturdays during the Fall in Columbia, SC rooting for Coach Beamer and the Gamecocks football team. However, soccer is the Fall sport that he grew up playing and continued being involved with, playing, and coaching throughout college and graduate school. As a fan Dr. Ciccarelli is a supporter of Everton FC in the Premier League, both the United States and Italian national squads at the international level, and FC Charlotte of MLS.


B.S., Communication Studies, The College at Brockport (SUNY)

M.A., Public Relations, Ball State University

Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of South Carolina

Courses Taught:

Integrated Marketing Communication

Public Speaking

Media Ethics

Principles of Public Relations

Research Interests:

Health communication; media effects; the impact of media message-framing; perceived self-efficacy for pro-social behaviors; media influence on social determinants of health; crisis communications; marketing, and brand-based messaging; applying communication theory to social/societal phenomena.

Selected Research & Professional Activity:

Zain, A., & Ciccarelli, C. A. (2023). “Political Partisanship and Belief in Misinformation: Operationalizing the Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict Intentions to Quit Social Media.” Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, 12/2023.

Jun, J., Wickersham, K., Zain, A., Ford, R., Zhang, N., Ciccarelli, C. A., Kim, S.-H., and Liang, C. (2023). “Cancer and COVID-19 Vaccines on Twitter: The Voice and Vaccine Attitude of the Cancer Community.” Journal of Health Communication, (In Press). DOI:

Ciccarelli, C. A., McKeever, B. W., and McKeever, R. (2022). “Empathy and the health belief model in the context of COVID-19.” Paper presented at the 2022 AEJMC annual conference, Detroit, MI. (*2021 AEJMC Collaborative Scholars Grant Recipient)

Ciccarelli, C. A. (2022). “Predicting potential adoption of risky vaping behaviors among college students using the variables of framing and perceived behavioral control.” Paper presented at the 2022 AEJMC annual conference, Detroit, MI. (*Awarded the Moeller Top Student Paper Award 3rd place, Mass Communication & Society Division.

Ciccarelli, C. A., & Blom, R. (2022). “Expectation violations and crisis communication: Contingency theory in the context of media planning and memory accessibility.” Paper presented in the Public Relations Research Division at the 2022 AEJMC annual conference, Detroit, MI.

Jun, J., Kim, K. J., Overton, H., Robertson, B., Ciccarelli, C. A., and Bahalla, N. (2022). “Science, Faith, and Information Sources as Drivers of Individuals’ Perceptions of COVID-19 Risk and Mask-Wearing Intentions.” Paper presented at the 72nd meeting of the ICA conference, Paris, France.

Ciccarelli, C. A. (2021). “A critical Qualitative Analysis of Response Framing of the COVID-19 Pandemic Across Higher Education.” Paper presented at AEJMC 2021, (virtual conference, COVID-19).

Ciccarelli, C. A. (2021). “Branding: Generating Value that Resonates & Tracking R.O.I.” Kendall Hunt Publishing Company. ISBN #: 978-1-7924-4752-5, P. 1-104.

Lee, Y., Huang, K. T., Blom, R., Schriner, R., & Ciccarelli, C. A. (2021). “To Believe or Not to Believe: Framing Analysis of Content and Audience Response of Top 10 Deepfake Videos on YouTube.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, p. 1-6.

Ciccarelli, C. A., & Davis, D. (2018). “The Outsiders: The University of Virginia Under a Microscope: An Analysis of Crisis Responses Surrounding the Charlottesville Protests.” In the 21st International Public Relations Research Conference - official proceedings (2018), p. 91-100.