Dr. Hilyard’s scholarship focuses on two major areas of public health: infectious disease prevention and emergency preparedness and response. Before pursuing a career in academia, Dr. Hilyard amassed more than 15 years of diverse work experience as a journalist, public relations executive and business owner. She combines her knowledge of health behavior and decision-making with her background in media and public relations to teach both students and practitioners how to more effectively communicate with their audiences. Published in such journals as Health Affairs, Health Promotion & Practice, Journal of Health Communication and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, she is also a certified trainer for the CDC’s Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication program (CERC), and is regularly invited to present research at major academic and
industry conferences. Dr. Hilyard has been awarded research funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the CDC, the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee and collaborates
cross-campus and nationwide on research initiatives. Her current projects include a study examining vaccine disparities among African-American adults and three initiatives exploring vaccine acceptance and refusal among parents of young children.