Claudia Parvanta, PhD, joined USF as Professor, College of
Public Health, and Director of the Florida Prevention Research Center, in 2017.
As an anthropologist working in social marketing, she examines how culture
affects health behavior as well as culturally appropriate ways to promote interventions.
She recently completed a study for the Florida Department of Health examining
how individuals respond to anti-smoking public service announcements using
facial expression analysis—a neuromarketing tool among several she is testing
through her collaboration with the Muma College of Business Center for Sales
and Marketing Innovation. Dr. Parvanta is using this and Community Based
Prevention Marketing to help develop and test messaging about COVID-19 for
vulnerable populations across the US as part of the National Coronavirus
Resilience Network, led by the Morehouse School of Medicine and funded by the
Office of Minority Health. With the team at the FPRC, she is disseminating
results from the Center’s previous project funded by CDC promoting colorectal
cancer screening to underserved populations. She recently began an assignment
for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to assist
the Center in COVID-related communications for the workplace.
Before joining USF, (2005-17) Dr. Parvanta was the Chair of
the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of the
Sciences in Philadelphia. From 2000 to 2005, Dr. Parvanta headed the Division
of Health Communication at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), and helped the agency expand its emergency communication capacity to
respond to the 9/11 attacks, anthrax, and SARS. When not in government or
academia, Dr. Parvanta has designed, managed, or evaluated programs, or offered
capacity-building training in more than 25 countries. Her early days were spent
working with the Los Angeles Public Health Foundation WIC program as their
‘consulting anthropologist’ and with Porter/Novelli, a leading social marketing
Dr. Parvanta has received grants from the CDC, the Office of
Minority Health, the Florida and Pennsylvania Departments of Health, and the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. Her publications appear in
peer-reviewed journals, and she is the lead author on three APHA endorsed
textbooks in health communication.