Guest Profile

Dr. Joan Van Tassel

Dr. Joan Van Tassel

Joan Van Tassel, PhD is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Communication at National University. She is an educator, author, and journalist in new media, broadcast and print. She writes for iTHRIVE, the National University System Center for Integrative Health ezine.

Van Tassel studied patient-professional communication and the development of coping skills to deal with health problems. She has written about health communication topics for more than a decade. She investigated the use of computers to convey medical information to cancer patients and concluded that, in some cases, technology may be useful in providing emotional-laden messages because patients are able to guide themselves at their own pace, go over the material multiple times, and maintain privacy.

Before coming to National University, she taught at Pepperdine University and the UCLA Extension School. Her doctoral degree is in Communication Theory and Research, from the Annenberg School for Communications, Los Angeles USC, 1988. She has won numerous awards, including two coveted prizes for her books and an Emmy nomination for her work as a celebrated documentary filmmaker.