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Wei Sun, PhD

Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs

  • CHSOC Dean's Office
  • School of Communications
  • Associate Professor
    Communication Culture & Media Studies


Dr. Wei Sun is a Fulbright Specialist in Communications/Journalism. She is the Chair of the International and Intercultural Communication Division (IICD) of the National Communication Association (NCA) and serves a 5-year term at NCA's Legislative Assembly. Dr. Sun was the Chair of NCA's Doctoral Education Committee in 2022 and chaired NCA's Miller Dissertation Committee in 2021. She was selected as the Editor for Communication Reports, a Western States Communication Association's official journal. Dr. Sun's research interests include intercultural communication, new media studies, international communication, and health communication. 

Dr. Sun is currently serving as Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs at the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, Howard University. She is a graduate faculty member in the Department of Communication, Culture, and Media Studies. She has taught various doctoral seminars in International/intercultural Communication, Health Communication, Race, Culture and Social Justice, and New Media Studies. Dr. Sun's publications have appeared in academic journals and books. Recently Dr. Sun received two grants from the FDA to conduct research on Black and Asian Americans' hesitancy in participating in clinical trials studies, and to investigate the health risks of Black and Asian women's use of skin-lightening products. From 2018 to 2021, Dr. Sun served as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication, Culture, and Media Studies. Since the pandemic outbreak, Dr. Sun has collaborated on several projects with colleagues and students on social stigma, college student stress, health disparities, and misinformation.

Education & Expertise


Communication and Culture

Howard University

Speech Communication

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania


intercultural communication; new media; international communication; health communication; minority invisibility



CCMS 706 Field Research in Communication

CCMS 706 Field Research in Communication. 3 crts. Develop skills in researching, analyzing and solving a current issue/problem in communication research related to the pandemic of Covid-19 and political unrest of 2020.  The course and project involve (online) fieldwork in the communication discipline.Class FormatReal-time online seminars will combine instructor lectures, student-led discussions, and final paper presentations.Course ObjectivesUpon completion of this course, students will be able to:Identity the online culture and environmentcritically engage a broad range of social and cultural issuesrecommendations impacting racial and ethnic minority communities

CCMS 708 Race, Culture and Social Justice

CCMS 708. Race, Culture and Social Justice. 3 crs. This course examines the complex inter-relationships among race, culture, and society within America’s political and social contexts, particularly race and ethnicity in public policies and practices impact the communities in areas such as education, employment, law enforcement, health care, environment, immigration, etc. Students will build the critical analytical skills to pursue inquiry within the course’s framework.Course ObjectivesUpon completion of this course, students will be able to:identify important contemporary social justice issues as they relate to racial and ethnic minority communitiescritically engage a broad range of policy issuesrecommendations impacting racial and ethnic minority communitiesthoughtfully engage various stakeholders in relation to social justice issues, their work, perspectives, and/or concerns

CCMS 712 Social Media, Culture and Communication

This doctoral seminar explores the history, practice, tools, legal and ethical issues related to social media.  Social media communication has become ubiquitous in the field of communications, emphasis in this course will be to examine the impact of this new media of communication within political economy, political communication, intercultural and international communication from various theoretical approaches.

CCMS 709 Community and Public Health

An interdisciplinary course addressing the roles of communication in population-based approaches to community health improvements.  Features problem-based learning.Course ObjectivesTo introduce students the core functions of public health with an emphasis on community health programs and current trends of population healthTo expose students to the role of community health practice in maximizing the health status of all populationsTo overview the organizational structure of federal, state, and local health-related agencies and examine the interrelationship of political, social, cultural and economic dimensions of community-based population health activitiesTo communicate the mission of public health as associated with social justice strategies.To identify, analyze and interpret factors influencing people’s health status through a strong foundation in the social determinants of health and the community developmental theoretical frameworks associated with social change

CCMS 726 Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication analyzes issues related to communication across cultures. Topics include theories of intercultural communication, issues and challenges of cross-cultural communication, identity, multiculturalism, intercultural competence, globalization, race and gender, social justice and equity, etc

CCMS 724 Leadership and Diversity

Examines communication leadership scholarship within a context of diversity that includes culture, gender, race, ethnicity, as well as additional diversity issues. Students will develop an understanding of the diverse cultures that contribute to organizations and communities. The impact of cultural diversity on personal effectiveness will be explored from both a leadership and management perspective.

CCMS 700 Pro Seminar in Communication

CCMS 700. Pro Seminar in Communication Theory and Research.Descriptive and critical overview of the field of communication. Orients doctoral students to the nature, resources, challenges, expectations and procedural aspects of graduate study. Opportunity to frame higher education experience to project success.

CCMS 702 Qualitative Research Methods

This course provides students with an in-depth introduction to the theory and practice of qualitative communication research. The class has four objectives: 1) to provide students with a rich introduction to the epistemology, theory, and ethics of qualitative research; 2) to teach students how to formulate research interests and plan for fieldwork; 3) to help students acquire skills in field observation, interviewing, and interpretative analysis; and, 4) to provide students with the opportunity to deeply engage with books that are among the strongest in this tradition, and that all originated as dissertation projects. The course is designed both for students who plan on utilizing qualitative methods in their work and those who are just seeking a deeper understanding of this approach to research. Students who are planning on utilizing qualitative methods in their work are encouraged to use this course as an opportunity to further their dissertation, or other research projects. Students who work primarily in other research traditions are encouraged to consider how qualitative methods can complement their research.

SLMC 392 Organizational Communication

Organizational Communication introduces students to the study of organizational Communication through its various forms, functions, challenges, and consequences. The course is designed to be an active learning experience that helps students understand organizational life by critically examining communication behaviors, structures, and linkages with the external environment, all toward developing competencies that enhance understanding. In this course, students also explore ways to make sense of organizational experiences through recognizing and analyzing organizational patterns, barriers, and common dilemmas that often enable, constrain, or complicate communication processes.

SLMC 490 Communication Research Method

This course provides an overview of the concepts, methods, and tools by which communication research is designed, conducted, interpreted, and critically evaluated. The primary goals of this course are to help you become a knowledgeable consumer and a limited producer of communication research as you develop skills in gathering, organizing, interpreting and presenting research information using competent and ethically defensible methods.

CCMS 740 Global Health Communication

Health problems transcend national boundaries in the time of rapid travel and migration. Global health communication study places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide.  Global health communication emphasizes transnational health communication issues, determinants, and solutions, involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promote interdisciplinary collaboration, and is synthesis of population based prevention with individual-level health care communication.

CCMS 757 International Communication

Reviews international interactions, information flows, and perceptions.  Emphasis on the role of media and factors affecting that role. The course will review (a) the history of the field of international communication, (b) current theories of and research on international communication processes and effects, and (c) directions for future research. The course offers a comprehensive overview of the global communication landscape and it covers the development of the technological infrastructure of international communications. The course draws on case studies around the world, with a special emphasis on counter-terrorism laws and free expression




Intercultural Communication, Health Communication, New Media


PIs: Wei Sun, Monica Ponder. Funded by FDA Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE), "Bridging Gaps: Recruiting African and Asian American Participants in Clinical Trials and Creating Culturally Competent Messages.”  $500,000. 2021-2022.

PI: Wei Sun. Jumpstart, Children First. $174,000. 2022-2023. 

PI: Wei Sun. The shades of beauty. Asian and African women health disparities in skin lightening product health risks. Funded by FDA. $250,000, 2022-2023.

Co-PI (PI: Emily Cramer, Noha Hazazzi). Reducing stress while navigating virtual learning: A tool to help minority students stay afloat. RCMI, Howard University. $50,000. 2022-2024.



2018-2021       Fulbright Specialist Roster

2018-2021       Fulbright Specialist Roster, Visit China in December
2019-2018       Summer Academy, Howard University
2018 Howard Research Symposium Award the Most Outstanding Presentation in the Area of Social Sciences in Junior Faculty Category
2018                Howard Research Symposium Award the Most Outstanding Advisor Category               
2017 Junior Faculty Summer Research Fellowship at Howard University
2006                Research Grant, Tokyo Foundation, JIP fund in 3 countries, New Orleans, USA; Phuket, Thailand; Georgetown, Guyana.

Related Articles



Editor, Sun, W. Communication Reports. (2023-2026)

Guest Editors: Sun, W., and Lamb, Y. R. (2020-2021). “Media and Communication During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.” A special issue of the Howard Journal of Communications. 32(5).

Guest Editorial Board Sun, W. et al. (2020-2021). Journal of Language and Social Psychology (JLSP) Special Issue “The Legacy of George Floyd: Language, Communication, and Social Psychology Perspectives toward Change and Social Justice.”

Editorial Board, 2021-2024, Howard Journal of Communications…

RECENT PUBLICATIONS (*indicates a student author at the time of publication or writing)

Ponder, M. L., Jenkins, B. M., & Sun, W. (2024). Stigma’s impact on the gender and sexual minority community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Howard Journal of Communications.

Goodman, J.* & Sun, W. (2024). Critical analysis of the #WhatWereYouWearing hashtag and related Images on Twitter and Instagram. In D. Gilpin and S. Kitch (eds.). Arts, activism & sexual violence. University of Washington Press.

Ponder, M. L., Gardner, T. E.*, & Sun, W. (2023). “Just one more thing on our plate that makes it undesirable to be around”: African Americans’ experiences during COVID-19. Howard Journal of Communications, 34(4):372-391.

Sun, W. & Almalki, S.* (2023). Disparities, inequalities, and stigmas in transnational health communication. in Atay, A., Eguchi, S., & Pindi, G. (Eds.). Transnationalizing Critical Intercultural Communication: Legacy, Relevance, and Future (pp.313-328). Peter Lang.

Ponder, M. L., Uddin, J.*, & Sun, W. (2022). Asian Americans’ Lived Experience with and Perception of Social Stigma during COVID-19. Howard Journal of Communications. 34 (2), 151-169.

Ponder, M. L., Lindsey, J.*, & Sun, W. (2022). Undocumented Hispanic Immigrants’ Perceived Stigma, Social Barriers, Coping and Adapting during COVID-19. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 24(1), 76-86.

Gardner, T.*, Sun, W., & Stroman, C. A. (2022). Perceptions of COVID-19 and BLM Protesting on Twitter. In S. A. Navarro, and S. L. Hernandez (eds.). The Color of COVID-19: The racial inequality of marginalized communities, 66-84. Routledge.

Jenkins, B. M.*, Gardner, E. T.*, & Sun, W. (2022). African American college students stress management and wellness during COVID-19. In Strawser, M. (eds). Higher Education Implications for Teaching and Learning during COVID-19, pp. 65-80. Lexington Books Series Millennials and Generation Z: Generational Differences in Higher Education and the Workplace.

Powell, A.*, Jenkins, K.*, Gulledge, B.*, & Sun, W. (2021). Teaching social justice and engaging Gen Z students in digital classrooms during COVID-19. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 21(4), 56-68.

Sun, W. (2021). Introduction to the Special Issue: “Media and Communication during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic”, Howard Journal of Communications, 32:5, 415-420,

Copeland, T.*, & Sun, W. (2021). “Let’s pray for President Trump in church”: A rhetorical analysis of Franklin Graham’s Pro-Trump posts on Facebook. In J. Vining. (ed.) Religion and Rhetorical Scholarship in America: Obstacles and Opportunities (pp. 155-180). Lexington Books.

Sun, W. (2021). Chinese-speaking netizens’ sense-making of VOA's coverage on China’s Counter-terrorism Laws and freedom of speech. in T. W. Workneh and P. Haridakis (Eds.). Counter-terrorism Laws and Freedom of Expression: Global Perspectives. (pp. 109-132). Lexington Books.

Sun, W. (2021). HBCU undergraduate students perceived stress management and coping skills. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication.

Sun, W., & Critchfield, A. J. (2020). Asian Americans’ perceived work-related stress: Impacts on job satisfaction and retention. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 22 (1), 66-79.

Sun, W., & Critchfield, A. J. (2020). Social impact(s) of COVID-19. In J. Liebowitz (ed). The business of the Coronavirus: Now and Beyond (pp. 111-123). Taylor & Francis.

Sun, W., & Simon-Roberts, S.* (2020). Junior faculty preparation, adaptation, and retention. Journal of Faculty Development, 34(2),81-88.…

Sun, W. (2020). Rice Bunny and #WoYeShi: Online reactions of overseas Chinese #MeToo Movement in China and the West. The Howard Journal of Communications, 31(3), 245-263.

Sun, W., Oti, D., Critchfield, A. J., & Myers, T. K.* (2019). Internationalizing intercultural competence instruction in the community college Basic Course. In P.K. Turner, S. Bardhan, T. Q. Holden & E. M. Mutua (Eds.) Internationalizing the Communication Curriculum in an Age of Globalization: Why, What, and How (pp.64-75). Routledge.

Sun, W. (2019). China’s national media coverage of counter-terrorism and its netizens’ reactions, In E. K. Ngwainmbi (Ed.). Global media representation and international community perception. (pp. 163-187). Palgrave MacMillan.

Sun, W. (2019). Narrating menopause-related health complaints while speaking English as second language. In P. M. Kellett. & J. M. Hawkins. (Eds.). Women's narratives of health disruption and illness within and across their life stories.(pp.123-138)). Lexington Books.

Sun, W. (2018). A qualitative exploration of Millennial employees’ work related stress and retention. In S. Smith (Ed.). Recruitment, retention, and engagement of a Millennial workforce. (pp.103-124). Lexington Books.

Sun, W., Herbert, S., & Jenkins, J. (2018). College Millennials’ career preparedness to the workforce: They say they are ready. In S. Smith (Ed.). Recruitment, retention, and engagement of a Millennial workforce. (pp 15-35). Lexington Books.

Sun, W. (2018). A critical discourse of “Minority Women for Trump” campaigns on social media. In N. Bilge & M. I. Marino (Eds.). Reconceptualizing New Media and Intercultural Communication in a Networked Society (pp.303-327). Hersey, PA: IGI Global Publishing.

Sun, W. (2017). The enemy at the door: My friend’s silent battle to breast cancer. In K. M. Williams and F. S. Morant. (Eds.). Reifying women’s experiences with invisible illness (pp123-137). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.