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Marleah Dean Kruzel
Assistant Professor

Marleah  Dean Kruzel

Health Communication, Patient-provider communication, Hereditary Cancer, Qualitative research methods

Office: CIS 3043

Dr. Dean Kruzel joined the faculty in August 2014. Her research focuses on patient-provider communication in cancer care using qualitative research methods. Specifically, she seeks to understand the ways in which communication between healthcare providers and patients (and perceptions of communication) can influence health, well-being, and quality of life through qualitative research methods. This research interest has led her to two main areas of study—ambulatory care and cancer care. For example, one of her current research programs investigates individuals who are highly predisposed to breast and ovarian cancer due to the genetic mutation BRCA but have not been diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Dean Kruzel’s work has been published in Health Communication, Academic Medicine, Patient Education & Counseling, Journal of Health and Mass Communication, and Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management.  In addition to research, she loves to teach; two of her favorite classes are health communication and interpersonal communication. To learn more about Dr. Dean Kruzel’s work, visit

Undergraduate Course Offerings

  • Health Communication
  • Group Communication

Graduate Course Offerings

  • Foundations of Health Communication

Representative Publications

  • Dean, M. (Forthcoming). Celebrity health announcements and online health-information seeking: An analysis of Angelina Jolie’s preventative health decision. Health Communication.   
  • Dean, M., & Street, R. L., Jr. (Forthcoming). Managing uncertainty in clinical encounters. In B. Spitzberg & A. Hannawa, Handbook of Communication Competence. Mouton de Gruyter Publishing.
  • Dean, M., Oetzel, J. G., & Sklar, D. P. (2014). Communication in acute ambulatory care. Academic Medicine.
  • Dean, M., & Street, R.L., Jr. (2014). A three-stage model of patient-centered communication for addressing cancer patients’ emotional distress. Patient Education & Counseling, 94, 143-148.
  • Dean, M., & Oetzel, J. G. (2014). Physicians' perspectives of managing tensions around dimensions of effective communication in the emergency department. Health Communication, 29, 257-266.
  • Gill, R., Barbour, J., & Dean, M. (2014). Shadowing in/as Work: Ten Recommendations for Shadowing Fieldwork Practice. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 9, 69-89.
  • Clark-Hitt, R., Dean, M., Smith, S. W., Nazione, S., Atkin, C. K., & Whitten, P. (2010). Relative frequency of breast cancer website information topics: Environmental risk, prevention, detection, treatment, awareness, social support, and survivorship. Journal of Health and Mass Communication, 2, 35-54.

Honors and Awards

  • Association of Former Students' Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research, Texas A&M University
  • Vision 2020 Dissertation Enhancement Award, Texas A&M University
  • Jim and Bonnie Creel Fellowship in Health Communication, Texas A&M University


  • PhD, Department of Communication, Texas A&M University, (College Station, TX), 2014
  • MA, Department of Communication, The University of New Mexico, (Albuquerque, NM), 2011
  • BA, Department of Communication, Michigan State University, (East Lansing, MI), 2009

Graduate Students

Denise Shereff