Yan was hired as part of the WVU 2020 Strategic Plan’s Mountains of Excellence – five areas of strength and opportunity upon which the University is focusing its multidisciplinary research and innovation efforts. These multidisciplinary areas include:
1. Addressing health disparities in Appalachia
2. Improving STEM education and scientific literacy
3. Utilizing shale gas responsibly
4. Promoting stewardship of water resources
5. Achieving international leadership in radio astronomy
In 2012, the WVU Reed College of Media was asked to participate in the “Health Disparities” Mountain along with five other colleges and was provided funding to hire a health communications professional.
Yan will teach courses in the Strategic Communications program, develop a graduate-level health communications course for students in health sciences, and collaborate with faculty across campus on grant-funded research projects in this area.
Most recently, Yan served as an assistant professor of advertising at Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. He also has taught courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania State University and University of Maine. Yan’s research and teaching areas include strategic health communications, advertising and integrated marketing communications.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Colorado at Denver, his master’s degree in communication studies from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his doctorate in mass communications from Pennsylvania State University.