Queens graduate director Dr. Carolyn Lagoe details her journey in health and communications

Carolyn Lagoe

It was during her time as an undergraduate student at the University at Buffalo that Dr. Carolyn Lagoe stumbled upon her passion during a health communications class, something that shaped her into the person she is today.

“My professor at the time started to talk about the fact that she was working on the design, dissemination and implementation of health communication campaigns,” Dr. Lagoe said. The professor’s revelation connected two of her interests: health and communication.

In August, Dr. Lagoe joined the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens, as director of the graduate school program.

Dr. Lagoe’s work with health campaigns started in 2011, when she began working at an interdisciplinary health behavior research center affiliated with the University of Connecticut. She focused on HIV risk reduction and gender-based violence prevention campaigns. More recently, she is working on occupational health and safety campaigns.

Dr. Lagoe said educators and academic colleagues have provided strong support, something she hopes to bring to undergraduate students at Queens University. One of her professors at the University of Buffalo served as a role model and helped her get into grad school.

After graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2007, she went on to get her master’s degree in communications in 2009. Dr. Lagoe then graduated with her doctorate in the same field in 2013 at the University of Connecticut.

Not having to work is one of her key takeaways as a grad student, she said. “My experience at UConn, that was the first time I was in school where I didn’t have to be working three other jobs. I had the opportunity to dive deep into the work. One thing it showed me was how fortunate I was to be able to go to school and not have to work.” While at UConn, Dr. Lagoe worked as a graduate teaching assistant. In her five years as an undergraduate and master’s degree student, she worked multiple unique jobs that sometimes added up to 30 hours a week.

Dr. Lagoe said she enjoys the way students put their own spin on projects, their discussions in the classroom and watching them develop after graduation.

“Taking that class with a professor who I now work collaboratively with gave me a lot of direction once I realized health campaigns were something I could work on,” Dr. Lagoe said. “It was simply a point at which I felt like I had a task and a little bit more direction in what I was looking to do.”

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Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.