Research Director 

Amanda Holman, PhD

Dr. Amanda Holman is an Assistant Professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Holman conducts research and teaches classes on interpersonal, family, and health communication. Her primary research focuses on parent-child communication about challenging, difficult, or taboo conversations – specifically the parent-adolescent “sex talk.”

The Let’s Change the Talk campaign stems from her work on high school adolescents’ perspectives surrounding how parents talk to their children about sexual relationships, health, and education. The goal of Dr. Holman’s research is to include adolescents’ voices as a way to help parents engage in more effective and thoughtful conversations about sex with the purpose of discovering new approaches to reduce sexual risk during adolescence and adulthood. Dr. Holman works with parents/guardians and high schools adolescents in Nebraska.

Ph.D. – University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
M.A. – University of Montana, Missoula, MT
B.A. – Concordia College, Moorhead, MN

Representative Publications:

Holman, A. & Koenig Kellas, J. (2018). How adolescents perceive their parents’ real and ideal conversations about sex: Toward reducing adolescent sexual risk. Communication Monographs, 85, 357-379, doi:10.1080/03637751.2018.1426870

Holman, A. & Koenig Kellas, J. (2015). Adolescents perceptions of communication, relational, and family factors that relate to sexual risk. Southern Communication Journal, 80(5), 388-403. doi:10.1080/1041794X.2015.1081976

Holman, A., & Sillars, A. (2011). Talk about “hooking up”: The influence of college student social networks on non-relationship sex. Health Communication, 27(2), 205-216. doi:10.1080/10410236.2011.575540

Current Undergraduate Research Team

Ellen Erie

Hometown: Fargo, ND
Major: Biology, Minor:  Communication Studies

Sarah Gilstrap

Hometown: Portland, OR
Major: Nursing

Katie Meinecke

Hometown: Norwalk, IA
Major: Biology, Minor:  Communication Studies

Sophie Pavlik 

Hometown: Northbrook, IL
Major: Journalism, Minor: Business Administration

Nicole Rizk

Hometown: Dakota Dunes, SD
Major: Exercise Science & Pre-Health Professions, Minor: Biology

Undergraduate Research Team Alumni

Laura Blenkush

Hometown: Golden Valley, MN
Major(s): Communication Studies and Computer Science major, Mathematics minor. Graduated: 2017

Gabrielle Bruckner
Hometown: Lincoln, NE
Major(s): Communication Studies and minoring in Theatre. Graduated: 2016

Kate Christian
Hometown: Naperville, IL
Major(s): Communication Studies major, Spanish and Business minor. Graduated: 2017

Kerri Delaney
Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD
Major(s): Communication Studies major, Business Administration minor. Graduated: 2016

Kourtney George
Hometown: Woodbury, MN
Major(s): Journalism and Communication Studies Major, Legal Studies minor. Graduated: 2019

Sarah Guntz
Hometown: Carmel, IN
Major(s): Exercise Science and Healthy Lifestyle Management major, Theology minor (Junior)
Graduated: 2018

Sarah Huddleston
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL
Major(s): Social Work major, Spanish minor. Graduated: 2016

Kenzie Pavlik
Hometown: Coon Rapids, MN
Major(s): English and Communication Studies major (Junior) Graduated: 2018

James Perll
Hometown: Mexico, Missouri
Major(s): Biology major (Pre-Dentistry), Communication Studies minor. Graduated: 2019

Paige Rainforth

Hometown: Lenox, IA
Majors(s): Communication Studies and Psychology major. Graduated: 2016

Dhruti Tummalapalli
Hometown: Folsom, California
Major(s): Health Administration and Policy & Communication. Graduated: 2018