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. (in press). How adolescents perceive their parents’ real and ideal conversations about sex: Toward reducing adolescent sexual risk.

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.

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.

Undergraduate Research Team


Elleen Erie (New team member – information coming soon!)

Madison Gilbert (New team member – information coming soon!)

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

2nd Year on Research Team

Sarah Guntz
Hometown: Carmel, IN
Major(s): Exercise Science and Healthy Lifestyle Management major, Theology minor (Junior)
2nd Year on Research Team

Katie Meinecke (New team member – information coming soon!)

Kenzie Pavlik
Hometown: Coon Rapids, MN
Major(s): English and Communication Studies major (Junior)
3rd Year on Research Team

James Perll
Hometown: Mexico, Missouri
Major(s): Biology major (Pre-Dentistry), Communication Studies minor (Sophomore)
2nd Year on Research Team

Sophie Pavlik (New team member – information coming soon!)

Nicole Rizk (New team member – information coming soon!)

Victoria Thornton (New team member – information coming soon!)

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

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

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