Texas Tech University

Melanie Sarge, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Email: m.sarge@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.2831

Office: 511

Office Hours: TR 2:00-4:00

Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, School of Communication

Melanie Sarge

Classes Taught:

Graduate Level Courses

Undergraduate Level Courses


Dr. Sarge has expertise in persuasive communication. Her research examines message factors and human biases that influence selection, processing, and comprehension of health and science information. Findings from this agenda inform message designers of strategies to increase the appeal and effectiveness of messages for a target audience. Previous and current research focuses primarily on mediated messages for health promotion and disease prevention among issues such as obesity, HPV, and breast cancer. Example work includes designing, developing and testing of messages to (1) increase time spent viewing weight loss/management-related articles and subsequent adoption of recommended behaviors, (2) promote female patient and parent initiated discussions with physicians about the HPV vaccine (3) heighten issue awareness and motivate greater willingness to partake in breast cancer screenings.


Dr. Sarge's professional background is in strategic communication with specific emphasis on retail marketing, management communication, and public relations. She worked as a visual and operations manager for one of the leading women's clothing stores in the nation. There she implemented marketing tactics sent from regional management, directed sales initiatives, controlled the hiring and training of associates, monitored loss prevention and conducted store operation audits. She gained most of her PR experience working for a non-profit city promotions corporation which involved recruiting new corporate donors, coordinating community events and updating marketing communications. Her interest in researching persuasive communication stemmed from these professional experiences.

Leadership / awards:

Dr. Sarge is the faculty advisor for one of the College's largest student organizations, Tech Advertising Federation (TAF), and serves on the executive board for the Lubbock Advertising Federation. She is also the vice president-elect for the Mass Communication and Society (MCS) Division for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her involvement in leadership at the University level includes serving as an advisory board member for the Texas Tech Obesity Research Cluster, a College co-leader of the Public Engagement and Education subgroup of the Texas Tech Unconventional Production Technology and Environmental Consortium (UPTEC), and a member of the Texas Tech Institutional Review Board.  

Dr. Sarge was a 2016 recipient of the New Faculty Award from the Texas Tech Alumni Association and was nominated by the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University for the Hemphill Wells New Professor Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014. Her co-authored article, A serial mediation model of message framing on intentions to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: Revisiting the role of threat and efficacy perceptions, won the Article of the Year Award from the Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk (ComSHER) Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. During her time at Ohio State University, Dr. Sarge won a competitive Walter B. Emery Memorial Scholarship awarded for outstanding graduate student research from the School of Communication at Ohio State and her thesis was awarded the Top Student Paper at the 2010 Kentucky Conference on Health Communication.