Texas Tech University

Kerk F. Kee

Associate Professor
Professional Communication

Email: kerk.kee@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.6466

Research: Corporate & organizational, health, science, social media

Hours: By appointment

Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin
M.A. San Diego State University
B.S.M.E. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Website: www.ekerk.com

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Kerk F. Kee


Kerk F. Kee (Ph.D., 2010, University of Texas at Austin) is a communication researcher and an interdisciplinary social scientist of innovation diffusion. His research primarily investigates the development, adoption, implementation, and the ultimate diffusion of big data technologies in scientific organizations. He also studies the dissemination of health information in cultural communities and the spread of pro-environmental attitudes in modern societies. His research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in multiple solo and collaborative grants, totaling over US$1,250,000 (individual portion) to date. He received a prestigious 5-year NSF CAREER grant (2015), awarded by the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure under NSF's Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate. According to Google Scholar Citations in December 2020, his research has been cited more than 5,415 times. He leads the Innovation Diffusion Lab, housed in the College of Media & Communication. When Kerk is not doing research, he enjoys practicing power yoga and learning about real estate.

Kerk is currently recruiting under/graduate students to join his research lab. Contact him directly if interested, as research assistantship is available to support qualified students.


Kerk's diffusion research primarily focuses on technological innovations (e.g., collaborative cyberinfrastructure, social media), and secondarily in behavioral innovations (e.g., health prevention, water conservation).

New diffusion projects explore innovations such as chatbots/ conversation agents, collaborative robots/ co-bots, blockchain/ cryptocurrency, and PrEP/ HIV prevention. He also has interests in studying innovation/information diffusion in entrepreneurial startups, natural disaster management, political revolutions, creative industries, and smart cities.


  • Interviewing method
  • Grounded theory
  • Survey method
  • Experimental method
  • Computational method

Research Areas

  • Corporate & organizational
  • Health communication
  • Science communication
  • Social media

Selected Publications

  • Kee, K.F., Le, B., & Jitkajornwanich, K. (forthcoming). If you build it, promote it, and they trust you, then they will come: Diffusion strategies for science gateways and cyberinfrastructure adoption to harness big data in the STEM community. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience.
  • Matei, S. A., & Kee, K. F. (2019). Computational communication research. WIREs: Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 9, 4. https://doi.org/10.1002/widm.1304

  • Liang, Y. J., & Kee, K. F. (2018). Developing and validating the A-B-C framework of information diffusion on social media. New Media & Society, 20, 272-292. DOI: 10.1177/1461444816661552

  • Robertson, B. W., & Kee, K. F. (2017). Social media at work: The roles of job satisfaction, employment status, and Facebook use with co-workers. Computers in Human Behavior. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.080

  • Kee, K. F., Sparks, L., Struppa, D. C., Mannucci, M., & Damiano, A. (2016). Information diffusion, Facebook clusters, and the simplicial model of social aggregation: A computational simulation of simplicial diffusers for community health interventions. Health Communication, 31, 385-399. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2014.960061.

Teaching Focus

  • Diffusion of Innovations, Social Media Analytics, Organizational Communication, Research Methods.

Leadership & Awards

  • 2020-2023 CORE Conversational Agents for Supporting Sustainable Implementation and Systemic Diffusion of Cyberinfrastructure and Science Gateways (Award OAC #2007100, US$199,975). National Science Foundation. PI: Kerk Kee, in collaboration with Prasad Calyam & Satish Nair, University of Missouri-Columbia).
  • 2020-2022 EAGER Leveraging Advanced Cyberinfrastructure and Developing Organizational Resilience for NSF Large Facilities in the Pandemic Era (Award OAC #2042055, US$169,491). National Science Foundation. Lead PI: Kerk Kee, in collaboration with Ewa Deelman, University of Southern California).
  • 2020-2022 STEM Training in Ethics of Publication Practices (STEPP) (Award SES #1926348, US$ 345,702). The Cultivating Cultures of Ethical STEM (CCE STEM) Program, National Science Foundation. PI: Amy Koerber; Co-PIs: Karin Ardon-Dryer, Glenn Cummins, Lyombe Eko, Kerk Kee.

  • 2015-2020 CAREER: Organizational Capacity and Capacity Building for Cyberinfrastructure Diffusion (Award ACI #1453864, US$519,753.00), National Science Foundation. Sole PI: Kerk Kee.

  • 2013-2018 VOSS: Computational Tools, Virtual Organizing, and Dynamic Innovation Diffusion (Award OAC #1322305, US$324,981.00), National Science Foundation. Sole PI: Kerk Kee.