Texas Tech University

Rachel E. Riggs

Doctoral Student
Graduate Program

Email: rachel.e.riggs@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.1826

Research: Health Communication, Crisis Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Public Relations Campaigns

Office: 702 
 By appointment

Social Media: @Rachel_E_Riggs

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-riggs-20761990/

M. A. Communication Studies, Angelo State University
B. A. English and Communication, Angelo State University

Rachel E. Riggs


Rachel is pursuing her Ph. D. in Media and Communication at Texas Tech University. She began her coursework at Texas Tech in June 2019. For the 2020-21 academic year, Rachel was awarded a TEACH Fellowship through the Texas Tech Graduate School. Rachel and her TEACH cohort are committed to improving their teaching strategies and giving back to Texas Tech undergraduate students in the classroom. Additionally, Rachel works as a contact tracer for Texas Tech University to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the safety of students, faculty, and staff. In her free time, she enjoys going to events on campus, baking bread, running, and exploring the city/local area for fun things to do. Rachel earned her M. A. in Communication Studies from Angelo State University in December 2016 while she also worked full-time as a student affairs professional. Rachel then joined the Communication and Mass Media faculty at ASU in August 2017 and taught five public speaking courses each semester. Rachel has also volunteered as an on-call victim advocate for the Open Arms Rape Crisis Center in San Angelo, Texas.


Rachel's research interests include health communication, interpersonal communication, and media effects research. Her research focuses on adolescent and emerging adult health issues and stigmatizing health identities. She is especially interested in understanding the role of media in encouraging adolescents and emerging adults to disclose mental illness or sexual assault victimization in order to seek support and resources.


  • Surveys
  • Experiments
  • Focus Groups

Research Areas

  • Health Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Media Effects Research

Selected Publications

  • Riggs, R. E. & Punyanunt-Carter, N. M. (2020). Young adults' use of sexting. In Kalish, R. (ed.), Young Adult Sexuality in the Digital Age. IGI Publishing: Hershey, Pennsylvania.


  • Riggs, R. E. (2019). A new season for the Baylor nation: Image repair and organizational learning in Baylor's Title IX crisis. Ohio Communication Journal, 57. 33-46.

Teaching Focus

Courses Taught at Texas Tech University: 

  • MCOM 2330 Media Literacy
  • CMI 3355 Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Media
  • MCOM 2320 Writing for Mass Media Lab
  • MCOM 2310 Business and Professional Communication

Courses Taught at Angelo State University:

  • GS 1181 General Studies Freshmen Seminar
  • COMM 1315 Public Speaking

Leadership & Awards

  • Leadership: Selected Member -- 2020-21 TEACH Fellowship Vice President -- Graduate Student Society,

College of Media and Communication Awards:

  • Awarded Top Abstract by the Commission on the Status of Women -- Riggs, R. E. & Yoshimura, K. (2020). The influence of group identity with student sub-groups at universities on reported willingness to engage in bystander intervention. Presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Mid-Winter Conference. March 2020. Norman, Oklahoma.