PhD, Health Communication, Purdue University, 2021
MPH, Public Health, Purdue University, 2021
MA, Interpersonal Health Communication, Purdue University, 2017
BA, Public Relations and Strategic Communication, Purdue University, 2015

Research Interests

Listening, disclosure, education evaluation, eating disorders, stigmatized health topics


Ashleigh has worked as a postdoctoral teaching associate within the Communication Studies Department at Northeastern. Ashleigh earned her PhD from Purdue University Brian Lamb School of Communication, where she focused on health communication, family and community health, and research methods. She also earned her MPH from Purdue University, focusing on family and community health. As a researcher, she aims to explore how social interactions affect how individuals perceive and value themselves and how social interactions can help prevent eating disorders or aid in recovery from eating disorders. She is also interested in education evaluation of stigmatized health topics. As an instructor, Ashleigh aims to teach with passion and enthusiasm to students locally and globally and believes both are contagious and influence how one learns and what one learns. Ashleigh also aims to implement what she has learned through her research and teaching to those within her community. 


Department of Communication Studies in the College of Arts, Media, and Design (CAMD)

Courses Taught

PHTH 2300 Communication Skills for the Health Professions

Selected Publications

Benedict, B. C., Shields, A. N., Wieland, M., & Hall, J. (2020).
Recommendations for communication centers based on student and tutor reflections: Insights about students’ reasons for visiting, session outcomes, and characteristics of the tutoring approach. Communication Center Journal, 6(1), 79-93.

Harris, T. L., Shields, A., & DeMaria, A. L. (2021). Relevant, relatable, and
reliable: Rural adolescents’ sex education preferences. Sex Education, 1-17. 10.1080/14681811.2021.1931086

Rawat, M., Shields, A. N., Venetis, M.K., & Seth, J. (2021). Women’s agentic
role in enabling and dismantling menstrual health taboos in northern India: A culture-centered approach. Health Communication, 1-10. 10.1080/10410236.2021.1970296

Shields, A.N., Taylor, E., & Welch, J.R. (2022). Understanding the conversation
around COVID-19 and eating disorders: A thematic analysis of Reddit. Journal of Eating Disorders.

Venetis, M.K., Shields, A. N., Rawat, M., & Seth, J. (in press). Predicting menstruation-related topic avoidance between daughters and mothers in two regions of northern India. Western Journal of Communication.

Selected Honors and Awards

Earl Harlan Award (2017)- Award recognizes excellence in teaching at the MA/MS level within the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University.

Bruce Kendall Award (2020)- Award recognizes excellence in teaching at the PhD level within the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University.

MAGS EIT Award (2021)- College of Liberal Arts (at Purdue University) PhD nominee for the 2021 Midwest Association of Graduate Students Excellence in Teaching Award

Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award (2021)- One of the three winners of the 2021 Purdue University Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award.

Selected Public Service

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Walk (2015-2016)- Aided in recruitment, advertising, and fundraising

Presented at local middle schools in Indiana about eating disorders and listening.

Created a Peer Support Group for eating disorders in Indiana