Sydney O'Shay

Communication Studies - Communication Studies and Philosophy

Assistant Professor

Sydney O'Shay

Contact Information

Office Hours: By Appointment via Zoom
Office Location: LUND 202
Phone: (435) 797-0336
Additional Information:

Educational Background

BA - University of Michigan-Flint
MA - Eastern Michigan University
Graduate Certificate in Public Health - Wayne State University
PhD - Wayne State University


Sydney O’Shay is an assistant professor of communication studies (PhD, Wayne State University, 2021). Her research focuses on the construction of stigma communication in healthcare and family contexts. She is currently working on a project investigating stigma communication in interactions between nurses and their patients, and among nurses and other healthcare workers in the emergency department. Sydney is also currently investigating the stigma management and support experiences of family members who have a loved one with an opioid use disorder. Her work has been recognized with the Inclusive Scholarship Award (2022) from the Health Communication Interest Group of the Central States Communication Association and has been published in journals such as Health Communication, the Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication, Communication Studies, and New Media & Society, among others.

Qualitative Research in Communication Studies
Organizational Communication
Health Campaigns
Health Communication
The construction and implications of stigma communication in healthcare and family contexts, primarily pertaining to substance abuse.

Day, A. M., Islam, K., O’Shay, S., Seeger, M. W., McElmurry, S. P. (2022). Consumer response to boil water notifications during Winter Storm Uri. Journal AWWA.


O’Shay, S. (2022). “The chronicle of nightmares”: Emergency nurses’ frontstage and backstage communication in the emergency department. Health Communication. [online first]

O’Shay, S., Day, A. M., Islam, K., McElmurry, S. P., & Seeger, M. W. (2022). Boil water advisories as risk communication: Consistency between CDC guidelines and local news media articles. Health Communication, 37(2), 152-162. 

Day, A. M., O’Shay-Wallace, S., Seeger, M. W., & McElmurry, S. P. (2020). Gender and presence of children: Examining media uses, informational needs, and source preferences during the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research3(2).

O’Shay-Wallace, S. (2020). “We weren’t raised that way”: Using stigma management communication theory to understand how families manage the stigma of substance abuse. Health Communication, 35(4), 465-474. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2019.1567443


Day, A. M., O’Shay-Wallace, S., Seeger, M. W., McElmurry, S. P. (2019). Informational sources, social media use, and race in Flint, Michigan’s water crisis. Communication Studies, 70(3), 352-376 doi: 10.1080/10510974.2019.1567566