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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Media, Film & Journalism Studies

Two professors chat at the 2019 Colorado Migrahack

Faculty & Staff

Renee Botta, PhD

Renee BottaOffice Location: Media, Film & Journalism Studies, Room 104

Phone: 303-871-7918


About: Renee Botta, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998), is the Director of the MA program in International and Intercultural Communication and an associate professor in the Department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies. She has spent 16 years working in southern and eastern Africa and Haiti to improve health outcomes through health promotion and participatory communication. Her research focuses on communication in WASH projects and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and includes health behavior change, health promotion campaigns, international and intercultural health communication, and family and peer communication about health and about health messages, and the role of CHWs in health education and outcomes. She is particularly interested in developing participatory communication models tailored to the local socio-cultural context. And she is also interested in the motivational role income generating activities and community driven social innovation play in sustaining behavior change and in sustaining health outcomes. Botta studied communication about HIV and AIDS as a Fulbright Scholar in Zambia in 2003. She continues to study health communication and behavior change in a number of countries including Malawi, Haiti, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana, and the United States. She has also focused on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Kenya, Malawi and Haiti.

Office Hours, Fall Quarter 2020: By appointment only. Email for the Zoom link.

Selected Classes: 

  • MFJS 2400: Strategic Communication Planning
  • MFJS 3410: Strategic Messaging
  • MFJS 3420: Strategic Communication Seminar
  • MFJS 3900/4912: Topics in MFJS – WASH in Malawi
  • MFJS 3900: Topics in MFJS – Multicultural Health Communication
  • MFJS 4050: Foundations of Strategic Communication
  • MFJS 4060: Strategic Messaging
  • MFJS 4070: Seminar in Strategic Communication
  • MFJS 4080: Global and Multicultural Campaigns
  • MFJS 4165: Global Health and Development Communication
  • MFJS 4175: Multicultural Health Communication
  • MFJS 4560: Quantitative Research Methods


  • PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1998)
  • MS, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1989)
  • BS, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1987)

Selected Publications: 

  • Botta, R. A., Fenson-Hood, K., Scandurra, L., & Muasya, R. (2018). A Campaign to sustain hand washing behaviors in an urban informal settlement in Kenya. In Claudia Parvanta, David Nelson and Richard Harner (Eds.), Public Health Communication: Critical Tools and Strategies. Burlington MA: Jones & Bartlett.
  • Kochanova, M. and Botta, R.A. (2017) "We Don't Want to Know": HIV from a Cultural Perspective. In Athena du Pre and Eileen Berlin Ray (eds.) Case Studies: Real-Life Scenarios in Health Communication. Oxford University Press.
  • Fenson-Hood, K and Botta, R. A. (2016) Changing Water Treatment Behaviors using Theory of Planned Behavior: Applying a Western-Based Theory in the Developing World. Lambert Academic Publishing.
  • Botta, R. A. (2016) A Stone Left Unturned: The Necessity of Participatory Communication and Indigenous Knowledge for Successful Development Projects. In Patrick Ngulube (Eds.), Handbook of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Research in Developing Nations. IGI Global.
  • Botta, R. A. (in press). Media Dependency and attitudes toward condom use in Zambia. Journal of Communication and Media Research.
  • Rudd, J., Bracken, C. C., Botta, R. A., & Pask, E. B. (2015) Viewing Television Violence: Comparing Presence Sensations Among Victims and Non-Victims of Family Violence. Journal of Communication and Media Research, 7(1).

Selected Accomplishments

  • Fulbright scholar in Zambia (2003)
  • International Judge for Olympic Media Awards (1999)

Personal Website:  Renee Botta, University of Denver

Find out more about Dr. Botta from her Faculty Spotlight article, featured in the Spring 2018 issue of the MFJS newsletter. Faculty Spotlight: Renée Botta