Justin Willett

Doctoral student

Novak Leadership Institute

221C Lee Hills Hall
Missouri School of Journalism
Columbia, MO 65211

JUSTIN WILLETT is a first-year doctoral student with a focus on Strategic Health Communication. He has a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. He is also a staff member of the Novak Leadership Institute.

Willett is a Health Communication specialist, the former Communication Manager at MU Health Care and the School of Medicine. He helped lead MU Health Care’s COVID-19 communication efforts, including promotion of the health system’s COVID-19 vaccine program. Under Willett’s leadership, the health system’s evidence-based COVID-19 vaccine content garnered millions of pageviews and boosted total pageviews of muhealth.org owned content by nearly 1200% in 2021 (13 times higher than 2020).

Willett earned his master’s degree during the pandemic and was awarded the Bonnie and Douglas Wakefield Award recognizing significant achievement and leadership outside the classroom. His journalism experience includes working as a news editor and reporter for the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune and the Fayetteville (NC) Observer.

His research interests include narrative persuasion, digital storytelling, social media and digital advertising, public health messaging strategy, and organizational communication.

Updated: August 4, 2022