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Ricardo J. Wray, Ph.D.

Professor; Behavioral Science and Health Education
College for Public Health and Social Justice

Courses Taught

Science, Theory and Public Health (PHS6050); Social Ecology and Public Health (BSH5200); Translating Evidence and Theory for Community Practice (PUBH5070)


  • Ph.D., Communication, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.S., Communication, Cornell University
  • B.A. with Honors, International Development Studies, Brown University

Research Interests

Health communication, social-behavioral theory, social determinants of health, health disparities and equity

Publications and Media Placements

1. Adsul P, Wray R, Spradling K, Darwish O, Weaver N, Siddiqui S. Systematic review of decision aids for newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients making treatment decisions. The Journal of Urology, 194(5): 1247-1252. DOI:, 2015.

2. Knoblock-Hahn A, Wray RJ, LeRouge C. Perceptions of adolescents with overweight and obesity for the development of user-centered design self-management tools within the context of the Chronic Care Model: A qualitative study. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 116(6):957-67, doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.08.022, 2016.

3. Adsul P, Wray RJ, Boyd D, Weaver N and Siddiqui. S. Perceptions of urologists about the conversational elements leading to treatment decision making among newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients. Journal of Cancer Education, 32(3): 580-588, DOI: 10.1007/s13187-016-1025-2, 2017.

4. Wray RJ, Weaver N, Jupka K, Zellin S, Berman S and Vijaykumar S. Comparing state legislative aides’ perspectives on tobacco policymaking in states with strong and weak policies: a qualitative study. American Journal of Health Promotion, 31(6), 476-483, DOI: 10.1177/0890117116668453, 2017.

5. Adsul P, Wray R, Gautam K, Jupka K, Weaver N, Wilson K. Becoming a health literate organization: formative research results from healthcare organizations providing care for underserved communities. Health Services Management Research, 30(4):188-196, 2017.

6. Wray RJ, Nicks S, Adsul P, Elliott M, Jupka K, Trainer AK, Shahid Sr. M, Wright-Jones R and Siddiqui, S. Promoting informed screening decisions among men at high risk for prostate cancer. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 52, S1: S24-S24, 2018.

7. Seale DE, LeRouge CM, Ohs JE, Tao D, Lach HW, Jupka K, Wray RJ. Exploring early adopter baby boomers’ approach to managing their health and healthcare. International Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications, 10(1), 94-117, 2019.

8. Wray RJ, Weaver N, Adsul P, Gautam K, Jupka K, Zellin S, Goggins K, Vijaykumar S, Hansen N and Rudd R. Enhancing organizational health literacy in a rural Missouri clinic: A qualitative case study. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 32(5), 788, 2019.

9. Nicks S, Wray RJ, Peavler O, Jackson S, McClure S, Enard K, Schwartz T. Examining peer support and survivorship for African American women with breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 28(2), 358-364, doi: , 2019.

10. Wray RJ, Hansen N, Ding D, Masters J. Effects of a campus-wide tobacco-free policy on tobacco attitudes, norms and behaviors among students, faculty and staff. Journal of American College Health, 1-12, 2020.

Honors and Awards

  • Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award (2010)
  • Health Literacy Missouri Trailblazer Award (2014)
  • Wind Under Our Wings Award, The Empowerment Network (2018)

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • American Public Health Association
  • Society for Health Communication
  • Society for Public Health Education

Community Work and Service

For more than 25 years Dr. Wray has contributed to the design, implementation and evaluation of communication programs both internationally and in the United States, promoting reproductive health, prevention of violence, cancer, and infectious disease, and emergency preparedness. Dr. Wray’s research seeks to understand how communication processes intersect with institutional, social and community-level phenomena affecting population health in minority and disadvantaged communities. His work applies principles of community-based participatory programs and research, in collaboration with community organizations in the design and conduct of applied public health research. He is a long-time collaborator of The Empowerment Network, a survivor-founder and led organization providing prostate cancer service and support to African American men in St. Louis. He is currently collaborating with the City of St. Louis Health Department and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health on their Covid prevention outreach efforts to the African American community in North St. Louis.