Lynda Bergsma, Ph.D

Assistant Professor
Health Promotion Sciences Division
1295 N. Martin Avenue
Campus PO Box: 245209
Drachman Hall A268
Tucson, AZ 85724
(520) 626-2401

Center for Rural Health Programs and Projects


Lynda Bergsma, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Health Promotion Sciences within the Health Behavior/Health Promotion (HBHP) Section of the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.  She has also been the Director of the Arizona State Office of Rural Health program since 1995. She has developed and teaches two service-learning courses: a Rural Health Service Learning Institute intensive week-long course (CPH-597d 1-credit elective) and a course in Applied Aspects of Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation (CPH532a) 4-credits) required for HBHP students in the MPH program. For this latter course she was awarded the 2009 Delta Omega Award for Innovative Public Health Curriculum. She also teaches a 3-credit required course for DrPH students on Public Health Communication (CPH642).

Her specialty area in public health communication is the use of media literacy education for promoting health. She has developed, implemented and evaluated programs and done research in this field since 1991. She was a founding member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), president of the board from 2004 to 2008, and still serves as immediate past president. For the body of her work, in 2009 she was awarded the National Cable Television Association’s Leaders in Learning Award for Media Literacy.

Educational Background:

1988-97  PhD - Higher Education and Political Sociology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Dissertation: Ideological Reproduction and Social Control in Medical Education

1986-87 MEd - Health Education, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

1968-70 Masters Program in Mass Communications & Instructional Technology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

1963–67 BHSc - Family and Consumer Studies/Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Selected Publications:

Bergsma, L.J. (In Press). Media Literacy and Health Promotion. In Roger, J.R. Levesque, (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Adolescence. New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media.

Bergsma, L.J. & Ferris, E.S.* (In Press). The Impact of Health-Promoting Media Literacy Education on Nutrition and Diet Behavior. In V. R. Preedy, R. R. Watson & C. R. Martin (Eds.) International Handbook of Behavior, Diet and Nutrition. Berlin, Germany: Springer Sciences+Business Media.

Bergsma, L.J., Fullerton, R.,* King, B., & Peters, J. (2011). A Review of the Public Behavioral Health Care System in Rural Arizona. Tucson, AZ: Rural Health Office, pp. 1-40.

Bergsma. L.J. & Carney, M.E.* (2008). The effectiveness of health-promoting media literacy education:  A systematic review. Health Education Research, 23, pp. 522-542.

Bergsma, L.J. (2004) “Empowerment education: The link between media literacy and health promotion.” American Behavioral Scientist, 48, pp. 152-164.

Curriculum Vitae