Research Team

CHARM Lab Director

Sojung Kim

Sojung Claire Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University.  At Mason, she directs the Communication, Health, and Relational Media (CHARM) Lab, where she conducts research on effective message design and evaluation with eye tracking technology.

Her research interests broadly lie at the intersections of interactive media, health communication, and strategic messaging. Research contexts primarily concern challenging health and environmental issues such as cancer, vaccination, addiction, and climate change.  Her interdisciplinary work allows her to employ both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Research Assistants

Current Assistants



Nate S. Brophy is the current CHARM Lab Research Assistant working with Dr. Kim. His research interests include health communication, end-of-life communication, persuasive messaging, instructional communication, and motivation and educational psychology. Building upon the foundation laid by the excellent research assistants preceding him, Nate is working with Dr. Kim to handle the day-to-day managerial tasks of the burgeoning CHARM Lab. Among other administrative tasks, his roles include starting the Lab’s developing social media presence; survey development; recruiting, scheduling, and monitoring participants through the process of collecting both survey and eye tracking data; data aggregation and cleaning; and supervising Undergraduate Research Assistants. Nate’s duties also involve work as an applied researcher, assisting Dr. Kim with data analysis, conference presentations, manuscript writing, and drafting articles for publication. Currently, he has involved in research projects related to social media HPV vaccination correction strategies and the evaluation of the Food and Drug Administration’s “Every Try Counts” campaign messages.


Former Assistants



Adebanke Loveth Adebayo’s research interests include health communication, maternal and neonatal health, public health communication, death and dying, social epidemiology and health equity, intercultural health communication, and global health. Her work in the CHARM Lab includes daily co-management of the Lab; survey development; recruiting, scheduling, and moderating participants through the data collection process; data aggregation and cleaning; data analysis; and supervising Undergraduate Research Assistants. During her time in the Lab, Adebanke assisted Dr. Kim with research on HPV vaccination and anti-smoking campaign messaging.


Christian Seiter is a scholar of end-of-life health communication. His research focuses on motivating families to find positive and meaningful ways to engage in advance care planning. During his time at the CHARM Lab, Christian assisted in recruiting and running participants through an FDA funded research project using eye-tracking technology to ascertain efficacy of printed anti-tobacco advertisements. This fall, Christian will be joining the faculty at California State University, Fullerton as an Assistant Professor of Health Communication.  


Katherine Hyatt Hawkins, Ph.D. (2019) currently works as an adjunct instructor at GMU. As the first graduate research assistant who worked in the CHARM lab, Katherine developed its operating procedures, set up equipment, designed training protocols, and served as a liaison between the CHARM Lab and the Department of Communication. Specifically, she played a role in multiple research projects, including providing feedback on pre- and post-surveys; testing study instruments; creating moderator study material; recruiting, coordinating, and moderating study participants; and cleaning and analyzing data. Being part of the CHARM Lab allowed her to further hone her comfortability with biometrics and to apply it to her eye tracking work as an intern at National Cancer Institute.


Kim Mai graduated from the Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Public Health from George Mason University. During her time at Mason, she was an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Communication, Health, and Relational Media (CHARM) Lab, assisting with Dr. Kim’s eye‐tracking research on health while working closely with fellow Graduate Research Assistants. Now working in Urgent Care, Kim’s experience as an Undergraduate Research Assistant has helped her improve her teamwork, attention to detail, communication, and empathy. She is currently working towards pursuing a future in Health and Medicine.