Zexin "Marsha" Ma

Assistant Professor

Department of Communication


Ph.D., University of Maryland-College Park


Dr. Zexin “Marsha” Ma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Ma conducts research at the intersection of health communication, persuasion, and media psychology. She is particularly interested in understanding the processing and persuasive effects of health narratives.

Her recent projects include developing and testing the effectiveness of narrative pictorial warning labels to communicate health risks, determining the impact of emerging media (e.g., VR, AR) on narrative influence, understanding online health-related narrative misinformation, and identifying the role of narratives in countering misinformation. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator on an R03 award from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Ma’s research has been published in top communication and interdisciplinary journals, including Human Communication Research, Media Psychology, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Health Education & Behavior, and Computers in Human Behavior. She serves on the editorial board of Health Communication.

Research Interest

  • Narrative Persuasion
  • Health Communication
  • Media Psychology
  • Misinformation
  • Health Disparities

Courses Taught

  • Comm 3498: Health Communication in Mass Mediated Context
  • Comm 5770: Health Communication

Research Links

Personal Website

Google Scholar


photo of Marsha Ma Zexin
Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-6871
Mailing Address337 Mansfield Rd, Unit 1259 Storrs, CT 06269
Office Location238 ARJ