Profile for Kimberly Morris

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Kimberly Morris

Assistant Professor
Global Cultures & Languages
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Specialty area(s)

Hispanic Linguistics, World Language Pedagogy, Pragmatics, Study Abroad, Curriculum Design, Computer-Assisted Language Learning, Teacher Preparation, Academic Literacy

Brief biography

I am an applied linguist interested in second language acquisition and pedagogy. I completed my graduate degrees at the University of California, Davis in Spanish Linguistics and TESOL. Broadly speaking, my research explores the teaching and learning of Spanish in different contexts, including during study abroad, in virtual/hybrid classes, and using a task-based approach.

Education

Ph.D. Spanish Linguistics: University of California, Davis (2017)

M.A. TESOL: University of California, Davis (2015)

M.A. Spanish Linguistics: University of California, Davis (2013)

B.S. Curriculum & Instruction-World Language Education: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (2008)

Career

Teaching history

GCL 300: World Language Education: Field Experience I

GCL 310: Theories and Research in Second Language Acquisition 

GCL 320: World Language Education: Field Experience II

GCL 400: Teaching World Languages: Methods and Approaches

GCL 406: Language Assessment & Testing

GCL 420: Teaching World Languages: Design and Application

GCL 473: Teaching World Languages: From Early Childhood to Early Adolescence

SPA 330: Advanced Grammar and Syntax

SPA 331: Spanish Phonetics

SPA 333: Spanish Beyond the Classroom: Navigating the Personal and Professional World

SPA 380: Spanish Language in Contexts

SPA 443: Studies in Hispanic Linguistics (pragmatics)

Kudos

presented

Kimberly Morris, Global Cultures & Languages; and Anders Cedergren and Sarah Pember, both Public Health and Community Health Education; presented "The Health Belief Model as a predictor of the likelihood of pandemic mitigation practices among college students" at American Public Health Association 2022 Annual Meeting & Expo: on Nov. 8 in Boston, MA. Background: The global COVID-19 pandemic changed the nature of the university experience, while deeply affecting students’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Perceptions of the severity of the pandemic and the disease itself , as well as students’ attitudes towards preventative actions to halt the spread of COVID-19, could be important indicators of how likely they are to contribute to overall mitigation of future infectious disease outbreaks. The purpose of this study was to use the Health Belief Model as a theoretical framework to predict the likelihood of students performing various mitigation strategies. Methods: An online survey was emailed to a random sample of students at a midsized midwestern university in the Spring of 2021. Data from the final sample (n=516) were analyzed using stepwise logistic regression, with perceptions of disease seriousness, susceptibility, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers of the mitigation strategy used as possible predictors in 3 separate analyses: likelihood of avoiding large gatherings on and off campus and getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Results: The new models were significant improvements over baselines models, with predictors accounting for 36.9% (vaccinate), 45.3% (avoiding large on-campus gatherings), and 61.9% (avoiding large off-campus gatherings) of variance. Students who reported that avoiding off-campus gatherings was easy were 24 times more likely to say that they would. For avoiding large on-campus gatherings, ease was associated with a 9.9 times greater chance of likelihood. Finally, seeing the vaccine as helpful in reducing the spread of COVID was associated with an 87 times greater likelihood of choosing to get vaccinated. Interestingly, while the HBM traditionally states that increasing an individual’s perception of their likelihood of contracting the disease will lead to increased likelihood of performing preventative action, this study suggests that students were more willing to participate in certain mitigation strategies if they perceived the issue to be of great concern to the population globally, regardless of its individual impact on them. Conclusions: Understanding students’ beliefs and likelihood of performing specific public health actions can help health professionals better promote mitigation strategies and increase participation among the young adult population. Based on findings from this study, possible next steps to investigate could include the connection between mitigation intent and actual mitigating behaviors, as well as applied experimental research to test the impact of messaging specifically around ease and helpfulness.

Submitted on: Nov. 11, 2022