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Yachao Li, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Office: Kendall 211
Tel. 609-771-2783
Office Hours

Yachao Li, also known as Bruce Li (Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2018; M.A., Rutgers University, 2015), is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the Department of Public Health at The College of New Jersey. He is an award-winning teacher- scholar with expertise in interpersonal communication, health communication, communication theory, and research methods.

Dr. Li’s research focuses on the intersection of message production and health disparities. He examines how cultural, relational, and personal factors influence people’s messages in challenging social interactions. He also explores the role of communication in reducing minority health disparities. His Theory of Coming Out Message Production explains how individuals create sexual orientation disclosure messages that have personal and relational outcomes. Dr. Li’s scholarly work has been published in journals such as Journal of Medical Internet Research, International Journal Environmental Research and Public Health, Health Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, and Communication Studies. He has won the 2020 International Communication Association Interpersonal Communication Division John Garrison Award and Top Paper Award, and the 2019 Communication Studies Article of the Year Award. His projects have been supported by agencies such as National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Endowments for the Humanities, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and FDA Center for Tobacco Products.

Dr. Li teaches classes in areas such as interpersonal communication, health communication, public health campaigns, and research methods. He has also been developing courses in topics such as health promotion, stigma and disclosure, and sexual communication. Beyond the classroom, he is dedicated to mentoring students on independent studies and collaborative research projects. Dr. Li has also developed and presented teaching workshops to share his pedagogical strategies both on campus and at teaching symposiums. He has received several awards in recognition of his teaching, mentoring, and pedagogical development.

Dr. Li is currently an editorial board member of the Southern Communication Journal and Atlantic Journal of Communication. He is a paper reviewer, panel chair, and committee member for National Communication Association and International Communication Association conventions. Dr. Li has also designed and facilitated programs on campus and in the local community, such as Safe Space Training, sexual health education, and substance abuse prevention workshops. He has been recognized by the university and several professional associations for his service.

For more information, please visit his research website ( and follow him on Twitter (@DrBruceLi)