Stewart (Stewart C. Alexander) Chang Alexander headshot photo

Pronouns: he/him/his

Phone: 765-496-0144


Matthews Hall, Room 222

Curriculum Vitae Selected Publications Back to Directory

Stewart (Stewart C. Alexander) Chang Alexander

Associate Professor, Department of Public Health

Areas of Expertise

  • medical communication
  • LGBTQA+ Adolescent Health
  • Oncology Communication
  • Palliative Care Communication

HHS Signature Research Area(s)

  • Developmental Health and Wellness
  • Healthy Lifestyles and Vital Longevity
  • Sustainable Organizations and Thriving Communities

Department of Public Health Research Area(s)

  • Health Disparities
  • Prevention Science
  • Community-Engaged Research


Dr. Stewart C. Alexander is internationally recognized as one of the top communication methodologists in medicine. He examines how medical providers communicate with patients to help patients better understand their illnesses, choose effective treatment options, and improve their overall health and well-being. His expertise is in developing communication assessment systems that quantify the content of conversations between providers and their patients – to translate qualitative data (i.e., conversations) into quantifiable data (i.e., variables that can be measured with frequencies and proportions).

Improving LGBT Health in Primary Care. Dr. Alexander’s work in adolescent sexuality is among the first to examine how physicians talk with their adolescent patients about sex. Although clinical guidelines support sexual orientation / gender identity discussion as part of their primary care, there are no evidence-based interventions intended to improve identity affirming primary care. Currently, Dr. Alexander’s team is identifying gaps in healthcare needs for LGBT teens in rural Indiana. He is also conducting studies with pharmacists and providers to better understand their education needs.

Patient-Provider Communication. Dr. Alexander’s research focuses on the Promotion of Health and Wellness of individuals by documenting and improving how medical providers talk with patients. His work focuses on enhancing patients understanding of their illnesses, ways to improve their health, and efforts to promote effective health behavior. Dr. Alexander’s work provides expertise on measure development and communication analysis.

Intercultural Development. Dr. Alexander’s work focuses on ways to help individuals learn how to interact effectively in culturally diverse encounters.


  • Post Doc, 2002-2004, Durham VA Medical Center, Health Services Research and Development
  • Ph.D., 2002, Department of Communication, University of Illinois
  • M.S., 1994, Department of Speech Communication, Indiana University
  • M.L.S., 1991, School of Information Science, Indiana University
  • B.A., 1989, Communication, Purdue University

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Growing Intercultural Learning Mentor
  • Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentoring and Research

Current Courses

  • PUBH 250 - Intercultural Development in Public Health and Human Sciences
  • PUBH 501 - Introduction to Health Equity

Selected Honors/Awards

  • Engel Award (Outstanding Research Contributing to the Theory, Practice, and Teaching of Effective Health Care Communication and Related Skills), Academy of Communication in Health Care - 2021
  • Class of 1922 Outstanding Innovation in Helping Students Learn Award, Purdue University - 2021
  • Vision Award, Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentoring and Research, Purdue University - 2020
  • Study Abroad Leadership Award, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University - 2018
  • Purdue University’s Trailblazer Award, Purdue University - 2017