2018 NCA Award Winners

NCA Award Winners by Year

NCA’s annual awards will be bestowed on several distinguished members at the Annual Convention in Salt Lake City. Below is the list of those who will be honored at the NCA Presidential Address and Awards Presentation.

Teaching Awards

Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education

Cindy Koenig Richards is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civic Communication and Media at Willamette University. Colleagues and former students describe Dr. Koenig Richards as a superlative teacher. Dr. Koenig Richards received two of Willamette University’s teaching awards, six competitive grants for curricular innovation, and national recognition for pedagogy, including selection as a faculty leader for the upcoming 2018 NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar. Dr. Koenig Richards consistently earns high marks in Willamette’s Student Assessment of Instruction. In the past three years, Dr. Koenig Richards had near-perfect scores on several standards of effective teaching: (1) the course increased my understanding of the subject matter, (2) the instructor challenged me to think, (3) the instructor effectively taught the course, and (4) the course contributed significantly to my education. Students report that Koenig Richards is clear, rigorous, and well prepared. They praise the comprehensive feedback provided, Dr. Koenig Richards’ availability outside of class, and the balance achieved between high expectations and compassion. Dr. Koenig Richards is remarkable for using civic engagement as a pedagogical tool. Course content is illuminated by connecting theoretical knowledge to practical application beyond the classroom, with an emphasis on critical understanding and ethical use of technology in the 21st century. Dr. Koenig Richards’ students applied this learning to lead the community in productive conversation about the arguments posed in the debates. Through project-based pedagogy like Debate Watch, Koenig Richards guides students to a deeper understanding of rhetorical theory and a more sophisticated use of the digital media that surround and shape their lives.

Marcella E. Oberle Award for Outstanding Teaching in Grades K-12

Based on a strong belief in kindness and respect, C. Ryan Joyce lives by the motto, “The Other Fellow First.” Whether heading the Speech and Debate program at the Hun School of Princeton, or the Phoenix Country Day School, Mr. Joyce has established nationally recognized Speech and Debate programs.  In only seven years as head coach in Phoenix, Joyce’s middle school team has had over 40 finalists and has won an unprecedented ten national championships at the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament, earning the school five Overall Team of Excellence Awards. In 2017, the National Speech and Debate Association named Joyce the National Middle School Speech and Debate Coach of the Year. Joyce also heads the middle school speech camp at Stanford University’s International Forensics Institute where students traveling from as far away as China come to learn from this gifted teacher and communicator.  Under Joyce’s leadership, young people develop personal and moral skills in leadership and communication.  There is no better way to honor C. Ryan Joyce than by this amazing teacher with the prestigious Marcella E. Oberle Award for Outstanding Teaching in Grades K through 12.

Michael and Suzanne Osborn Community College Outstanding Educator Award

John Nash is an Associate Professor in the Speech/Communications Department and Director of Forensics at Moraine Valley Community College. Students have benefited from Nash’s expertise, guidance, and mentoring in the classroom and on the forensics circuit for years. Nash’s classroom instruction is filled with relevant activities with a student-centered focus. As the forensics coach at Moraine Valley Community College, tireless work has led them to countless local, state, and national awards including three national first place trophies. By creating a family environment, Professor Nash helps students at MVCC find their voice, fulfill their individual potentials, and recognize their own personal worth. Nash’s colleagues highlight someone that others are eager to work with on committees and projects and who readily attend seminars and presentations. Professor Nash has shown a dedication to the field of Communication in countless ways and exemplifies excellence in teaching as manifested by the Osborn Community College Outstanding Educator Award

Wallace A. Bacon Lifetime Teaching Excellence Award

Dennis Gouran is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at The Pennsylvania State University. As an NCA Past President (1991), Dr. Gouran has advanced the discipline through a decades-long career marked by extraordinary levels of service and groundbreaking scholarship in the form of nearly 200 publications and a similar number of conference presentations. This remarkable career was made even more exceptional by Gouran’s tremendous impact as an educator. He taught eighteen different undergraduate courses, twelve different graduate courses, and directed or served on over 200 graduate committees. This commitment to learning and masterful instruction inspired numerous undergraduate students to continue their education, and scores of graduate students were compelled to follow Gouran’s path in their own teaching and careers.  Citing a “steadfastness, marvelous mind, and fresh and illuminating perspectives on human behavior,” one letter writer noted how Gouran orchestrated within students “a will to triumph.”  Such influences on students “do not appear as lines on a vita but are perhaps among Gouran’s greatest contributions to the discipline.”  Dr. Gouran’s contributions to the discipline are vast, with an influence that continues through Gouran’s own students, though their students, and through countless individuals who learned from this exemplar of what it truly means to be a scholar and a teacher.


Scholarship Awards

Bernard J. Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship or Distinguished Service in Family Communication

Lynne M. Webb is a retired professor in communication at Florida International University. Dr. Webb has a strong record of publishing original research over a span of nearly 30 years including four books, 35 chapters, and 51 articles, including publications contributing to the field of communication generally and to family communication specifically. Notable are her impressive regional and national research awards for her work including top paper awards at NCA as well as the Southern States Communication Association and a “Master Researcher Award” from the University of Arkansas. Although recently retired, she continues to publish and devotes an amazing amount of time promoting the research of others as an editor and on editorial boards. Dr. Webb was also one of the driving forces for creating the Family Communication Division for NCA and served as the first Book Review Editor for the Journal of Family Communication.

Charles H. Woolbert Research Award

For their article “A model of relational turbulence: The role of intimacy, relational uncertainty, and interference from partners in appraisals of irritations,” published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, in 2004.​

Denise Haunani Solomon is Professor and Department Head of the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State University. Leanne Knobloch is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.  Dr. Solomon and Dr. Knobloch’s groundbreaking article presented a conceptually and methodologically sophisticated study of the Relational Theory Model (RTM) framework. In their articulation of RTM, Solomon and Knobloch’s study laid the groundwork for decades of interpersonal communication scholarship.


Diamond Anniversary Book Award

For the book Race, Gender, and Citizenship in the African Diaspora: Travelling Blackness (Routledge, 2017).

Race, Gender, and Citizenship in the African Diaspora is a timely, multi-method exploration of citizenship, immigration and belonging. Dr. Celeste asks important questions for these times, such as: “[D]oes blackness itself move?” and “What, then, is the destination of blackness?” Providing a portrait of blackness as multiple and complex through interviews, news frames, and popular media, Dr. Celeste breaks out of expected narratives of black migration and binary thinking to foreground Cuba, Haiti, and South Florida. This book offers two critical interventions: First, Celeste sutures “black” with “immigrant,” thereby offering readers new insights about how immigrant blackness functions as a form of double outsiderness within discussions of citizenship and national belonging.  Second, Celeste disrupts the homogeneity of blackness by suggesting Haitian American conservatism reprises the American Algerian bootstrapping myth and diversity at once.

Donald P. Cushman Memorial Award

For the essay, “The Circulation of Destruction between 1939 and 1941 and the Failure of the American Imagination”

Benjamin Firgens is a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State University. Firgens’ paper is extremely well-written and accessible to a wide audience. The analysis is written in such a way that even non-rhetoricians can find it meaningful, relevant, and interesting. The introduction is well constructed with just enough detail to set the stage for an interesting read. The paper has a strong theoretical development and explanation, good information on the method of analysis taken here (as well as sufficient detail about the artifacts chosen for study), and well-developed analysis of the texts that are appropriate for the study. The conclusions are argued well and provide academic value to future studies of a similar nature. Overall, a well-organized, well written, fun read and exemplary paper. 

Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award

Robert L. Ivie is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of English  and American Studies at Indiana University and an Honorary Professor in Rhetoric in the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication at the University of Copenhagen. Dr. Ivie’s sustained, rigorous and insightful research into the rhetorics that foment and challenge violence on the global scale has illuminated multiple facets of one of the most important topics in public rhetoric: war.  Ivie’s first publication in the Quarterly Journal of Speech in 1974 drew attention to the dynamics of “Presidential Motives for War.”  Five books (the most recent in 2015) and numerous widely cited articles later, Dr. Ivie’s scholarly contributions constitute the largest corpus of work on war rhetoric among active scholars in NCA. Dr. Ivie has studied and stimulated study of the war rhetoric of presidents, congressional representatives, and dissenters. The research produced by Ivie has drawn insights from stylistic, ideological, Burkean, and, most recently, demonological perspectives. These contributions have been recognized within the field, and beyond, and within the U.S. national context and in multiple other national contexts. As a scholar who takes seriously the role of engaging multiple and diffuse publics in modeling productive criticism, Dr. Ivie demonstrates an impressive commitment to reaching beyond the audiences of the discipline and into localized contexts. The spirit of Douglas Ehninger’s own contributions to scholarship are brilliantly echoed in Ivie’s combination of sustained critique and commitment to “productive criticism” that seeks to offer positive contributions to civic culture in order to assist in the invention of more inclusive and less bellicose discourse. 

Kent Alan Ono is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Utah, conducting critical and theoretical research of print, film, and television media, specifically focusing on representations of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation. Dr.  Ono’s contributions to rhetorics of difference have been powerful, influential, and insightful, taking into account a wide array of media and political institutions as they relate to various racial formations and intercultural, localized contexts that span the globe. As the Ehninger Award nominators attest, Dr.  Ono’s “investigations of the rhetoricity of culture have refigured scholarly understandings of how discourses of race, identity, citizenship, and difference are symbolically produced, practiced, and challenged.” Ono’s published scholarship has been influential from his first co-authored essay, “Commitment to Telos—A Sustained Critical Rhetoric,” published in Communication Monographs in 1992, through the award-winning and widely acclaimed co-authored book on immigration, Shifting Borders: Rhetoric, Immigration, and California’s “Proposition 187” to the subsequent books on Asian American rhetorics (2005, 2005, 2009) and the works on colonial remnants in media culture (2009) and critical rhetorics of race (2011), and on to the very recent and creative essays (all 2017) on changes in the landscape of Asian Americans in the media, representations of China in the globalization era, and the model minoritizing of digital labor. Dr.  Ono’s career exemplifies intellectual creativity, perseverance, and impact on academic communities. 

Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression

For the book, The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise (Harvard University Press, 2016).

Laura Weinrib is a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.  This book should be essential to the personal library of any First Amendment scholar or anyone whose research implicates First Amendment issues.  It is a compact, yet exhaustive historical account of personal persecutions and sacrifices of upholding and challenging civil liberties and the expression of freedom. The book’s implications are most prominent today as we are experiencing unjust practices resulting in expression of free speech and the importance of individuals’ rights. It is a comprehensive, well-documented analysis of the ACLU as the leading organization with an enduring impact on First Amendment law in general and on freedom of expression. Dr. Weinrib’s fresh, in-depth look at the interwar ascendance of freedom of expression is challenging the conventional wisdom on ACLU’s past, present, and future. The book could not be more timely.

Gerald M. Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication Scholarship

John Gastil is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Political Science at Penn State University. Gastil is also a senior scholar in the McCourtney Institute for Democracy. Dr. Gastil’s scholarship includes 12 books, more than 75 referred journal articles, 35 book chapters as well as numerous invited articles/essays, book reviews, newspaper articles/op-eds/letters, research reports, and conference presentations. Gastil has secured grants from several funding agencies including The Democracy Fund and National Science Foundation. Dr. Gastil has served as a reviewer for over 45 different journals and been a member of the editorial board for seven journals including the Journal of Applied Communication Research. Dr. Gastil engages in rigorous, socially significant research in collaboration with community partners, colleagues, and young scholars that is shared widely with public and academic audiences. This research consistently influences policy makers and scholars interested in civic engagement, justice systems, and democracy in the United States as well as in other countries such as Argentina, Japan, and Korea.

Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Awards

For the dissertation completed at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, “Chronistic Criticism: Temporalizing the Nation and Reconsidering the Role of Time-Temporality in Rhetorical Criticism.”
Advisor: Ronald Lee

The dissertation materializes chronistic criticism in two case study chapters with vivid detail and conceptual sophistication. Dr. Allen’s selection of case studies from two non-U.S. contexts (the ‘Iraqi mandatory calendar and Argentina’s Plaza del Bicenterio) advances the discipline’s understanding of temporality in relationship to power and histories of colonialism. A third alternative is found in relational temporality, which considers time as “the human ascription of order on real-y occurring events.” From this basis, the project advances chronistic criticism, an interpretive practice that refuses to accept time as a given, but instead explores “constellations of multiple conflicting, coalescing, and competing immanent temporalities.”

For the dissertation completed at the University of Antwerp, “Sexting and Cyber Dating abuse among Adolescents: Unraveling the Social, Relational and Individual Antecedents.”
Advisors: Michel Walrave and Koen Ponnet

This programmatic research project involved conducting a series of self-contained, but interrelated studies about the dangerous uses of digital media by adolescents related to sexting and cyber dating abuse activities. This is an important and rapidly growing form of communication for adolescents in modern society that often leads to serious problems and dire outcomes, such as bullying, intimidation, reputational damage, violence, and even suicide.  This research program provides important descriptive data about these communication activities, as well as a clear examination of important user characteristics, pre-cursors of these activities, and the motivations of adolescents who engage in these communication behaviors. This programmatic research also suggests important implications for future research, education, and intervention strategies for addressing problems related to sexting and cyber dating abuse.

For the dissertation completed at the University of California, Santa Barbara, “Collaboration Life Cycle: Communicating Knowledge and Expertise for Getting In, Getting On, and Getting Out.”
Advisor: Paul Leonardi

Brave, politically-situated work that sees the author put their body/self on the line, producing intellectually-fresh and theoretically-nuanced knowledge in our still-so-dour field of Communication Studies!

Golden Anniversary Monograph Award

For the article, “Neoliberalism, the Public Sphere, and a Public Good” published in Quarterly Journal of Speech in 2017

Robert Asen is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison producing research that focuses on public policy debate, public sphere studies, and rhetoric and critical theory. Dr. Asen skillfully integrates classic works in public sphere theory with current research to articulate a conception of a public good as a dynamic practice in a networked public sphere. The essay contrasts this with the neoliberal public sphere, which flattens difference and obscures inequality, as research on race and gender shows. Dr. Asen’s essay clearly engages the tension between these two very different concepts of the public sphere and delineates how a model of networked locals present in the multiple public sphere can challenge a neoliberal public and rejuvenate public discourse among diverse audiences.

James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address

For the book, To Become an American: Immigrants and Americanization Campaigns of the Early Twentieth Century (Michigan State University Press, 2017).

Leslie A. Hahner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Baylor University. The committee found the book to be well written, creatively conceived, diligently researched, and thoughtfully organized. Dr. Hahner’s book built upon a public address method by taking traditional “texts” and engaging them in creative and innovative reading practices. Not only did Hahner situate the Americanization movement within the historical and ideological milieu of its day, but the book also reads the movement for its pedagogical, visual, and emotional vocabularies. The book progressed in an arc from examining how Americanization could be codified, performed, and ultimately, shape public culture. Dr. Hahner’s book enables the reader to examine current protests, policies, and political campaigns in a more nuanced and connected light. 

James L. Golden Outstanding Student Essay in Rhetoric Award

For the essay, “The Polysemous Border between North and South Korea: Metaphors for Unification at the Demilitarized Zone”

Juliet SooGin Letteney is a graduate student in the Department of Communication Studies at Colorado State University. Letteney’s essay analyzes the Korean demilitarized zone as a rhetorical site infused with contested and contradictory meanings. As a legal and physical boundary separating Korea, it highlights difference and metaphorically becomes a barrier. But it is also a place of connection where the two sides meet and where tourists come to visit. As such, the space includes art installations and platforms that generate unification-related metaphors--the DMZ as a kind of binoculars, and as a bridge between the two divided peoples. This analysis sheds light on conflicting attitudes regarding Korean unification and problematic U.S. expectations in handling the North Korean crisis. Letteney’s essay also illuminates how the understanding of what constitutes a rhetorical artifact has changed over time and shows how the borders of rhetorical studies have themselves expanded.

Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award

Casey Ryan Kelly is an Associate Professor in Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Karl R. Wallace Award Committee unanimously selected Dr. Kelly to receive this year’s award to support the completion of his book titled Apocalypse Man: White Masculinity at the End of the World. Dr. Kelley’s academic track record and scholarly rigor are stellar. This proposed project will provide an important contribution to the discourses of the discipline for years to come. A most pertinent statement of support for Kelly’s project comes from a selection committee member who stated, Dr. Kelly has “shown a strong commitment to bringing diverse voices to the forefront of his scholarship… Most importantly, this proposed project on white masculinity is urgently needed right now. It is exactly the kind of project that we should support in this field given the onslaught of white nationalism in this country and the central role white men play in it.”

Leslie Irene Coger Award for Distinguished Performance

Heidi M. Rose is the Chair of the Department of Communication at Villanova University. Dr. Rose has amassed many accomplishments in a twenty-plus year career as a Performance Studies scholar. Rose has consistently crafted performances aimed at illuminating how power impacts bodies, cultures, families, and theatre itself. At Villanova University, Rose’s impressive corpus of student-centered performances include pieces related to the AIDS crisis (i.e., Living with AIDS, 1994 – 2001), race relations (i.e., Dreaming the Beloved Community: Race, Relationships, and Reality, 1997 – 2002), and Villanova student experiences (i.e., Every Decision Counts, 2009 – 2013). Dr. Rose has published extensively, served as the editor of Text and Performance Quarterly, and received seven performance-related grants (among many other achievements). Rose’s most impressive work has come in the form of the Words and Music trilogy—a series of three auto/biographical plays (Mirror Image, Good Enough, and Twin) interrogating culture and family. In each, Dr. Rose animates family members through voice and body, demonstrating the possibilities of solo performance. Rose has performed from Words and Music at eight U.S. universities to date. As multiple eminent scholars attest, Heidi M. Rose’s body of work is distinguished in its excellent scripting, aesthetic quality, and focus on putting the performer’s body center stage. The breadth and quality of this work indeed situate Rose as an outstanding performer who will continue to carry the legacy of Leslie Irene Coger into the future.

Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies

For the book, Autoethnography and the Other:  Unsettling Power Through Utopian Performatives (Routledge, 2016).

Tami Spry is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University. Dr.  Spry’s scholarship critically reflects on the intersection of performance and writing. Spry’s analysis of various personal performances provides a theoretical foundation within the context of social justice. Dr. Craig Gingrich-Philbrook states “Spry’s book conceptualizes the relationships between embodied performance and critical writing. The text tacks back and forth between performative/poetic sections and more traditional analysis and theoretical reflection/argument. As such, it capably demonstrates the ways these forms of scholarship aren’t “opposites” or incompatible. Rather, Spry skillfully sets them in relationship, allowing them to contribute to one another’s explanatory power.” Gingrich-Philbrook summarizes the strength of this work; “it’s my contention that Autoethnography and the Other offers a singular achievement in the construction of autoethnography, its performance, and its reception on the page and on the stage.  It insists upon the necessity of connection, as well as the risks of a critique that is too self-satisfied in its portrayals of marginalized others and the researchers—the performing writers, in this case—who struggle to bring their subjects and research alive, on the page and on the stage, as a way to summon a world of enhanced connection.”

Mark L. Knapp Award in Interpersonal Communication

Denise H. Solomon is Chair of the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Solomon has published 65 articles, 26 book chapters, four encyclopedia entries, and one book. Dr. Solomon’s work is focused on advancing theory by developing the chilling effect framework, which defines why individuals choose to withhold complaints from romantic partners, relational frame theory that explicates how people make sense of both persuasive and relational messages via cognitive orientation of dominance, affiliation, and involvement and the relational turbulence model, which is designed to explain why perceptions of and communication with close others is difficult at times for transition, change, and uncertainty. Dr. Solomon’s research has accelerated an understanding of how relational judgments including uncertainty, power, commitment, and intimacy impact communication outcomes in close interpersonal relationships. Dr. Solomon also has a track record of being a solid mentor with over a dozen doctoral students having completed their studies under her supervision and many of them going on to tenure track positions at research-intensive institutions. Dr. Solomon won the 2012 Mentoring Award from the International Association for Relationship Research for her impact on the field through mentorship. Dr. Solomon also has 13 Top Three or Top Four paper awards from NCA interest groups and the Interpersonal Communication Division of the International Communication Association.

Stephen E. Lucas Debut Publication Award

For the article, “When Homelessness Becomes a ‘Luxury’: Neutrality as an Obstacle to Counterpublic Rights Claims,” published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech in 2017

Whitney Gent is an Assistant Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato; Dr. Gent received a Ph.D. from UW-Madison in 2018. Gent’s article provides a smart and insightful interpretation of the resistance to proposals for homeless bills of rights. This is an important and underexplored subject. Dr. Gent’s subject matter is timely, important and with real potential to use communication scholarship to enact social change. On a larger scope, Gent argues that the concept of neutrality has been misunderstood in extant scholarship on rhetorical advocacy and the public sphere. Ultimately, Dr. Gent challenges readers to reexamine their assumptions about neutrality, which remains one of the most central concepts to public deliberation and rhetorical democracy scholarship, in ways that productively advance the ongoing theorization of the public sphere. The real joy in Gent’s article is derived from its masterful writing; Dr. Gent demonstrates a high level of sophistication in the essay’s execution and argument, yet the article was easily accessible and pleasurable to read.


Service Awards

Robert J. Kibler Memorial Award

Jimmie Manning is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Manning has served on two NCA multi-year projects (NCA Presidential Task Force for Inclusivity in the Discipline and the NCA Learning Outcomes in Communication Project), 11 terms on the Legislative Assembly, and has chaired the Resolutions Committee. In addition, Manning served as the chair and primary program planner for three NCA Interest Groups and an officer for five other Interest Groups. Dr. Manning also served three two-year terms on the Golden Monograph Awards Committee, a term on the Committee on Committees and four years on the Spectra Advisory Committee. Beyond NCA, Dr. Manning has been an active member at the state and regional levels as the Executive Director of the Central States Communication Association and the president of the Kentucky Communication Association. Manning currently serves on 14 journal editorial boards and has edited or co-edited four special issues of journals, has presented numerous papers and has served as a reviewer, chair and respondent for several units at both the regional and national levels. Manning has received a variety of awards including 16 research awards, 15 top paper awards at the regional, national and international levels, 13 teaching awards and six service awards including awards for advocacy for LGBTQ rights and civic engagement. 

Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award

James Katt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Katt served on the NCA Presidential Task Force on Core Communication Competencies. With regard to the recipient’s contributions to the Task Force, one nomination letter noted the recipient’s “active participation,” “cogent, thoughtful contributions to the project,” “dedication to excellence,” “concern for the group” as well as a “calming presence and relaxed demeanor” as the competencies were evaluated, refined and assessed. Dr. Katt has taught at the same institution since 1973 and is a “well-known and respected” faculty member throughout the university. Dr. Katt’s projects “consistently focus on improving teaching and learning, as well as enhancing the undergraduate student experience and success” and that Katt’s “publications, conference presentations, and textbook contributions” represent a strong commitment to the Communication discipline.


Distinguished Scholar Awards

Dr. Wayne Beach is Professor in the School of Communication at San Diego State University, and Director of the Center for Communication, Health, & the Public Good. Professor Beach is also faculty on the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health, Adjunct Professor, Department of Surgery, and Member of the Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Beach has promoted Conversation Analysis (CA) across the communication discipline and social/medical sciences, drawing attention to the fundamental importance of studying the organization of everyday talk and social actions in ordinary conversations and diverse institutional interactions. A particular concern with health and illness has given rise to long-term and current investigations such as how family members talk through cancer on the telephone, patient-doctor interactions during oncology interviews, and an emerging focus on communication, genetic counseling, and family decision-making.

External funding for Dr. Beach’s research has been awarded from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and several philanthropic foundations in San Diego. Beach’s awards include the 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award, Western States Communication Association; 2017 TRIP (Translating Research into Practice) Scholar Award, Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis; Translational Entertainment and Education Award from George Mason University; SDSU’s President’s Leadership Fund and Dean’s Excellence Awards; and SDSU’s Faculty ‘Monty’ and Professor of the Year Awards for Outstanding Research & Teaching Contributions.

Professor Beach has had a long and productive career as a scholar with numerous publications. Beach’s unique contribution is an emphasis on delivering messages about health and health care that can affect lives positively, enhancing the discipline of communication in meaningful ways.

Professor James Price Dillard is a Distinguished Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. Dillard conducts research on the production and effects of persuasive messages. Professor Dillard’s Goals-Plans-Action model of interpersonal communication has contributed to understanding how individuals create messages designed to change relationships, acquire goods, and shape political opinion. Professor Dillard’s research on the role of emotion in persuasion is often applied to the questions of public health.

Dillard’s record of publication includes 89 peer-reviewed journal articles, 17 of which appeared in the last five years. Dillard authored a germinal monograph, which explicated the domain of interpersonal influence within the communication discipline; served as the lead editor on two editions of The Persuasion Handbook, the definitive volume in our field encompassing theory and research on persuasion; served as associate editor for the International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication; has been selected multiple times to edit special journal issues devoted to persuasion and message production; and has written 32 book chapters and invited articles; and served as editor of Human Communication Research. According to Google Scholar, Dillard’s lifetime citation count is 9249; the total of 3,738 since 2013 shows a continuing influence. Dillard’s I-10 index, which counts the number of publications with at least 10 citations, is 101; of these, 75 articles have gained this status in the last 5 years.

Dillard’s recent honors in include receiving in 2014, the distinguished article award from the Health Communication division of NCA; in 2015, the distinguished article award from the Social Cognition division of NCA; and in 2016, the Outstanding Collaborative Research Award from the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine. Dillard is also a Fellow of the International Communication Association since 2011 and was awarded the title of “Distinguished Professor” by Penn State University this past year.

Mary Anne Fitzpatrick is an Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor of Communication at the University of South Carolina. Over the last 35 years, Professor Fitzpatrick has been one of the most important scholars in the field of communication. Fitzpatrick’s programmatic research on couple types, and the patterns of communication and outcomes associated with these types, constitutes one of the most extensive and generative research programs in the area of interpersonal communication. The influence of Professor Fitzpatrick’s work is profound. Citations and discussions of this research appear in most leading textbooks on interpersonal communication and many texts written by scholars in allied fields such as family studies, personal relationships, and social psychology.

In the last decade, Professor Fitzpatrick has made the move to administration. Professor Fitzpatrick has served as the first Vice President of the University of South Carolina System, the largest institution of higher learning in the state of South Carolina. Prior to the appointment as Vice President, Fitzpatrick served USC as Vice Provost for Special Academic Initiatives, and the founding Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. At UW, Dr. Fitzpatrick held the WARF-Kellett professorship and was the Deputy Dean for the College of Letters and Science (2002-2004), Senior Associate Dean for the Social Sciences (1999-2004) and Vice Provost and Special Assistant to the Chancellor (1999-2001) on Distributed Learning. We seldom recognize the intellectual contributions people in these roles can make. In addition to continuing their scholarship (and Professor Fitzpatrick has done this), they support the intellectual efforts of hundreds of their colleagues both practically and symbolically.

In recognition of this extensive research on communication, Fitzpatrick has received a number of awards and honors. Fitzpatrick is a fellow of: the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); the International Communication Association (ICA); and the International Association for Relational Research (IARR). A past President of the International Communication Association (ICA), Fitzpatrick also served as the President (2012-2013) of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences.