Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Awards

Gerald R. Miller
NCA Award for Outstanding Scholarship

The Dissertation Awards program was created in 1970 to recognize new scholars who have recently completed their dissertation. The first awards were given in 1971. The Miller Award is presented to most outstanding dissertations completed in the field. Up to three awards may be given in any year.

Year Award Winner
2017 Julia Moore, University of Utah, “From Childless by Choice to Mother: Performative and Subversive Negotiations of Face in Relational Communication about (Never) Having Children” (Dawn Braithwaite, advisor)
  Lora Appel, Open Lab, University Health Network, “Applying Design Science to Address Health System Problems: A Case of Designing Communication to Manage Clinician Anonymity in an Academic Hospital” (Mark Aakhus, advisor)
  Michael Steudeman, University of Memphis, The Educational Imaginary in Radical Reconstruction: Congressional Public Policy Rhetoric and American Federalism, 1862-1872” (Trevor Parry-Giles, advisor)
2016 Kayla B. Rhidenour, University of Texas-Austin, "The Mediated Veteran: How News Sources Narrate the Pain and Potential of Returning Soldiers," (Joshua Gunn, advisor)
  Kai Kuang, Purdue University, "Uncertainty and Information Management: A Meta-Analytic Review of Uncertainty's Effects on Information Management in Illness Contexts," (Steven R. Wilson, advisor)
  Lee M. Pierce, University of Georgia, "Syntaxing the Nation: Temporality and Rhetoric in Contemporary US Political Culture," (Barbara Biesecker, advisor)
2015 Melissa Brough, University Southern California. "Participatory Public Culture and Youth Citizenship in the Digital Age: The Medellín Model," (Sarah Banet-Weiser and Manual Castells, advisors).
  Nick Joyce, University of Arizona. "Intergroup Media Selection: Media Features and Audience's Social Identity Motivations and Gratifications," (Jake Harwood, advisor).
  Jessica Kuperavage, Pennsylvania State University. "From Public Tragedy to Public Health: Public Heath and the Rhetorics of Responsibility," (Jeremy Engels, advisor).
2014 Roi Estlein, Rutgers University. "Manifestations of Responsiveness and Control in Husbands' and Wives' Marital and Parental Communication," (Jennifer A. Theiss, advisor).
  Adam S. Richards, University of Maryland. "Survival of the Persuasible: An Evolutionary Approach to Interpersonal Influence," (Dale Hample, advisor).
  Kimberly Alecia Singletary, Northwestern University. "Blackness Personified: Images of U.S. Blackness in Contemporary German Public Culture," (Angela Ray, advisor).
2013 Kendra Knight, Arizona State University. "The Influence of Response Threshold and Perceptions of Domestic Labor Conflict on Labor Allocation and Conflict Patterns in Marital Dyads," (Jess Alberts, advisor).
  Timothy Barney, University of Maryland. "(Re)placing America: Cold War Mapping and the Mediation of International Space," (Trevor Parry-Giles, advisor).
  Amy Way, Arizona State University. "Apprentices and Worker Bees: Discursive Constructions of Youth's Work Identity," (Angela Tretheway, advisor).
2012 Christy Ledford, George Mason University. "Improving Patient Outcomes through Physician Communication: Message Frame and Presentation Mode Influence on the Walking Behavior of Type 2 Diabetics," (Gary Kreps, advisor).
  Thomas R. Dunn, University of Pittsburgh. "Queerly Remembered: Tactical and Strategic Rhetorics for Representing the GLBQT Past," (Lester Olson, advisor).
2011 Michael Serazio, University of Pennsylvania. “Your Ad Here: The Cool Sell of Guerrilla Marketing,” (Barbie Zelizer, advisor).
  Allison M. Scott, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “Family Conversations About End-of-Life Health Decisions,” (John P. Caughlin, advisor).
2010 Marcia Alesan Dawkins, University of Southern California. “Impurely Raced/Purely Erased: Toward a Rhetorical Theory of (Bi)Racial Passing,” (Randall Lake, advisor).
  Victor Pickard, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “Media Democracy Deferred: The Postwar Settlement for U.S. Communications: 1945-1949,” (Robert McChesney, advisor).
  Jennifer S. Priem, The Pennsylvania State University. “The Illocutionary Force of Hurt and Support in Young Adult Romantic Relationships: Message Features, Message Perceptions, and Physiological Stress,” (Denise Solomon, advisor).
2009 Kevin Coe, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “Words of War: Presidential Rationales for Military Action from World War II to Iraq,” (Scott Alhaus, advisor).
  Rivka Syd Eisner, University of North Carolina. “Re-Staging Revolution and Remembering Toward Change: National Liberation Front Women Perform Prospective Memory in Vietnam,” (Della Pollock, advisor).
2008 Paul Leonardi, Stanford University. “Organizing Technology: Toward a Theory of Sociomaterial Imbrication,” (Stephen R. Barley, advisor).
  Zornitsa Keremidchieva, University of Minnesota. “The Gendering of Legislative Rationality: Women, Immigrants, and the Nationalization of Citizenship, 1918-1922,” (Karlyn Kohrs Campbell & Jacquelyn Zita, advisors).
2007 Ann Neville Miller, University of Georgia. “Self-Disclosure of HIV Seropositivity in Nairobi, Kenya: Targets, Methods and Motivations,” (Donald L. Rubin, advisor).
  Dave Tell, The Pennsylvania State University. “The Politics of Public Confession: Expressivism and American Democracy,” (Rosa Eberly, advisor).
2006 R. Kelly Garrett, University of Michigan. “Exposure to Controversy in an Information Society.” (Paul J. Resnick, advisor).
  Paul Turpin, University of Southern California. “Liberal Political Economy and Justice: Character and Decorum in the Economic Arguments of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman,” (Walter Fisher, advisor).
2005 Christina R. Foust, University of North Carolina. “Transgressing Subjects, Rhetorical Mediation, and the Multitude: Towards a Nietzschean Theory of Resistance in Neo-liberal Globalization.”(J. Robert Cox, advisor).
  Dmitri Williams, University of Michigan. “Trouble in River City: The Social Impact of Video Games,” (Susan J. Douglas & W. Russell Neuman, advisors).
2004 Eszter Hargittai, Princeton University. “How Wide a Web? Inequalities in Accessing Information Online,” (Paul DiMaggio, advisor).
  Theodore Striphas, University of North Carolina. “A Constellation of Books: Communication, Technology, and Popular Culture in the Late Age of Print.” (Lawrence Grossberg, advisor).
2003 James Jerry Kimble, University of Maryland. “Mobilizing the Home Front: War Bonds, Morale, and the U.S. Treasury's Domestic Propaganda Campaign, 1942-1945,” (Shawn J. Parry-Giles, advisor).
  Derek Goldman, Northwestern University. “The Politics and Poetics of Adaptation: Leon Forrest's Divine Days,” (Dwight Conquergood, advisor).
  David Winterstein, University of Washington. “Language and Media in the Promotion of the Breton Cultural Identity in the European Union,” (Nancy K. Rivenburgh, advisor).
2002 Angela G. Ray, University of Minnesota. “Pupils, Spectators, Citizens: Representations of U.S. Public Culture in the Nineteenth-Century Lyceum,” (Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, advisor).
  Michael William Pfau, Northwestern University, “The Place of Conspiracy: The ‘Slave Power’ in Chase, Sumner and Lincoln,” (David Zarefsky, advisor).
  Toby Arquette, Northwestern University. “Social Discourse, Scientific Method, and the Digital Divide: Using the Information Intelligence Quotient (IIQ) to Generate a Multi-Layered Empirical Analysis of Digital Division,” (James Schwoch, advisor).
2001 Bernard J. Armada,The Pennsylvania State University. “‘The Fierce Urgency of Now’: Public Memory and Civic Transformation at the National Civil Rights Museum,” (Stephen H. Browne, advisor).
  Claude H. Miller, University of Arizona, “Indignation, Defensive Attribution, and Implicit Theories of Moral Character,” (Michael Burgoon, advisor).
  Sarah J. Tracy, University of Colorado. “Emotion Labor and Correctional Officers: A Study of Emotion Norms, Performances and Unintended Consequences in a Total Institution,” (Stanley A. Deetz, advisor).
2000 Stephen M. Haas, The Ohio State University. “Relationship Maintenance in Gay Male Couples Coping with HIV/AIDS,” (Dale E. Brashers & Laura Stafford, advisors).
  Erina L. MacGeorge, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “The Influence of Situational Variation, Associated Attributions, and Emotions on Support Providers' Interaction Goals,” (Ruth Anne Clark, advisor).
  Garth E. Pauley, The Pennsylvania State University. “The Modern Presidency and Civil Rights Rhetoric: Presidential Discourse on Race from Roosevelt to Nixon,” (Thomas W. Benson, advisor).
1999 Robert B. Asen, Northwestern University. “Imagining the Poor: Argument and Imagery in Welfare Policy Discourse, 1980-1996,” (G. Thomas Goodnight, advisor).
  Troy A. Murphy, University of Pittsburgh. “Rhetoric and Democracy: An Inquiry into the Potential for Citizenship Reclaimed,” (Thomas Kane, advisor).
  Amy I. Nathanson, University of Wisconsin. “The Immediate and Cumulative Effects of Television Mediation on Children’s Aggression,” (Joanne Cantor, advisor).
1998 David Cheshier, University of Iowa, “The Rhetorical Constitution of Late Twentieth Century American Public Spheres,” (Michael Calvin McGee, advisor).
  Daniel Cochece Davis, University of Southern California. “Development and Initial Tests of a Human Energy Management (HEM) Theory of Communication,” (Michael J. Cody, advisor).
  William J. Kinsella, Rutgers University. “Communication and the Construction of Knowledge in a Scientific Community: An Interpretive Study of the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory,” (Stanley A. Deetz, advisor).
1997 Charles H. Raphael, Northwestern University, “Investigated Reporting: Political-Economic, Representational, and Regulatory Conflicts Over Television Documentary, 1960-1975,” (Rick Maxwell, advisor).
  Angela J. Latham, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “Performance Rights: A Historical Performance Ethnography of Contested Displays by American Women, 1920-1930,” (Peter Davis, advisor).
1996 Leah N. Ceccarelli, Northwestern University. “A Rhetoric of Interdisciplinary Inspirational Discourse: The Use of Polysemy in Dobzhansky’s ‘Genetics and the Origin of Species’ and Schroedinger’s ‘What Is Life?’,” (Michael Leff, advisor).
1995 Greg L. Dickinson, University of Southern California. “Landscapes of Consumption, Landscapes of Memory: The Rhetoric of Modern Urban Consumption,” (Randall A. Lake, advisor).
  Thomas J. Roach, Northwestern University. “Dissolution of Objectivity: The Third Face of Power and American News Media,” (Thomas B. Farrell, advisor).
  Audrey Jane Weiss, University of California, Santa Barbara. “Emotional Depictions in Family-Formatter Situation Comedies: Children's Interpretations, Emotional Responses, and Social Learning,”(Barbara J. Wilson, advisor).
1994 Carol Bruess, Ohio University. “‘Bare-Chested Hugs’ and ‘Tough Guy's Night’: An Inductive Examination of the Form and Function of Interpersonal Rituals in Marriage and Adult Friendship,” (Judy C. Pearson, advisor).
  Roy Schwartzman, University of Iowa, “Racial Science, Nazism and the Genesis of Genocide,” (John R. Lyne, advisor).
  Richard B. McGrath, Indiana University. “Rhetorical Functions of Historical Narrative: The ‘Pentagon Papers’,” (William Wiethoff, advisor).
1993 Kathryn L. Greene, University of Georgia, “Egocentrism, Message Explicitness, and AIDS Messages Directed Toward Adolescents: A Test of the Theory of Reasoned Action,” (Donald Rubin, advisor).
  Thomas N. Peters, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “A Rhetorical Project for Understanding Scientific Change,” (Joseph W. Wenzel, advisor).
1992 Stephen D. O'Leary, Northwestern University. “Reading the Signs of the Times: A Topical and Dramatistic Analysis of the Logic of Apocalyptic Advocacy,” (G. Thomas Goodnight, advisor).
  Becky L. Omdahl, University of Wisconsin. “Exploration of Cognitive Appraisal Approaches to Emotion as a Basis for Decoding Accuracy and Empathy,” (Joseph Cappella, advisor).
  James T. West, University of Utah. “Discursive Practices and Relations of Power: A Qualitative Study of Intimate Violence,” (Leonard Hawes, advisor).
1991 Barbara Louise Baker, University of Southern California. “Reaffirmation and Transformation of Gender in Popular Film: A Feminist Approach to Mythic Rhetoric,” (Walter Fisher, advisor).
  Bethami A. Dobkin, University of Massachusetts. “Tale of Terror: News Coverage of Terrorism and the Construction of Public Crisis,” (Jane Blankenship, advisor).
  Charles Alan Taylor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “The Rhetorical Construction of Science: Demarcation as Rhetorical Practice,” (Joseph W. Wenzel, advisor).
1990 Mark A. Pollock, Northwestern University. “A Reconsideration of the Prospects for Rhetoric in Hannah Arendt's Political Philosophy,” (Thomas B. Farrell, advisor).
  Rebecca S. Bjork, University of Southern California. “The Strategic Defense Initiative: Symbolic Containment of the Nuclear Threat,”(Thomas A. Hollihan, advisor).
  Michael W. Salvador, University of Utah. “Coming to Terms with Consumption: The Rhetoric of American Consumer Unrest,” (Malcolm O. Sillars, advisor).
1989 James Lee Kauffman, Indiana University. “Selling Space: The Kennedy Administration, the Media, and Congressional Funding for Project Apollo, 1961-1963,” (J. Michael Hogan, advisor).
  Cynthia Ann Hoffner, University of Wisconsin. “The Effects of Forewarning of a Threatening Event and Its Successful Resolution on Children's Emotional Responses to a Televised Film Sequence,” (Joanne Cantor, advisor).
  Anthony Edward Schiappa, Jr., Northwestern University, “Protagoras and ‘Logos’: A Study in Early Greek Rhetorical Theory,” (Leland M. Griffin, advisor).
1988 John Rodden, University of Virginia. “The Politics of Literacy Reputation: The ‘Making’ and ‘Claiming’ of ‘St. George’ Orwell,”(Walter H. Sokel, advisor).
  Diane Marie Badzinski, University of Wisconsin. “Developmental Differences in Children’s Inferential Performance as a Function of Message Intensity,” (Joseph Cappella, advisor).
  Moya Ann Ball, University of Minnesota. “A Descriptive and Interpretive Analysis of the SmallGroup Communication of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and their Key Advisors Concerning the Decisions from January 1961 to July 1965 to Expand the Vietnam War,” (Ernest Bormann, advisor).
1987 Renée A. Meyers, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “Argument and Group Decision-Making: An Interactional Test of Persuasive Arguments Theory and an Alternative Structurational Perspective,”(David R. Seibold, advisor).
  Peter J. Marston, University of Southern California. “Rhetorical Forms and Functions of Cosmological Argument,”(Walter Fisher, advisor).
1986 George Cheney, Purdue University. “Speaking of Who ‘We’ Are: The Development of the U. S. Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Letter ‘The Challenge of Peace’ as a Case Study in Identity, Organization, and Rhetoric,”(Phillip K. Tompkins, advisor).
  James Jasinski, Northwestern University. “Rhetorical Practice and Its Visions of the Public in the Ratification Debate of 1787-1788,”(Thomas B. Farrell, advisor).
  Della Pollock, Northwestern University. “Brecht and Expressionism: An Assessment of Rhetorical Continuity,”(Frank Galati, advisor).
1985 Kathy Lynn Harbert, The Pennsylvania State University. “A Neuropsychological Framework for the Assessment of Competing Theories of Rhetoric as Epistemic,”(Gerard A. Hauser, advisor).
  Lester Clarence Olson, University of Wisconsin. “Emblems of American Community: A Study in Rhetorical Iconology,”(Edwin Black, advisor).
  Roger C. Pace, The Pennsylvania State University. “The Role of Communication in Consensus Formation: A Descriptive Analysis of Interaction Differences between High and Low Consensus Groups,”(Herman Cohen, advisor).
1984 Carole Blair, The Pennsylvania State University. “An Archaeological Critique of the History of Rhetorical Theory: Beyond Historical-Critical Dualism in the Analysis of Theoretical Discourse,” (Gerard A. Hauser, advisor).
  David Branco, University of Iowa. “Dramaturgical Rhetoric: Erving Goffman’s Interactional theory of Communication-Conduct,”(Donovan J. Ochs, advisor).
  Martha Cooper, The Pennsylvania State University. “The Implications of Foucault’s Archaeological Theory of Discourse for Contemporary Rhetorical Theory and Criticism,” (Gerard A. Hauser, advisor).
1983 J. Michael Hogan, University of Wisconsin. “The ‘Great Debate’ over Panama: An Analysis of Controversy Over the Carter-Torrijos Treaties of 1977,”(Stephen E. Lucas, advisor).
  Curtis S. Jacobs, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “The Rhetoric of Witnessing and Heckling: A Case Study in Ethnorhetoric,” (David Swanson, advisor).
1982 Randall Lake, University of Kansas. “The Ethics of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Ethics in the Abortion Controversy,” (Donn Parson, advisor).
  Karen Tracy, University of Wisconsin. “The Issue-Event Distinction as an Aspect of Conversational Coherence: A Rule and its Scope Conditions,”(Dean E. Hewes, advisor).
1981 Eric Weisman, Temple University. “The Rhetoric of Holocaust Survivors: A Dramatistic Perspective,”(James Chesebro, advisor).
  Earl Creps, III, Northwestern University. “The Conspiracy Argument asRhetorical Genre,” (David Zarefsky, advisor).
  Nicky J. Stoyanoff, Michigan State University. “An Examination of the Relationship between Social Structural Factors, Complexity of the Information Environment, Individuals’ Processing Style, and Cognitive Structure,” (Edward L. Fink, advisor).
1980 James Aune, Northwestern University. “Dialectical Dilemmas: Herbert Marcuse’s Philosophy of Communication,”(Thomas B. Farrell, advisor).
  Marshall Poole, University of Wisconsin. “A Test of Four Models of Decision Development in Small Groups,” (Joseph Cappella & Dean E. Hewes, advisors).
1979 Kathleen Reardon, University of Massachusetts. “Conversational Deviance: A Developmental Perspective,”(Vernon Cronen, advisor).
  Joseph Folger, University of Wisconsin. “The Communicative Indicants of Power, Dominance and Submission,”(Joseph Cappella, advisor).
  Donald Rubin, University of Minnesota. “Development in Syntactic and Strategic Aspects of Audience Adaptation Skills in Written Persuasive Communication.”(Gene L. Piche, advisor).
1978 James Lee Applegate, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “Four Investigations of the Relationship between Social Cognitive Development and Person-Centered Regulative and Interpersonal Communication,” (Jesse G. Delia, advisor).
  Norman D. Elliott, University of Iowa. “The General Relationship between Language and Cognition in the Developing Child,”(James J. Bradac, advisor).
  John R. Lyne, University of Wisconsin. “C. S. Pierce on Rhetoric and Communication,” (Lloyd Bitzer, advisor).
1977 Stephen A. Taylor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “The Development of Conversational Rules in Four-, Six-, and Eight-Year-Old Children: An Investigation with Naturalistic and Controlled Methodologies,”(Jesse G. Delia, advisor).
1976 Donald G. Ellis, University of Utah. “An Analysis of Relational Communication in Ongoing Group Systems,”(B. Aubrey Fisher, advisor).
  Steven C. Rhodes, The Pennsylvania State University. “An Empirical Analysis of the Relationships between Information Processing and Feedback Utilization in Dyadic Communicative Systems,”(Kenneth D. Frandsen, advisor).
  David R. Seibold, Michigan State University. “A Complex Model of Multidimensional Attitude and Overt Behavior Relationships: The Mediating Effects of Certainty and Locus-of-Control,”(Donald P. Cushman, advisor).
1975 Peter A. Andersen, The Florida State University “The Effect of Source Credibility, Attraction, and Homophily on Voter Preference,” (Robert J. Kibler, advisor).
1974 Judee Heston Burgoon, West Virginia University. “Unwillingness to Communicate and Conflict as Predators of Information-Processing Behaviors.” (William Lashbrook, advisor).
  Vicki S. Freimuth, The Florida State University. “The Effects of Communication Apprehension on Communication Effectiveness,” (Robert J. Kibler, advisor).
  Thomas Tews, Louisiana State University. “A Reconstruction of the Setting for Three Operas Designed by Filippo Juvarra in Rome 1710-1712."(Gresdna Doty, advisor).
1973 Stephen Lucas, The Pennsylvania State University. “Rhetoric and the Coming of the Revolution in Philadelphia, 1765-1776: A Case Study in the Rhetoric of Protest and Revolution,” (Carroll C. Arnold, advisor).
1972 Kathleen M. Hall Jamieson, University of Wisconsin. “A Rhetorical-Critical Analysis of the Conflict over Humanae Vitae,” (Edwin Black, advisor).
  Francis Dennis Lynch, University of Iowa. “Clozentropy: A Technique for Studying Audience Response to Films,”(Samuel L. Becker, advisor).
  Douglas Ohlin, The Ohio State University. “Psychological Space Between Six English Stop Consonants as Measured in Short Term Memory,”(John Black, advisor).
1971 Leonard Hawes, University of Minnesota, “An Empirical Definition and Analysis of Physician-Patient CommunicationSystems,”(David H. Smith, advisor).
  Jack Ray, University of Southern California. “Prescriptive Deontic Logic: A Study of Inferences from Linguistic Forms Expressing Choice and Conditional Permission and Obligation,”(James H. McBath, advisor).
  Robert Sanders, University of Iowa. “Formal Aspects of Figurative Language,”(John W. Bowers & Samuel L. Becker, advisors).