2021 NCA Legacy Scholarship

October 15, 2021

Legacy Scholarship

The National Communication Association invites students to apply and compete for the NCA Legacy Scholarship award. The NCA Legacy Scholarship seeks to broaden the Communication discipline’s relevance to various publics by providing a $1,000 scholarship to a local college student pursuing a degree in Communication, Journalism, or related program within the host city/region where the NCA Annual Convention is being held. A $250 award will go to the runner up.  The scholarship award will be competitively given to a student based on both an essay related to communication and civic responsibility, and a convention theme-related speech presented during the NCA Annual Convention. The 2021 Annual Convention will be held November 18-21, 2021, in Seattle, Washington. Visit the NCA Annual Convention webpage for more information. 

The NCA 107th Annual Convention in Seattle will take place as a face-to-face meeting. We are committed to following facility, city, state, and federal guidance regarding the health and safety of attendees.

There are several criteria for award eligibility:

  1. Applicant must be an undergraduate college student, (preference given to self-identified first-generation college students), with at least one year of postsecondary education remaining at an accredited college or university.
  2. Applicant must be attending a college or university within the city/region where the NCA Annual Convention is being held – this means within the region of Seattle, Washington. (Should you have questions about if your college/university is within the local region, please contact the committee chair).
  3. Applicant must be pursuing a degree in communication, journalism, or related program.
  4. Applicant must have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  5. Applicant must not have received this award previously.

Five semi-finalists will be selected based on the quality of their written essays. The semi-finalists will then compete in a speech contest to be held during the Annual Convention on Saturday afternoon. Submission of the nomination material indicates the willingness of the applicant to attend and participate in the Legacy Scholarship speech competition, where the applicant will deliver a 5-7 minute informative or persuasive speech during the annual convention. 

The first-place winner of the speech competition will receive a personalized, engraved plaque mailed to the winner after the convention. The first-place winner will also receive a $1,000 monetary scholarship award supported by NCA until 2026 and then the NCA Legacy Scholarship Fund starting in 2027. The runner-up will receive a $250 monetary award.  All participants in the speech contest portion will receive $50 for travel expenses to the conference.

Each semi-finalist will receive a free convention registration as well as on-site parking for the day of the speech contest.

Submission Information

Nominations must be submitted online through the NCA website. 

The nomination materials are due by October 15, 2021 and must include the following:

  1. A letter of application
  2. A letter of recommendation
  3. A short essay (maximum 750 words) related to communication and civic responsibility on the following: Conversations about transformational change in policing have dramatically increased in recent years amid popular awareness of systemic racism. Seattle is a hub in that conversation, due in part to the city council’s movement toward “de-funding” police. What role should communication scholars and students play in partnership with communities to create positive and effective transformative change of policing in the U.S.?
  4. A resume or CV indicating any work, community service, and extracurricular leadership experiences.

Submission of the nomination material indicates the willingness for the applicant to attend and participate in the Legacy Scholarship speech competition to deliver a 5-7 minute persuasive speech:

The five semi-finalists will be invited to speak on the following:

What role should communication scholars and students play to help a more equitable and just society emerge from the COVID pandemic?

Click here to Apply

Selection Committee

  • James Cherney, University of Nevada, Reno;
  • Jacob Dickerson, Berea College;
  • Walid Afifi, University of California, Santa Barbara, NCA Second Vice-President