NCA Inside & Out

Regional Association News

March 9, 2017

The Western States Communication Association held its 88th Annual Conference February 18-21, 2017, in Salt Lake City. The conference was filled with more than 125 academic panels, six preconference courses, the Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference, a Basic Course Conference, and an invigorating keynote address by #BlackLivesMatter organizer Janaya Khan.

Select papers and individuals received recognition and awards throughout the conference, and there are a few top annual awards that deserve to be highlighted. 

Each year, a model Communication program in the community college system and/or a K-12 school is selected for recognition based on the breadth and depth of its Communication curricular and co-curricular activities. This year, Salt Lake Community College and East High School of Salt Lake City received the Model Communication Program Award.

The B. Aubrey Fisher Award honors the top article appearing in the Western Journal of Communication. This year, Adrianne Kunkel of the University of Kansas and Jennifer Guthrie from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas were recognized for their piece, “Survivor: Women's Stories of Navigation and Tensions in a Domestic Violence Shelter.”

The Distinguished Teacher Award is given to deserving faculty members who have made a significant contribution to teaching within the Western region. This year’s awardee was Bryan Hirayama of Bakersfield College.

The Distinguished Scholar Award was created to reward ongoing and significant contributions to scholarship in Communication. The work of the awardee is grounded in theory, advances the discipline, and can be seen in WSCA journals as well as other outlets. Wayne Beach of San Diego State University received this year’s award.

Finally, WSCA’s premiere honor is the Distinguished Service Award, presented to a WSCA member who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to both WSCA and the field of Communication overall. The association was grateful and proud to honor this year’s Distinguished Service Award winner, Daniel Canary of the University of Utah.

We also offered gratitude to Immediate Past President Paul Mongeau of Arizona State University for his service to the association, and heard remarks from current President Mark Bergstrom of the University of Utah before he turned leadership over to incoming President Michelle Holling of California State University, San Marco.