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Faculty and Doctoral Students to Receive Multiple Awards at the 109th National Communication Association Convention in National Harbor, Maryland
Communication scholars will explore the meaning and praxis of “freedom.”

The National Communication Association (NCA) will hold its 109th Annual Convention from November 15-19 in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., rich in historical representations of the convention’s theme, freedom. Nine SC&I faculty and doctoral students will receive multiple awards at the convention.  

Professor of Communication Jennifer Theiss is the recipient of the 2023 Bernard J. Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship or Distinguished Service in Family Communication. This NCA-level award recognizes her career accomplishments in family communication research.  

Professor of Communication Kathryn Greene will receive five awards at the convention in recognition of her scholarship, service, and mentoring: the NCA Family Communication Division’s Dawn O. Braithwaite Distinguished Book Award and four NCA Health Communication Division awards, including the Distinguished Book Award, the Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award, the Dale E. Brashers Distinguished Mentor Award, and the Outstanding Contributions to Promoting Equity and Inclusion Award.  

Professor of Journalism and Media Studies and Director of the Ph.D. Program Melissa Aronczyk and Rutgers Ph.D. (Sociology) Maria I. Espinoza’s book, “A Strategic Nature: Public Relations and the Politics of American Environmentalism,” will receive the NCA Political Communication Division’s 2023 Roderick P. Hart Outstanding Book Award

Associate Teaching Professor of Communication and Public Speaking Course Coordinator Nikolaos Linardopoulos will receive the NCA Basic Course Division’s 2023 Program of Excellence Award

Assistant Professor of Communication DaJung (DJ) Woo will receive the Organizational Communication Division’s Top Paper Award for “What do you want to do?: Communicative negotiation of expertise between emergency physicians and nurses.” 

Associate Professor of Communication Kristina Scharp will receive the Communication Division’s Top Paper Award with Andrew Ledbetter and doctoral student Cimmiaron Alvarez. Alvarez will receive the Top Student Paper Award in the Interpersonal Communication Division. Also in the Interpersonal Division, Scharp, as lead with collaborators Tiffany Wang and Brooke Wolfe, will receive the Franklin H. Knower Article Award for their article, “Communicative resilience of first-generation college students during the COVID-19 pandemic,” published in Human Communication Research. 

Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Communication Mark Aakhus will receive the Distinguished Book Award by the National Communication Association’s Philosophy of Communication Division for "Argumentation in Complex Communication: Managing Disagreement in a Polylogue," co-authored by Marcin Lewiński

Assistant Professor of Communication J. Sophia Fu will receive the Outstanding Article Award from the Organizational Communication Division for “Reconsidering communication visibility in politically restrictive contexts: organizational social media use in China,” co-authored with Katherine R. Cooper.  

Addressing the theme of freedom on the conference website, NCA First Vice President Marnel Niles Goins noted, “As Communication scholars, our voices must continue to address and parse out the nuances of what freedom was, is, and can be. Engaging with the concept of freedom allows us to challenge assumptions of what freedom means and offer solutions for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies to attain freedom.” 

In addition to SC&I’s award winners, the following faculty and doctoral students are set to attend: Professor of Communication Galina Bolden; Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Jack Bratich; Professor of Communication and Chair of Communication Marya L. Doerfel; lecturer Ian P. Dunham; Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Lauren Feldman; Dean Emeritus, Professor II Emeritus of  Communication, and former NCA president Gustav W. Friedrich; Assistant Vice President for Organizational Leadership in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Ralph Gigliotti; Research Professor of Communication Alexa Hepburn; Professor Emerita of Communication Jenny Mandelbaum; Associate Professor of Communication Lisa Mikesell; Professor of Journalism and Media Studies John V. Pavlik; Distinguished Professor of Communication Jonathan Potter; Assistant Professor of Communication Yonaira Rivera; Assistant Professor of Communication Sarah Shugars; Associate Professor of Communication Maria Venetis; Associate Professor of Communication Matthew Weber; and doctoral students Rachel AcostaJorlanditha AustinAllyson BontempoElizabeth (Liesl) BroadbridgeLeah CatesSalvador GuzmanHannah E. JonesMelanie KwestelShuXian (Jenny) MaiNicole MendozaAfrooz MosallaeipourHaley Nolan-CodyCasey RandazzoM.J. SalasKatherine ScrivaniAleksandr ShirokovSabrina Singh, and Corinne Weinstein

SC&I’s Communication Department and Journalism and Media Studies Department are hosting an NCA reception on Friday, November 17, from 6:30-8:30 PM, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. The searchable NCA convention program is available here and the SC&I schedule here

Founded in 1914, NCA is a nonprofit membership-based scholarly society. According to the NCA website, its mission is to advance communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching.

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