WSCA 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Posted by: Christina Yoshimura
By Hamilton Bean, Committee Chair
Professor Craig R. Smith's body of work is truly impressive. A recent study concluded that he was "in the top 3% of active researchers in communication" inclusive of speech, public relations, mass media, broadcast, and print journalism. He has published more than 60 scholarly articles and book chapters, as well as 15 books. The Western Journal of Communication first published an article from him in 1973. This year, the journal will publish another article, bringing to nine the number of his articles that have appeared in the Western Journal of Communication.
As one of his nominators wrote, Professor Smith is widely recognized in the area of Free Speech. Outside the legal profession and a handful of nationally-known law professors, he stands alone as an academic from our discipline who has made extraordinary contributions to the study and application of the many facets of Free Speech. In this subfield, he is without peer. According to Professor Marty Medhurst's study of speechwriters, he is also the only member of our discipline to serve as a
full-time speech-writer for a sitting American president. His expertise in the First Amendment has been a unique benefit to the Freedom of Expression and Legal Division of WSCA, and he has provided expertise in developing curricula for courses taught in other WSCA member colleges and
Professor Smith¹s program of research related to rhetorical theory has resulted in two landmark studies. In 2000, Praeger published, The Quest for Charisma: Christian Theories of Persuasion, which layed out a rhetorical road map to authentic charisma. The second book, Rhetoric and Human Consciousness: A History, received praise for its monumental accomplishment and has been adopted outside our field. The book has been so popular that Waveland Press released a third edition in 2009.
One of this scholar¹s nomination letters was signed by 5 of his colleagues from California State University, Long Beach who concluded, "We hope you and the committee will concur with our belief that he is a tremendous asset to the field and worthy of the WSCA Distinguished Scholar Award." The
committee is happy to report that we do indeed "concur."
We are pleased and honored to present the 2016 WSCA Distinguished Scholar Award to
Professor Craig R. Smith.