Distinguished Scholar Award Speech: 2009
Presented by Heather Hundley
The Western States Communication Association is pleased to announce our second recipient of our annual Scholar Award. The award recognizes sustained contribution to the study of human communication who has made a difference in the way scholars and students think about the nature, function, and scope of communication.
There are five criteria for selection. They are a sustained research program, that is theoretically grounded, analytically sound, that advances the discipline and has been featured in WSCA journals as well as others.
As chair of the Scholar Award Committee, I was thrilled to see several extremely worthy nominations. Indeed, this echoes our Association's strong presence and high achievement within the academic community. All our members should be proud of their involvement with this society of intellectuals.
While the selection was quite arduous, this year's recipient far exceeded the five criteria for the award. The recipient has been publishing for the last 27 years which includes 6 scholarly books either self or co-authored or edited, 49 book chapters with 5 more either in press or under contract at this time, and 44 scholarly journal articles. The conference presentations are extensive. Specifically, in the past 29 years, this person has presented 162 conference papers, 13 of which were recognized as top papers. In terms of supporting our association, the 2nd annual Scholar Awardee has presented 41 papers at Western, published in Communication Reports 4 times, and in the Western Journal of Communication 3 times thus far.
Sheer numbers only begin to illuminate our understanding of this recipient's scholarly contributions. Initially interested in communication competence, our awardee built a theoretical model that helped define and measure the concept. This basic measure of communication competence was adopted by the National Communication Association and has demonstrated excellent reliability and validity. In a review of literature, scholars have described this person's contributions as one of the "important milestones in the development of a comprehensive notion of communicative competence."
More recently this scholar turned to examine manifestations of co-dependency and unwanted communication. Deemed "the dark side of communication" this scholar and co-authors have enlightened us on concepts of jealousy, stalking, and sexual harassment. These are salient topics that are much needed and important to study in our discipline.
Indeed, this scholar's fantastic reputation and significant contribution to our field is truly amazing. When I talk with colleagues asking them who they consider the top scholars in Interpersonal Communication are, the recipient's name is resoundingly and repeatedly in the top three mentioned. Dr. Bill Eadie disclosed that this person's work has been acclaimed by peers for its meticulous and thorough approach and its innovative methods. And on a lighter note, Dr. Dan Canary described this person as "slight of build but big of brain…who enjoys Monty Python, cats, wine, and attention to obscure detail." With these accolades it is easy to see why the recipient deserves this award.
Our second annual Scholar Award inductee joins the ranks with our first Top Scholar, Leslie Baxter. The recipient will be honored in a panel presented at the 2010 conference in Anchorage and all members are invited to attend. Thus, it is with great pride that I present the 2009 WSCA Scholar Award to Dr. Brian Spitzberg.