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Honoring Petronio

Distinguished Scholar Award Speech: 2015


Presented by Deanna Dannels (Executive Council Member-at-Large)

It is my pleasure to be here today to present the Western States Communication Association Distinguished Scholar Award. The expanse of the work of this year’s recipient is impressive, publishing over 100 articles and 5 books (with a 6th on the way). While the numbers are significant, what is just as impressive is the substantive contribution this person’s work has made within our discipline and beyond our discipline. This year’s recipient is widely known and respected within our discipline for developing (from the ground up), refining and applying one of our most well-known and long standing theoretical constructs. This construct has not only been significant to many subareas of our discipline, but it is also widely known and respected in other disciplines; evidenced by the over 200 articles that cite this person’s work from disciplines such as medicine, family studies, and psychology (to name a few). As a result of this work, this person is frequently called upon to keynote nationally and internationally. Furthermore, this person is a co-PI in an NIH grant and is the driving force behind and founding director of an institutional Translating Research into Practice initiative. I think it is arguable that few communication scholars and theorists have had the kind of multidisciplinary reach that our recipient has had. As one of her nominator’s state, her “greatest service to the discipline is her work as an intellectual ambassador, representing the best of communication research to other disciplines.” I could not agree more. Now—in sum: Even though I’m a qualitative researcher, I did some quick math; I have probably taught our recipient’s communication privacy management theory to over 1000 of my own students and I imagine most people in this room can produce similar, if not greater numbers. Yet I can also imagine there are many other rooms like this in other disciplines that are filled with scholars and teachers who draw on our recipient’s work; a true testament to its sustainability and significance. I am honored and pleased to recognize Dr. Sandra Petronio with the 2015 WSCA Distinguished Scholar Award.

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