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News & Press: Awards

WSCA 2016 Debut Paper Award

Wednesday, March 16, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christina Yoshimura
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By Teresa Bergman, Executive Club

            One of the main purposes of WSCA’s Executive Club is to provide support for new scholars. Each year we organize the Top Debut Paper Award in order to both recognize and support new Communication Scholars. We solicit submissions from each of Western’s interest groups and then the papers go though blind peer review in order to choose the top submission. I want to thank the three distinguished scholars for their help in reviewing and rating all of the submissions (Janellen Hill, Harry Haines, Aaron Hess). It is my distinct pleasure to announce that his year’s Top Debut Award goes to Stephanie Muller, a doctoral student at the University of Utah, for her paper: “Palin, Politics, and Paradoxes: Representations of Political Inauthenticity in Sarah Palin’s 2008 Vice Presidential Campaign.”

            One reviewer noted that “Ms. Muller's analysis of Sarah Palin’s 2008 vice presidential candidacy keenly reveals the paradoxical nature of political inauthenticity and its relationship to the voting public's desire for "nontraditional" candidates. Her study resonates with the current presidential primary campaigns where the public appears to cry for a new type of candidate, but simultaneously holds shared social knowledge and stereotypes that are so deeply ingrained in American culture that politicians are on a slippery slope of both traditional and nontraditional authenticity markers.”

            And another reviewer commented, “I really do enjoy the nature of inauthenticity as a political strategy, especially when used against others. I was happy to see that the author took up the notion of ethos to ground the essay, which makes sense given the topic. This is reminiscent of some commentary about Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s, who was able to position his ethos as an outsider to the political elites in Washington.”

            And finally, “Overall, a very good paper! Kudos!” Congratualtions!





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