Karen Myers, assistant professor in the communication department, recently received the 2010-11 Harold J. Plous Award for her outstanding service to the university. The College of Letters & Science presents the honor annually, which is bestowed on an assistant professor from the humanities, social sciences or natural sciences department. Myers was granted the award by faculty members for her exceptional endeavors in research and teaching.

Since arriving at the university in 2007, Myers has focused on organizational communication. She has been recognized over the years for her efforts to strengthen alumni-student relations and publish a regular newsletter that provides research and course updates. 

[media-credit name=”Photo Courtesy of Rod Rolle” align=”alignleft” width=”207″][/media-credit]

In addition to teaching, Myers has contributed organizational communication research to the department since arriving in 2007.

Considering her success in the field, Communication Dept. Chair Michael Stohl said he was not surprised that Myers was honored for her contributions to the department. 

“It is wonderful that Karen Myers’ extraordinary teaching, research and service contributions have been recognized,” Stohl said. “Her research makes important theoretical contributions … and has been published in the best journals within our field.” 

Aside from her scholarly achievements, communication professor Ronald Rice noted that Myers is adored by her students.  

“She is invariably cheery, helpful and responsible,” Rice said. “She provides extensive and supportive advising to her undergraduate and graduate students. And professor Myers has … been very proactive in developing better relations with alumni of the Dept. of Communication.”

Stohl said Myers has been an invaluable asset to the department and has contributed greatly to its growth. 

“Her teaching is exceptional, and professor Myers has increased the number and depth of our course offerings at both the undergraduate and graduate level,” Stohl said. “Her service to the department, university and the wider discipline of communication has been exceptional, and she is a fantastic colleague and community citizen.”

Rice said Myers’ recognition is an honor for the entire Dept. of Communication.

“We win many academic, teaching and service awards, which indicate how committed we are to all three areas of our profession. The Plous Award is a great honor for Dr. Myers and the department.”

Myers said she is flattered to be recognized by her peers and intends to channel that pride into future research.  

“I’m honored … because this award is given for three aspects of a professor’s work at UCSB: research, teaching and service to the community,” Myers said. “Service to my students … is very important to me. I’m still in the early stages of my career. … I hope to pursue more interdisciplinary research to promote the value of a communication focus in disciplines within and beyond the social sciences.”