The National Communication Association honored five faculty members from UCSB’s Department of Communication for their contributions to the field at the NCA’s 97th annual convention in New Orleans.
The nonprofit organization is the largest association recognizing communications research and receives over 5,200 members worldwide during its annual convention. Communication professors Tamara Afifi, Walid Afifi, Howard Giles, David Seibold and Cynthia Stohl represented UCSB at this year’s gathering to accept their awards.
According to Seibold, who was awarded the Career Achievement Award for his research in group communication, the numerous recognitions reflect the university branch’s growing prestige.
“Very few departments have five faculty members receive five different awards at the same time,” Seibold said. “The fact that these awards were all scholarship awards reflects the strength and high caliber of work of this department.”
During the conference’s grand ceremony, Tamara Afifi was presented with the prestigious Bernard J. Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship on behalf of her work within the field of family communication.
Walid Afifi received the Health Communication Distinguished Article of the Year Award for his 2004 research article titled “Toward a Theory of Motivated Information Management” and said the high level of recognition reinforces the department’s history of international acclaim.
“The UCSB Communication Department has a program that is in the top three in the country,” Afifi said. “The awards this year [are] sort of various career achievements and a reflection of our excellent faculty.”
The NCA’s International and Intercultural Communication Division presented Stohl with the Outstanding Scholarship Award for Best Article in recognition of her piece “Qualifying Engagement: A Study of Information and Communication Technology and the Global Social Justice Movement in Aotearoa, New Zealand,” co-written by Shiv Ganesh.
Giles received the Outstanding Journal Article Award from the Communication and Aging Division for his piece “Psycholinguistic and Social Psychological Components of Communication by and with Older Adults.” In a letter congratulating the professor, an anonymous committee member who selected Giles for the honor said his work provided a basis for future academic work involving communications.
“I doubt that there is a scholar in the field of communication and aging today whose research has not been profoundly influenced by the model presented in the article,” the member wrote.