UCSB communication professors Linda Putnam and Howard Giles will receive awards of national recognition from the National Communication Association this November.

Putnam and Giles will be recognized alongside other top communication researchers and scholars at the National Communication Association’s annual conference from Nov. 15 to 18 in Orlando, Florida. Putnam, chair of the communication department, will receive the Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award for her work with the National Research Council seeking to integrate the field of communication into its Survey of Doctoral Programs report as well as her efforts to add more communication journals into the Web of Science, an online academic citation index. Giles will receive the Gerald M. Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication for his published research — including 500 articles and chapters in 22 books — as well as his demonstration of creative scholarship in applied communication.

According to Putnam, the award distinguishes accomplishments of academic leaders who have successfully dedicated extensive time and energy to research specific areas of interest within their sector.

“Because it is given to individuals who are the most distinctive of leaders in the field, it is an honor and a privilege to be the 2012 recipient,” Putnam said. “It is very important because it recognizes years of work that typically occurs behind the scenes yet is really important to the field.”

While analyzing the use of social media and other modern forms of communication, Putnam’s most recent work focuses on the Writers Guild Strike of 2007-2008.

“[It is] especially [focused on] the role of blogs and social media in the framing of the conflict and in creating a new forum for debating issues in the strike,” Putnam said. “We are comparing five blog sites in the functions and hyperlinks to other blog sources and traditional media. I am also focusing on work-life conflicts and how organizations can manage the tensions in making choices about these important organizational concerns.”

Furthermore, the NCA awards — which are comprised of 23 annually distributed national awards — serve to showcase the recipients as well as the quality and status of their academic departments, according to Giles.

“To receive an award for applied scholarship is obviously something I am very proud of, but more importantly is but one indication of or recognition for the kind of stellar work colleagues in this department pursue,” Giles said.

Both awards also display the overall quality and success of the UCSB communication department by distinguishing it from similar programs at universities across the country, Putnam said.

“As department chair, these awards attest to the national visibility of the UCSB communication department,” Putnam said. “They demonstrate how our faculty [includes] academic leaders who advance the discipline and develop research careers vested in solving critical social problems.”