Ronald E. Rice, UC Santa Barbara’s Arthur N. Rupe Professor of the Social Effects of Mass Communication, has been named to receive the 2015 Steven H. Chaffee Career Achievement Award from the International Communication Association.
The award honors a scholar, or a small group of collaborating scholars, for a sustained contribution to theoretical development or empirical research related to communication studies over an extended period. The selection committee favors research that is innovative, asks conceptually rich questions and elaborates new theoretical possibilities and/or compelling directions for empirical investigation.
“I am really honored to receive the International Communication Association’s Steven H. Chaffee Award for Career Achievement,” said Rice, a professor in UCSB’s Department of Communication. “This is arguably the top award from the communication science discipline.”
Rather than recognizing publication productivity or direct involvement in the International Communication Association, the award is designed to acknowledge the long-term significance the recipient’s scholarship presents for next-generation communications studies.
“This is a tremendous acknowledgment of the significance of Professor Rice’s theoretical and empirical contributions to the discipline of communication,” said Melvin Oliver, executive dean of UCSB’s College of Letter’s and Science and the Sarah Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences. “His formidable record of scholarship is emblematic of our Department of Communication, which is consistently rated near the top in every ranking of the discipline.
“In his role as faculty member, chair of the department, and co-director of the campus’s Carsey-Wolf Center, Professor Rice has brought the same focus, rigor and imagination to UCSB that this award celebrates,” Oliver continued. “We are so proud and honored to have him as a colleague.”
The award is named for the Steven H. Chaffee, the professor of communication who came to UC Santa Barbara from Stanford University in 1999 and served as the first the campus’s first Arthur N. Rupe Professor in the Social Effects of Mass Communication. Among the most influential scholars in his field and widely considered one of the most significant historians and methodologists in the field of communication, Chaffee died in 2001.
Since the award was established in 2000, three faculty members from UCSB’s Department of Communication have been recipients, noted Rice. “It’s particularly meaningful because Steve was such an influential force in communication research,” he said. “I use his short book on concept explication in my doctoral course. Also, he was the initial Arthur N. Rupe Professor in the Social Effects of Mass Communication in the Department of Communication here at UCSB, which I am now very fortunate to occupy. So I’m pleased to be associated with him and his work in multiple ways.