Two UCSB Faculty Members Receive National Communication Awards

Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Two faculty members at UC Santa Barbara will receive prestigious awards from the National Communication Association at its 98th annual convention to be held in Orlando, Fla., in November.

The 2012 Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award, which is presented to a person who is judged to have made the greatest contribution to the association and the profession during his or her career, goes to Linda L. Putnam, professor and chair of the Department of Communication. Putnam is cited for her "immeasurable impact on the discipline, direct work with the National Research Council on the survey of doctoral programs, her leadership in interfacing with Thomson Reuters in the Web of Science, and her extensive leadership role in the National Communication Association (NCA) and the International Communication Association.

"There are few members of our association and discipline whose service has made a wider impact to the present and future of the discipline," the citation continued. "Dr. Linda Putnam is a visionary leader who has served NCA and the breadth of our discipline."

The 2012 Gerald M. Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication will be presented to Howard Giles, professor in the Department of Communication, for his theoretically driven and cross-cultural research on communication accommodation, police-citizen interaction, and intergenerational communication. "Dr. Giles has advanced theory, research, and practice in applied communication and made direct service contributions, a rare combination in any discipline and well deserving of this prestigious national award," according to the award citation.

"Professor Giles is one of our most distinguished researchers whose interest in applying his work to real world contexts has not gone unnoticed by the many members of our community who have come across him during his volunteer work with the Santa Barbara Police Department," said Melvin Oliver, the SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences in the College of Letters and Science. "His ability to engage both theory and practice makes him a perfect awardee for the Gerald M. Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication."

Of Putnam, Oliver said: "Professor Putnam brings to her service work, not only in the profession, but also as Chair of the Department of Communication, the kind of commitment that produces excellence even in difficult situations. With her work on the National Research Council on the survey of doctoral programs, for example, she became a national leader in a challenging and eventually, crucial resource for evaluating graduate programs for graduate students and institutions. Her brilliance, dedication, communication, and negotiating skills make her the most important person in any committee of which she is a part. The Samuel Becker Distinguished Service Award is a fitting tribute to her exceptional service to the profession of communication."

Giles said of his award: "This is very meaningful to me, a great honor, as it recognizes the applied significance of my research, and having a social impact is a prime ethos of my departmental colleagues."

Of the honors, Putnam said, "These awards attest to the national and international visibility of the department at UCSB. They demonstrate how faculty are academic leaders who are pivotal to advancing research and to crafting the role that the discipline plays in society."

The NCA advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, the NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life; the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships; and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

Linda Putnam
Howard Giles
National Communication

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