William Gudykunst Dies
Notable human communications studies
professor is remembered for his leadership in curriculum development
and attracting international students.
January 24, 2005 :: No. 116
William B. Gudykunst, professor of
human communication studies at Cal State Fullerton and a nationally
known expert on multicultural communications, died Jan. 20
at South Coast Medical Center after suffering a stroke. He
“Bill was an incredibly inspirational
leader in the study of human communication, with an emphasis
in intercultural communications,” said Robert A. Emry,
emeritus professor of human communications studies, who was
associate dean for the College of Communications when Gudykunst
joined the faculty in 1989.
“We were a brand new college at the time
of his hiring, and he helped our college develop a national
and international reputation in the field of human communications,”
said Emry. He noted that Gudykunst was a leader in curriculum
development and was instrumental in recruiting and attracting
international students, particularly from Japan, where the
professor had once served as an intercultural relations specialist
in the U.S. Navy.
Gudykunst was a prolific author and editor
of more than 28 books, including “Theorizing About Intercultural
Communication,” published last September by Sage Publications;
the fourth edition of “Bridging Differences” and
“Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Communication,”
(Sage 2003); and “Asian American Ethnicity and Communication”
(Sage 2000). Two books, “Culture and Interpersonal Communication,”
co-authored with CSUF professor Stella Ting-Toomey, and “Communicating
With Strangers: An Approach to Intercultural Communication,”
co-authored with Y.Y. Kim, were named the outstanding books
for 1988 and 1984, respectively, by the Speech Communication
Association, a national organization of scholars.
Gudykunst also authored more than 200 book
chapters and articles for the leading scholarly journals in
the field, including the International Journal of Intercultural
Communication and Human Communication Research. He presented
more than 90 papers before such organizations as the International
Communication Association, International Association for Cross-Cultural
Psychology, International Conference on Personal and Social
Relationships, World Communication Association, British and
Japanese Social Psychological associations and the Western
In 2002, Gudykunst was awarded a “Lifetime
Achievement Award” by the International Communication
Association’s Intercultural and Development Division.
He was named a founding fellow of the International Academy
for Intercultural Research in 1998 and a fellow of the International
Communication Association in 1992. He was awarded a Fulbright
Fellowship in 1982 to attend the Yugoslavia-United States
Fulbright Conference on “Communication, Society and
A member of the board of directors of the International
Academy for Intercultural Research, Gudykunst also was editor
of the International and Intercultural Communication Annual
(Vol. 7-9, 1983-85) and Communication Yearbook 24-26 (2000-2002).
He also served on several editorial boards, including International
Journal of Intercultural Relations, Western Journal of Communication,
International Journal of Intercultural Relations and Communication
He served as a member and an officer for various
committees within the International Communication Association,
International Society for Social and Personal Relationships
and Speech Communication Association.
Gudykunst also was a member of the International
Academy for Intercultural Research, Asian Association of Social
Psychology, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
and the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology.
At Cal State Fullerton, the professor taught
human communication and Asian studies courses and served as
graduate adviser for the Human Communication Studies Department.
He is credited with helping to develop the Asian American
Studies Program, and was a member of the Asian American Studies
Program Council, Graduate Education Committee, and planning
committees for three communication conferences held on campus
in the late 1990s.
Prior to joining Cal State Fullerton, Gudykunst
was a professor of communication at Arizona State University
and taught previously at State University of New York at Albany,
Rutgers University, University of Hartford and the University
of Maryland, Far East Extension in Yokosuka, Japan. He earned
a doctorate in speech communication from the University of
Minnesota and held master’s and bachelor’s degrees
in sociology from Arizona State University. “Bill was
a true scholar and a friend of the department. He brought
strength to our multicultural curriculum and leadership to
our graduate program, as well as to the discipline,”
said Kurt P. Kitselman, chair and professor of human communications
studies. “He will be greatly missed.”
Gudykunst, who lived in Laguna Beach, is survived
by his brother, Ronald, and niece, Kim.
Services are scheduled for 4 p.m. Jan. 27 at
the Zenshuji Soto Zen Mission in Los Angeles.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to
the William Gudykunst Memorial Scholarship, c/o Cal State
Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation, 2600 E. Nutwood Ave.,
Ste. 850, Fullerton, CA 92831.
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