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Human Communication Honors

College of Communications Faculty Recognized with Major Awards

March 23, 2010

Marcia Alesan Dawkins

Marcia Alesan Dawkins

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, assistant professor of human communication studies, has received the African American Communication and Culture Division’s “Outstanding Dissertation Award” from the National Communication Association, the largest national organization dedicated to communication.

In Dawkins’ dissertation, “Impurely Raced/Purely Erased: Toward a Rhetorical Theory of (Bi)Racial Passing,” she developed a theory about the interrelations between mixed race identification and passing as they pertain to the field of rhetoric and to United States slavery and segregation settings.

Her dissertation now is under contract with Baylor University and will be published as a book, “Things Said in Passing.”

“In my dissertation, I investigated how real and imagined instances of ‘passing’ were both talked about and ignored in the United States from the late 19th through 21st centuries,” Dawkins said. “I was interested in understanding how the ways we go about presenting ourselves in relation to social and legal structures can form a new theory of rhetoric. My book takes my dissertation research a step further by applying it to today’s changing communication contexts.”

Shawn Long of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a judge at the event, noted that the awards competition was especially strong this year and that Dawkins’ contribution represented particularly outstanding scholarship.

John C. Reinard

Human Communication Studies Chair and Professor John C. Reinard has received a plaque from the Communication and Law Division of National Communication Association (the largest national organization dedicated to communication) to honor his research as the division’s “top paper.”

His research, “An Experimental Study of the use of Voir Dire Questions to Preview Case Elements and Promote Positive Attitudes Toward Defendants” focuses on persuasive functions of the questions used by attorneys as they select trial jurors.

Debate Coaches

Toni Nielson, left, and Jon Bruschke

Jon Bruschke, human communication studies professor, and Toni Nielson, human communication studies lecturer, Cal State Fullerton debate coaches, have received national kudos.

Bruschke won the National Debate Tournament’s most prestigious coaching award in 2009 -- the “Lucy Keele Award,” which was created to recognize outstanding service to the debate community.” In 2004, Bruschke received the National Coach of the Year award from the same group.

Nielson received the “Critic’s Award,” given at the Junior Varsity/Novice National Championship, hosted by Townson University Speech and Debate Team and Youth Organizing Urban Revitalizing Systems.

Hye-Kyeung Seung

Hye-Kyeung Seung

Human Communication Studies Professor Hye-Kyeung Seung has received the Diversity Travel Award from the International Society for Autism Research. The award is given to people from racial, ethnic and disability groups who have historically been underrepresented in the sciences in the United States. Accompanying the award is a $1,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.


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