Dewberry Honored by National Communication Association

Dr. David Dewberry, assistant professor of Communication, was named a recipient of the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression by the National Communication Association.
Friday, September 27, 2013

Dr. David R. Dewberry, assistant professor of Communication, has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression by the National Communication Association (NCA).

Dewberry and Dr. Pat Arneson, associate professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University, are being recognized in tandem for their co-authorship of the scholarly article Mapping Free Speech Scholarship in the Communication Discipline: 1969-2006, which appeared in the 2010 edition of the Free Speech Yearbook. Dewberry and Arneson, who was the lead author, will be fêted during the NCA’s 99th annual convention, held from November 21 to 24, in Washington, D.C.

“I was happy to hear about the award,” said Dewberry, who was notified earlier in September. “It’s nice to be recognized for the work.” Mapping Free Speech Scholarship in the Communication Discipline also received the James Madison Prize in First Amendment Studies from the Southern States Communication Association.

The former editor of the Communication Law Review and the current editor of the National Communication Association’s First Amendment Studies, Dewberry calls the focus of his scholarly work “political rhetoric with an emphasis on free expression.” In addition to the Free Speech Yearbook, he has also seen his research published in the Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric and the Journal of Communication Studies.

Dewberry studied interpersonal communications as an undergraduate at the University of Arkansas, and nearly completed his baccalaureate requirements before experiencing an academic epiphany, of sorts.

“My last class was on freedom of religion, and once I realized you could study that, it pushed me to graduate school,” said Dewberry, who returned to Fayetteville, Ark., for his master’s degree before earning a Ph.D. at the University of Denver. This past summer, he spent three weeks at the Harris Manchester College of the University of Oxford combing its research archives for a paper on Protestant dissent.

Although the Franklyn S. Haiman is an annual award, it may be given to authors of scholarship published over the prior three years. The date of copyright of the published material shall serve as the date of publication. Though Dewberry and Arneson wrote Mapping Free Speech Scholarship in the Communication Discipline prior to 2010, it was not published until that date.

The content criteria to be used for the award selection include the vitality and importance of the subject; the calculated impact of the study upon its audience; the quality of composition; and the enduring value of the scholarship. Originally established in 1976, the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression has been an association-wide NCA award since 1992. Prior to that time, the NCA Commission on Freedom of Expression presented the award.

About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. The NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. 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.

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