Awards Ceremony

Each year the Department of Communication hosts an award ceremony that recognizes graduate and undergraduate students who have excelled in the program.  The ceremony acknowledges the national and international awards that faculty have received during the year, graduate student accomplishments and milestones, the undergraduates who have served as research assistants, and students inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Studies honor society.  In addition, the Department presents special awards in three categories:  undergraduate, graduate, and service.


Undergraduate Awards -- Department of Communication

Steven H. Chaffee Award for Excellence in Research.was established to honor the scholarship and personal qualities of Steven H. Chaffee. It is fiven to an undergraduate student who demonstrates excellence in research and scholarship.  Faculty should nominate honors students and RA students who have contributed research ideas to a project.  Nomination process:  Faculty nomination letter and a copy of the student’s resume that includes information on research and scholarship.  This award does not have to be given every year.

Communication Alumni Association Service Award is presented to a graduating senior in the Department of Communication who has demonstrated outstanding involvement, service, and leadership to the university and/or community.  Faculty should nominate students who have been active in the Student Communication Association, Lambda Pi Eta, faculty committees, and departmental projects.  Nomination process:  Faculty nomination letter and a copy of the student’s resume that lists the service roles and activities for the department and student associations.

Award for Academic Excellence is presented to undergraduates who have maintained an overall 3.8 or higher GPA over their academic careers and who have upheld the University’s standards of academic excellence.  This award is given to graduating seniors who have earned the highest academic honors and achieved excellence in communication courses.  Selection for the award is based on a student’s cumulative GPA at the end of winter quarter of his or her senior year.

Distinction in the Major is presented to undergraduates who participated in the department’s honor program and who completed a senior honors project (see that page for listing of participants and their project titles) and thesis with distinction.

Please click here for past winners of these Departmental and Other undergraduate awards.


Undergraduate Awards -- Other

(Not all of these are awarded to Communication Majors each year)

Phi Beta Kappa honorary society is a widely recongized and highly respected academic honor society with chapters at 283 American campuses. To be inivited to join, students must achieve a high GPA and their academic record must reflect a substantial amount of breadth.

City Club Prize is given for the highest academically achieving women majoring in the social sciences.

Vice Chancellor's Awards for Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship is presented annually to one or more graduating seniors and graduate students who embrace the principles of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship —through activities that enhance UCSB’s academic environment, contributions to a consequential project, or extraordinary service to the campus community.

University Service Award is presented to graduating seniors honored for their depth of involvement in campus life and their high cumulative GPA.

University Award of Distinction is given to seniors and graduate students who have contributed greatly to the quality of life by giving unselfish service to others within a particular area.

Luis Leal Social Sciences Undergraduate Award is awarded for outstanding academic achievement to a student with a major in the social sciences in honor of Don Luis Leal, a visiting professor whose presence and scholarship have greatly enriched the Santa Barbara campus (1976-2010).

Dean of Undergraduate Education Award is given to students in recognition of their outstanding academic and personal acheivements in the College of Letters and Science.

Golden Eagle Award is presented to the student with the highest GPA in a particular sport who also performed well in their sport.

Internship Scholarship Program Award is given to students who have excelled in landing internships, research, and related pre-professional experience that demonstrates career motivation and professional ambition.

College-level Academic Excellence Award is given for maintaining a 3.5 GPA, demonstrating commitment to Community Service, and completing the Honors Program requirements for the College of Letters and Sciences.

Fund for Education Abroad Scholar awards a $10,000 Study Abroad Scholarship is awarded in an effort to make the demographics of U.S. undergraduates studying abroad reflect the rich diversity of the U.S. population.

Duval Scholarship is awarded to a student in the College of Letters & Science Honors Program who is graduating with a double major, has outstanding academic achievement, and has demonstrated involvement in campus and community activities.

College of Letters and Science Student Graduation Commencement Speaker for the Social Sciences ceremony.

Please click here for past winners of these Departmental and Other undergraduate awards.


Graduate Student Awards

James J. Bradac Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Research is presented to a graduate student who has made significant contributions to the field of human communication through a record of prodigious publications and research projects.  A variety of research activities will be considered for the award including: publications, conference papers, grants, papers submitted for publication or under review, works in press, and book chapters.  The committee will place considerable emphasis on the quality of the work and its outcome.  Faculty members and/or peers can nominate the graduate students or graduate students can self-nominate (self nominations are strongly encouraged) by submitting a CV and narrative statement.  Nomination process:  Curriculum vitae of the graduate student that contains details on research and publications and a brief narrative that the nominee provides describing the nature and scope of his/her research activities.

George D. McCune Dissertation Fellowship was established by George D. McCune, founder of SAGE Publications. This award provides 3-quarter fees, tuition, and stipend to a graduate student who is in the process of writing a dissertation.  It is based on two criteria:  demonstrated excellence in scholarship and promise of successfully completing a dissertation that will yield broad and meaningful contributions to the social scientific study of communication and to the advancement of knowledge in a specialized area of the field.  Qualifications:  1) advancement to Ph.D. candidacy by the beginning of Fall, 2) working in residence on their dissertation for the entire academic year.  Students who are currently working on qualifying exams or who plan to do so should apply. Nomination process:  1) complete application cover sheet, 2) one-page, single-spaced letter of application that addresses the nominee’s progress to date and how the fellowship will benefit the applicant, 3) 2-page (single spaced) dissertation proposal, 4) curriculum vitae, and 5) one letter of recommendation from a faculty member that addresses the student’s academic progress, merits of the dissertation, and likelihood of completion during the subsequent year. Please download the complete description of the Fellowship and requirements and application form.  . 

Edwin Schoell Award for Excellence in Teaching is named in honor of Edwin Schoell, Professor Emeritus and past Chair of the Department of Communication. This award honors a graduate student who has set an example of outstanding service through interaction with undergraduate students.  Qualifications for the award include:  high quality classroom performance, use of good pedagogical techniques, professional attitude and manner, substantial assistance to course directors, motivation in team membership, and building colleagues’ morale.  The nominee should also demonstrate innovative techniques in the classroom and serve as a role model for fellow teaching assistants.  Nomination process: Nominations from faculty, fellow graduate students, and self nominations are encouraged for this award.  Names of nominees should be submitted to the chair of the Awards Committee. The Awards Committee chair will then contact the nominated graduate students and inform them that they have been nominated, ask them to submit a curriculum vita with teaching experiences and a summary of the lower and upper division teaching activities and how they envision their role as teachers.  The nominee should NOT ask faculty to write letters of recommendation.  The Awards Committee will solicit these letters from the faculty and/or fellow graduate students.  The Awards Committee will also obtain any other support materials, such as ESCI scores for the nominees.  No other documentation should be submitted.

Outstanding Graduate Student Service Award is given to a graduate student in recognition of and involvement in the intellectual and professional life of the Department of Communication.  Examples of this leadership might include (but are in no way limited to) organizing recruitment weekend, organizing workshops for teaching assistants, organizing department colloquia and brownbag seminars, trouble shooting problems in the department and addressing them, and helping with departmental events.  This award may or may not be awarded every year.  Nomination process:  Faculty members and/or peers can nominate the graduate students or graduate students can self-nominate by submitting a CV and a narrative statement that describes the nature and scope of his/her departmental service/leadership activities.

Click here for past winners of these graduate awards.


Service to the Department Award

Sara Miller McCune Award for Service to the Department  is named in honor of Sara Miller McCune, co-founder and Past President of SAGE Publications. The award is presented to someone outside the department in recognition of and involvement in the intellectual and professional life of the department.  This person could be a community member, alumnus, faculty member, or staff who has made major contributions to the intellectual and professional life of our department.  Nomination process:  Faculty nomination letter documenting the intellectual contributions and professional involvement that this person has given to the Department of Communication.  The award does not have to be given every year.

1994 Sara Miller McCune ♦ 1995 Steve Ainsley ♦ 1996, 1997 Not given ♦ 1998 Lt. John Thayer ♦ 1999 Kenneth Harwood ♦ 2000 Arthur N. Rupe ♦ 2001, 2002 Not given ♦ 2003 Sherry Dedecker ♦ 2004 Shane Jimerson ♦ 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Not given ♦ 2009 Susan Goodale ♦ 2010 Deb Artz ♦ 2011 Laura Roenick, Alumni Council ♦ 2012 Jonathan B. DeLong, Alumni Council ♦ 2013 Dr. Nancy Collins ♦ 2014 Lt. Todd Stoney, Santa Barbara Police Department ♦ 2015 Brittany Manzer, Career Services ♦ 2016 Leslie Klonoff, Alumni Council ♦ 2017 Not given ♦ 2018 Alex Platt and Jeanette Gibson, Alumni Council ♦