114th Annual ECA Convention

Harboring Innovation

Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor

March 29 to April 2, 2023

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2022 Award Recipients

An important element of our organization is the recognition of our colleagues for their exceptional work and efforts. Please take a moment to read through the list of recipients from this past year. 

We hope that you will also take a moment to review the criteria for each available award listed below and consider nominating yourself or an ECA colleague for an award. 

2022 ECA Award Recipients

  • ECA Distinguished Service Award: Janie Harden Fritz, Duquesne University
  • ECA Teaching Fellows:Megan Dillow, West Virginia University; Stephanie Verni, Stevenson University; Valerie Schrader, Penn State Schuylkill; Robin Smith Mathis, Kennesaw State University; Jessica Papajciik, Stark State College
  • ECA Past Officers’ Award: Alan Goodboy, West Virginia University
  • ECA Article of the Year: None Submitted
  • ECA Distinguished Research Fellows: Lisa Gring-Pemble, George Mason University; 
    Kenneth Lachlan, University of Connecticut
  • Applied Urban Communication Research Grant: Benjamin R. Bates; Ohio University
  • 2022 Richard E. Vatz Agenda-Spin Persuasion Award: Dr. Theodore Sheckels, Randolph-Macon College


Top Undergraduate Papers:

Lilly Wilcox (Northeastern University); Mateus Joo (Northeastern University); Eunjin Kim (Northeastern University); Lauren Barbulescu (Northeastern University): Union and Difference between East and West: Sociopragmatic Politeness in American and South Korean Presidential Debate

Kaitlin Merlino (Messiah University): Hamilton and the Ideograph of Freedom [Media Analysis]

Megan Miller (State University of New York at Geneseo): Music Genres: Variations of (Anti)Feminist Representation

Arielle Joy Greenspan (Northeastern University):The Problem With the “Noble Savage”: Reappraising Basquiat through Ideological Criticism

Undergraduate Posters:

Felicia Helmlinger (University of North Carolina at Wilmington): Personal Narratives of Transnational Adoption: Navigating Family, Belonging, and Transcultural Connection

Jared M. Holmes (Saint Vincent College): Political Leaning of News Media and Coverage of Critical Race Theory

Graduate Posters:

Abigail Vazquez Rosario (University of Maryland): News framing in the U.S. and its implication on the Latinx immigrant community (media communication)

Gilbert Kipkoech (University of Delaware): The mediating role of political discussion and political knowledge in the media influence on political participation in Kenya


Please see the specific award descriptions for further instructions.


  • The Distinguished Service Award honors an individual ECA member for his/her contributions to the field of communication in general and to ECA in particular. A committee appointed by the President, who acts as chair, selects the recipient.
  • Nominations for the Distinguished Service Award must include: (1) a letter of nomination; (2) a copy of the nominee's current curriculum vita and (3) additional support materials as appropriate.
  • All nominations and materials should be sent by February 15, 2022 to ECA President Amanda McKendree (amckendree@nd.edu)


  • The ECA Article of the Year Award is presented annually to the most outstanding journal article published during the previous calendar year in Communication Quarterly, Communication Research Reports, or Qualitative Research Reports in Communication.
  • Nominations for the 2022 ECA Article of the Year Award must include: (1) a letter of nomination and (2) a copy of the article.
  • All nominations and materials should be sent by March 15, 2022 to ECA President Amanda McKendree (amckendree@nd.edu).


  • The Everett Lee Hunt Award is presented annually at the discretion of the ECA Committee of Scholars. The Hunt Award reflects the philosophic commitment and scholarly contributions of Everett Lee Hunt, one of the founders of the discipline of communication and the eighth president of ECA (1927-1929).
  • The nominee should have provided a major contribution to the understanding of rhetoric and communication as a human function in the contemporary world; a means of explaining and realizing public responsibilities beyond the discipline of communication; and/or an intellectual and humane instrument for merging diverse fields of knowledge in a way that infuses them with moral purpose and public significance.
  • The guidelines for the Hunt Award include: (1) the nominee must be a member of ECA at the time of nomination; (2) the nominee's published work (e.g., an article, book, position paper or monograph) must be dated in the previous calendar year; (3) nominations must be for scholarly (including creative) work.
  • Nominations for the 2022 Everett Lee Hunt Award should include: (1) a letter of nomination and (2) additional materials as appropriate.
  • All nominations and materials should be sent by February 15, 2022 to ECA Past President Katherine Thweatt (katherine.thweatt@oswego.edu).


  • The Applied Urban Communication Research Grant is funded annually by the Urban Communication Foundation and given to foster and promote significant inter-disciplinary communication research contributions that extend the boundaries of "applied research" by investigating real-life communication phenomena affecting urban communities. The prize is to be awarded to fund the development of original research that meaningfully centralizes the concerns of everyday citizens and their struggle to define, identify with, and/or construct "spaces" for discourse and/or engagement within cities. 
  • The recipient of the prize will receive a $2,500 grant-in-aid to be awarded to fund communication research related to urban communication. Nominees must be members of ECA. Nominees will be evaluated based on the potential impact of their work as well as the quality and rigor of their contribution. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association. 
  • Nominations for the Applied Urban Communication Research Grant should include: (1) a cover letter explaining why the nominee is deserving of the award; (2) a 500-word description of the work the nominee plans to do, outlining the anticipated outcomes, intended mode of dissemination of the research as well as how the research will translate in such a way that it addresses urban community needs and/or concerns; (3) anticipated budget and timetable for completion of the project; (4) a copy of the nominee's CV; and (5) at least one supporting letter from someone well-acquainted with the nominee.
  • Self-nominations are encouraged. Nominees shall submit the nomination packet and send the materials by February 15, 2022 to Past President Katherine Thweatt (katherine.thweatt@oswego.edu).


  • Two ECA Centennial Scholarships may be awarded each year to one deserving Ph.D. student and one deserving M.A./M.S. student. The specific criteria for these awards include: (1) current ECA membership and (2) enrollment in a Ph.D. or Master’s program in Communication.
  • A committee consisting of the immediate past ECA president, the three ECA journal editors, and the current ECA president will work to select the recipients of the ECA Centennial Scholarships.
  • Nominations for the 2022 Centennial Scholarships must include: (1) a letter of nomination from the thesis/dissertation advisor attesting to the nominee’s student status and ability to conduct original research and (2) a 4-page/1500-word project summary from the nominee.
  • All nominations and materials must be sent by February 15, 2022 to ECA Past President Katherine Thweatt (Katherine.thweatt@oswego.edu).


  • The Ecroyd Teaching Excellence Award is presented annually to recognize excellence in teaching. The specific criteria include: (1) ECA membership for five continuous years; (2) a full-time teaching position at any level of education at the time of nomination and (3) a demonstrated record of employing communication principles as the foundation for constructing pedagogical principles applied in teaching practices.
  • Nominations for the 2022 Ecroyd Award must include the following information: (1) a letter of nomination; (2) five letters of support; (3) a complete, current curriculum vita; (4) evidence of teaching competency and effectiveness for the last three years or more and (5) additional materials as appropriate.
  • The Ecroyd Award selection committee is composed of the past three winners of this award. March 15, 2022 to past recipient and committee chair, Kristin Majocha, majocha@calu.edu .


  • The Past Officers' Award is presented annually by the past officers of ECA to an outstanding ECA member who has not been a past ECA officer. To be considered for the award, the nominee must: (1) be a current member of ECA; (2) be 10 to 15 years beyond the doctorate; (3) have contributed a significant body of research to the communication discipline, and (4) possess a significant record of continuing service to ECA.
  • All members of the Past Officers' Club as well as members of the Association at large are encouraged to submit nominations. Nominations for the 2022 Past Officers' Award must include: (1) a letter of nomination; (2) a copy of the nominee's current vita; and (3) additional supporting materials (e.g., books, reprints of articles, additional letters of endorsement, or other appropriate information). (ECA past officers are ineligible for the award.)
  • All nominations and materials must be sent by March 15, 2022 to committee chair and Past President, Leeanne Bell McManus (lbell@stevenson@edu).


  • Research Fellow status may be awarded annually in recognition of distinguished research. The specific criteria include: (1) a record of distinguished research in the field of communication; (2) a record of active and continuous engagement with ECA (e.g. editing an ECA journal, serving on an ECA editorial board, presenting research at ECA annual conventions, providing research-related leadership within ECA, and ECA interest group involvement); (3) the nominee must be an ECA member for a minimum of ten years prior to the nomination; (4) the nominee must be a living ECA member at the time of nomination. No more than 1% of the ECA membership will receive this award in any given year.
  • Nominations for the 2022 ECA Distinguished Research Fellows must include the following information and materials: (1) a letter of nomination; (2) the nominee’s complete and current curriculum vita and (3) additional supporting documentation of an outstanding record of research as appropriate.
  • All previous research fellows serve as the selection committee.  Please email nomination materials directly to the chair, Timothy J. Brown ( tbrown1@mc3.edu) by March 1, 2022.


  • The Eastern Communication Association (ECA) is now soliciting nominations for "Distinguished Teaching Fellows" recognition. The teaching fellows program recognizes a distinguished career of teaching excellence in the field of communication and is limited to colleagues who have active and ongoing service to ECA. Potential candidates must be a living member of ECA at the time of nomination and have a minimum of ten years of consecutive ECA membership. No more than 1% of the membership can be given this award in any given year. There are no self-nominations for the "Distinguished Teaching Fellows" program.
  • Nominations for the 2022 Teaching Fellows must include the following information and materials: (1) a letter of nomination, current vitae, (2) up to five letters of recommendation, and (3) representative supporting materials that suggest at least ten years of excellent teaching activity (e.g., student evaluations, peer reviews, citations).
  • All previous teaching fellows serve as the selection committee with nominations. Please send nomination materials directly to the chair, Rebecca Townsend (townsend@hartford.edu) by March 15, 2022.


  • The Eastern Communication Association is now accepting nominations and self-nominations for the "Richard E. Vatz Agenda-Spin Persuasion Award," which will be granted to a current member of ECA who indicates by their writing and/or media work a dedication to persuasion or political persuasion consistent with  the rhetorical perspective argued in Dr. Vatz's “The Myth of the Rhetorical Situation” and The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion: The Agenda-Spin Model (LAD Custom Publishing, 2021: Buy.ladportal.com/course-pack/view/id/121).
  • The member’s work must make an effort to make rhetorical study more relevant and not just an appendage of political study. 
  • Applications for the award must include the following: (1) The work focusing on rhetor-as-creative-agent, the work focusing on rhetor-as-creative-agent and the rhetor’s responsibility in a persuasion model; (2) a one-page rationale explaining how the work embodies the award criteria; and (3) curriculum vitae.
  • An award of $2,000 will be granted yearly by the award committee. All materials should be sent directly to Dr. Richard E. Vatz by February 15, 2022.


The Dr. James W. Chesebro Marginalized Community Scholarship Fund honors his lifetime dedication to research and diversity. The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage scholarly activities in all individuals who have felt marginalized by decreasing financial barriers. The Eastern Communication Association recognizes that existing power structures and architectures may create barriers for individuals of marginalized communities when these individuals attempt to engage in traditional paths such as participation in research conferences.The maximum amount awarded each year will be $2,000, Each year, faculty applicants may apply for any amount up to $1000. Students may apply for up to $500.

  • An MLA/APA/Chicago formatted research paper
  • 1-2 page rationale explaining the need for the scholarship and how the scholarship might impact the individuals future
  • C.V. or Resume

The committee will consist of five rotating members sitting in 2-year terms. Three will be elected from among sitting members of EC during the annual conference in even years. Two will be past recipients and will receive applications by March 15th of each year and announce recipients by March 1 each year. For the first year, please forward materials to Dr. Katherine S. Thweatt, EdD, ECA Immediate Past President at katherine.thweatt@oswego.edu who will assemble a committee of 5 total members of diverse backgrounds by working with the Executive Board. Please direct questions to Katherine via email or phone at 216-246-0441.