KU News Release

August 20, 2012
Contact: Kristi Henderson, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 785-864-3663

Communication studies professor receives national award

LAWRENCE – An associate professor from the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas has received a prestigious award for scholarship from the National Communication Association.

The NCA awarded the Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award to Dave Tell for excellence in communication research, teaching and service. The award, established in 1976, is given to “promote philosophical, historical or critical scholarship in rhetoric and public discourse.” Recipients must have completed their doctoral degree in the past 10 years or are well-advanced in their doctoral studies.

Tell’s research uses the traditions of rhetoric to better understand American culture. In November, the Pennsylvania State University Press will publish his first book. Titled “Confessional Crises and Cultural Politics in Twentieth-Century America,” the book argues that debates over the meaning of confession have influenced six perennial issues in American cultural politics — sexuality, class, race, violence, religion and democracy. Tell earned the Wallace award for his current research program, which focuses on 20th century debates over the meaning of Kansas.

Tell joined KU in 2007. He completed his doctorate in communication arts and science at Pennsylvania State University in 2006. He received the NCA Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2007. Numerous national journals have published his work.
Tell will be honored for the Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award at the NCA 98th Annual Convention in November, taking place in Orlando, Fla.

The NCA, founded in 1914, is the largest national organization dedicated to communication. Its membership exceeds 8,000 educators, practitioners and students nationwide and internationally in more than 20 countries. It is dedicated to promoting ethical and free communication to improve education and society by using communication to solve problems and improve the quality of life. It supports its members to engage in the research and teaching of communication. The NCA honors outstanding individuals for their contributions to the communication discipline through its annual awards.

The Department of Communication Studies is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The College enrolls about two-thirds of KU students and encompasses more than 55 departments, programs, centers, the School of Public Affairs and Administration and the School of the Arts. Courses in the College cover hundreds of subjects including history, literature, chemistry, biology, art history, mathematics, anthropology, psychology, foreign language and political science.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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