Professors honored for communication achievement

By Staff
Morreale (left) and Tracy (right)

Morreale (left) and Tracy (right)

Two University of Colorado professors received awards from the National Communication Association during its annual convention in San Francisco Nov. 14-17.

Sherwyn "Sherry" Morreale, associate professor of communication, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, received the Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award and Karen Tracy, a professor of communications at the University of Colorado at Boulder, was named a Distinguished Scholar. Both were selected by peers for the awards.

The Becker Award is given annually to an NCA member who has given outstanding cumulative service in research, teaching and service to the NCA and the profession.

Morreale served as NCA's associate director from 1997 to 2005. At UCCS, Morreale directs graduate studies for the communication department. Her research and teaching interests include instructional communication, public speaking, interpersonal and gender communication, diversity issues, organizational communication, and the assessment of communication competence.

She is the lead author of two communication textbooks, "Human Communication: Motivation, Knowledge, and Skills" and "Excellence in Public Speaking." Currently, she is working on a new public speaking textbook, a volume on trust in organizations, and the latest iteration of a national survey of the basic communication course.

Tracy is a discourse analyst who studies problems in justice, education-, and governance-linked institutions. Through close study of a communication practice, in combination with interviews of participants, and analysis of documents (e.g., minutes, web pages, legal opinions), she seeks to build a picture of the problems, conversational strategies, and ideals of good conduct in particular communication practices. Her past research has focused on academic colloquia, school board meetings, and exchanges between citizens and police/911 call-takers, with her most recent book being "Challenges of Ordinary Democracy: A Case Study in Deliberation and Dissent" (Penn State University Press).

She is currently at work on a new project investigating the dispute in U.S. society about extending the institution of marriage to same-sex couples.