Through education, research, and collaboration, the National Association of Communication Centers (NACC) supports the advancement of communication centers on college and university campuses across the country. Our annual conference brings together center directors, coaches, support staff, and students to network, share experiences, and innovate.
The Huddy-Gunn Graduate Paper Award honors outstanding communication center research by a graduate student. Submissions should be original research that investigates a topic from an empirical or theoretical perspective and meets the criteria of the call for conference submissions. The paper should focus on applying, challenging, modifying and/or developing a new theory. Research using quantitative and qualitative methods is welcomed provided that the methodology is clear and rigorous. Findings are not required to be generalizable yet findings that can be shared with and meaningful to a variety of communication centers is appreciated.
All communication center topics are welcome.
Coordinator: Zack Sowder
To be eligible for this award, the submitting author must be:
To be eligible for this award, all research must be:
Authors may submit their research in two-stages: abstracts and completed papers.
The recipient will be chosen by a committee of NACC members/Communication scholars that do not belong to the home institution of paper authors. The NCA Communication Centers Section Student Advocate coordinates this effort.
When speaking centers were in their infancy, although they often had a senior faculty member as chief promoter, they quite often had graduate students doing a great deal of the “heavy lifting.” Such was the case for Bill Huddy, then a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and Amanda Gunn, then a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. At their institutions, they both work tirelessly to create model centers.
With the professional ambitions typical of graduate students, they wanted to see greater recognition for speaking center work, especially recognition from the National Communication Association (NCA). They also felt that NCA recognition would facilitate both the exchange of ideas among those working at fledgling centers and networking among them. Believing that there was no place in the existing NCA structure to facilitate this sharing and networking, they spearheaded the attempt to secure NCA approval for a separate NCA section devoted to just speaking or communication centers.
They played a major role in drafting a proposal for a new NCA section, and Amanda appeared before the Legislative Council (LC) to both answer questions about it and argue for it. Speaking/communication centers were fairly new on the scene: thus, many in the LC did not know what such centers were and what their mission might be. So, a large part of what Bill and Amanda did, through their proposal and Amanda’s “defense” of it, was to educate those at the helm of NCA about centers.
Both Bill and Amanda have moved on, both from graduate school and from direct involvement with speaking centers, although both remain strong supporters. The important work they did that all now involved with speaking centers have benefitted from was done as graduate students. The work was not tied to their graduate curriculum; the work was not related to their dissertation projects. It was something they did above and beyond the norm because they felt centers could play a major role in the education their institutions were offering.
That Bill and Amanda so served speaking centers as graduate students makes it quite appropriate that the NACC award for outstanding paper by a graduate student be named in their honor.
2021 Briana M. Stewart, George Mason University
2020 Winner: Keviele McBride, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
2019 Winner: Vivian Niestrom and Jeannine Lane, Grand Valley State University
2018 Winner: Skye Gregory-Hatch, Grand Valley State University
2017 Winner: Carley Reynolds Young & Mohamed Ismail, The University of Southern Mississippi
2016 Winner: Mohamed Ismail, The University of Southern Mississippi
2015 Winner: Leanna Smithberger, James Madison University
2014 Winners: Carl Brown & Nicole Magee, The University of Southern Mississippi
2013 Winner: Carl Brown, The University of Southern Mississippi
2012 Winner: Hannah Rachal, University of Southern Mississippi
2011 Winner: Alyssa Davis, University of North Carolina Greensboro
2009 Winner: William Bryant, University of North Carolina Greensboro
2008 Winners: Marcie Hureau, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs and Hema Yarragunta, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
2007 Winner: Kira Zimmerman, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs