Joyce Ferguson Faculty Paper Award

Conference Details:

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.

Focus/Intent of the Award:

The Joyce Ferguson Faculty Paper Award honors outstanding communication center research by a faculty member. Submissions should be an original research paper that investigates a topic around Communication Centers from an empirical or theoretical perspective and meets the criteria of the call for conference submissions. The paper should focus on challenging a theory, the development of a new theory, or the modification of a current theory.

All communication center topics are welcome.

Coordinator: Carl Brown

Eligibility:

To be eligible for this award, the submitting author must:

  1. Hold a faculty, staff, or administrative position that is not enrolled in a full-time degree seeking program.
  2. Register for and attend the conference to present the work (at least one author).

To be eligible for this award, all research must be:

  1. Centered on a communication center theory or topic
  2. Original work of the author/authors
  3. At the time of submission, not previously published or accepted for publication, and not presented or in review for presentation at another conference.
  4. Not a major thesis or dissertation project (coursework papers are accepted).
  5. Completed by at least one faculty or staff member. If an undergraduate or graduate student works with a faculty/staff member, the work must be entered into the faculty competition.
  6. Submitted on or before all deadlines during the process
  7. Faculty are allowed to submit one paper per NACC conference to the faculty paper competition.They may submit additional papers for consideration on non-competitive panels.

Abstracts:

  1. The abstract must be e-mailed as a Word attachment to the Call Coordinator using the subject line: “Ferguson Paper Competition” by February 13th
  2. The abstract of 250-500 words must be submitted to the Call Coordinator by the date listed in the call for papers.
  3. Abstracts must be formatted based on a recognized writing style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) with all source material properly attributed.
  4. Abstracts should be free of author or institutional identifiers. Please change or omit any identifying information for the purposes of an unbiased evaluation in both the text and citations. Please refer to NCA’s guidelines for preparing an unidentifiable copy for review: https://www.natcom.org/convention-events/convention-resources/convention-resource-library/preparing-unidentifiable-copy
  5. Submit in a separate document, along with the abstract, an author information document that includes the author(s) name(s), email(s), phone(s), and institution(s).
  6. If your abstract is accepted as a conference submission, you are expected to register for the conference and present your manuscript at the NACC conference, regardless of whether or not you win the award.

Completed Papers :

  1. The completed manuscript must be e-mailed as a Word attachment to the Call Coordinator using the subject line: “Ferguson Paper Competition” by March 13th
  2. A completed manuscript is due by the end of the day in the local time zone to the Competition Coordinator by the date listed in the call for papers.
  3. Manuscripts should be original research that investigates a topic from an empirical or theoretical perspective.
  4. Manuscripts should have a maximum length of 5000 words (not including reference pages or appendices).
  5. Manuscripts must be formatted based on a recognized writing style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) with all source material properly attributed.
  6. Manuscripts should be free of author or institutional identifiers--please change or omit any identifying information for the purposes of an unbiased evaluation in both the text and citations. Information that in any way identifies the author or her/his affiliation may disqualify the proposal from consideration.
  7. Submit in a separate document, along with the manuscript, an author information document that includes the author(s) name(s), email(s), phone(s), academic position, and institution(s).
  8. If your abstract is accepted as a conference submission, you are expected to present your manuscript at the NACC conference, regardless of whether or not you win the award.

Selection Process:

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 Vice Chair Elect coordinates this effort.

Rubrics

About Joyce Ferguson:

joyce.ferguson

University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG), Professor Joyce Ferguson played an important role in the early days of the fledgling speaking across-the-curriculum (SAC) movement. Like Bob Weiss at DePauw University and several others at schools scattered nationwide, she believed that the writing across-the-curriculum movement developing in the late 1970s needed a parallel speech communication movement. Thus, she worked at her school to develop one. She understood the important role faculty development played in speaking-intensive (SI) courses; thus, she developed and/or facilitated workshops for UNCG instructors. She understood that such courses needed to be carefully scrutinize; thus, she insisted on high standards reflecting the communication discipline’s “best practices” as a member of the university-wide committee approving SI courses.

Joyce was well aware how programs can come and go. She was especially aware that programs not backed by research were likely, in a university environment, to be perceived as “lightweight” and, thus, very likely to go should the initiator retire or leave or should the university budget become tight. The way to avoid becoming an academic fad was solid research.

One person can do programmatic research tied to a single institution. Joyce did this, encouraging her graduate students (among them, Amanda Gunn) to join in. Such research, if published, could encourage both the emulation of the studied program and emulation of the programmatic research effort. Joyce hoped that her work would not only prompt this imitation but stimulate other kinds of research, perhaps cross-institution research, on both SAC topics and speaking center topics. Joyce’s interest was more in SAC than centers; however, she recognized that a strong SAC effort needed a strong center. She thus saw to it that UNCG developed just such a center, one that not only offered tutoring but sustained the SAC effort.

Joyce also tried to encourage research nationwide on SAC and centers by initiating a bibliography project. Bob Weiss joined her, moving the bibliography project to the pages of the SAC newsletter. And that bibliography project continues today at UNCG. Joyce’s idea was that such a document would both encourage communication scholars to do research—by showing that it was publishable—and provide scholars with a handy guide to what was in print so that they could build the requisite literature reviews and thereby situate their research in the extant work.

Joyce’s commitment to faculty/staff research on SAC and communication centers makes it very appropriate that the NACC award for outstanding faculty paper presented at the annual conference be named in her honor.