Neal Abbott and Professor Thomas Johnson

The Communication Studies Department offers a variety of opportunities for students to distinguish themselves among their peers, and to receive recognition for their accomplishments. The Communication Studies Department participates in the all-college honors program, enabling students who wish to challenge themselves to take on additional research projects in certain classes. In addition, the department's faculty, recent graduates, and current students have had their work recognized in the a number of ways.

Special Recognitions

Dr. Powell (Communication Studies) and Amber Sorenson '20 received the Dawn O. Braithwaite award for Distinguished Qualitative Research from the Central States Communication Association at their 2020 Conference.

Kristen Carlson ('18) was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Latvia for 2018-2019.

Kristen Carlson ('18) presented her research at the 2017 Iowa Communication Association Conference and at the 2018 National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

Annalise Johnson ('18) received the "Top Student Paper" award at the 2017 Iowa Communication Association conference.

Ironhead (2015), a short subject documentary film produced by Dr. Thomas C. Johnson and Neal Abbott '15 [both pictured, above] (Shot on high definition video, edited with Final Cut Pro. Runtime: 9 minutes. 2015.) Honorable mention for the Walter Ordway Best of Fest Award at the Oneota Film Festival. Official selection of the Yellowknife International Film Festival, the Milwaukee Film Festival, the Fargo Fantastic Film Festival, the Liverpool (UK) Lift-Off Online Film Festival, the Frozen River Film Festival (Minnesota), the Speechless Film Festival (Minnesota), the Red Wasp Independent Film Festival (Texas), the Fargo Film Festival, the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival (Des Moines), the Let’s All Be Free Film Festival (London, UK), the Greenwich Village Film Festival, and the Kansas International Film Festival.

Hannah Butler ('16) received the "Top Student Paper" award at the 2015 Iowa Communication Association conference for her paper, "College Students’ Disclosure of Mental Health Counseling Utilization."

Dr. Powell was elected President of the Iowa Communication Association, serving a 6 year term beginning in 2013.

Seniors Lauren Meintsma ('14) and Jenna Hoge ('14) had senior project research competitively selected for presentation at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (2014).

Seniors Ruonan Zheng ('15) and Neal Abbot ('15) had their Research Methods final papers competitively selected for presentation at the 2014 Iowa Communication Association Conference.

Dr. Wilder was elected as an at-large representative for the National Communication Association Nominating Committee and as an at-large representative for the Iowa Communication Association Governing Board (2013).

Saving Creativity(2012), a film by Seth Duin '12 and Bailey Cahlander '12 that examines the loss of public funding for the arts, won the Top Student Submission at the Oneota Film Festival held in Decorah. 

Rachel Woolsey ('14) won the top student paper award at the Iowa Communication Association conference, September 2012.

Jena Schwake ('14), Jessica Edblom ('14) and Maria Ellingson ('14) were honored with the Iowa Communication Association "Recognition of Achievement in Speech Communication" Award at the September 2012 meeting.