The International Communication Section (ICOMM)

of the International Studies Association

Distinguished Scholar Award

The International Communication Distinguished Scholar Award is presented on an annual basis at the International Studies Association Annual Meeting to a scholar whose work has made a substantial impact in the area of International Communication in the context of international studies. The 2018 winner of the Distinguished Scholar Award is  Professor R.S. Zaharna.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2020 Award.

2018 ISA ICOMM Distinguished Scholar

rs-zaharna-2014-01Selected by the Executive Committee from a pool of nominations made by ICOMM section members,  the 2018 ICOMM Distinguished Scholar Award winner is Professor R.S. Zaharna. The committee recognizes Dr. Zaharna for her notable contributions to the scholarship, pedagogy, and practice of public diplomacy and strategic communications and for her dedicated service to the ISA. Dr. Zaharna is a Professor and Director of the International Media program in the School of Communication, American University, Washington.  Her academic works include: Battles to Bridges: U.S. Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy after 9/11 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010; 2014), The Connective Mindshift: Relational, Networked and Collaborative Approaches to Public Diplomacy (co-edited with Amelia Arsenault and Ali Fisher; Routledge, 2013) and The Cultural Awakening in Public Diplomacy (Figueroa Press, 2012).  She has also been a leader in forging relationships between international communication academics and practitioners; she has testified before the U.S. Congress on multiple occasions and has addressed diplomatic and academic forums on public diplomacy. Dr. Zaharna has been particularly active in promoting junior and emerging scholars in public diplomacy. She created the annual “Emerging Scholars in Public Diplomacy” at the International Studies Association to showcase the research of PhD students from around the world. In 2018, Dr. Zaharna received the Outstanding Doctoral Mentoring award at American University. ICOMM will host a panel honoring her work on April 5, 2018 from 4.00 – 5.45pm  and at the ISA ICOMM Business Meeting and Reception at 7pm.

2017 ISA ICOMM Distinguished Scholar

GetImage.jpegThe 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award winner, selected through a vote of the Executive Committee, was Laura Roselle, Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies at Elon University, in recognition of her significant contributions to the field of International Communication research and to the ISA. Professor Roselle was honored in the 2017 ICOMM Distinguished Scholar Panel for her exceptional academic record in groundbreaking work on strategic narratives, in the best tradition of combining communication and International Relations scholarship. Her work has raised the visibility of the International communication field. She has also demonstrated significant service, through her editorship of the journal Media, War and Conflict, and as an editor of the Routledge book series “Global Information, Politics, and Society.”

Previous Recipients

  • 2017 – Laura Roselle, Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies at Elon University
  • 2016 – Robert Entman, .B. and M.C. Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs and Professor of International Affairs at The George Washington University
  • 2015 – Monroe E. Price, Joseph and Sadie Danciger Professor of Law and Director of the Howard M. Squadron Program in Law, Media and Society at the Cardozo School of Law, University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2014 – Daya Thussu, Professor of International Communication and Co-Director of India Media Centre, University of Westminster, UK.
  • 2012 – Manuel Castells, University Professor and the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles
  • 2010 – Philip Seib, Professor of Journalism and Public Diplomacy and Professor of International Relations, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles
  • 2009 – Ernest Wilson, Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and Dean, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles
  • 2008 – Elizabeth Hanson, Professor Emerita, Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut
  • 2002 – Hamid Mowlana, Professor Emeritus of International relations at the School of International Services, American University, Washington, D.C
  • 2001 – Todd Gitlin, Professor and Chair, Columbia School of Journalism

Award Criteria and Nomination Process

Selection Criteria

  • The award is open to both Members and Non-Members of ISA. However, any Non-Member recipient must join the Association to receive the award.
  • Special consideration will be given to scholars with a history of service to the International Communication Section and ISA.
  • Scholars who have previously received this award are not eligible for nomination.
  • The winner is selected annually by the ICOMM Executive Committee from the pool of candidates nominated by ICOMM section members.

Nomination Process

  • Self-nominations are not accepted.
  • Nominations must be made my members of the International Communication Section of ISA.
  • To nominate a scholar for the Distinguished Scholar Award, please complete the brief nomination form available here.
  • Please direct any questions about the Distinguished Scholar Award to ISAICOMM [at] gmail [dot] com.



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