National organization renames award for Braithwaite

Photo Credit: Dawn Braithwaite
Wed, 12/01/2021 - 10:31

The National Communication Association's Family Communication Division renamed their annual book award after Dawn O. Braithwaite, Willa Cather Professor of Communication in the Department of Communication Studies.

The "Dawn O. Braithwaite Distinguished Book Award" acknowledges research that has made, or offers the promise of making, a significant contribution to scholarship in family communication theory and/or research. The division is one of 49 smaller communities with the NCA that provide a range of resources related to a specific area of study.

Braithwaite is a past president of the organization and was previously named a Distinguished Scholar. She also received their Becker Award for Distinguished Service in research, teaching and discipline service and the Brommel Award for Family Communication. She studies discourse dependent families, dialectics of relating and communication rituals in step- and voluntary families.

The division officers wrote:

"In the Family Communication Division, we are fortunate to have had many influential scholars call our division home. Indeed, we currently have awards honoring two of them: The Sandra Petronio Dissertation Award and the Leslie A. Baxter Early Career Award.

"Notably absent from this list is Dawn O. Braithwaite, who has been a steadfast contributor to, supporter of, and advocate for family communication and its scholars. Consequently, we propose amending the bylaws to rename the division's distinguished book award the Dawn O. Braithwaite Distinguished Book Award.

"A past winner of this award herself, Dawn authors the influential family communication theories book (Engaging Theories in Family Communication) and the first undergraduate family communication textbook in the discipline (Family Communication: Cohesion and Change).

"In addition to highlighting the development and role of family communication scholarship, Dawn has already won NCA's Brommel Award for her lifetime achievement in family communication. She has been a driving force in creating space for different epistemological approaches to studying family communication and arguing for the importance of qualitative research in a largely quantitative landscape.

"Finally, Dawn has recently taken on leadership to help 'get family communication out there' – creating connections with the National Council on Family Relations. In doing so, she has helped us make interdisciplinary connections that could be essential in translating our research not only to other disciplines but also to the clinicians and practitioners who might best benefit from our scholarship.

"We hope that you join us in acknowledging the contributions of Dawn O. Braithwaite."

Read more about her accomplishments via Nebraska Today here and here.