Baylor Lecturer Wins Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from National Communication Association

November 3, 2016
Kayla Rhidenour

Kayla Rhidenour, Ph.D., courtesy photo

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WACO, Texas (Nov. 3, 2016) — Kayla Rhidenour, Ph.D., lecturer in the department of communication in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences, has been honored with the 2016 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award presented by the National Communication Association.
Rhidenour was honored for her dissertation, “The Mediated Veteran: How News Sources Narrate the Pain and Potential of Returning Soldiers," which was completed at the University of Texas at Austin.
"I have been an advocate for the veteran community for several years, and through my research I noticed that veterans’ issues were increasingly being discussed in the news media,” Rhidenour said. “At first the advocacy community was excited that veteran-related issues were experiencing an increase in news coverage, yet I was cautiously optimistic. I began to notice that oftentimes veterans themselves were not being interviewed in these stories, and wondered if this was a widespread phenomenon. This curiosity lead to me ask the following underlying question in my dissertation: Do veterans tell us their own stories of wartime experiences, or do other people speak for them across the news media landscape?”

The Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation award is given annually to honor new communication scholars who completed outstanding dissertations the previous academic year. The program was created in 1970, with the first awards being given in 1971.

“Dissertations are written alone, but not achieved alone,” Rhidenour said, “so I would like to thank my amazing adviser Dr. Joshua Gunn and mentors Dr. Sharon Jarvis and Ben Armstrong for their help and support throughout the entire process."

“We are very proud of Kayla for this award. Dr. Rhidenour is a bright and talented young scholar-teacher,” said David Schlueter, Ph.D., chair of the department of communication at Baylor. “We are very pleased she is a member of our team in the department of communication.”

Rhidenour will be presented with the award during the National Communication Association’s (NCA) 102nd Annual Convention held Nov. 10-13 in Philadelphia.

by Kelsey Dehnel, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


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