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TCNJ Communication Studies students officially recognized as best in the nation

Katie Ward, current president of Lambda Pi Eta and chapter advisor John Pollock hold the NCA's commendation letter.

The National Communication Association (NCA), the largest and most distinguished organization of communication scholars in the United States has confirmed that TCNJ communication studies students have won more national honors in the form of elected officers and “best student paper in the nation” awards than have students from any other college or university in the United States.

“The College of New Jersey’s chapter of Lambda Pi Eta (LPH), the official honor society of the communication discipline, is the most highly represented and awarded chapter on the national level since NCA took over management of the honor society in 1995,“ said Brad Mello, associate director for educational initiatives at NCA, in a letter issued on Oct. 31, 2011.

According to Mello the College’s Lambda Pi Eta involvement stands out among all other schools in the nation.

“The (honor society) chapter at The College of New Jersey first, has had more students serve as national presidents and vice-presidents of Lambda Pi Eta than any other chapter,” said Mello. “Additionally, Lambda Pi Eta students from the College of New Jersey have been awarded the most Stephen A. Smith best individual and group paper in the nation honors at our annual conventions.”

According to John Pollock, adviser to the TCNJ communication studies honor society chapter since 1994, students from the College have won the national presidency of the honor society eight times and the national vice presidency six times. They have also earned five Stephen A. Smith annual awards for best paper in the nation, four of which focus on health or risk communication, a special strength of the communication studies department.

“Our communication studies honor society chapter is deeply grateful for the recognition our students have won over so many years, beginning with the first student from TCNJ winning the national presidency in 1996. We wish to thank the faculty for providing such dedicated mentoring to motivate us to submit winning papers, and we are determined to use the honor to rise to even higher levels of achievement,” said senior Katie Ward, the 2011-2012 president of the TCNJ national honor society chapter.

Other members of the TCNJ honor society board include: junior Natalie Steele, vice president of programming; senior Audrey Hix, vice president of publicity; senior Victoria Vales, vice president of scholarship and membership; senior Alexis Hankh, treasurer; and junior Carly Koziol, “The Roar” newsletter editor. Another student leader is senior Domenick Wissel, vice president of the department-sponsored interdisciplinary Public Health Communication Club.

“As co-author of over 100 refereed papers with students that they themselves presented at state, regional, national and international conferences, and as advisor to the interdisciplinary health communication concentration, I am pleased that our communication studies students’ commitment, intelligence, and motivation have been recognized by the oldest and largest organization of communication scholars in the United States,” said Pollock. “This affirmation of excellent performance by the NCA confirms the reputation of the communication studies department as ‘A National Leader in Student-Faculty Engagement.’”

In 2003, the TCNJ honor society chapter won the NCA award for “National Chapter of the Year,” and Pollock won the NCA Thomas L. Veenendall award for national “Advisor of the Year.”

“The (TCNJ honor society chapter) is to be congratulated for its service to the national organization and its outstanding scholarly achievements,” said Mello, concluding his letter from NCA.

The National Communication Association (NCA), the oldest and largest organization of communication scholars in the United States, has 7600 members.  Lambda Pi Eta, the official national student honor society of NCA, has nearly 8000 members and 500 chapters in as many colleges and universities nationwide.

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