Craig R. Smith, professor of communication studies at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been named the recipient of the 2010 Douglas W. Ehninger Award for lifetime achievement in rhetorical scholarship by the National Communication Association (NCA).
The Ehninger Award honors distinguished scholars who have developed research programs in rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism or public address studies. The award is given to a person who, through multiple publications and presentations around a rhetorical topic or theme, demonstrates intellectual creativity, perseverance and impact on academic communities.
“The Ehninger Award is akin to the Rhetoricians’ Hall of Fame, and Craig deserves a prominent place in it. His scholarship–a unique blend of the theoretical, the critical and the historical–has been instrumental in advancing the field,” said Davis Houck, professor of communication at Florida State University and one of three colleagues who wrote letters of recommendation on Smith’s behalf. “His work will educate undergraduates and graduate students still unborn. His work is that profound.”
In part, Smith said he believes he was selected for the award for his monumental study Rhetoric and Human Consciousness: A History (Waveland Press), which is going into a second printing of its third edition.
Smith has published 15 books and more than 60 scholarly articles. He served as a full-time speechwriter to President Gerald Ford and Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and was a consultant to George H.W. Bush during his 1980 run for the presidency; and for CBS News for convention, election night and inaugural coverage. Smith is director of the Center for First Amendment Studies at CSULB and has been a faculty member at the campus 1988.
The National Communication Association is the largest national organization to promote communication scholarship and education. A non-profit organization, it is made up of more than 8,000 educators, practitioners and students who work and reside in the United States and more than 20 countries.