KCA takes nominations for the following awards beginning January 1 each year. Awards are given at the annual conference. A committee comprised of board members such as the KCA President and/or Immediate Past President makes award selections.
For a list of past winners please click here.
Vernon Gantt Award for Distinguished Service
Named for Vernon Gantt, Professor Emeritus at Murray State University, this award is given in recognition of educators whose careers have been dedicated to improving their communities at the departmental, college/university, local, and/or regional level. As an award for outstanding service, worthy faculty will have brought their professional expertise or research skills into these communities to effect positive change through conducting workshops, consulting, forging partnerships, volunteering, promoting philanthropy, or engaging in service learning projects.
Excellence in the Art of Teaching Award
This award recognizes the pedagogy and curriculum development. It honors a faculty member at a four-year college or university who is held in highest esteem by his/her colleagues and students. This teacher is also devoted to bettering students and assisting them in achieving academic and/or professional goals.
Looney-Bennin Community College Teaching Award
Named for Robert Looney and Hope Bennin, both of Prestonsburg Community College, this award honors a faculty member at a two-year (community) college who is held in highest esteem by his/her colleagues and students. This teacher is also devoted to student improvement and assisting them in achieving academic and/or professional goals.
Graduate Mentor Award
This award is given for outstanding support of graduate scholarship and participation. It is awarded to those who have made exemplary efforts in the academic development of graduate students. Faculty will have accomplished this through: (1) service on graduate-level examination, thesis or dissertation committees, (2) mentorship of graduate students in the development and submission of conference presentations and published research, and (3) impassioned instruction of graduate-level courses.
Undergraduate Mentor Award
This award is given for outstanding support of undergraduate scholarship and participation. It recognizes the important role faculty members play in supporting undergraduates’ academic, personal and professional growth through meaningful interactions related to academic advising, research and creative endeavors. Nominees will have a consistent record of successful outcomes with students such as advising student groups; coordinating presentations at professional conferences; including students in publications; and guidance for academic progress and admission to graduate/professional school, etc. Faculty members will also exemplify a high level of integrity and maintain active and continued mentorship as students move through their academic and professional careers.
James Applegate Award for Excellence in Research
Named for James Applegate, who served as Senior Fellow and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education from 1999 through 2008. As chief academic officer in Kentucky, he has coordinated statewide research and teaching initiatives. The Applegate Award is awarded for a member who has written an outstanding article, book, or book chapter, and who has a sustained record of contributions to the communication field of study.
Harlen Hamm Award for Service to the Organization
Named for Harlan Hamm of Morehead State University, this award is given to a member with sustained service to KCA above and beyond what was expected of her or him.
Top Student Paper
This high honor for a student member or members recognizes the student(s) whose paper embodies an important research question, a complete and coherent literature review, thorough methods, logical findings, an enlightening discussion, makes suggestions for future research that will inform communicators in Kentucky as well as in our field as a whole.
Michael S. Shelton Top Graduate Student Paper Award
Named for University of Kentucky graduate student Michael S. Shelton, who died in 2001 of diabetes complications, this award recognizes the top paper of a Master’s or Ph.D. student that exemplifies stellar communication scholarship.
Top Overall Paper
This award recognizes the top paper in terms of its contribution to the field submitted at the annual KCA conference. This paper embodies an important research question, a complete and coherent literature review, thorough methods, logical findings, an enlightening discussion, and makes suggestions for future research that will inform communicators in Kentucky as well as in our field as a whole.
KCA Excellence in the Practice of the Communication Arts Award
This award is given for outstanding performances, oral interpretations, or debate in Kentucky or KCA regions.
Communication Professional of the Year award
This award is given for a communicator in Kentucky or surrounding region that has an exemplary record of engagement, integration and application of communication in her or his field of work.