An Open Letter from Communication Graduate Students re: Distinguished Scholars
Mentors, colleagues, friends—scholars we look up to:

We write this letter to represent, partially and imperfectly, the voices of communication graduate students across the country. We dream of joining your departments, earning tenure, becoming distinguished scholars (lowercase) in our own right. We sit in your classrooms, toil in tiny offices, and perform incredible amounts of labor for our schools. We subscribe to CRTNET, and we are watching how this conversation unfolds.

We are of course a varied group, and have incredibly different experiences—some of us are situated in such a way that becoming an NCA Distinguished Scholar seems possible. The majority of them look like us. We are white. We are perhaps wealthy. We are mostly male. We are probably straight, cisgender, able-bodied. The current academic system was designed for our success.

Others of us face a more difficult road—in attending college, in attaining a graduate degree, in landing a tenure-track position, in earning tenure, and yes, in being recognized for the brilliance and humanity we bring to the Communication discipline.

No matter where we sit, we recognize the existing inequitability in the selection of Distinguished Scholars (and beyond). This process does not reflect our values or adequately represent the scholars we know and look up to. We are not only proud to stand alongside our colleagues calling for change, but we refuse to accept that the status quo has brought us true success. What those in power have enjoyed is a fraction of the flourishing we know we can create when everyone has the chance to be their full selves and thus, do their best learning, teaching, and scholarship.

We stand alongside the diverse voices in the field calling for change, and we join them. The future of the discipline demands it.

In solidarity,
M.A./M.S., PhD, and recent graduate students of the communication discipline

Responses as of July 1, 2019 at 2:00pm MST

Emily N. Beach, M.A. (primary author)
Courtney Meissner (SDSU)
Danielle Biss, San Diego Sate University
Evelyn Puga, San Diego State University
Yasaman Sadeghi
Molly Flores, San Diego State University
Kara Sutton, San Diego State University
Matt Donovan (PhD graduate, Arizona State)
Sarah Tellesen, San Diego State University
Sophia Town
Robert J. Razzante, Arizona State University
Kory Riemensperger, Ph.D. student, University of Pittsburgh
Ana Terminel Iberri, PhD Student Arizona State University
Hannah R. Long, doctoral candidate, University of New Mexico
Arthi S Chandrasekaran - Graduate Student - Michigan State University
Erin V. Zamora, Doctoral Candidate, ASU
Corey Reutlinger, Ph.D. Student., Arizona State University
Ashley P. Jones, Georgia State University
Jessica S. Rauchberg, Ph.D. Student, McMaster University
Jessica Johnson, PhD, University of Denver
Kyle P. Colglazier, Ph.D. Student, Texas A&M University
Andrew Boge, Doctoral Student, University of Iowa
Elizabeth M. Jenkins, PhD Student, Ohio University
Carson S. Kay, Ph.D. Candidate, Ohio University
Caleb Green, University of Denver
Daniel M. Chick, PhD. Student, University of Kansas
Brandon McCasland, Ph.D. Student, University of Iowa
Will R. Silberman, PhD Student, University of Kentucky
Benjamin W. Mann, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Utah
Sarah Austin, Ph.D. Candidate, Texas Tech University
Ethan Hunter, Louisiana State University
Sarah Gonzalez Noveiri, University of Denver
Natalie Garcia, M.A., Louisiana State University
Jennifer Woody Collins, PhD Student, Ohio University
Michelle Flood, Doctoral Student, University of Iowa
Cassidy D. Ellis, Doctoral Student, The University of New Mexico
Hailey Otis, PhD Student, Colorado State University
Robert D. Hall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Abigail Reed, Ph.D. Candidate, Florida State University
Caleb McKinley-Portee, PhD Student, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Sophia Maier, Ph.D. student, Penn State University
Shelby Swafford, Doctoral Student, Southern Illinois University
Christopher Garcia, PhD Student, Florida State University
Ritika Popli, Doctoral Student, Ohio University
Cara Marta Messina, Northeastern University
Danette M. Pugh-Patton, Doctoral Candidate, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Kristiana L. Báez, Doctoral student, The University of Iowa
Kara StJonn Gonzales, University of New Mexico
Sophie Jones, PhD Student, University of New Mexico
Christopher Wernecke, Ph.D. Student, Georgia State University
John Cena, PhD student, Penn State University
Nick Sellers, PhD Candidate, Florida State University
Berkley Conner, Doctoral Student, University of Iowa
Emilee Shearer, PhD student, Arizona State University
Janice Hersey, PhD student, University of New Mexico
Vipulya Chari, PhD Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mahealani Yoshida (San Diego State University)
Katrina Marks, PhD Student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Nathaniel Rogers, San Diego State University
Max Plumpton, PhD Student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Emma Gabriele, Doctoral Student, University of Iowa
Em Kohl, M.A., James Madison University/Bridgewater College
Naomi Q. P. Tan, Doctoral Candidate, The Ohio State University
Erin Drouin, Ph.D. student, the Ohio State University
Stetler L. Brown, San Diego State University
Yue Li, Ph.D student, The Ohio State University
Kelly Merrill Jr., Ph.D. Student, The Ohio State University
Katrina Webber (University of Connecticut)
Otis Duncan, MA student, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Micki Burdick, PhD Student, The University of Iowa
Ryan Bince, Northwestern University
Robin Bisha, Texas Lutheran University
Micah Huff, MA Student, Eastern Michigan University
J.D. Swerzenski, PhD Student, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Jordin Clark, PhD student, Colorado State University
Kara Rader, PhD candidate, The Ohio State University
Kelsey Abele, Doctoral Candidate, Arizona State University
Avi McClelland-Cohen, PhD Candidate, UC Santa Barbara
Kevin Do, University of California, Santa Barbara
Jaclyn Olson, PhD Student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Steven Kalani Farias, Doctoral Candidate, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Allison N. BLUMLING, PhD Student, University of Utah
Camille Endacott, Doctoral Student, University of California Santa Barbara
Kelley F. Macek, Ph.D. Student, Ohio University
Dr. Alexander Sink, Senior Analyst, National Research Group
I recognize the existing inequatibility of *the nomination process* as well as the selection process of the DS award. -Nancy A. Heise MA Candidate, Texas State University
Michael Tristano Jr., PhD candidate, Arizona State University
Spencer B. Nicholls, Doctoral Candidate, Universiity of California Santa Barbara
Jyleesa Hampton, PhD Student, School of Public Administration & Affairs, University of Kansas
Brittany Knutson, Graduate Student, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Stephenson Brooks Whitestone, PhD Candidate, UC Santa Barbara
Taylor Joh son, Ph.D. student, University of Utah
Trevor Arnold, M.A., Villanova University
Joshua Morrison, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
John Marc Cuellar, Ohio University
Pia De Los Reyes, San Diego State University
J. Nan Wilkenfeld, Ph.D. student, UC Santa Barbara

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