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Pepperdine Graduate Student Wins National Communication Award
Francesca Marie Smith, a graduate of the Seaver College master's program in communication, has been chosen as the 2008 recipient of the James L. Golden Outstanding Student Essay in Rhetoric. Smith was selected for her paper, entitled White Man's World, Black Woman's Power: Condoleezza Rice's Enactment of Presidentiality at the 2000 Republican National Convention.
“I was incredibly honored to be selected for this award; a lot of time and effort went into the essay, and it's rewarding to be acknowledged for it,” says Smith, who graduated with a master of arts in April 2008. Smith was also a finalist for the 2008 Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest international fellowship, which brings outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford.
Smith’s award-winning paper examines how Rice established her own credibility while speaking to the merits of presidential nominee George W. Bush. As Smith explains, Rice's challenge was that of a black woman enacting presidential-level leadership in the context of cultural norms that associate authority with the persona of the white male.
The selection committee comprised communication scholars from across the country. According to a press release from the National Communication Association, "They found Smith's essay to be well grounded in the literature and well written." It went on to say that Smith's essay stood out for its "intelligently conceived and well-focused pursuit of a compelling argument."
"This essay could never have been written without the support and guidance of several phenomenal professors, advisors, and mentors throughout the years. I really owe this award to them," says Smith.
The James L. Golden Outstanding Student Essay in Rhetoric Award is handed out annually to a student whose essay focus on the history, theory, or criticism of rhetoric. Essays are solicited directly from the essayists who are undergraduates or pre-M.A. graduate students. A laureate group is also recognized in addition to the overall winning essayist.
The award is being presented to Smith on Sunday, November 23, at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, the oldest and largest association dedicated to the communication discipline. This year’s convention is being held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, in San Diego, California, and is bringing together over 5,500 communication scholars and professionals to help further the discipline.
Click here for more information on the National Communication Association.