Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Spitzberg Wins National Communication Association Scholar Award

Brian H. Spitzberg, Senate Distinguished Professor of Communication at SDSU, received NCA’s highest accolade.

Spitzberg Wins National Communication Association Scholar Award

by Natcomm Press Release, edited by Gabriela Romero

September 22, 2020

Awarded annually, the NCA Distinguished Scholar Award honors a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication. Recipients such as SDSU School of Communication Professor Brian H. Spitzberg are selected by their peers to showcase the best of the Communication discipline. Professor Spitzberg’s award will be presented virtually on Nov. 21 at the NCA 106th Annual Convention.

“NCA’s annual awards honor communication scholars’ teaching, scholarship, and service,” NCA Executive Director Trevor Parry-Giles said. “NCA is proud to recognize Dr. Spitzberg’s significant contributions to the Communication discipline with this award.”

A professor for 40 years, Professor Spitzberg’s research has been essential in establishing the “dark side” of interpersonal relationships. As the author or coauthor of over 100 articles and book chapters, and the author of several scholarly books—including both the Gerald R. Miller Book Award winner The Dark Side of Relationship Pursuit: From Attraction to Obsession and Stalking and the area-defining Handbook of Communication Competence—Professor Spitzberg has helped to nudge relationships away from a “positivity bias” and into a scholarly space where conflict and aggression can be studied and understood both in positive and negative terms.

This robust line of research has garnered Professor Spitzberg interdisciplinary acclaim, including recognition from fields including psychology, sociology, social work, and women’s studies. With over 16,000 scholarly citations, Professor Spitzberg is established as one of the world’s foremost authorities in both research about stalking as well as studies of communication competence. Already an honoree by the Western States Communication Association with their lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award, Professor Spitzberg is honored now for a remarkable record of national and international influence on interpersonal communication studies, the continued development of advanced research designs across the field, and for a number of other areas of study—ranging from online memes to the geo-spatial diffusion of political discourses—to which Professor Spitzberg has contributed.

For more information about NCA’s awards program, visit For more information about the SDSU School of Communication, visit

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

More PSFA Stories