Southeast Faculty Member Receives Textbook of Distinction Award

textbookCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 5, 2013 – A textbook co-authored by Dr. Glen Williams, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Southeast Missouri State University, has received the Textbook of Distinction award from the National Communication Association.

“I’m delighted our book has been recognized with the award. It affirms our belief in the book and its mission to prepare people to speak not solely for self-promotionᾰas most texts doᾰbut as citizens in a democracy,” Williams said.

The textbook, in its third edition, seeks to help students recognize and appreciate the role of speaking, listening and deliberating in a democracy, according to Williams.

“[The textbook] seeks to prepare students to do those things well. The health and survival of democracy requires an active, informed and engaged citizenry who are able to speak on the issues of the day, deliberate with others to find common ground, and decide priorities and policies,” he said.

The Textbook of Distinction award recognizes a textbook that offers a unique approach to its subject and makes a distinct, positive contribution to student education. The selection committee also considers evidence of impact and student performance in determining the award.

Williams pitched the idea for the text while employed at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. He recruited his co-author, Patricia Andrews, who teaches at Indiana University, and began discussions with the publisher. J. Michael Hogan, who teaches at Pennsylvania State University, renowned for his work in civic engagement as well as his scholarship in rhetoric and public address, was added to the project. The authors were able “to produce a first-rate treatment of the subject right out of the gate,” Williams said.

Williams wrote two chapters of the textbook and also devised the bulk of the instructional material, which accompanies the text.

“I enjoy working with my coauthors and believe in our mission. Public speaking can be used to advance one’s career, certainly, but we must also recognize the vital role it plays in our communities and our nation,” Williams said.

Hogan and Dr. Jennifer Summary, instructor of Communication Studies at Southeast, will accept the award on Williams’ behalf at a banquet Nov. 22.

Williams earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts degree from Southeast. Williams holds a doctorate in rhetoric and public address from Indiana University. He previously taught at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., Indiana University and Texas A&M.

He began teaching at Southeast in 1998. In 2011, he accepted the position of chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University.