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RSA 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony!

All this week, the Rhetoric Society of America will celebrate the good work of its members through a multipart virtual awards ceremony. Before we begin that ceremony, though, I’d like to recognize the RSA members who are doing crucial public work for which RSA—as yet—has no award. As communities across the United States and around the world rise up against anti-Black violence, RSA members have written strong words, gone into the streets, been leaders and backstage workers in support of that effort. RSA is a better place because of the commitment and labor of those members. Please join me in honoring them.

RSA’s virtual award ceremony starts tomorrow.  Each morning and early afternoon this week, we’ll release two or three awards videos on RSA social media. Then we’ll send a member bulletin at the end of the day with links to the videos and a bit more information about the awards. Over the course of the week, we’ll announce the recipients of nine awards. Please join us for each installment and share the videos widely. Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday, June 23 - Student Awards (Gerard A. Hauser Awards and Outstanding Student Chapter Award)

Wednesday, June 24 - Cheryl Geisler Award for Outstanding Mentor and RSA Fellows’ Early Career Award

Thursday, June 25 - Writing Awards (Kneupper Award, Dissertation Award, Book Award)

Friday, June 26 - RSA Fellows and Yoos Award

All the videos are captioned—simply click on the “CC” at the bottom right of the video to have them appear.

It will be a full week recognizing the people who make RSA work and make rhetoric matter through their scholarship, leadership, and mentorship. Many thanks to all the nominees, to the awards steering committee (Ersula Ore, Maegan Parker Brooks, and Robert Terrill), and to the members of each award selection committee. The University of Texas at Austin Writing Center and the University of Minnesota departments of Writing Studies and Communication Studies generously sponsored the virtual awards ceremony. Casey Boyle and Tori Peters provided invaluable technical and editorial assistance.

As we celebrate these awards and their recipients, we also look ahead to the future. Over the past year, the RSA Board of Directors has been working behind-the-scenes to ensure that the Society's awards account for the full breadth and diversity of its members and their activities. In the next months, the Board will announce crucial changes to awards processes and requirements in order to make them more transparent and bring them more in line with our stated values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. The Board will also begin the process of expanding the scope of RSA awards so that they recognize the wide spectrum of RSA members’ accomplishments (including, for example, not just scholarship and professional service, but also teaching and public engagement). We are excited about the future of RSA, its membership, and its awards. We look forward to celebrating the innovative, varied, wide-ranging work of rhetoricians and rhetorical studies well into the future.

Thanks, to each of you, for making rhetorical studies a vibrant place to work.

Christa Olson
Outgoing Chair of the RSA Awards Steering Committee

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