Kristina Scharp Receives 2021 ICA Early Career Scholar Award

Kristina Scharp

At the 71st Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, Assistant Professor Kristina Scharp won the prestigious Early Career Scholar Award. The award honors a scholar no more than seven years past receipt of the Ph.D. for a body of work that has contributed to knowledge of the field of communication and shows promise for continued development.

Department of Communication Chair, Christine Harold, said this about Scharp’s achievements and scholarship: “Kristina Scharp has developed an incredibly impressive body of work for someone at this stage in her career (or, any stage!). Not only does Kristina’s work have broad and reaching impact in the field of family and interpersonal communication–on topics such as family estrangement, and transgender youth, for example–she is contributing innovative theoretical insights that propel the whole field forward. Kristina is also among the most generous scholars I have known. She regularly offers the fruits of her research to the public, through a variety of platforms, and she tirelessly mentors graduate students, helping them to hone their own skills as teachers and researchers and providing them opportunities to collaborate. She is absolutely deserving of this prestigious award.”

The ICA’s announcement of the award details some of Scharp’s accomplishments and outstanding body of work. Here is an excerpt:

Scharp’s work has greatly contributed to theory development and understanding in the areas of family estrangement and distancing and it illustrates a rigorous commitment to securing hard-to-reach samples and employing mixed methods with mostly qualitative analysis. Her scholarship includes 45 peer-reviewed research articles, three invited articles, four teaching-focused articles, 13 book chapters and encyclopedia entries, one book, and two more books under contract—and she is first author on well over half those pieces. Her work is widely cited, has won multiple awards, and has been featured in numerous major media outlets. On top of all that, she is on the editorial board for eight different journals within and beyond Communication. As one awards committee member summarized, “amid an especially strong field of 27 early career nominees, Scharp’s record stands out as one that exemplifies the best of our discipline and its vibrant future.”

When asked about Scharp’s success, her colleague and interpersonal communication scholar Valerie Manusov said, “It is not surprising that Dr. Kristina Scharp won this highly competitive award. Her scholarship is deeply meaningful, methodologically scrupulous, and theoretically rich. On top of that, Dr. Scharp is a stellar teacher and mentor, helping myriad undergraduate and graduate students develop their critical thinking and their appreciation of the complexities of interpersonal communication and relationships.”

The Department congratulates Scharp, and looks forward to her continued contributions to academia and beyond.