Kirby Receives Charles Woolbert Research Award
Kirby Receives Charles Woolbert Research Award

Erika Kirby, Ph.D., professor of communication studies, recently received the Charles Woolbert Research Award from the National Communication Association (NCA) for her article, “The Policy Exists But You Can’t Really Use It: Communication and the Structuration of Work-Family Policies.”

The paper was originally published in 2002 with co-author Kathleen Krone of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Journal of Applied Communication Research.

The Woolbert Award is the top research honor in the discipline of communication studies, awarding scholarship that has stood the test of time and has made a significant contribution. An article cannot be nominated until it is at least 10 years old.

In the 35 years since its inception, this is only the third time that an organizational communication scholar has received the award. Kirby is being honored at this month’s NCA conference in Las Vegas. 

In brief, the article uses structuration theory to examine how communication among co-workers impacts utilization of work-life programs.

Kirby has published 44 articles/book chapters, seven case studies and one book. Much of her work centers on work-life issues at the relational, familial and organizational levels of communication.

At the NCA Hope Institute, she instructed other faculty on teaching work-life communication courses. The New York Times recently quoted her related to Congressman Paul Ryan’s desire to spend time with his family.