Annenberg Students Make a Big Impact at ICA Annual Conference


An impressive 27 Annenberg doctoral students, over one third of the entire Annenberg student body, presented their research at the annual International Communication Association meeting in London.

Nine students, more than in any other program, garnered ten major awards for their work.

Each year the ICA recognizes the best overall paper presented in each of the association’s divisions. Four ASC students -- Nora Draper, Sandra Ristovska, Piotr Szpunar, and Kate Zambon – won these prestigious awards. It is a remarkable accomplishment, given that the awards are open to all presenters, including faculty. Special congratulations go to Mr. Szpunar, who won the best paper award from the ICA Popular Communication Division for the third time in four years!

In addition, Annenberg doctoral students Omar Al-Ghazzi and Nicholas Gilewicz took home the best student paper awards from the Journalism Studies and the Philosophy, Theory & Critique Divisions respectively. Mr. Gilewicz also received an ICA travel grant along with fellow students Jin Woo Kim, Gretta Moody, and Sijia Yang. These competitive travel awards are given to students whose research papers are deemed especially noteworthy.

“The number and quality of our students’ presentations, as well as the recognition they received from our peers through these numerous awards, is impressive but not surprising,” says Joseph Turow, Ph.D., the Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. “It all speaks volumes about both our students’ abilities and the quality of the education and mentoring they receive at the Penn Annenberg School.”

ICA is one of the central organizations of our field. Annenberg has a longstanding relationship with ICA that goes back over 40 years. Several Annenberg faculty members are former presidents, ICA Fellows, and/or other ICA award winners. Presenting research at an important conference like ICA is a significant and exciting part of an Annenberg doctoral student’s educational journey.

Below is the full list of our graduate student ICA award-winners, with links to descriptions of their papers. Congratulations to all of them!


Omar Al-Ghazzi Top Student Paper
Journalism Studies Division
De-Westernizing New Media Discourse: The Case of Citizen Journalism in the Arab World  
Nora Draper   Top Paper
Communication Law and Policy Division
The New Reputation Custodians: Repositioning Individuals as the Guardians of Their Online Reputation
Nicholas Gilewicz Top Student Paper/Travel Grant
Philosophy, Theory, Critique Division
Digital Parrhesia: Towards a New Ethical and Reflective Framework for Digital Communication
Jin Woo Kim Travel Grant
Political Communication Division
Fully Considered Healthcare Policy Preferences and Deliberation Effects on Opinion Change
Gretta Moody Travel Award
Ethnicity and Race in Communication Division
Vloggers and the “Black” Label: Audience Understandings of “Black” Media in the Digital Age
Sandra Ristovska Best Paper
Philosophy, Theory, and Critique Division
Testimony and the Failure of Communication
Piotr Szpunar   Top Paper
Popular Communication Division  
Homeland: The Homegrown Terrorist, The Enemy, “Our” Double
Sijia Yang Travel Grant
Political Communication Division
Process of Online Political Discussions and Public Opinion(s) Formation/Expression: A Three-Stage Model Based Upon Emergent Social Identities
Kate Zambon Top Paper
Ethnicity and Race in Communication Division
The Spatial Production of the Civic Nation: Berlin’s World Cup Flag Fight