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Rhodes honored for contributions as a communicator

May 4, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Steven C. Rhodes, director of Western Michigan University's School of Communication, will be honored for his significant contributions to professional communication in Southwest Michigan.

Rhodes will receive the 11th annual Tony Griffin Golden Word Award from InterCom during an awards banquet Thursday, May 21, on campus at the Fetzer Center. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with networking. The dinner and awards program follow at 6 p.m. The banquet is open to the public and requires reservations with payment in advance.

InterCom, a Kalamazoo-based association of professional communicators, also will present its 2009 Memorial Scholarship to Lauren Berry, a WMU junior from Portage, Mich., majoring in interpersonal communication. The annual scholarship goes to an area college student studying communication.

Reservations with payment of $28 per person are due by Monday, May 11. Checks made payable to InterCom should be mailed to:

Golden Word Award
c/o Lawrence Productions
25 Ottawa Ave. SW Ste 204
Grand Rapids MI 49503-4099

Steven C. Rhodes

Rhodes is a professor of communication who was appointed director of WMU's communication school in 1999. He is scheduled to step down from that administrative post in July and return to the faculty.

A WMU faculty member since 1975, Rhodes is an expert in the areas of listening, organizational communication, and communication training and development. His recent research has focused on communication and sexual harassment.

Rhodes is widely recognized as an exceptional researcher, teacher, administrator and volunteer. He has received numerous honors during his 34 years on the faculty, including the University's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984 and being cited by the College of Arts and Sciences in 2008 for Outstanding Achievement in Professional and Community Service.

Rhodes is an active member of numerous campus as well as professional committees and organizations. He serves as the editor for the International Journal of Listening and as consultant to organizations ranging from small, local volunteer groups to Fortune 500 companies. In addition, he has held leadership positions with the Michigan Association of Speech Communication, of which he is a past chair; the International Listening Association; and WMU's Faculty Senate.

Tony Griffin Golden Word Award

The late Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, WMU's fifth president, was the 2008 recipient of the Tony Griffin Golden Word Award. Other past recipients with WMU connections include Martin R. "Joe" Gagie, former WMU executive director of public relations and communications, and Dr. George Robeck, associate professor emeritus of communication and longtime faculty advisory to the Western Herald. Gagie and Robeck were both honored in 2001.

The award is named in memory of Anthony E. "Tony" Griffin, longtime news director of WMUK-FM, WMU's public radio station, and a founding member of InterCom. Griffin, who died in 1997 at age 51, was a 25-year employee of WMU and the first full-time newsperson at WMUK, beginning in 1973.

Founded in 1989, InterCom is a private non-profit organization that promotes a diverse membership and provides for the professional growth of its members.


For more information, contact Curtis Cunningham at ccunningham@lpi.com or (616) 454-4380 ext. 28.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400