Ryan Neville Shepard
Ryan Neville-Shepard, associate professor in the communication department at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Central States Communication Association’s John T. Warren Mentorship Award.
The Warren Prize honors a mid-career scholar who demonstrates excellence in all aspects of their career, including research, teaching, service and engagement. Most importantly, award recipients must demonstrate excellence as a mentor.
Neville-Shepard’s research focuses on the rhetoric of political “outsiders” in the United States and their influence on democratic norms. His work has been published in journals such as Critical Studies in Media Communication, Argumentation and Advocacy, Women’s Studies in Communication, Quarterly communication, Southern Communication Review, Communication studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Western Journal of Communication and Feminist Media Studies. He was named the recipient of the Judith S. Trent Award for Early Career Excellence in Political Communication by the Central States Communication Association and won the Eastern Communication Association’s Paper of the Year Award and the Aubrey Fisher Outstanding Western States Communication article. Association.
Since joining the U of A in 2016, Neville-Shepard has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in argumentation, political communication, presidential rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, free speech, legal communication, and the rhetoric of the conspiracy. He has regularly advised master’s theses and syntheses, as well as undergraduate theses, and many of his students have won prestigious national awards. For his work with the Department of Communication’s master’s program, Neville-Shepard recently received the Outstanding Mentor in Master’s Education Award from the National Communication Association.
Neville-Shepard alumni note that he stands out as a lifelong mentor. Ashley Clayborn, who is now the principal of UA Little Rock Downtown, wrote in her letter of support, “His teaching philosophy, lecture style, and enthusiastic support of the intellectual curiosity of students and peers embodies the best of what the field of communication can be. But most importantly, Clayborn added, “He’s a powerful mentor who stays on his students’ team wherever they go in life.”
James O’Mara, who was Neville-Shepard’s student at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, noted that his teaching was exceptional. Highlighting that he took eight classes with Neville-Shepard over three years, O’Mara explained in his letter of support, “His teaching style has motivated me to read, attend classes and learn. He promotes an environment for students to find their voice. He does everything he can to keep the topics interesting and challenge everyone to be a better version of themselves.” Now a PhD student at Colorado State University, O’Mara praised Neville-Shepard for remaining a mentor beyond the classroom, explaining, “I once thought that everyone had met a professor like Ryan who had helped them succeed in their careers. But now I realize that his mentorship is unique. I met him during my first semester as an undergrad, and he continues to guide me today as I complete my doctorate.
Neville-Shepard will receive his award in a ceremony April 1 at the Central States Communication Association’s annual convention in Madison, Wisconsin.
About Central States Communications Association: The Central States Communication Association (CSCA) is an academic organization of communication professionals, including college and university professors, students, and K-12 educators. The organization was founded in 1931 to promote the discipline of communication in educational, academic, and professional endeavors. CSCA has become the largest regional communications organization in the United States and the fourth largest academic communications association in the world. For more information, visit www.csca-net.org.