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Brian Spitzberg Shines Light on Dark Issues

His pioneering research will earn him an award from the National Communication Association.
Brian Spitzberg
Brian Spitzberg

Brian Spitzberg couldn’t sing or act. His high school drama teacher suggested he find another hobby. That advice led him to join the debate team, sparking a successful career in communication.

The professor is known for his expertise in conflict, jealousy, infidelity, intimate violence, sexual coercion and stalking. While many people anticipate strange stories behind his research inspirations, Spitzberg suggested otherwise.

“Many people think I live in a dark world,” he said. “These topics just fascinate me and I always wonder, what can I find out next?”

About the award

Spitzberg will receive the 2011 Robert J. Kibler Memorial Award for his contributions and dedication to the communication discipline. The annual award is given by the National Communication Association, the foremost communication organization in the United States.

The award will be presented Nov. 19 in New Orleans, La.

The recognition is humbling, Spitzberg said, and fuels his lifelong goal to inspire a legacy of students who will continue to pursue this field of study and academia.

“This kind of honor never occurs in isolation, and I’m not an island in the School of Communication,” Spitzberg said. “I have great colleagues. We collaborate and do great things together. We have healthy competition.”

More about Spitzberg

Spitzberg is the author or co-author of three scholarly books and more than 100 scholarly articles and chapters, and co-editor of three scholarly books on the dark side of communication and relationships.

He received his Ph.D. in communication arts and sciences at the University of Southern California in 1981 and has taught at San Diego State since 1980, earning the title of University Senate Distinguished Professor in 2010.

Additional accolades

Additionally, communication professor Patricia Geist-Martin will be presented with the Francine Merritt Award on Nov. 18. Each year, the National Communication Association’s Women’s Caucus recognizes a professional for her outstanding contributions to the lives of women in communication.
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