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Peers name Lederman ‘Centennial Scholar of Communication’

April 27, 2009

Professor Linda Lederman, dean of social sciences in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and director of the Institute for Social Science Research, receives a new title this month: Centennial Scholar of Communication.

The title is being given by the Eastern Communication Association in recognition of Lederman’s scholarly work in health communication and her recent contribution to the association’s anniversary anthology – “A Century of Transformation: Studies in Honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Eastern Communication Association.”

The volume, published by Oxford University Press, contains 18 essays, covering a variety of communication topics, including approaches to studying communication, reviews of the status of the discipline’s major branches, and transformations that the field has experienced throughout the past 100 years. It is being released this month at the association’s 100th annual meeting whose theme is “Defining Moments: A Century of Communication.”

Lederman, a professor in ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, is the author of an essay that provides a historical review of health communication. It is included in a section titled “Communication Contexts – State of the Arts Reviews.”

“Health communication is one of the newer areas of study in the discipline. Yet, it’s growth over the last decade suggests that it will be a central part of the focus of the study of the role of communication in people’s everyday lives,” Lederman says.

Author of 12 books and 65 journal articles, Lederman’s research focus of health communication has an emphasis on alcohol use, abuse and addiction. Her research has been funded by grants totaling more than $8 million from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Drug Abuse and U.S. Department of Justice.

Some of her research recently caught the attention of graduate students of communication at ASU. They wrote and performed “Drink, Drank, Drugged,” an adapted performance text based on Lederman’s research of dangerous college drinking.

Lederman has a doctorate in communication and information systems from Rutgers University, a master’s in speech communication from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brown University.

Before coming to ASU in 2006, Lederman was a professor of communication at Rutgers University and founding director of the Center for Communication and Health Issues in the School of Communication, Information and Library Science at Rutgers.