Sarah Blithe, assistant professor of communication studies with areas of concentration in social policy, social theory and qualitative social research, received the Nevada System of Higher Education Regents' 2017 Rising Researcher Award. Annually given to one faculty member from the University of Nevada, Reno, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Desert Research Institute. the awards are based on promising career accomplishments with substantial potential for future development in specialized areas of research. The award recognizes early-stage researchers and further facilitates their research to significantly benefit the local communities.
"We have so many insightful and productive scholars in Nevada, so I feel quite humbled. It is wonderful though - I've worked hard to produce what I hope is meaningful research that contributes to social justice," said Blithe. "I see my research as a way to connect with our communities, my classes and across disciplines to create positive change. My research going forward will continue on this trajectory, focusing on a variety of equity and social justice issues."
Blithe received her bachelor's degree in communication and Ph.D. in organizational communication and gender communication from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Blithe also received her master's degree in international and intercultural communication, with an emphasis in international business and management from the University of Denver. In addition, Blithe was awarded substantial dissertation fellowships from both institutions.
"Dr. Sarah Blithe's work thus far is impressive not only in scope but also in quality," said Debra Moddelmog, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "Her general method is to uncover and explore the deeper meanings that communication carries in today's workplace settings. She focuses on issues related to gender, equity, and stigmatized populations.
Last year, Sarah Blithe received the Mousel Feltner Award for Outstanding Research from the College of Liberal Arts. In 2015, Blithe was awarded the Outstanding Book Award from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender for Gender Equality and Work Life Balance: Glass Handcuffs and Working Men in the U.S. Her first award-winning book "uses the lens of paternal leave-taking communication to examine the difficulty that men have in balancing their lives at work and at home." Her most recent work investigates how "hidden organizations," such as Nevada's brothels, manage their image to project a socially acceptable public identity.
"This new work is sure to advance Professor Blithe's reputation as one of our most thoughtful and creative researchers into communication strategies that circulate in both traditional and nontraditional organizational settings," Moddelmog said.
Established by the Board of Regents in 2008, the Regents' Rising Researcher Award considers distinguished degrees and renowned records of outstanding achievements in research through publications, intellectual property and patents. Nomination considerations are available and accessible to all Nevada System of Higher Education employees, faculty and students.