Pullman, WA – Dr. Erica Austin, Professor and Director of the Murrow Center for Media & Health Promotion Research, was awarded the prestigious Fellow status with the International Communication Association (ICA) on Monday, May 31, 2021, as recognition of her distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication.

Fellow status in the International Communication Association (ICA) recognizes a documented record of scholarly achievement, and socially/professionally significant service to other publics such as business, government, and education.

“Dr. Austin has achieved world-class status as a scholar who has consistently produced theoretically rigorous and practically valuable scholarship across a more than 30-year career in our discipline,” says Paul Bolls, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at Murrow College. “Her body of work certainly places her among the top, most impactful scholars in our discipline, and we are delighted she is now recognized as an ICA Fellow.”

Dr. Austin is internationally recognized for her research and outreach on how media literacy and parent-child communication about media contribute to decision-making about health and civic affairs among children, adolescents and young adults. She has served as an advisor to the Washington state and federal government and to organizations nationwide on media literacy issues and health communication campaigns. The American Academy of Pediatrics has cited her research in multiple policy statements about the health effects of the media on children and adolescents.

When we entered the COVID-19 era, Dr. Austin pivoted her research to bring science to the forefront as the world struggled with how to communicate about the unprecedented challenges we faced. She partnered with a faculty member in Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine to author an influential article in The Conversation about vaccinations and the role media literacy plays in the fight against disinformation.

Dr. Austin led the Murrow School of Communication to College status and served as its inaugural dean. She also established and led a research consortium that earned formal university recognition as a research center in 2010. She was awarded the 2001 Krieghbaum Under-40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award from Washington State University in 2008.