Communication Studies’ Steven Beebe named 23rd Texas State Piper Professor

Steven Beebe
Steven Beebe

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
May 2, 2018

SAN MARCOS – Steven Beebe, Texas State University System Regents' Professor and Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies at Texas State University, has been named Piper Professor for 2018 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation.

Beebe was named Piper Professor on May 1 in honor of his dedication and service to teaching at the collegiate level. Piper Foundation honorees are chosen by committee members who look for well-rounded, outgoing teachers, devoted to their profession and have made a special impact on their students and the community.

“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher," Beebe said. "I am grateful to have had the opportunity to teach others the importance of communicating well.”

Beebe has served as chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Texas State for 28 years and concurrently as associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication for 25 years. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas State he was a tenured member of the communication faculty at the University of Miami for 10 years. He has been a visiting scholar at both Oxford University and Cambridge University and was elected a permanent member of the Common Room of Wolfson College, Oxford University.

He is author and co-author of 12 books and more than 55 articles and book chapters, plus more than 160 papers and presentations at professional conferences. Steve’s research, with a focus on instructional communication and skill development, has appeared in such journals as Communication Education, Human Communication, Communication Research Reports and several Russian academic journals. Beebe made international headlines when he discovered a manuscript written by C.S. Lewis that was the partial opening chapter of a book that was to be co-authored with J. R. R. Tolkien called Language and Human Nature. In 2016 he discovered an unknown poem by Lewis.

Other leadership roles for Beebe include serving as president of the National Communication Association, the largest professional communication association in the world, founding member of the Russian Communication Association and co-director of the first Russian Communication Association conference held in Pyatigorsk, Russia. He has also served as president of the Florida Communication Association.

Beebe adds his Piper Professor designation to a list of prestigious accolades including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Research at Texas State, Presidential Award for Excellence in Service at Texas State twice, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Communication Association's training and development division, Honors Professor of the Year and Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Award twice. His alma mater, the University of Central Missouri, named him a Distinguished Alumni in 2010 and the National Speaker’s Association has named him Outstanding Communication Professor in America.

Beebe is the 23rd overall Texas State professor to be named a Piper Professor. Other Texas State Piper Professors have been Emmie Craddock, 1962, history; Robert Galvan, 1968, modern languages; Thomas Brasher, 1970, English; Dan Farlow, 1975, political science; Clarence Schultz, 1976, sociology; Henrietta Avent, 1979, health and physical education; Robert Walts, 1982, English; Beverly Chiodo, 1988, computer information systems and administrative sciences; Barbara Hatcher, 1993, curriculum and instruction; Michael John Hennessy, 2001, English; Nancy Fehl Chavkin, 2002, social work; Paul Nathan Cohen, 2003, English; James David Bell, 2004, business; Byron Dale Augustin, 2005, geography; Christopher Frost, 2006, psychology; James Housefield, 2007, art history; Brock Brown, 2008, geography; Max Warshauer, 2010, mathematics; Steven Furney, 2012, health and human performance; Kenneth Margerison, 2013, history; Vedaraman Sriraman, 2015, engineering technology; and Debra Feakes, 2016.