Ahmet Atay, professor and chair of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS); Global Media and Digital Studies, and Film Studies programs at The College of Wooster, has received The James W. Chesebro Award for Scholarly Distinction in Sexuality Research. Awarded by the Central States Communication Association (CSCA) and named for member and LGBT studies pioneer James Chesebro, the award recognizes Atay based on his contributions to the study of gender, sexuality, and sexual identity.
“I am very proud to receive this award in recognition of my contributions to the field,” said Atay, noting the importance of this recognition as a transnational scholar from the scholarly community. “I am the first transnational and immigrant scholar who received the award, and I am thrilled that my name is on the same list as other scholars who I deeply respect and admire. As the chair of WGSS receiving such an award is also important because it spotlights the fact that we are contributing to queer studies scholarship here at the College.” Atay sees the award as important for the College, the WGSS department, and particularly students who identify as queer, trans, and non-binary. He hopes that it will help them to recognize that “our research, writing, voices, art, and knowledge that we produce matters,” and to continue to inspire interest in the program as it grows.
Known for his work in gender, sexuality studies, queer studies as well as to intercultural communication research, new media, and postcolonial studies, Atay has published a number of books and numerous essays that support his receipt of the Chesebro Award. In 2019, he co-edited Queer Communication Pedagogy, in which contributors address queer issues from a communication perspective in an effort to help equip both students and faculty on in connect with students who identify as queer students.
Along with Atay, Michaela D.E. Meyer of Christopher Newport University will also be recognized for the award at CSCA’s 2021 annual convention and at the CSCA Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Caucus business meeting. Central States Communication Association is an academic organization of communication professionals including college and university professors, students, and K-12 educators. CSCA was founded in 1931 to promote the communication discipline in educational, scholarly, and professional endeavors. The association consists of the 13 Midwestern states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.