A wide-ranging curiosity and concern about the implications of how people and organizations communicate has earned Dr. Stephen Croucher, communication, this year’s Outstanding Young Scholar Award.
The award helps enhance the academic career of junior faculty by providing discretionary funds for the support of future scholarly activities. It brings a $1,000 credit to the recipient's discretionary research account, in addition to a $2,000 cash award.
Croucher was nominated by his colleague Dr. Lynda Dee Dixon, who wrote of his “quantity and quality of research, grant-writing efforts, his increased writing and research skills and his choice of topics that relate to many crises that are local and international in scope.”
Croucher’s investigations have taken him from the United States to France, Great Britain and, most recently, India. His peer-reviewed 2008 book, Looking Beyond the Hijab, is an examination of the failure of the French cultural adaptation model in the case of Muslim immigrants from North Africa. The book is one of the first, in-depth qualitative tests of cultural adaptation theory in the communication discipline.
His second book, to be published in 2010, will analyze the ways in which cultural misunderstandings between Muslims and non-Muslims in France and Britain have contributed to increased conflict, prejudice and hatred. Both books grew out of his interest in intercultural communication.
Croucher recently completed grant-funded data collection in India examining the organizational dissent of people working in Indian firms. “I believe the correlations between organizational dissent, organizational identification and an individual’s religious affiliation may potentially provide a more in-depth understanding of such variables,” he wrote. As for the next steps in his exploration of immigration issues, he sees promise in the study of religion as a variable in communication, and of intercultural adaptation within organizations.
Since he came to BGSU in 2006, Croucher has had nine, peer-reviewed journal articles and has three articles now in press in highly ranked journals.
He has also made 23 research presentations at communication conferences here and abroad. These have led to his winning “top paper” awards three times, in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and being asked to review for the Western Journal of Communication and Mass Media and Society.
Croucher began his search for grants while still a doctoral student. He has received funding from the University of Oklahoma, BGSU, the U.S. State Department Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, El Fayed Royal Family United Arab Emirates Research Grant Fund and the Department of Homeland Security.
By setting an example and mentoring graduate students, Croucher has “created an early career exemplar for the beginning assistant professor,” Dixon said, adding that many of his publications include his student research teams.