González brings intercultural aspect to communication


It is fitting that the work of Dr. Alberto González, chair of the communication department, is so well known around the world since the crux of his scholarship is in intercultural communication. In addition to his work in his home discipline, his writing and research appears in publications that focus on poverty, disability studies, youth theatre and Latino/a education.

His seminal collection of essays, co-edited (with Dr. Wea-Wen Chen) “Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity and Communication,” published by Oxford University Press, is now in its sixth edition and is used internationally.

González was named a Distinguished University Professor by the BGSU Board of Trustees at its Feb. 17 meeting. The titled of Distinguished University Professor is conferred upon members of the faculty already holding the rank of professor, whose creative professional achievements are such as to have won them national distinction or recognition beyond the limitations of a narrow field of interest.

González’s scholarship has been recognized by the International and Intercultural Division of the Speech Communication Association, which in 1995 presented him the Distinguished Scholarship Award. He serves on the editorial boards of eight highly ranked journals and has served as guest or associate editor of two others. He has written or co-authored eight books and 41 refereed journal articles and essays published in scholarly books, and has presented nearly 100 conference papers.

“He has been among the leading authorities in the field for advancing theories of human communication that take into serious account the intersectionality between communication and culture,” according to Dr. Orlando Taylor, vice president for student initiatives and professor of leadership studies at Fielding Graduate University. “It has been through this work that traditional stereotypic views of communication variation, particularly among racial and ethnic minority groups, have been marginalized and replaced by views that value the richness of communication diversity nationally and globally.”

González also teaches and models the importance of communication in his daily life as an academic, mentor and community member.

“Dr. González approaches teaching with the critical cultural framework where he challenges his students to become active participants and culturally aware citizens of the global and local communities,” said colleague Dr. Lara Martin Lengel, communication studies. “His classes are informed by his intercultural communication research fieldwork. Undergraduate and graduate students in Dr. González’s classes learn to appreciate a broad range of pedagogical approaches and are encouraged to reflect their own cultural identities as well as build meaningful intercultural relationships.”

Current and former students attest to his leadership as a teacher, advisor and academic mentor. “He has been a major inspiration not only to the advancement of intercultural communication as a field of study, but also to a generation of students who have gone on to apply his teachings to their own academic and professional experience,” Lengel added.

On campus, he has shown his commitment to diversity and inclusion, with a focus on diversity recruiting and the development of policies and practices that support BGSU student, staff and faculty full participation. His culturally responsive teaching, combined with his many administrative roles and his research expertise, have positioned him to provide thoughtful and professional support for international and students from underrepresented groups.

González has received numerous awards and recognitions, notably the Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Award presented by the National Communication Association Latino/a Communication Studies Division in honor of his contributions to diversity and inclusion at BGSU as well as the national and international levels.

BGSU has also honored him multiple times over his 25 years of teaching. In 2014 he received both the Miguel Ornelas Award, recognizing those who foster inclusive human relations; and the outstanding Faculty Contribution Award, from the President’s Leadership Academy. Student groups such as the BGSU chapter of Phi Beta Sigma and the Latino Student Union and have recognized his support. He received the Outstanding Contributor to Graduate Education Award in 1994 from Graduate Student Senate and the 1999 Winifred O. Stone Faculty Mentor Award from the Graduate College.

He also has a long history of service to the community across multiple organizations and initiatives, including numerous leadership roles. In 1999 he received the Diamante Award, given by the northwest Ohio organization IMAGE in recognition of “the profound and lasting influence that Latinos have on American history,” and presented to individuals for outstanding achievements in education.

His service to his profession includes leadership roles related to diversity and inclusion in national communication association organizations.

A 1977 BGSU alumnus in speech education, González rejoined the University in 1992 as an associate professor in the department formerly known as interpersonal communication after teaching at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and Texas A&M University. He received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in communication from Ohio State University in 1980 and 1986, respectively.

Updated: 12/02/2017 12:19AM