Steven A. Beebe

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Beebe conducting wedding, Texas State Capitol in background

Steven A. Beebe (born September 19, 1950) is an American professor of communication. He is a noted C. S. Lewis scholar, and is recognized for discovering a fragment of an unpublished manuscript started by C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien about communication (Language and Human Nature) while examining Lewis' documents in the Oxford University Bodleian Library.[1] Beebe is currently Regents' and University Distinguished Professor at Texas State University, San Marcos. Beebe is a highly published scholar with more than 60 published articles and book chapters and he is an author of more than 12 books. He is past president of the National Communication Association and is responsible for helping develop the Russian Communication Association.[2]

Graduate school and training[edit]

Beebe's alma mater is the University of Central Missouri.[3] In 2003, he and his wife, Susan J. Beebe, set up a scholarship at their alma mater, the University of Central Missouri, for communication students who are also involved in the forensics program.[4]

Academic positions[edit]

Beebe currently works at Texas State University where he has been on the faculty for over 30 years.[3] He was the chair of the Department of Communications Studies at Texas State University for 28 years. He has served as the associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication for twenty-five years.[5] [6] He is a past president of NCA - 2013. He has been chair of NCA’s Instructional Communication Division and the Applied Communication Division. He has also served as president of the Florida Communication Association where he played a role in influencing others to study and apply the humanistic, artistic, and scientific principles of communication. Beebe is also a founding member of the Russian Communication Association and co-director of the first Russian Communication Association conference. Beebe has given lectures and conference presentations throughout Europe, Asia, and Central America and has made fifteen visits to Russia where he has helped to establish the first communication studies programs there.[3]

Honors and awards[edit]

Beebe was recognized as an Outstanding Communication Professor by the National Speaker's Association.[7] Beebe has also received two highly distinguished awards from Texas State. Beebe was awarded the university's highest research award, The President’s Award for Excellence in Research and has twice received the President’s Award for Excellence in Service.[3] He was recognized as the Honors Professor of the year in 2011 and was given the Faculty Senate Teaching Award of 2017. Beebe was Outstanding Young Men in America, Recognition by United States Jaycees, 1982 Directory of American Scholars, 1982 Professor of the Year Award, Honorable Mention, University of Miami, 1981 Recognized for Excellence in Teaching by Panhellenic Council, University of Miami, 1979. Also He was Recognized for Scholastic Achievement (Perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average on all graduate course work), University of Missouri-Columbia, 1976. Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1975.[3]

Media appearances[edit]

Beebe has made various appearances, both national and international. His extensive list of appearances include Oxford University, Cambridge University, and others in Europe, Asia, Central American, and Russia. One of Beebe's most acknowledged appearances was his lecture at the San Marcos Academy in San Marcos, Texas on October 9, 2012. His lecture focused on the C.S Lewis manuscript that he had discovered. During the lecture, Beebe emphasizes how C.S. Lewis was a master of communication through his literary works.[8] This past fall, he had several TV and radio interviews while he was in Pyatigorsk, Russia in the Northern Caucus region of Russia. Beebe was a speaker at the International Peace Conference sponsored by Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University in Pyatigorsk, Russia and presented a lecture entitled "Peace through Communication."

C. S. Lewis[edit]

C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were planning on writing a book on language together in the 1940s, but the book was never published. Beebe discovered the opening pages of the manuscript in the Oxford University Bodleian Library. However, there was no proof that Tolkien worked on the project. Originally, the connection of the notes and draft style manuscript to what is now known as Language and Human Nature was not evident to Beebe. It was some time later that he realized what the notes in the book were indicators of the beginnings of the planned project between Lewis and Tolkien.[9] Beebe relied on the help of other prominent C. S. Lewis scholars who are familiar with Lewis' handwriting to carefully transcribe all of the written words in the manuscript. Beebe teaches a reoccurring summer abroad course at Oxford titled "C.S. Lewis: Chronicles of a Master Communicator" about C. S. Lewis and communication sponsored by the Communication Studies Department at Texas State.[10] In 2016 Beebe discovered an unpublished poem by C.S. Lewis in the Oxford University Bodleian library.

Research and publications[edit]

Beebe has authored 12 books and published 60 articles.[3] In 1996, he was honored by the title of Outstanding Communication Professor in the U.S. by the National Speaker's Association.[11] It can be noted that Beebe's research of choice is in instructional communication and some of his works have appeared in such journals as Communication Education, Human Communication, Communication Research Reports, and several Russian language academic journals.[3]

One of his articles is titled "Effective Entrepreneurial Communication Organization Development: Achieving Excellence Based on Leadership Strategies and Values". This research suggests that primary traces of excellence in entrepreneurial organizations focus on positive customer service, persistent innovation, leadership skills, and reliability of workers. Leadership methods must be communication-based, with regards to values and concern for helpful individuals for the fulfillment of such strategies.[12]

He and his wife, Susan J. Beebe wrote "A Concise Public Speaking Handbook" that has been utilized for Public Speaking courses at numerous colleges and universities throughout the world.

Beebe has also published text books spanning many different areas of communication. In 2002, he helped write and publish Interpersonal Communication:Relating to Others. This is a text book that takes students through the skills and techniques necessary to become an effective communicator to others. It also touches on listening, intercultural communication, and nonverbal communication. It has been cited by 106 individuals to date.[13]

Beebe has co-authored 34 books and articles with Timothy P. Mottet on the topic of instructional communication.

National Communication Association[edit]

According to its website, the National Communication Association regards its organization as the following:

The National Communication Association advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry. The NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, the NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

The National Communication Association is a nonprofit organization with the goal of promoting the study, criticism, research, teaching, in addition to the application of the artistic, humanistic and scientific principles of communication, Located in Washington, D.C., the organization selects the finest teachers and scholars whose vision and dedication shaped the mission, as well as the spirit of the organization, as leaders of the NCA. Beebe was president of the National Communication Association for the year 2013. During Beebe's presidency in 2013, he focused on strengthening the basic course - calling the introductory communication course "the front porch" of the discipline. In addition to this, he also spent time promoting the NCA to different countries, along with sharing the organizations current philosophy and goals. He added additional resources to the NCA website about internationalism. Russia became a strategic location for promoting the values of the NCA, and during multiple trips there, Beebe became a key component of establishing communication studies programs. His efforts in stressing the importance of education of communication eventually led to the creation of the Russian Communication Association. Currently as a chair member, he is responsible for appointing new leaders and leadership assignments. With this, Beebe works alongside officers and other chair members to identify future outstanding leaders of the NCA.

Ordained minister[edit]

Beebe is an ordained lay minister in the Community of Christ. He has served as pastor of the Miami, Florida congregation in the 1980s and as district president in Texas in the 1990s. He has been an ordained lay minister since 1978. He continues to provide ministry and serve as a wedding officiant.


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  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Dr. Steven A. Beebe (profile)". Texas State.
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  12. ^ Darling, J. R., & Beebe, S. A. (2007). Effective Entrepreneurial Communication in Organization Development: Achieving Excellence Based on Leadership Strategies and Values. Organization Development Journal, 25(1), 76–93.
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