Accessible Navigation. Go to: Navigation Main Content Footer
UM News
August 30, 2013

MISSOULA – The National Communication Association recently award University of Montana Professor Alan Sillars the Bernard J. Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship or Distinguished Service in Family Communication.

The award is given annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the area of family communication. This contribution may include research published in scholarly publications or leadership in instructional areas.

Sillars was nominated by his colleagues at the University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Illinois, University of Texas and the University of Kentucky. He ultimately was selected for the award by a national committee.

“We are thrilled you will receive this significant honor for your outstanding and longstanding contributions to the discipline of family communication,” wrote selection committee member Carol J. Bruess, journalism and communication professor at University of St. Thomas, in her announcement of the award.

Sillars earned the award for his research, which focuses on communication and conflict in families – specifically the way couples, parents and children talk about disagreements and tensions in the family, along with areas of misunderstanding affecting these situations. Most recently, he and his colleagues have studied parent-adolescent communication, including factors that affect parental understanding of children and child understanding of parents. 

“The Brommel Award recognizes scholarship over the course of my career,” Sillars said. “It is especially gratifying to have this work acknowledged by my peers at other universities, whose teaching and research overlaps with my own.”

The NCA advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry. For more information on the award and for a list of past recipients, visit





Contact: Alan Sillars, professor, UM Department of Communication Studies, 406-243-4463,