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Texas State University

Texas State's Pokharel awarded 2020 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award

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Jayme Blaschke | September 9, 2020

Pokharel headshot
Manusheela Pohkarel

Manusheela Pokharel, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Texas State University, has received the 2020 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the National Communication Association (NCA).

Given annually, the award recognizes new scholars who completed outstanding dissertations during the previous academic year.  

"It’s a great honor for my dissertation to be recognized by the National Communication Association," Pokharel said. "I am incredibly grateful for the guidance of my excellent dissertation committee members at the University of Utah. I look forward to continuing my research here at Texas State University and extending the findings of my dissertation to contribute to the field of communication."

Pokharel was recognized for the dissertation, "The Impacts of Visual Message Features in Cancer Risk Communication." The dissertation focuses on visuals as a means of communicating health information. Visuals are often used to communicate health information, including information about cancer risk. Although messages about cancer often include visuals, corresponding research explicating visual features and effects remains relatively scarce. The dissertation launched three studies employing multiple methodological perspectives to initiate a research program that investigated the persuasive impact of visual message features in the context of cancer prevention and control.

"NCA’s annual awards honor communication scholars’ teaching, scholarship and service," NCA Executive Director Trevor Parry-Giles said. "NCA is proud to recognize Dr. Pokharel’s significant contributions to the Communication discipline with this award."

Pokharel’s award will be presented virtually on November 21 at the NCA 106th Annual Convention. For more information about NCA’s awards program, visit

About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry. 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, 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. NCA supports inclusiveness and diversity among our faculties, within our membership, in the workplace, and in the classroom; NCA supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter at @natcomm, and find us on Facebook.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922