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Intellect

BYU information systems professor, students win national paper award

Brigham Young University Information systems assistant professor Paul Lowry and three of his former Ph.D. Prep students won the 2008 Rudolph J. Joenk, Jr. Award for best paper in IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, a scholarly journal published by the Professional Communication Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

“This award is really gratifying because it says our students are capable of producing some of the best research in technical and business communication,” Lowry said. “It’s good for our program because we’re supplying top students for some of the best doctoral programs in the world.”

Lowry mentored three MISM students through the paper’s two-year research, writing and editing process. Sean Humpherys, Tucson, Ariz.; Jason Malwitz, Houston; and Joshua Nix, Woodbridge, Va., began the paper as part of a class project in the Marriott School’s Information Systems Ph.D. Prep Program. Humpherys is now a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. Malwitz and Nix work in the information systems industry and are considering pursuing doctorates in the future.

The Information Systems' Ph.D. Prep Program places approximately five students per year in doctoral programs. Students in the program are exposed to rigorous academic research guided by Marriott School faculty.

The winning paper, published in the December 2007 issue of Transactions, was a survey of peer-reviewed journals in the engineering communications field intended to help researchers find the best way to share their findings. To do so, the group surveyed experts from around the globe, translated their responses into ratings for each journal and then ranked the journals by region.

“The whole point of research is to communicate to a community some knowledge or truth,” Humpherys said. “Our paper helps researchers identify the best outlets so their ideas can have the maximum impact.”

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is a quarterly academic journal published by the Professional Communication Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The annual Rudolph J. Joenk, Jr. Award recognizes an outstanding article published in the preceding year's journal.

“It’s great to receive this honor, but I care less about the recognition and more about the research skills I’m acquiring under Professor Lowry’s tutelage,” Humpherys said. “The award reinforces that what I’m being mentored in is of value to others.”

For this and other Marriott School news releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.

Writer: Arie Dekker

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