Research Communications Team Wins Silver, Bronze

PRSA Gala Stage
Credit: Julian Cavazos Photography for PRSA-Houston

The Office of Strategic Communications follows their previous year’s successes with two new awards from The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Public Relations Society of America — Houston chapter.

Research & Innovation Annual Report

The 2021 Research & Innovation Annual Report won a prestigious CASE Circle of Excellence Award. The report took home silver in the “Publications: Presidential and Annual Reports” category for 2023. The UH Strategic Research Communications team competed against a strong list of entrants to receive this honor.

Published in 2022, the UH Research & Innovation Annual Report, goes beyond the numbers to tell a compelling story of important and unique university initiatives launched in 2021. The judges remarked, “The report is engaging and relevant to the audience—very authentic. Good effort in making the report distinctive with the mix of design and content.”

Since 2001, the Division of Research has won a total of six awards from CASE.

The Big Idea

On June 22, DOR took home bronze in the Best Blog category at the annual Public Relations Society of America – Houston Chapter’s Excalibur Awards Gala. The winning article, “Flushing Out Absolutism in Science,” was published in The Big Idea, the Division of Research’s blog on the business of research.

Written by Sarah F. Hill, Communications Manager for the Division of Research, the article questions whether views on science are becoming more extreme in the face of an ever-expanding body of knowledge and especially amidst the flurry of findings that emerged over the course of the pandemic. The article quotes several subject matter experts, including Jessica Gottlieb, professor at the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs, Nobel Prize–winning physicist Steven Weinberg, chemist T. Swann Harding, and Matt Nolan from his Scientific American blog.

John Lienhard, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and History at UH, is featured in the article. As the host of the Houston Public Radio program, The Engines of Our Ingenuity, Lienhard has been exploring the story of how our culture is formed by human creativity since 1988. Lienhard objects to the term “Extremism,” preferring the term “Absolutism” to describe current climates of polarization.

“Absolutism is the culprit – the need on the part of so many of us to know The Right Answer. The absolutists in the world will glom onto whatever vehicle suits them – religion, politics, education, and ultimately, science itself. The absolutist finds the honest practice of science hateful, because science is a way of life where everything lies open to question.”

The award was presented to Sarah F. Hill at the 38th Annual Excalibur Awards Gala at the Junior League Houston Ballroom. The event, titled “PR: The Journey Never Ends,” had an outer space theme, complete with silver space suited astronaut sculptures and cut-outs of astronauts placed around the venue.