Professor, student share honors at national conference

Research into gratitude communications has given Penn State Abington senior Courtney Greenberg and Assistant Professor Ross Brinkert a head start on appreciating the award they received at the National Communication Association’s annual convention in New Orleans last month.

Brinkert and Greenberg, a business management and marketing major, were among the recipients of the Top Panel Award (Training and Development Division). The honor was shared by a group of scholars for the session “Giving Voice: A Metaphor for Everything from Training Students to the Creation of a Discipline.” The panel presented four papers including one co-authored by Brinkert and Greenberg, “The Voice of Gratitude in Organizations: The Gratitude Communication Training and Development Opportunity.”

“I have had the privilege of working with Courtney for almost two full years,” Brinkert said. “It means so much that we are a campus where students and faculty get to know one another and their interests. We can develop a path that we can continue to work on together for more than one semester.”

Greenburg said she considers Brinkert to be her mentor. “Working one on one with Dr. Brinkert has been a gift. He takes time to patiently guide and share his knowledge, which could not be obtained from a textbook. He has helped me focus on my career goals, and I am thankful I had the opportunity to work with him at Penn State Abington,” she said.

Greenberg won a Division of Arts and Humanities Award at the spring 2011 Abington College Undergraduate Research Activities (ACURA) Fair, while working with Brinkert. As she works on her Schreyers Honors College thesis, Greenberg continues to develop an area of gratitude communication research for a spring 2012 ACURA Fair presentation. After commencement in May, she plans to attend graduate school in business and continue her research on the role of positive emotions in organizations.

Brinkert praised Greenberg’s work ethic. “Courtney is someone who is not only immensely talented and well-rounded but she also has an intellectual curiosity and the ability to work hard and persevere,” he said.