The Mark L. Knapp Award in Interpersonal Communication was officially created and approved by the National Communication Association (NCA) and the Interpersonal Communication Division of the NCA at the NCA’s 2006 convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The Mark L. Knapp Award is an NCA-level award and is the Interpersonal Communication Division’s premier distinction to recognize career contributions to the study of interpersonal communication.

The Mark L. Knapp Award recognizes individuals who have made significant scholarly contributions to the study of interaction and/or relational processes. The winners will also have contributed to the quality of interpersonal communication through active involvement in the discipline, significant mentoring of students, and/or public service focused on interpersonal communication.

Winners of the Knapp Award are chosen by the NCA’s Mark L. Knapp Award Selection Committee. The criteria to be used in selection of the recipient include: (1) overall contribution to scholarship in interpersonal communication, (2) importance of that work in extending/altering the understanding of interpersonal communication processes and outcomes, (3) the quality of the work he or she has contributed, (4) the time span of the contributions, and (5) the ways in which the person has worked to practice effective interpersonal communication through mentoring, teaching, public work, and/or service.

Knapp Award recipients receive a cash distribution of $1,000 in recognition of their career contributions to Interpersonal Communication.

Pearson, Allyn & Bacon, a longtime publisher of Mark Knapp, are the cash distribution sponsors for the first ten years of the Knapp Award, from 2008–2017. Beginning in 2018, the Mark L. Knapp Individual Endowment held at NCA will fund the cash distribution of the award.