Advancing the Discipline Grantees

The National Communication Association supports projects and events that advance the discipline of Communication. All funded activities align with the goals of NCA’s strategic plan and have widespread impact that reaches beyond a single department, campus, or NCA unit.

To apply for a grant click here  

NCA's Funds to Advance the Discipline Grant Recipients, 2016  

Rebecca Britt, South Dakota State University
Project Title: The Health Communication Mini-Conference at South Dakota State University

Grant support for the inaugural Health Communication Mini-Conference (HCMC) at South Dakota State University. The conference has been designed to provide an opportunity for students pursuing health communication research, and for faculty to support them through roundtables, poster sessions, and panels.

Catherine Chaput and Amy Pason, University of Nevada-Reno
Project Title: Symposium: Capitalism, Climate, and Public Discourse—The Limits and Possibilities of Rhetorical Intervention

Funding for a one-day symposium that responds to Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, which offers fertile ground for many contemporary rhetorical conversations.

Patrick Shaou-Whea Dodge, University of Colorado-Denver
Project Title: Communication, Media, and Governance in the Age of Globalization: An International Conference

Support for an international conference about communication in and between China, the U.S., and other key Asian stakeholders. This is a multi-sponsored event to be hosted in Beijing, China, and is important because relations between the U.S. and China are shaping the 21st century.

Nathan Stormer and Liliana Herakova, University of Maine
Project Title: Teaching Institute for Graduate Teaching Assistants in Communication Studies

Support for an institute that seeks to offer graduate teaching assistants the opportunity to network and connect across institutions and foster a culture of support and innovation in the teaching of Communication.

Peng Wang, et al., Graduate Studies in Interpreting & Translation, University of Maryland
Project Title: Community Language Initiative

Support for the Community Language Initiative that connects Communication scholarship, practice, and service for advanced students in interpreting and translation at the University of Maryland. The initiative will engage these students and program faculty in providing pro bono language services to charitable and/or community organizations as well as county and state agencies supporting underserved groups.

Megan Wood and Heather Woods, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Project Title: NCA Online Writing (NOW) Retreat

Support for the creation of a new space for collaboration and critique among rising scholars and intellectuals engaged in communication-oriented research. Specifically, envisioned is the formation of a week-long, asynchronous, online workshop.  

 NCA's Funds to Advance the Discipline Grant Recipients, 2015

Derek Bolen, Angelo State University
Project Title: Doing Autoethnography 2016 
This grant will partially support the fifth annual Doing Autoethnography Conference, to be hosted in February 2016 by the Department of Communication and Mass Media at Angelo State University in Texas.

Angela Cooke-Jackson, Emerson College
Project Title: Health Literacy 
This grant will support the development and dissemination of eLEEP, a peer leadership training program.

Alexandra Endaltseva and Olga I. Matyash, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
Project Title: International Communication Conference in Russia
The conference, organized by the Department of Integrated Communications at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, aims to bring together different voices from Communication scholarship to advance construction of a conceptual map of the Communication discipline in various parts of the globe.   

Trischa Goodnow, Oregon State University
Project Title: The Inspiration Project
The Inspiration Project seeks to collect the narratives of how top scholars in Communication discovered their research paths.

Rona Halualani, San Jose State University
Project Title: Connecting the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication
This grant funds a team of scholars who seek to increase the visibility of the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication and NCA among transdisciplinary scholars interested in diversity and intercultural communication issues.

J. Michael Hogan, The Pennsylvania State University
Project Title: Conference on Speech and Debate as Civic Education
This grant partially supports Penn State's Conference on Speech and Debate as Civic Education.

Yvonne Slosarski, et al., University of Maryland
Project Title: Recovering Democracy Archive
This grant supports the creation and maintenance of an online archive of recovered speeches, delivered by diverse rhetors, with accompanying pedagogical resources. 

David Worthington and Andrew Hayes, DePauw University
Project Title: DePauw Undergraduate Honors Conference
This grant partially supports the DePauw Undergraduate Honors Conference, which attracts scholars from many institutions. First held in 1975, the conference is the oldest event in the discipline that supports undergraduate research through intensive scholarly dialogue.


NCA's Funds to Advance the Discipline Grant Recipients, 2014 

Walid Afifi & Isaac West
Project Title: Samuel L. Becker Memorial Conference: Interesting Questions in Health, Social Change and Technology
On February 27th to March 1st, 2014, the Communication Studies Department at the University of Iowa hosted an intradisciplinary Communication Studies conference to honor Sam Becker.

Jennifer Stevens Aubrey
Project Title: Translating Research into Outreach: Disseminating Communication Research on Media and Body Image to Adolescent Girls
This project proposes creating short, informational videos that condense the knowledge gained from multiple studies and make them available to late-adolescent girls and youth organizations that serve late-adolescent girls via social media platforms. A novel characteristic of this outreach effort is that the focus of the videos will be on highlighting key research studies and drawing research-based conclusions and practical tips from them.

Katherine Thweatt and Mary Toale
Project Title: Communication Attributes: Aligning Employer Desires and Institutional Goals
The purpose of this project is to begin to understand whether there is a gap in college and university goals for graduates and communication attributes desired by employers.Results will be used to make recommendations to Communication scholars and NCA for the dissemination of knowledge about communication and communication pedagogy.

Joe Valenzano, Sam Wallace, Donald Yoder, Cheri Simonds and Jonathan Hess
Project Title: Basic Course Director’s Summer Institute
The Basic Course Director's Summer Institute aims to address the need for developing high-quality administration of the basic course in communication departments around the country. This grant supported the University of Dayton's Basic Course Director's Summer Institute, held June 19-22, 2014.

Sara Weintraub, Ruth Kay and Jean Ann Streiff
Project Title: Common Core State Standards in Speaking and Listening: A Resource Guide
This project will gather and/or create resources for grades 6-12 teachers to help them implement the Common Core Standards for Speaking and Listening.  These resources will be made available to educators and to state departments of education.


 NCA's Funds to Advance the Discipline Grant Recipients, 2013

Gordon Carlson, Fort Hayes State University
Project Title: Conceptual Logistics in Communication Research Workshop
Carlson’s project developed an online workshop to explain the Concept Tool Kit and other research collaboration tools and their uses.  The workshop covers items including but not limited to demonstrating conceptual logistics and conceptual blending techniques, acquainting students and faculty with the Concept Toolkit tools, demonstrating pedagogical implications for students and faculty in and out of the classroom, soliciting feedback, and introducing the Journal of Concepts in Communication and its approach to online, open access models of scholarly publication. YouTube videos resulting from the project are available here and here.

Stephen P. Depoe and the International Environmental Communication Association
Event Title:  The 11th Biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE)
The 11th Biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE), organized under the auspices of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA), was held on June 6-10, 2013 in Uppsala, Sweden. NCA was recognized as the “sustainability sponsor” of the conference.

Cerise L. Glenn, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Project Title:  Group Mentoring Approaches to the Research and Publication Process: Utilizing Online Research Groups for Graduate Students and Tenure Track Professors
Glenn’s project created online research mentoring groups to increase understanding of the research and publication process and promote active research agendas for NCA members.  The mentoring groups will combine aspects of career socialization and mentoring literature with the limited amount of research on writing groups.

Katherine Margolis and Susan Collins, SurroundHealth
Project Title:  Bringing Clear and Relevant Health Communication into the Patient-Centered Medical Home
The objective of this two-part online learning event was to provide specific, practical strategies to improve the clarity of written and verbal communication with patients. Click here to view archived webinars.

Steve Matusza, John Tedesco and Marlene Preston, Virginia Tech University
Project Title:  Closing the Communication Across the Curriculum (CXC) and Curriculum in the Discipline (CID) Gap
This project proposal replicated and expanded (to five additional business schools) a pilot case study of a business school’s Communication education plans, practices, resources, and constraints. 

Suzy Prentiss, The University of Tennessee
Project Title:  Directing the Basic Course:  A Content Analysis of Basic Course Management to Create a Registry of Resources and Options
Prentiss’s project investigated the role of Basic Course Director across all types of institutions of higher education and gathered data to ascertain the roles and responsibilities of the Basic Course Director, what classes they supervise, what training is provided for instructors of the basic courses, what is the job title/rank of these positions is, and what resources they need to perform better. Read about the findings from Prentiss's survey of Basic Course directors and instructors here.

 Previous Projects (by funding year) 



  • Changing Face of Communication Studies:  Majority and Underrepresented Minority Millennial Graduate Students’ Reported Quality of Life and Meaningfulness of Work. Principal Investigators: Patrice Buzzanell and Yahana Shah.  View the report here 
  • Comic Strips and the Communication of Culture. Principal Investigator: Robert Lemieux.
  • Toward Development of Generalizable Standards for Senior Seminars and Capstones in the Communication Discipline. Principal Investigator: Leslie Reynard. 
  • Networked Humanities (Mapping shared histories of Rhetoric in Communication and English). Principal Investigators: Pat Gehrke and Byron Hawk. 
  • Offering the Public Speaking course online: A content analysis of course syllabi. Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Tolman. 


  • Grant/Fellowship Registry – This research project involved developing a database of grants received by Communication faculty. Principal Investigator: Marshall Scott Poole.


  • Facing Down the Odds: Women Pioneers in Communication. Principal Investigators: Jan Schuetz and Glenda Balas.
  • Advancing the Discipline through Communication Leadership. Principal Investigator: Amanda G. McKendree.
  • Voices of Democracy: The U.S. Oratory Project. Principal Investigator: Shawn Parry-Giles.

Events (by event year) 

  • 2012 - Accessing Civility: Arizona Forum on Civil Communication - Sponsored by Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
  • 2012 - Ethnography of Communication:  Ways Forward - Sponsored by Creighton University, Omaha, NE.
  • 2010 - Developing Successful Grant Proposals in the Social Sciences Seminar – Sponsored by NCA’s Research Board and held in Chicago, IL.
  • 2010 - Teaching Rhetorical Criticism/Critical Inquiry Conference – Hosted by the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA.
  • 2009 - International Conference on Intercultural Dialogue – Sponsored by the International and Intercultural Communication Division & Maltepe University, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • 2008 - Methods and Measures for Communication and Cognition Research –Sponsored by the University of Maryland, College Park, MD.