Leadership and Governance

NCA is led by dedicated professionals who volunteer their time to advance the goals and objectives of the association. 


Legislative Assembly

The Legislative Assembly (LA) is the principal policy-making body of the association and is responsible for managing its resources and affairs.

Executive Committee of the Legislative Assembly

The Executive Committee of the Legislative Assembly (LA) administers the policies of the Assembly and, between annual meetings of the LA, serves as the chief administrative authority of the Association.

Walid Afifi

Walid Afifi

University of California-Santa Barbara

Walid Afifi (PhD, University of Arizona, 1995) is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB), where is also currently a member of the Campus Climate Council and Director of the Center for Middle East Studies. Prior to his return to UCSB, he served as department Chair at the University of Iowa (2012-2015), where he was also a member of the Human Rights Commission. He is an author on over 80 journal articles, chapters, or books, and was recently inducted as a Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA). His service to NCA has been vast and long-lasting, including Chair of the Interpersonal Communication division (2004), and a member of the Units Task Force (2009-2011), the NCA Bylaws Task Force (2011-2012), and the Task Force on Inclusivity in the Discipline (2014-2017). Most recently, he was Chair of the Task force on the NCA Center for Community, Collaboration and Change (2017-2019). He is an editorial board member on several leading journals and served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Personal Relationships, and Human Communication Research. He is also currently serving the discipline as a member of the ICA Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access committee.

✉ Email: w-afifi@ucsb.edu

Marnel Niles Goins

Marnel Niles Goins

Marymount University

Marnel Niles Goins is Dean of the College of Sciences and Humanities and Professor of Communication at Marymount University. She earned her Ph.D. from Howard University in Washington, DC. Prior to her transition to Marymount, she served as Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Communication at California State University, Fresno, where she worked for 12 years. She taught courses in Small Group Communication and Organizational Communication and has a special interest in gender and racial dynamics in organizational settings. Marnel has numerous publications, including serving as first editor of the recently published, The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Communication. Marnel is 2nd Vice President of the Western States Communication Association, Immediate Past President of the Western States Communication Association, and a Past President of the Organization for Research on Women and Communication. She also served NCA as a member of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Task Force, chair and member of the Finance Committee, and chair of the Black Caucus.

✉ Email: mngoins@marymount.edu

Roseann M. Mandziuk

Jeanetta D. Sims

University of Central Oklahoma

Dr. Jeanetta Sims is known as a highly collaborative, respectful leader who believes in listening, honoring people and scaling through Mt. Fuji moments. She is a tenured professor and former dean of the University of Central Oklahoma’s (UCO) Graduate College and University College as well as the co-creator with students of the Broncho Education and Learning Lab (BELL). She championed UCO’s HLC Quality Initiative which culminated in a new first year experience called Broncho Blueprint. Dr. Sims is a 30+ award-winning scholar, educator, poet, and founder of Diverse Student Scholars. Along with numerous academic publications, she is the author of poetry and prose in the Moments in Soul-journal series and We Are Here series. In 2022, she was named a DaVinci Institute Fellow, Women Who Inspire Award recipient, a Marketing Management Association Fellow, and the inaugural recipient of NCA AACCD’s Dorothy Pennington Award.

✉ Email: jsims7@uco.edu

Roseann M. Mandziuk

Roseann M. Mandziuk

Texas State University

Roseann M. Mandziuk is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Rhetorical Studies from the University of Iowa, her M.S. in Communication from Illinois State University, and her B.A. in Speech and in English from Wayne State University. She has been a member of the faculty at Texas State University since 1987.

Roseann’s research focuses upon images of women, the rhetorical uses of history, and the construction of public memory in museums and monuments. She has co-authored a scholarly book about the rhetoric of Sojourner Truth, published numerous articles and book chapters examining historical and contemporary rhetoric, and served as Editor of Women’s Studies in Communication. She has received two Fulbright Scholar Awards, in India and in Poland, and has presented numerous international research lectures. She also was selected as an American Council on Education Fellow.

Roseann’s extensive professional service contributions include President of the Southern States Communication Association, two terms as Finance Board Chair and twelve years as a member of the Affirmative Action/Intercaucus Committee for the National Communication Association, and fifteen years as Chair of the Presidential Work Life Advisory Council on her campus. She has served on numerous editorial boards including Quarterly Journal of Speech and Women’s Studies in Communication, as well as regional and national association publication, nomination, and award committees. Her contributions have been recognized with national and regional professional association awards for teaching, mentoring, and research, including the 2014 Michael M. Osborn Teacher-Scholar Award from SSCA and the 2017 Francine Merritt Award for Contributions to Women in Communication from the NCA Women’s Caucus.

✉ Email: rm07@txstate.edu

James (Jim) L. Cherney

University of Nevada, Reno

James L. “Jim” Cherney (Ph.D. Indiana University, 2003) is Associate Professor and Director of the Communication Core in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. He reaches ableist rhetoric, particularly as it operates around access, sport, visibility, law, and popular culture. He has published articles in outlets including Western Journal of Communication, Disability Studies Quarterly, Communication & Sport, and Argumentation and Advocacy. His book Ableist Rhetoric: How We Know, Value, and See Disability, was published by Penn State University Press in 2019. He has received the Jim Ferris Award for Outstanding Achievement in Disability and Communication from the Disability Issues Caucus, which he has served in various officer positions for over 16 years. He currently represents the caucus on the NCA’s IDEA Council.

✉ Email: jcherney@unr.edu

Devika Chawla

Raquel Moreira

Southwestern University

Raquel Moreira (Ph.D., University of Denver) is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Southwestern University. She investigates the racialized and classed dimensions of femininities in Brazil and in the U.S., paying special attention to how performances of citizenship are constrained or enabled by embodiments of normative and peripheral femininities.

Devika Chawla

Devika Chawla

Ohio University

Devika Chawla is Professor in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University and Affiliated faculty with Interdisciplinary Arts, Women’s and Gender Studies, Communication and Development, International Development Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies. She received her B.A. in English Literature and Literary Criticism from the University of Delhi. She holds two M.A. degrees; the first in English Print Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi, and the second in Speech Communication and Dramatic Arts from Central Michigan University. She received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies with related emphases in Family Studies and Social Anthropology from Purdue University.

Dr. Chawla’s research focuses on communicative, performative, and narrative approaches to studying family, home, and its relationship to social identity. Specifically, she is interested in understanding how human beings transform themselves in the relationships that surround them, and the resources – social, political, economic – that are available to them. Most of her field research has taken place in the context of marriage and family life in contemporary urban north India. Dr. Chawla is the author of Home, Uprooted: Oral Histories of India’s Partition (Fordham University Press), which won the 2015 Outstanding Book Award from the Ethnography Division and the International and Intercultural Division of the National Communication Association. She has published three other co-authored and edited books and over 55 essays in peer-reviewed journals and anthologies. She is Senior Associate Editor (south Asia and southeast Asia) for the Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Communication. From 2019 to 2021, she served as editor-in-chief of Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, a journal published by the University of California Press. 

Shaunak Sastry

University of Cincinnati

Dr. Shaunak Sastry, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Cincinnati and Director of The Cincinnati Project, a center for community-engaged research in the College of Arts & Sciences at UC. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of critical health communication, globalization, and infectious disease politics. His work has been published in leading international peer-reviewed journals like Human Communication Research, Communication Theory, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Culture, Health & Sexuality, Frontiers in Communication, and Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, in addition to several book chapters and more than 50 paper presentations at national and international conferences. He is a senior editor of the journal Health Communication and sits on the editorial board of several other academic journals. He is the Chair of the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Research Council. Dr. Sastry teaches courses in health communication, globalization, and research methods at the undergraduate and graduate level in the School of Communication, Film & Media Studies at UC.

Vinita Agarwal

Salisbury University

Vinita Agarwal is full professor of communication in the Department of Communication at Salisbury University, Maryland. Her research theorizes the relations between ecological elements and the self-reflexive, and intersubjective relations of whole-person care in health and healing as explicated in her monograph, Medical Humanism, Chronic Illness, and the Body in Pain: An Ecology of Wholeness (2020, Lexington Press) and further explored in its intersections with social justice in an upcoming textbook: Health Communication as Social Justice: A Whole Person Activist Approach (in press, Routledge). Grounded in principles of global health ethics, her research takes an experiential, relational, and dialogic approach, drawing upon her training as Health and Wellbeing Coach, trained from Duke Health; in Vipassana meditation from Vipassana International Academy, Dhamma Giri, India; in Ayurvedic Wellness Education, Advanced Course in Ayurvedic Diet and Nutrition, and Ayurveda for Health Practitioners from India and Maharishi International University, USA.  Her work has been published in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, Health CommunicationJournal of Patient Experience, Qualitative Health Research and Journal of Advanced Nursing. She has authored encyclopedia entries on yoga and Ayurveda and several book chapters including on the semi-structured interviewing method for SAGE Handbook of Medicine and Health. Her work has been presented in top paper panels at the National Communication Association (NCA), Eastern Communication Association, and Central States Communication Associations. She has over 60 solo-authored, competitively selected presentations in national and international conferences including the International Congress for Integrative Medicine and Health and the International Association of Yoga Therapy and is the recipient of the Fulton Award for Excellence in Scholarship and the University System of Maryland Women’s Health Foundation Award. She teaches courses in strategic communication including Health Communication, Health Engagement & Advocacy, International Public Relations, and Digital Public Relations. Her service includes leadership positions at NCA, serving as chair of the Teaching and Learning Council and the Feminist and Gender Studies Division, as Executive Committee member, and as a member of the Health Humanities Faculty Learning Committee at her institution. 

Rich West

Emerson College

Rich received his Ph.D. in Interpersonal Communication from Ohio University and his M.A. in Communication Education from Illinois State University. He is currently Professor of Communication Studies at Emerson College, where he has served as a Dean, Director, and Department Chair.

Rich is a former President of both the National Communication Association and the Eastern Communication Association. He has chaired or served on over 60 NCA/ECA committees. He is also a recipient of ECA's Distinguished Service Award as well as being recognized as both an ECA Distinguished Research Fellow and Distinguished Teaching Fellow. He has received NCA's Presidential Citation for Service twice. Rich is currently on the Academic Board of Directors for the Global Listening Centre, based in London, and sits on several editorial boards.

Rich is the co-author/editor of 10 books that have been published in nearly 10 languages. Two of his anthologies have received NCA's Outstanding Book Award in a) Family Communication ("The Family Communication Sourcebook") and in b) Applied Communication ("Routledge Handbook of Communication and Bullying"). Dr. West has received a number of academic accolades over the years. He was awarded Emerson's prestigious Norman and Irma Mann Stearns distinction and recognized as Distinguished Faculty. In addition, Illinois State University and Ohio University named him "Outstanding Alum in Communication"; ISU also recognized him for "Distinction in Forensics" and "Outstanding Graduate in Teacher Education."

He has also written articles for Edible Maine magazine and his expertise/research has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Christian Science Monitor, AARP Magazine, among many others.

Rich is an award-winning gardener and his 117-year-old home and gardens in Maine have appeared in numerous media outlets.

Jimmie Manning

Jimmie Manning

University of Nevada, Reno

Jimmie Manning is Professor and Chair of Communication Studies in the School of Social Research and Justice Studies at the University of Nevada. He earned bachelor’s degrees in Speech/Communication, Dramatic Arts, and English from Emporia State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas. 

Dr. Manning’s research focuses on relational and family communication. This work spans multiple contexts to understand how individuals, couples, families, organizations, and cultural institutions attempt to define, support, control, limit, encourage, or otherwise negotiate relationships. He explores these ideas through three contexts: relational discourses, especially those related to family, identity, love, gender, and/or sexuality; relational efficacy in health and organizational contexts; and digitally-mediated communication. This work has resulted in over 100 publications in outlets including Communication Monographs, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, among others. 

Dr. Manning has received several research, teaching, and service awards including the NCA Kibler and Ecroyd awards, the International Association for Relationship Research Teaching Award, the Warren and Kay awards from the Central States Communication Association, and the Outreach and Gender Studies Scholar awards from the Southern States Communication Association, among others. He comes to the NCA finance committee with extensive service at the regional, national, and international levels..

Candice Thomas-Maddox

Ohio University Lancaster

Candice Thomas-Maddox (Ed.D., West Virginia University) is Professor of Communication Studies at Ohio University Lancaster where she teaches courses in interpersonal, family, and organizational communication. She is the co-author of four textbooks: Interpersonal Communication: Building Rewarding Relationships; Quantitative Research Methods for Communication: A Hands-on Approach; Communicating in Your Personal, Professional, and Public Lives; and Family Communication: Relationship Foundations.

Candice received the ECA Ecroyd Teaching Award and the ECA Teaching Fellows designation in recognition of her contributions in the classroom, as well as the 2002 Ohio Outstanding Scholar Award presented by OCA. She is the former President and Executive Director for both the Eastern Communication Association and the Ohio Communication Association, as well as former Chair for NCA’s Instructional Development Division, NCA Short Course Director, and member of the NCA Nominating Committee. Currently, Candice serves as faculty advisor for student organizations on her campus including Phi Theta Kappa Honorary, Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and the SPARK Leadership Team.

.✉ Email: thomas@ohio.edu

Shari Miles-Cohen

National Communication Association

Shari Miles-Cohen, Ph.D., joined NCA as Executive Director in January 2022. Before joining NCA, Miles-Cohen served as the American Psychological Association’s (APA) primary expert on domestic human rights and issues affecting marginalized populations in the US, overseeing APA’s Ethnic Minority Affairs, Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, and Women’s Portfolios. She co-created and led APA’s flagship leadership development program and the innovative “I am Psyched! Initiative,” now a digitized exhibit in the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

Previously, Miles-Cohen led the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the African American Women’s Institute at Howard University, and the Women’s Research & Education Institute. She was a Congressional Fellow and a District of Columbia Commission for Women member. She has traveled extensively domestically and internationally to promote the interface between research and policy and has convened six international interdisciplinary conferences.

Miles-Cohen is a member of the Palo Alto University Board of Trustees. She is an APA Fellow and a member of professional societies focused on gender, ethnicity and culture, social issues, disability, leadership, science, and philanthropy.

Miles-Cohen earned her Ph.D. in personality psychology from Howard University and has published scholarly works throughout her career. Most recently, she co-authored an article on women’s leadership development and co-edited a book on eliminating health inequities for women with disabilities.


2023 Executive Committee August Meeting Draft Agenda

Councils and Committees

The IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) Council is responsible for monitoring and making recommendations to enhance the diversity of the Association.
Council Chair:James (Jim) L. Cherney, University of Nevada, Reno
Council Members:
  • Anjuli J. Brekke, University of Washington (Asian/Pacific American Caucus)
  • Lisa Calvente, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Caribbean Caucus)
  • James Cherney, University of Nevada, Reno (Disability Issues Caucus)
  • Elizabeth F. Desnoyers-Colas, Georgia Southern University (Women's Caucus)
  • Jaime Guzmán, California State University, Los Angeles (La Raza Caucus)
  • Deryl Johnson, Kutztown University (Caucus on GLBTQ Concerns)
  • Natonya Listach, Middle Tennessee State University (Black Caucus)
  • Liahnna Stanley, Arizona State University (Indigenous Caucus)
The Finance Committee is responsible for providing guidance and information to the Legislative Assembly on the financial affairs of the Association, and shall have such other responsibilities as are established from time to time by the Legislative Assembly or Executive Committee of the Legislative Assembly.The committee works jointly with chief financial officer.
Committee Chair: Rich West, Emerson College
Committee Directors:
  • Jimmie Manning, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Candice Thomas-Maddox, Ohio University, Lancaster
The Publications Council oversees the Association’s publications program, including recommending editors to the Legislative Assembly for the Association's journals and filling journal editor vacancies as necessary. The council works jointly with the director of external affairs and publications.
Council Chair: Devika Chawla, Ohio University
Council Members:
  • Godfried Asante, San Diego State University
  • Nicholas Bowman, Syracuse University 
  • Rachel Dubrofsky, University of South Florida
  • Aisha Durham, University of South Florida
  • Todd L. Sandel, University of Macau
  • Angharad Valdivia, University of Illinois
Council Chair:  Kimberly D. Osborne
Council Members:  
  • Yea-Wen Chen, San Diego State University
  • Lisa K. Hanasono, Bowling Green State University
  • Raquel Moreira, Southwestern University
  • Bala A. Musa, Azusa Pacific University
  • Eddah M. Mutua, St. Cloud State University
  • Keri. K. Stephens, University of Texas, Austin
The Research Council is responsible for supporting the creation and dissemination of knowledge about communication. The council works jointly with the director of academic & professional affairs.
Council Chair:  Shaunak Sastry, University of Cincinnati
Council Members:  
  • Iccha Basnyat, George Mason University 
  • Christopher Carpenter, Western Illinois University 
  • Jiyoung Lee, Sungkyunkwan University
  • Annette D. Madlock, Sister Circle Writers
  • Paul Schrodt, Texas Christian University
  • Benjamin Warner, University of Missouri
The Teaching and Learning Council supports and promotes disciplinary pedagogy through facilitation of professional development opportunities for communication educators. The council works jointly with the director of academic & professional affairs.
Council Chair: Vinita Agarwal, Salisbury University 
Council Members:
  • Katherine S. Thweatt, SUNY, Oswego, Chair-Elect
  • Qingwen Dong, University of the Pacific
  • Jon A. Hess, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • Sandy Pensoneau-Conway, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • Andrea Vickery SUNY, Oswego
  • David A. Yastremski, Ridge High School

Governance Committees

The Convention Committee is responsible for providing recommendations on issues related to convention locations.
Committee Members
  • Ariadne A. Gonzalez, Texas A&M International University 
  • John R. Heineman, Lincoln Public Schools
  • Christina M. Knopf, State University of New York, Cortland
  • Shana Kopaczewski, Indiana State University
  • Katherine La Pierre, Indiana University East
  • Goyland Mertell Williams, University of Hartford
The Nominating Committee prepares a slate for the election of the second vice president and the at-large members of the Legislative Assembly and Leadership Development Committee.
Committee Chair: Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Indiana University
The Leadership Development Committee makes recommendations to fill member vacancies on councils, award committees, and standing committees.
Committee Chair: Roseann M. Mandziuk, Texas State University
Committee Members
  • Walid Afifi, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Fatima Zahrae Chrifi Alaoui, San Francisco State University
  • Haneen Ghabra, Kuwait University
  • Kimberly Johnson, Tennessee State University
  • Creshema R. Murray, University of Houston, Downtown
  • Marnel Niles Goins, Marymount University 
  • Adam Rainear, West Chester University
  • David M. Rhea, Governors State University 
  • Jeanetta Sims, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Damariyé Smtih, San Diego State University
  • Sean Upshaw, University of Texas, Austin 
The Resolutions Committee considers resolutions that may be included in the association’s Policy Platform.
Committee Members: 
  • Mark L. Finney, Emory & Henry College
  • Margaret R. LaWare, Iowa State University 
  • Kurt Lindemann, San Diego State University 
  • Jacqueline Peters, Concordia University
  • Amy Aldridge Sanford, Middle Tennessee State University 
  • Michelle T. Violanti, University of Tennessee

Please refer to the Public Statements page for more information about submission procedures and requirements.