Leadership and Governance

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

Executive Committee

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.
 

Star Muir

Star Muir

George Mason University

 

Star Muir is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Rhetoric and Communication, and his most recent service to NCA was as Newsletter Editor, Programmer and Chair of the Human Communication and Technology Division.
 
Star’s research on language and the symbolic in environmental and scientific communication resulted in a co-edited book on Earthtalk: Communication Empowerment for Environmental Action, and articles in Philosophy and Rhetoric, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Etc.:  A Review of General Semantics, and Speech Communication Teacher, among others.  Star has focused his research most recently on millennials and the challenges of teaching, learning and labeling for “digital natives,” exploring critical themes of attention, distractability, and evolving habits of mind in today’s students with a special emphasis on flipped classroom pedagogy and teaching mindfulness through micro-practices.  Star’s innovative educational media won both Telly and Communicator awards of distinction.
 
A debate coach for almost 20 years, Star’s record shows a commitment to novice and public debate as well as excellence and competitive success at the national level.  For his efforts he received Distinguished Service awards from both programs at the University of Massachusetts and George Mason University, and a University Teaching Excellence award from Mason. Working for eight years as the Director of Learning Support Services in the Information Technology Unit at Mason, he supervised a half million dollar budget with twenty-two staff and assisted faculty, students and staff in building critical IT skills for the twenty-first century.  
 
In his work for the federal government, Star has presented workshops on plain language, scientific writing and information graphics to the Centers for Disease Control, and on professional writing to the Office on Women’s Health and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 
 

✉ Email: smuir@gmu.edu

Stephen J. Hartnett

Kent Ono

University of Utah

 

Kent A. Ono is Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. His research focuses on media representations of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation. Professor Ono has made significant contributions to rhetoric and communication theory in three primary areas: critical rhetoric, race and colonialism, and rhetoric and media. His groundbreaking work with John Sloop (Vanderbilt University) in the highly popular area of critical rhetoric has helped change the field of rhetorical studies. Additionally, he has been a scholarly leader of research on race and colonialism in the field of communication, with the best example of this being his book, Contemporary Media Culture and the Remnants of a Colonial Past (2009, Peter Lang), which studies the rhetoric of colonialism in the United States and has been translated into Chinese (Tsinghua University Press). Professor Ono has also contributed to research in rhetoric and media, where his work on television shows such as Mad Men, Star Trek, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, for example, and his work on films such as Pocahontas, Avatar, and Come See the Paradise, have had a significant impact on critical media research. He is past editor of Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and Critical Studies in Media Communication (with Ron Jackson). He is also the founding editor of the book series, Critical Cultural Communication, at New York University Press (which he edited with Sarah Banet-Weiser).

✉ Email: Kent.Ono@utah.edu

David McMahan

Missouri Western State University

 

David T. McMahan is a Professor of Communication at Missouri Western State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2001, with research focusing on the social aspects of media and technology, personal relationships, and rhetorical criticism. He has published over ten books, including Internet Communication, Introduction to Communication Criticism, Relational Communication, The Basics of Communication, and the bestselling Communication in Everyday Life series. His research and other works have been published in numerous academic journals and anthologies, and he was named a Centennial Scholar by the Eastern Communication Association. His extensive record of service includes President of the Central States Communication Association, Editor of the Iowa Journal of Communication, and Consulting Editor of the Journal of Communication Pedagogy, along with membership and activity on a vast number of academic committees, executive boards, and editorial boards. He has taught courses which span the discipline of communication and has received several awards for his work in the classroom.

✉ Email: mcmahan@missouriwestern.edu

Ronald Jackson II

Ronald Jackson II

University of Cincinnati

 

Ron Jackson is Professor in the Department of Communication at University of Cincinnati. He is CEO and Founding Principal Consultant of Cinspire Consulting and Coaching, a management consulting firm specializing in communication, team building, strategic transformation, as well as diversity and inclusion. Dr. Jackson has been engaged in training, research, and education for over 20 years.

He is one of the leading communication and identity scholars in the nation, and is author of fourteen books including Scripting the Black Masculine Body in Popular Media, Interpreting Tyler Perry (with Jamel Bell; Routledge), the 2014 Comic-Con Eisner Award winning book Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation (with Sheena Howard; Bloomsbury), and the forthcoming anthology Gladiators in Suits: Race, gender, and politics of representation in Scandal (with Kimberly Moffit and Simone Puff). His research has won numerous awards including the National Communication Association’s Franklyn Haiman Award and the Eastern Communication Association’s Everett Lee Hunt Award.

✉ Email: ron.jackson@uc.edu

Rachel Alicia Griffin

University of Utah

 

Rachel Alicia Griffin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Race and Communication in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. As a critical/cultural scholar her research interests span Black feminist thought, critical race theory, sexual violence, and the social institutions of sport, media, education, and the U.S. presidency. From 2012 to 2015 Dr. Griffin was awarded the Judge William Holmes Cook Professorship by the Office of the Associate Chancellor for Institutional Diversity at SIU and in 2013 she was awarded the College of Liberal Arts Early Career Faculty Excellence Award at SIU. She was also awarded the 2015 Scholar-Activist Award by the Critical Cultural Studies Division and the 2015 Rex Crawley Outstanding Service Award by the African American Communication Division and Black Caucus via the National Communication Association. Most recently, Dr. Griffin earned WSCA’s 2018 Exemplary Teacher Award and a 2018-2019 Tanner Humanities Center Fellowship at the University of Utah. Dr. Griffin has also published in several journals including Women’s Studies in CommunicationCritical Studies in Media Communication, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in EducationThe Howard Journal of Communications, the Journal of International and Intercultural CommunicationDepartures in Critical Qualitative Research, and Communication, Culture, & Critique.

Additionally, she is the co-editor of Adventures in Shondaland: Identity Politics and the Power of Representation (Rutgers University Press, 2018). Her pending research project is a co-authored monograph titled Marginalization and the Modern Presidency: Presidential Communication, Identity Politics, and the Battle for “Real’ America. Exceptionally committed to sustaining synergy between research and service, Dr. Griffin has delivered well over 100 anti-sexual violence and Inclusive Excellence presentations on campuses and at conferences nationally and internationally. She especially prizes having spoken for U.S. state coalitions against sexual violence in North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Maryland, California, Illinois, and Washington alongside several opportunities to advocate against sexual violence in Canada. 

✉ Email: Rachel.a.griffin@utah.edu

Shannon VanHorn

Shannon VanHorn

Valley City State University

 

Shannon VanHorn is a Professor of Education and Graduate Studies at Valley City State University. She holds both an M.S. and a Ph. D. in Communication Studies from North Dakota State University.  She has served NCA on the nominating committee, through the leadership rotation of the Human Communication and Technology Division and the Communication and the Future Division, chaired The Donald P. Cushman Award, and as a member of the Educational Policies Board.

In addition, VanHorn is active in the Central States Communication Association, having served through the leadership rotation of the Instructional Resource Interest Group and currently as a member of the Presidential Economic Initiative of Higher Education. She has been the President of the Communication, Speech, and Theatre Association of North Dakota, as well as edited the Journal of Communication, Speech, and Theatre of North Dakota.

VanHorn’s research interests include communication pedagogy, instructional technology, faculty development, and online learning, and has published in such venues as Argumentation and Advocacy, Communication Quarterly, Journal of Advertising Education, and Qualitative Research Reports. 

✉ Email: Shannon.vanhorn@vcsu.edu

 

Legislative Assembly

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

Councils and Committees

Teaching and Learning Council
The Teaching and Learning Council supports and promotes disciplinary pedagogy through facilitation of professional development opportunities for Communication educators and through dissemination efforts beyond the discipline. The board works jointly with the director of academic & professional affairs.
 
Council Chair: Shannon VanHorn, Valley City State University
 
Council Members:
  • Vinita Agarwal, Salisbury University
  • Nelle Bedner, University of Central Arkansas
  • Joseph P. Mazer, Clemson University
  • Susan Ward, Delaware County Community College
  • Eletra Gilchrist-Petty, University of Alabama, Huntsville
  • Tara Reed, Tarrant County College South

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee oversees the financial well-being of the association. It is responsible for routinely reviewing the association’s investments and operating budget and develops financial policies.The board works jointly with chief financial officer.
 
Committee Chair: Marnel Niles Goins, California State University, Fresno
 
Committee Directors:
  • Raymie McKerrow, Ohio University
  • Jeanetta Sims, University of Central Oklahoma

Publications Council

The Publications Council oversees the association’s publications program including, among many other things, the development of relevant policy and the recommendation of new journal editors to the Legislative Assembly.The board works jointly with the director of external affairs and publications.
 
Council Chair: J. Kevin Barge, Texas A&M University
 
Council Members:
  • Bryant Keith Alexander, Loyola Marymount University
  • Erina L. MacGeorge, Penn State University
  • Cara Anne Finnegan, University of Illinois
  • Thomas Nakayama, Northeastern University
  • Amber Johnson, Saint Louis University
  • Rebecca Meisenbach, University of Missouri

Research Council

The Research Council supports and promotes disciplinary research through facilitation of professional development opportunities for communication scholars and through external advocacy efforts. The board works jointly with the director of academic & professional affairs.
 
Council Chair: Mindy Fenske, University of South Carolina
 
Council Members: 
  • Robin M. Boylorn, University of Alabama
  • John P. Caughlin, University of Illinois
  • Norah Dunbar, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Tina Harris, University of Georgia
  • Qingwen Dong, University of the Pacific
  • Shaunak Sastry, University of Cincinnati

Diversity Council

The Diversity Council is responsible for monitoring and making recommendations to enhance the diversity of the Association.
 
Council Chair: Rachel Alicia Griffin, University of Utah
 
Council Members:
  • Kami Anderson, Kennesaw State University
  • Brian Grewe, University of Denver
  • Michael Lechuga, University of Texas, El Paso
  • Ashley Noel Mack, Louisiana State University
  • Elizabeth Parks, Colorado State University
  • Alice Veksler, Christopher Newport University

 

Governance Committees

Convention Committee
The Convention Committee is responsible for providing recommendations on issues related to convention locations.
 
Nominating Committee
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.
 
Leadership Development Committee
The Leadership Development Committee makes recommendations to fill member vacancies on councils, award committees, and standing committees.
 
Resolutions Committee
The Resolutions Committee considers resolutions that may be included in the association’s Policy Platform.

 

To submit a proposal regarding administrative policy for the association, please include a rationale for the policy, relevant historical information about the issue under consideration, and a clear description of the full range of implications of the decision for the organization. It is incumbent upon submitters of administrative policy proposals to study the relevant issues before making a submission. Proposals should be sent to the NCA Executive Director. The Executive Director will send the proposal to the NCA committee with the most relevant expertise for review and recommendation. That recommendation will then go to the Executive Committee for consideration and recommendation and to the Legislative Assembly for a final vote.