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.
Legislative Assembly Meeting Review

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.

Marnel Niles Goins

Marnel Niles Goins

American University

Marnel Niles Goins is Dean of the School of Communication at American University. She earned her Ph.D. from Howard University in Washington, DC. Before transitioning to AU, Dr. Niles Goins served as Dean of the College of Sciences and Humanities and Professor of Communication at Marymount University and 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

Tina M. Harris

Louisiana State University

Dr. Tina M. Harris is an internationally renowned interracial communication scholar with particular interests in race, media representations, and racial social justice. Her pedagogy, research, and service at LSU are driven by her desire to empower others with the communication and critical thinking skills necessary for becoming global citizens. The end goal of these efforts is to equip students to use an applied approach where theory leads to practice in a world where racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity are a welcome inevitably.

✉ Email: tharris4@lsu.edu 

Roseann M. Mandziuk

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

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 researches 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. 

✉ Email: jcherney@unr.edu

Devika Chawla

Laurie Lewis

University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Lewis completed her Ph.D. at the University of California at Santa Barbara.  She has served on faculty at the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Texas at Austin, Rutgers University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.  Her scholarly work investigates organizational change processes, volunteering and nonprofits, effective organizational collaboration, input solicitation, and listening. She is author of award-winning books Organizational Change: Creating Change Through Strategic Communication and The Power of Strategic Listening in Contemporary OrganizationsShe served as co-editor for International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication, and two volumes of Volunteering and Communication. She is also author of numerous academic publications in Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Business Communication, Communication Monographs, and the Journal of Applied Communication among others.  She has authored numerous book chapters including in The Handbook of Organizational Communication, Handbook of Nonprofit Communication, Handbook of Strategic Communication, Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation, Handbook of Applied Communication Research, and the New Handbook of Organizational Communication. Dr. Lewis served as the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Success at UTSA, as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Rutgers University, as Chair of the Department of Communication at Rutgers University, and as fellow at the Center for Organizational Leadership at Rutgers. She is the former Chair of the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

✉ Email: laurie.lewis@utsa.edu

John M. Sloop

Vanderbilt University

John M Sloop is Professor of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University where he teaches courses ranging from public speaking to media ecology to soccer and cultural politics.  Sloop has published a number of books, including Disciplining Gender: Rhetorics of Sex Identity in Contemporary US Culture and the recent Soccer’s Neoliberal Pitch:  The Sport’s Power, Profit and Discursive Politics.  In addition, he has published multiple essays and book chapters focusing on rhetorical theory and cultural critique.  While the focus of his critical work has varied by topic, he has consistently been concerned with how subject identity and cultural politics play out through discursive battles.

Sloop is a former editor of the NCA journal Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and has routinely served on the editorial board of many NCA journals.  In the past, he has actively served in a number of roles with NCA divisions and has served prior on the former NCA Publications Board, one year as chair. 

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.

Katherine S. Thweatt

SUNY, Oswego

Katherine S. Thweatt earned her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, her M.A in Communication Studies and EdD in Instructional Communication from West Virginia University. In addition to her academic positions, she has more than a decade of professional experience helping companies utilize big data to achieve organizational goals. She worked as a Research Scientist at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, 2001-2007, implementing projects ($1.75 million in funding) at 14 sites enrolling over 1000 veterans between two projects. She also on-boarded cardiology clinical trials while writing grants to seek additional funding. She was Senior Manager of Clinical Quality at MemberHealth from 2007-2009, a Medicare Part D sponsor. Her work led to two national awards for programs that increased the use of ace inhibitors in diabetic beneficiaries and medication adherence in HIV positive beneficiaries. In 2009, she returned to the VA to assess the VA National Quality Improvement Initiative. In 2016, she was elected to plan the 2019 Eastern Communication Association (ECA) Conference. Since serving as ECA President, she returned to ECA as Director of Sponsorships in 2023 and will serve in this role again in 2025. In 2016, she was hired as the Graduate Director of Strategic Communication at SUNY Oswego where she successfully oversaw the development and implementation of this newly approved program. She added an online-only program that is now the cornerstone of the program. Dr. Thweatt is a proven leader who identifies and grows strengths in those she manages and those around her. Dr. Thweatt’s has expertise in program development, psychometrics/survey development, organizational assessment, and big data.

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.

Jimmie Manning

Kenneth Lachlan

University of Connecticut

Kenneth A. Lachlan is Professor and Department Head in the Department of Communication at the

University of Connecticut. Prior to joining UConn in 2015, Ken was the Founding Chair of the

Communication Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He earned his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest, his M.A. from Bowling Green State University, and his Ph.D. from Michigan State.  He holds research affiliations with UConn’s Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention and Policy, and the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative. He served as the Editor in Chief of Communication Studies from 2016 to 2018, and serves on the editorial board of seven other journals. His research interests include the functions and effects of social media during crises and disasters, community-level risk mitigation interventions, and the role of cognitive processing styles in responding to emergency messages. Two recent citation analyses ranked his publication count in the top 1% of the field from 2007 to 2011, and again from 2012 to 2016 (Bolkan, Griffin, Holmgren, & Hickson, 2012; Griffin, Bolkan, & Dahlbach, 2017). 

Justin Danowski

National Communication Association

Justin has been at NCA since 2012 where he provides strategic leadership to staff, elected officers, councils, committees, interest groups, and award selection committees to ensure overall accountability and that strategic planning goals are established and met.

Justin started as the Academic and Professional Affairs Associate overseeing NCA’s student organizations. He transitioned to the membership department from 2013-2017 where he oversaw the membership database and responded to member questions and concerns.

He moved to the Governance Department in 2017 as the Governance Manager. He was promoted to Director in 2021 where he was the National Office staff representative for the Legislative Assembly, Executive Committee of the Legislative Assembly, Interest Groups, the Nominating Committee, the Resolutions Committee, the Leadership Development Committee, and all National Award selection committees.

Justin accepted the position of Interim Executive Director in January 2024.

Justin holds an M. A. in Communication Studies with a focus on Media Theory from Eastern Illinois University where he also taught Introduction to Speech Communication for three semesters. He also earned a B. A. from the University of Illinois in Communication.

✉ Email: jdanowski@natcom.org


NCA Reimbursement Form

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)
  • Elizabeth F. Desnoyers-Colas, Georgia Southern University (Women's Caucus)
  • Aya Diab, University of South Florida (SWANA Caucus)
  • Leandra H. Hernández, University of Utah (La Raza Caucus)
  • Deryl Johnson, Kutztown University (Caucus on LGBTQ Concerns)
  • Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock, University of North Carolina, Wilmington (Disability Issues Caucus)
  • Lionnell "Badu" Smith, San Francisco State University (Black Caucus)
  • Liahnna Stanley, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (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: Jimmie Manning, University of Nevada, Reno
Committee Directors:
  • Ken Lachlan, University of Connecticut
  • 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: John M. Sloop, Vanderbilt University
Council Members:
  • Godfried Asante, San Diego State University
  • Elizabeth Hintz, University of Connecticut
  • David Oh, Syracuse University
  • Todd L. Sandel, University of Macau
  • Angharad Valdivia, University of Illinois
Council Chair: Laurie Lewis, University of Texas, San Antonio
Council Members:  
  • Yea-Wen Chen, San Diego State University
  • Lisa K. Hanasono, Bowling Green State University
  • Raquel Moreira, Southwestern University
  • Eddah M. Mutua, St. Cloud State University
  • Rico Self, North Carolina State University 
  • Ashli Stokes, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
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:  
  • Wendy Atkins-Sayre, University of Memphis
  • Jason Edward, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • 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: Katherine S. Thweatt, SUNY, Oswego
Council Members:
  • Qingwen Dong, University of the Pacific
  • Jon A. Hess, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • Sandy Pensoneau-Conway, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • Lionnell "Badu" Smith, San Francisco State University 
  • Shauntae White, North Carolina Central University 
  • David A. Yastremski, Ridge High School

Governance Committees

The Convention Committee is responsible for providing recommendations on issues related to convention locations.
Committee Members
  • John R. Heineman, Lincoln Public Schools
  • Katherine Howell, Oral Roberts University 
  • Christina M. Knopf, State University of New York, Cortland
  • Shana Kopaczewski, Indiana State University
  • Katherine La Pierre, Indiana University East
  • David Rhea, Governors State University 
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: Kent A. Ono, University of Utah
The Leadership Development Committee makes recommendations to fill member vacancies on councils, award committees, and standing committees.
Committee Chair: Walid Afifi, University of California, Santa Barbara
Committee Members
  • Tina Harris, Louisiana State University 
  • Kimberly Johnson, Tennessee State University 
  • Trudy Milburn, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Creshema R. Murray, University of Houston, Downtown 
  • Marnel Niles Goins, Marymount University 
  • Adam Rainear, West Chester University
  • Natasha Rascon, Indiana State University 
  • Ariel Seay-Howard, North Carolina 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.