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.

Stephen J. Hartnett

Stephen J. Hartnett

University of Colorado Denver


Stephen John Hartnett is a Professor in the Department of Communication at The University of Colorado Denver, where he is the editor of Captured Words/Free Thoughts, an annual magazine of poems and stories crafted by imprisoned writers. For the past 27 years, he has been teaching in, writing about, and working for change at America's prisons. He has taught college classes and poetry workshops in prisons and jails in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, California and Colorado, and has facilitated workshops, participated on panels, and given lectures against the death penalty in 28 states. His commentary on these subjects has appeared in Salon, AlterNet, In These Times, and others, and on MSNBC and over 100 radio stations. 

He is one of the co-founders of PCARE, a national group of scholars who work on Prison Communication Activism Research and Education. In recognition of this work, he has received numerous awards, including the Northwest Communication Association's 2008 Human Rights Award, the University of Colorado's 2010 Thomas Jefferson Award, and the University of Colorado Denver’s 2014 Service Excellence Award. 

Hartnett is the author or editor of 9 books and dozens of publications related to democracy, social justice, prisons, globalization and empire, and the death penalty, including his latest work, the co-edited Imagining China: Rhetorics of Nationalism in the Age of Globalization, forthcoming from the Michigan State University Press in 2017. His publications appear in venues such as the Quarterly Journal of SpeechRhetoric & Public Affairs, the Journal of Applied Communication Research, and Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies. He is the recipient of numerous research awards, including the Winans and Wichelns Award for Distinguished Research in Public Address, the National Communication Association’s Golden Monograph Award, the Karlyn Kohrs Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism, and a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Ronald Jackson II

Ronald Jackson II

University of Cincinnati


Ron Jackson is Professor in the Department of Communication at University of Cincinnati. Founder of AcademicCareerCoach.com, he is also 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.

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. 

Christina S. Beck

Christina S. Beck

Ohio University


Professor in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University, Dr. Beck is honored to serve as the 102nd President of the National Communication Association. She has also served as President of the Central States Communication Association, Editor of Communication Yearbook (volumes 30-33), and Book Review Editor for Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives. In addition to numerous book chapters, journal articles, and conference presentations, Beck has published four award-winning books in the areas of health communication and gender: The lynching of language: Gender, politics, and power in the Hill-Thomas hearings (co-edited with Sandra Ragan, Lynda Kaid, and Dianne Bystromm, University of Illinois Press), Partnership for health: Building relationships between women and health caregivers (co-authored with Sandra Ragan and Athena DuPre, Erlbaum), Communicating for better health: A guide through the medical mazes (Allyn & Bacon), and Narrative, health, and healing: Communication theory, research, and practice (co-edited with Lynn Harter and Phyllis Japp, Erlbaum).

In addition to considerable service as a reviewer, unit officer, and association committee member, Beck has worked on a number of editorial boards, including Health Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Research on Language and Social Interaction, Journal of Health Communication, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Communication Studies. Beck founded chapters of Lambda Pi Eta at Wilkes University and Ohio University and, combined, served as Chapter Advisor for 18 years.

Released in 2015, Beck’s most recent book, Celebrity Health Narratives and the Public Health (with co-authors Nate Simmons, Stellina Chapman, Kelly Tenzek, and Stephanie Ruhl, McFarland), bridges her work in health communication, popular culture, fandom, and media audiences. She is currently working on a book project on soap opera fan narratives with the working title, My World Just Stopped Turning: Intersections between Soap Opera Fandom and Concurrent Life Narratives.

Scott A. Myers

Scott A. Myers

West Virginia University


Scott A. Myers is a Professor and Peggy Rardin McConnell Chair of Communication Studies in the Department of Communication Studies and a Faculty Associate in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at West Virginia University. Previously, Myers has taught at Creighton University, McNeese State University, Kent State University, Buena Vista University, and Illinois State University.

Myers received his Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Kent State University in 1995. He holds a M.A. degree in Educational Leadership Studies from West Virginia University, a M. A. degree in Communication from Illinois State University, and B.A. degrees in both English and Public Relations from Illinois State University.

His research interests center on instructional communication and pedagogy, family communication, and organizational communication. He has published over 150 articles and book chapters in addition to coauthoring two textbooks and serving as a past editor of Communication Teacher. He also is a former Executive Director and a Past President of the Central States Communication 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.


Educational Policies Board
The Educational Policies Board 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.
Board Director: Scott A. Myers, West Virginia University
Board Members:
  • Thomas Bovino, Suffolk County Community College
  • Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Kyle Rudick, University of Northern Iowa
  • Cheri Simonds, Illinois State University
  • Vinita Agarwal, Salisbury University
  • Nelle Bedner, University of Central Arkansas
  • Shannon VanHorn, Valley City State University (Director-Elect)

Finance Board

The Finance Board 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.
Board Director: Orlando Taylor, Fielding Graduate University
Board Members:
  • Ronald Shields, Sam Houston State University
  • Marnel Niles Goins, California State University, Fresno

Publications Board

The Publications Board 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.
Board Director: Bonnie Dow, Vanderbilt University
Board Members:
  • Rachel Griffin, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • Charles E. Morris III, Syracuse University
  • Graham Bodie, Louisiana State University
  • Patrice M. Buzzanell, Purdue University
  • Bryant Keith Alexander, Loyola Marymount University
  • Erina L. MacGeorge, Penn State

Research Board

The Research Board 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.
Board Director: Mindy Fenske, University of South Carolina
Board Members:
  • Michelle Miller-Day, Chapman University
  • Jennifer Samp, University of Georgia
  • Dustin Goltz, DePaul University
  • Eric King Watts, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Robin M. Boylorn, The University of Alabama
  • John P. Caughlin, University of Illinois

Governance Committees

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 Committee on Committees.
Committee on Committees
The Committee on Committees makes recommendations to fill member vacancies on boards, 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.