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.


  • Improving Access and Support for Underrepresented Students: A Pipeline Strategy for Increasing Diversity in Communication Graduate Programs
    • Kami Silk, Emily Pfender, and Ashley Paintsil (University of Delaware)
    • This grant supports a project which aims to connect underrepresented undergraduate students to resources and information about graduate education in Communication.
  • Virtual Panel Discussions
    • Marquese McFerguson (Florida Atlantic University)
    • This grant supports two virtual panel discussions designed to help graduate students and early career faculty members who identify as people of color develop strategies and best practices to increase success in their scholarship. 
  • The Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania Digital Project
    • Melissa Meade (Villanova University)
    • This grant supports the development of a user-friendly, reliable platform that serves as a space for those dialoguing about the memory, cultural, and media representations of the Greater Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
  • Supporting Communication Teaching and Learning in K-12 Contexts
    • Michael G. Strawser (University of Central Florida)
    • This grant will support the furtherance of a relationship between NCA and K-12 education stakeholders, including instructors, and will specifically be used to spearhead resource development, relationship building, as well as strategies and tips for funding. 
  • HBCU Communication Fellows Pipeline Program
    • Ronald L. Jackson II (University of Cincinnati) 
    • This grant supports a two-year pilot of a national pipeline program that aims to prepare Black students for graduate school and subsequent careers in the academe as professors of Communication. 
  • The Story Project: Sharing Diverse Voices
    • Trevor Setvin, Steven Zwier, Robin Zwier, Kim Hannah-Prater, Sheri Trivane, Brooke Bognanni and Evan Balkan (Community College of Baltimore County)
    • This grant supports a project that includes a student-faculty mentoring program and a podcast production in which students develop and present their stories of diversity.

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  • Co-creating Space with Immigrant Women Faculty in Communication: A Coauthored White Paper to Reimagine U.S. Academia
    • Yea-Wen Chen (San Diego State University), Brandi Lawless (University of San Francisco), and Marwa Abdalla (University of California, San Diego)
    • This grant supports a retreat that creates a space for immigrant women faculty in communication and a white paper produced by retreat participants that contributes to NCA’s understanding of immigrant/international/transnational women scholars’ experiences.
  • Richard Huskey and Laramie Taylor, University of California, Davis
    Project Title: Do GRE Scores Predict Graduate Student Success in Communication?
  • Lore/tta LeMaster, Arizona State University and Meggie Mapes, University of Kansas
    Project Title: Critical Performative Pedagogical Encounters
  • Kristopher Paal, Jill Mitten, and Erin Waggoner, Longwood University
    Project Title: Teaching Speaking for Citizen Leadership
  • Davi Thornton and Deanna McQuitty, North Carolina A&T State University
    Project Title: Advancing Health Communication Programs at HBCUs: Engaging Stakeholders in Developing an Innovative Health Communication Basic Course
  • Sarah J. Tracy and Marco Dehnert, Arizona State University
    Project Title: Advancing Communication Expertise in #AltAC Careers: A Virtual Workshop Series
  • Joshua Westwick, South Dakota State University; Jillian Kauffman and Cheri Simonds, Illinois State University
    Project Title: Developing Best-Practices for Accommodations in the Introductory Course and Beyond
  • Jennifer J. Bute, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
    Project Title: Translating Communication Research into Practice: Providing Communication Skills Training for Parents of Food Allergic Children
  • Leslie Harris, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Alyssa Samek, California State University, Fullerton; Tiffany Lewis, Baruch College, CUNY
    Project Title: Citizenship at the Intersection: 100 Years Since the 19th Amendment
  • Art Herbig, Purdue University Fort Wayne; Debra Ford, Creighton University; Sandra Pensoneau-Conway, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    Project Title: Inclusive Conference Spaces
  • Robert Mejia, North Dakota State University
    Project Title: Communication and Media Scholars for Change Conference
  • Scott Myers and Alan K. Goodboy, West Virginia University
    Project Title: Examining the Communication Curricula of NCA Department Members
  • Damion Waymer, University of Alabama
    Project Title: Advancing the Communication Discipline by Expanding Communication Graduate Degrees Interest Amongst African-Americans
  • Lamiyah Bahrainwala, Southwestern University
    Project Title: Muslims in Academia Symposium. This grant supports the Muslims in Academia symposium, designed to address social justice inequalities by focusing on issues related to the underrepresentation of Muslim faculty and students in academia, while offering strategies for inclusion.
  • Michael Gold, Creating First Impressions
    Project Title: PROteam Paid Internships. This grant supports the PROteam project, which will provide at-risk youth with a continuum of communication skills programming through paid internships meant to engage students in school, extra-curricular activities, and communication-based professions.
  • Spoma Jovanovic, University of North Carolina - Greensboro
    Project Title: Voice, Activism, and Democracy: Free Speech Conference. This grant supports the Free Speech conference, which will feature presentations on current day concerns about, debates on, and promises for free expression. The conference will feature both traditional scholarship as well as informal events designed to bring together students, faculty, and community members.
  • David Lee, Denise Scannell, & Zheng Zhu, New York City College of Technology (City Tech)
    Project Title: The City Tech Health Communication Symposium. This grant supports the City Tech Health Communication Symposium, an event designed to bring together health care experts and NCA members interested in health communication. The symposium will showcase Communication research and allow Communication scholars to learn from, and alongside, allied health professionals.
  • Leslie Harris & Erin Sahlstein Parcell, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Project Title: The Gun Violence Project: Narratives of Violence in Milwaukee. This grant supports the Gun Violence Project: Narratives of Violence in Milwaukee, an interdisciplinary, university-community collaboration that seeks to make sense of social space through the lens of gun violence.
  • Michelle Violanti, University of Tennessee
    Project Title: OPS: Online Presentation Skills. This grant supports the development of online modules for students, faculty, and the public who are interested in improving their presentation skills. OPS will provide web-based resources to help meet the co-cultural and diverse needs of the many rhetorical situations in which people find themselves.
  • Marissa Doshi, Hope College; and Ariadne A. Gonzalez Texas A&M International University
    Project Title: Decolonizing Our Core Communication Curriculum. This grant supports a preconference aimed at providing attendees with the skills necessary to apply decolonial frameworks to syllabi and lessons plans in the core communication courses.
  • Elizabeth Gilmore, Indiana University
    Project Title: 2018 Midwestern Winter Workshop. This grant supports the 2018 Midwestern Winter Workshop at Indiana University, which provides an opportunity for NCA members to gather and collaborate on scholarship and build academic connections that further the fields of rhetoric and communication.
  • Phaedra Pezzullo & Peter Simonson, University of Colorado Boulder
    Project Title: 30th Anniversary of the Public Address Conference (PAC): Embodying Justice. This grant supports the 2018 Public Address Conference and specifically assists in helping both the public and non-attending students gain access to a preconference and the keynote speaker address and response which will tackle issues of race and public address.
  • Denise Solomon & Kirt Wilson The Pennsylvania State University
    Project Title: Undergraduate Symposium on Graduate Education in Communication Studies. This grant supports the Undergraduate Symposium on Graduate Education in Communication Studies, a four-day event designed to educate rising juniors and seniors about research and teaching opportunities in the discipline of Communication.
  • Qingwen Dong, University of the Pacific
    Project Title: The 2018 Conference on Communication, Media, and Governance in the Age of Globalization. This grant supports the 2018 Beijing Conference on Communication, Media, and Governance in the Age of Globalization which will focus on three tracks: Environmental Communication, New Media and Communication, and Health Communication.
  • Melissa Broeckelman-Post, George Mason University; Lindsey Anderson and Andrew Wolvin, University of Maryland; Angela Hosek, Ohio University; Cheri Simonds, Illinois State University; Karla Hunter, South Dakota State University; Kristina Ruiz-Mesa, California State University – Los Angeles; and, LeeAnn Brazeal, Missouri State University
    Project Title: A National-Level Assessment of Core Competencies in the Basic Communication Course. Funding for a project aimed at assessing basic course outcomes across a range of institutions and course types, working to building stronger assessment tools for measuring core basic course outcomes, and examining the ways that geographic regional cultures and histories might influence courses.
  • Keith Berry, University of South Florida & Renee Cowan, Queens University of Charlotte
    Project Title: 2017 National Communication Association Anti-Bullying Summit. Support for a day-long event aimed at better understanding the problem of school bullying. Held prior to the 2017 NCA Convention, the summit will offer educational professionals in the Dallas area communication based resources to assist in the task of effectively intervening in bullying.
  • Jae Eun Chung, Howard University
    Project Title: Social Media Technology Conference & Workshop. Funding for a two-day social media technology conference and workshop designed to educate attendees about the implications of social media on society. The conference will cover a wide range of issues that are related to social media, such as new scholarship, professional practice, and pedagogical approaches to teaching.
  • Matthew Houdek & Darrel Wanzer-Serrano, University of Iowa
    Project Title: The Midwest Winter Workshop 2017. Support for the 11th Midwest Winter Workshop, which focuses on topics related to rhetorical criticism and theory, professional development, and civic life. The Bruce Gronbeck Rhetoric Society, a graduate-student society at Iowa State University, will organize this intradisciplinary workshop that features breakaway panels, sessions, and workshops. 
  • Michelle Scollo, College of Mount Saint Vincent & Trudy Milburn, Purchase College
    Project Title: New Horizons in the Ethnography of Communication Conference. Funding for a three-day conference that brings together ethnography of Communication scholars, practitioners and students to discuss ethnography, cultural discourse analysis, and speech codes research, teaching, and practice. 
  • Leah Sprain, University of Colorado Boulder; Tarla Peterson, University of Texas at El Paso; Andrea Feldpausch-Parker, State University of New York
    Project Title: Energy Democracy: Creating a Research Agenda. Supports the expansion of a symposium to allow for broader participation, specifically by communication graduate students and early career academics. Also supports the development of a website that expands the reach of the symposium beyond direct participants. 
  • Cindy Vincent, Salem State University
    Project Title: Salem DiscoTech. Funding for the Discovering Technology multimedia workshop and fair. This event connects Communication scholarship, practice and service and enables participants to learn and share information about communication technology through interactive media-based workshops.
  • 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.  
  • 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. Visit
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 the job title/rank of these positions is, and what resources they need to perform better. 


  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • (Event) Accessing Civility: Arizona Forum on Civil Communication - Sponsored by Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
  • (Event) Ethnography of Communication:  Ways Forward - Sponsored by Creighton University, Omaha, NE.


  • Grant/Fellowship Registry – This research project involved developing a database of grants received by Communication faculty. Principal Investigator: Marshall Scott Poole.
  • (Event) Developing Successful Grant Proposals in the Social Sciences Seminar – Sponsored by NCA’s Research Board and held in Chicago, IL.
  • (Event) Teaching Rhetorical Criticism/Critical Inquiry Conference – Hosted by the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA.


  • 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.
  • (Event) International Conference on Intercultural Dialogue – Sponsored by the International and Intercultural Communication Division & Maltepe University, Istanbul, Turkey.


  • (Event) Methods and Measures for Communication and Cognition Research –Sponsored by the University of Maryland, College Park, MD.