Fall 2020 Public Program Special Series

September 28 - October 20, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this fall’s public programs will be reimagined as a special series of the Communication Matters podcast and well as a series of videos. The pubilc program series, entitled “Communicating During a Presidential Election Year" will include three public programs: “The Politics of Health and Healthcare: Communicating about Health in Presidential Election Year,” “Communicating about the Role of Race and Social Change in Politics,” and “VEEPS 2020: Kamala Harris vs. Mike Pence.” Please visit the NCA Podcast page and NCA's YouTube channel for these programs that will be recorded and published in podcast and video format.


Trevor Parry-Giles

Trevor Parry-Giles, Executive Director, National Communication Association

Trevor Parry-Giles graduated from Ripon College and holds an M.A. from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. In addition to his NCA position, he is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland where he is also an affiliate faculty member with the Department of African American Studies and the Graduate School Field Committee in Film Studies. Dr. Parry-Giles's research and teaching focus on the historical and contemporary relationships between rhetoric, politics, law, and popular culture. He is the award-winning author or editor of four books and his research has appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, the Journal of Communication, and elsewhere. Dr. Parry-Giles is a Distinguished Research Fellow and a Distinguished Teaching Fellow of the Eastern Communication Association. In 2019, Parry-Giles received the University of Maryland's Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.



Panelists for The Politics of Health and Healthcare: Communicating about Health in a Presidential Election Year

Ambar Basu

Ambar Basu, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication, University of South Florida

Dr. Basu's is a Professor in the Department of Communication and the University of South Florida. His research explores how individuals and communities living at the margins of society communicate about health, illness, and wellbeing. Dr. Basu’s interest is to locate health inequities in the context of cultural, political, economic, geopolitical, and development agendas in marginalized spaces. Dr. Basu has served as Senior Editor for Health Communication, and co-edits a Routledge book series titled Critical Cultural Studies in Global Health Communication. His recent scholarship has been published in Sage Research Methods Cases: Medicine and Health, Health Communication, and Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies. 

Eduardo J. Gómez

Eduardo J. Gómez, Ph.D., Associate Professor, College of Health, Lehigh University

Eduardo J. Gómez is an Associate Professor in the College of Health at Lehigh University. A political scientist by training, his research focuses on the politics of healthcare policy reform. His current research explores the politics of the United States and Brazil’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also working on a new book project titled Junk Food Politics, which examines the role and political influence of junk food industries in emerging markets. Dr. Gómez’s research has appeared in myriad scholarly journals and magazines. He is also a frequent contributor to major media outlets, such as the BBC, on topics ranging from global health to US-Latin American relations.

Susan Mello

Susan Mello, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, Northeastern University

Susan Mello is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University. Broadly, her research interests lie at the intersection of risk perception, health communication, and the environment. Her recent work explores how exposure to risk information in the media, specifically about COVID-19, environmental toxins, and cancer, impacts individual perceptions and protective health behaviors. Her research has been published in Journal of Health Communication, Risk Analysis, and Nicotine & Tobacco Research, among others. At Northeastern, she currently teaches courses in communication theory, health campaigns, and risk communication.

Heather Zoller

Heather Zoller, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication, University of Cincinnati 

Heather M. Zoller is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati. Her research addresses communication and the politics of public health. She is a former Associate Editor of Health Communication. She has published in journals such as Communication Monographs and Journal of Applied Communication Research. She co-edited with Mohan Dutta the volume Emerging Perspectives in Health Communication: Meaning, Culture, and Power.


Panelists for Communicating about the Role of Race and Social Change in Politics


Glenn Bracey, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Villanova University

Glenn Bracey is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Villanova University, where his scholarship focuses on race, social movements and religion. He has published in several leading academic journals and is a frequent commentator on social movements, politics, and religion. Bracey currently is the co-principal investigator with Michael Emerson on the Race, Religion and Justice Project, which is the largest, most comprehensive sociological study of race and religion in the history of the US.


Josue David Cisneros, Associate Professor and Conrad Humanities Scholar, Department of Communication, University of Illinois

Dr. Josue David Cisneros is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and affiliate faculty in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies, the Center for Writing Studies, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. His research focuses on public rhetoric about race/ethnicity, citizenship, and national identity as well as rhetorics of resistance and social movement, especially as they concern issues of race and immigration. His book titled "The Border Crossed Us": Rhetorics of Borders, Citizenship, and Latina/o Identity was published in 2014, and he received an Early Career Award from the National Communication Association in 2016.


Lisa A. Flores, Associate Professor of Communication & Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Media, Communication, & Information, University of Colorado, Boulder

Lisa A. Flores is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Media, Communication, and Information at the University of Colorado.  Her research and teaching interests lie in rhetoric, critical race studies, and gender/queer studies. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award from the National Communication Association (NCA), as well as the Distinguished Scholar Award from both the Rhetorical & Communication Theory Division of NCA and the Critical & Cultural Studies Division of NCA. 


Isaac Hale, Lecturer of Political Science, University of California, Davis 

Dr. Hale has published research on electoral systems, legislative representation, and the intersections of race & American politics. His graduate work, advised by Professors Matthew S. Shugart and James F. Adams, focused on how electoral systems shape electoral outcomes and candidate behavior in the US, the UK, and Chile. In addition, he is also involved in projects analyzing how racial attitudes affect voter behavior and legislative representation, particularly in recent U.S. elections.





A Public Program of the National Communication Association.