Presidential Address & Awards

The Tipping Point: The Higher Education Establishment as a Public Good

Christina S. Beck, Ph.D.
Ohio University
Saturday, November 11, 2016

Over the past few years, we have remembered and celebrated important moments in NCA's journey as an association. During our Centennial Celebration, we reflected on scholarship that has shaped how and what we have learned thus far and legacies of service that have touched lives across the discipline. During last year's convention, the first of our second century, we embraced opportunities to consider what awaits for NCA and the Communication discipline.

Moving forward, we will co-author our discipline's emergent narrative(s) within the context of tough economic constraints, difficult societal problems, and the fragmented, hyper-mediated nature of contemporary life. We live in a world with fractured and divisive relationships on a host of levels, complicated by the ease of interacting with millions by merely clicking a key. As we look to the future, how can we share what we know about communication to foster civility, respect, and understanding within and beyond the academy? How can we equip our students and others in our communities to participate productively in interactions about complicated, multi-faceted, and sensitive issues? How can members of the Communication discipline more effectively help the teen-ager who suffers from brutal taunts from bullies… the twenty-something who feels lonely in spite of hundreds of Facebook "friends"… the person recently diagnosed with cancer and now juggling interactions with her health care providers, insurance company, employer, and well-meaning friends and co-workers who don't quite know what to say… the mayor who must somehow try to unify a shattered community amid yet another tragedy? How can we do even more to make our scholarship accessible and available to those who need it the most?

Together, as a discipline and as an association, we hold so much great potential for making even more of a difference in our second century. With optimism, determination, and creativity, we should pursue possibilities for positively, purposefully, and proactively impacting our students, communities, and world.

Presidential Address

Awards

The Tipping Point: The Higher Education Establishment as a Public Good

Carole Blair, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Saturday, November 21, 2015

It hardly needs to be said, right? Everyone knows, don't they, that the research, teaching, and service missions of our colleges and universities contribute immeasurably to the well-being of the society, the economy, the culture, and the polity? Apparently everyone does not seem to know it. And it does need to be said and explained-repeatedly and persuasively-in the present moment. This will not be an address that preaches to "the choir." Instead, it will be about how we can possibly contribute to the effort-already declared by some to be lost-to save higher education and its missions.

Presidential Address and Awards

Back to Our Future: The Presence of Our Past(s), the Echoes of Our Future

Kathleen J. Turner, Ph.D.
Davidson College
Saturday, November 22, 2014

One hundred years ago, in Chicago, Illinois, the first incarnation of what would become the National Communication Association appeared/organized. As we continue our celebration of NCA's centennial, what can we in 2014 learn from looking back at 1914 and ahead to 2114? How can a sense of where we've been help us understand where we are and where we could be? We have an opportunity for commemoration and reflections as we make connections among our past, present, and future.

Presidential Address

Awards

It's a Wonderful Discipline

Steven A. Beebe, Ph.D.
Texas State University
Saturday, November 23, 2013

In his popular parody of survivalist culture, The Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks indexed a persistent challenge to communication studies. Brooks warned that while hunkered down in one’s fortress during a zombie apocalypse, one should use earplugs to muffle the zombie wail penetrating the walls because the zombie sound is “deadly.” Eric King Watts, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill argued the ideals of communication studies compel us to instead amplify the “incessant moan” and endow “zombie voice.”

Presidential Address

Awards

“Difficult Dialogues, Difficult Choices": Re-envisioning NCA in an Era of Academic Backlash, Dwindling Financial Support, and a Whole Lot of Frustration

Rich West, Ph.D.
Emerson College
Saturday, November 17, 2012

NCA is at a crossroads. This challenging intersection requires us to reframe and retool many of our past practices and recast our association in a different light. The Presidential Address, ““'Difficult Dialogues, Difficult Choices': Re-envisioning NCA in an Era of Academic Backlash, Dwindling Financial Support, and a Whole Lot of Frustration,” delivered by NCA President Rich West, identifies several of the difficult conversations that lie ahead for both NCA, in particular and the communication field, in general, as our membership and academic institutions evolve. Always candid, usually humorous, and sometimes an agitator, Rich West shares his perspectives and positions on how NCA must "adapt to become adept" during these changing times.

Presidential Address and Awards

Finding Our Way and Finding Our Voice

Lynn H. Turner, Ph.D.
Marquette University
Saturday, November 19, 2011

In the NCA Presidential Address, “Finding Our Way and Finding Our Voice,” Lynn H. Turner, Marquette University, explores the challenges and limits of voice and how voice is dependent upon many things, including authority to speak, willing listeners, and civil intent. She applies these ideas to our association and raises several questions including: 1) can an association of 8000+ members have a "voice"? 2) how can voice be exercised on an association level? 3) what do we have to do in order to have our voice be heard?

Presidential Address and Awards

The 2011 Presidential Address and Award were sponsored by SAGE Publications.

Moving Toward NCA’s 100th: What Ties Carry and Keep Us Together?

Dawn O. Braithwaite, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

As we reflect on the history of NCA and plan to celebrate our upcoming centennial in 2014, we find ourselves part of a discipline of vitality and breadth. A study of our association’s history helps us understand our diversity as scholars and teachers. At the same time we must also ask, what are the ties that carry and keep us together? Around what do we cohere as an association, discipline, programs, and as individual members of NCA? Dawn O. Braithwaite will reflect on these questions in her Presidential Address.

Presidential Address and Awards