NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar

NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar

The NCA Doctoral Honors Seminars (DHS) bring together promising doctoral students and distinguished faculty members from across the discipline and around the nation to discuss current topics in Communication. The seminars are held annually at a selected host institution. Approximately 30 doctoral students are chosen to participate based on submitted papers and recommendations from their advisors. Selected students will receive a travel voucher to put toward their travel to the DHS; all accommodations and other expenses are also provided.

The NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar (DHS) brings together promising doctoral students and distinguished faculty members from across the discipline and around the nation to discuss current topics in Communication. The 2021 seminar will take place virtually Wednesday July 14 – Friday, July 16. Approximately 30 doctoral students will be chosen to participate based on submitted papers and recommendations from their advisors. 

There will be three tracts: Mass Communication/Media Studies, Social Science, and Rhetoric and Performance Studies. Faculty mentors for the 2021 DHS will include: Omotayo Banjo (University of Cincinnati), Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz (University of Missouri), Byran Denham (Clemson University), Victoria Gallagher (North Carolina State University), Jakob Jensen (University of Utah), Andre E. Johnson (University of Memphis), Yeonsoo Kim (James Madison University), Carol Mills (Florida Atlantic University), Ashley Muddiman (University of Kansas), Vincent Pham (Willamette University), Heidi Rose (Villanova University), and Xiaoquan Zhao (George Mason University).

Submit an Application

The application deadline is June 4, 2021.

Mass Media/Mass Communication 

Omotayo Banjo
Omotayo BanjoOmotayo Banjo is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Cincinnati. Her teaching centers on developing media literacy skills and awareness. Her research centers on ethnic and transnational creative content with a particular focus on its impact on audiences’ self-concept and value. Dr. Banjo’s work has been published in peer reviewed journals including Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Communication Theory, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Media and Religion, and Race and Social Problems. 

Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz
EElizabeth Behm-Morawitzlizabeth (Lissa) Behm-Morawitz is an Associate Professor of Communication and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Missouri. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Arizona. Her research investigates media effects and processes in relation to social identity, stereotyping, media literacy, and health. Dr. Behm-Morawitz explores these topics in several mediated contexts, including video games, virtual reality, television, and social media. She co-directs the Media & Diversity Center, which brings together scholars studying media and diversity issues to further social scientific inquiry into media representations and effects.

Bryan Denham
Bryan DenhamBryan Denham has held the Campbell Professorship in Sports Communication at Clemson University since 1999. He is author of the text Categorical Statistics for Communication Research as has published approximately 75 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Denham’s research has focused on the media, policy, and health aspects of substance use in sport and society, in addition to issues in social identity and research methods.

Ashley Muddiman
AAshley Muddimanshely Muddiman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, as well as a Faculty Research Associate with the Center for Media Engagement housed at UT-Austin. Her research explores political media effects, specifically those related to political incivility, digital journalism, and clickbait news. She has received research awards from divisions of NCA, APSA, and AEJMC. Currently, Dr. Muddiman is a fellow with the Social Science Research Council while she investigates incivility on women political candidates’ social media pages.

Social Science

Jakob D. Jensen
Jakob D. JensenJakob Jensen is the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Humanities and a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. He is an expert in health communication research with a focus on communication features, strategies, and technologies designed to improve cancer outcomes. Dr. Jensen’s work has been honored with several awards, including NIH New Innovator (2015 – 2020), AEJMC’s Krieghbaum Under-40 (2017), NCA’s Golden Anniversary Monograph (in both 2015 and 2016), and ICA’s Young Scholar (2013).

Xiaoquan Zhao
Xiaoquan ZhaoXiaoquan Zhao is a professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University. His research focuses on health message effects and the evaluation of public communication campaigns. The substantive topics of his work include tobacco control, drug use, cancer, medical adherence, and climate change. Since 2014, Dr. Zhao has served as a subject matter expert on campaign research at FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, providing wide-ranging support for FDA’s national tobacco education campaigns. He is currently a senior editor for Health Communication.

Carol Mills
Carol MillsCarol Bishop Mills is a Professor and the Director of the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University. She is an interpersonal communication and health communication scholar whose work focuses on contentious and negative relational behaviors, such as teasing, bullying, and sexual harassment. Dr. Mills served as co-chair of the National Communication Association’s Anti-Bullying Initiative, served on the editorial boards for the Southern Communication Journal and Qualitative Research Reports in Communication. Her most recent publications were in the International Journal of Business Communication and the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 

Yeonsoo Kim
Yeonsoo KimYeonsoo Kim is an associate professor at James Madison University’s School of Communication Studies, specializing in public relations and a faculty associate at the Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) in the scholarship area. Her primary research interest is corporate social responsibility (CSR) - specifically, the strategic management and communication of CSR, digital CSR communication strategies, diversity and inclusion CSR, and corporate advocacy. Dr. Kim’s published articles can be found in major public relations and business ethics journals, including the Journal of Public Relations, Public Relations Review and Journal of Business Ethics. She is a recipient of the 2017-2018 Lambda Pi Eta SCOM Professor of the Year award. She both founded and serves as a faculty director of Bluestone Communications, JMU’s new student-run public relations agency.

Rhetoric and Performance Studies

Victoria J. Gallagher
Victoria J. GallagherVictoria J. Gallagher is a professor of Communication at NC State University who specializes in visual and material rhetoric, rhetorical theory and criticism, communication ethics, and organizational communication. Her primary area of publication and scholarship is rhetorical analysis of civil rights-related discourse, commemorative sites (museums and memorials), visual and material culture, and public art. Dr. Gallagher is the principal investigator of the award-winning Virtual Martin Luther King project, a significant long term digital humanities project for the public. 

Andre E. Johnson
Andre E. JohnsonAndre E. Johnson is an Associate Professor of Communication and the Scholar in Residence at the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. He is the author of The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition (Lexington Books, 2012) the co-author (with Amanda Nell Edgar, Ph.D.) of The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter (Lexington Books, 2018), and the author of No Future in this Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (University Press of Mississippi, 2020). 

Heidi M. Rose 
Heidi M. RoseHeidi M. Rose is professor of performance studies and chair of the Department of Communication, Villanova University. Her teaching and research focus on performance, culture, and identity, in particular cultural performance that draws attention to power structures and breaks free of oppressive (colonizing) forces. Dr. Rose’s research on Deaf culture and the poetics of American Sign Language (ASL) has been published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Language in Society, and the Journal of Applied Communication Research. Her co-edited book, Signing the Body Poetic: Essays in American Sign Language Literature (University of California Press), is the first-ever bilingual and bicultural book/DVD devoted to ASL literary theory and criticism.  

Vincent N. Pham
Vincent N. PhamVincent N. Pham is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civic Communication and Media at Willamette University and affiliate faculty in the American Ethnic Studies program. He co-authored Asian Americans and the Media (Polity Press, 2009); co-edited the Routledge Companion to Asian American Media (2017); and has published in The Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Enculturation, Women's Studies in Communication, and Cinema Journal. Dr. Pham has been interviewed by NPR’s Code Switch and US News and served on the awards jury of the San Diego Asian Film Festival and the Seattle Asian American Film Festival. 

In light of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, NCA and our hosts at Colorado State University postponed the 2020 Doctoral Honors Seminar.  

2019 DHS Participants

The annual Doctoral Honors Seminar was held July 21–24, 2019 and hosted by the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida. Thirty doctoral students from more than 20 Communication doctoral programs attended the DHS, where they worked with distinguished researchers to discuss current topics and research within Communication Studies, Media and Society, and Rhetoric and/or Performance Studies.

This year’s DHS, themed “Communication, Engagement, and Social Justice” was led by faculty seminar leaders Erin Donovan (University of Texas), Rachel Griffin (University of Utah), Matt McAllister (The Pennsylvania State University), Mark McPhail (Indiana University), James Olufowote (University of Oklahoma), Belinda Stillion Southard (University of Georgia), Tracy Stephenson Shaffer (Louisiana State University), Jan Van den Bulck (University of Michigan), and Heather Zoller (University of Cincinnati).

The annual Doctoral Honors Seminar (DHS) was hosted by the Department of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University, July 23-26, 2018. The theme of the 2018 DHS is “Communicating Intersections” and faculty leaders included Carlos Alemán (James Madison University), Jiyeon Kang (University of Iowa), Claire Sisco King (Vanderbilt), Kate Magsamen-Conrad (University of Iowa), Roopali Mukherjee (Queens College), Cindy Koenig Richards (Willamette University), Paul Stob (Vanderbilt), Dave Tell (University of Kansas), and Steven Wilson (University of South Florida).

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

July 23-26, 2018