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A Message from the ECA Vice President about the 109th ECA Convention

September 1, 2017

I am excited to plan the 109th ECA convention in Pittsburgh, PA. I grew up about 45 minutes away from the city of Pittsburgh in a small town called Leechburg and did my graduate work at West Virginia University (close to Pittsburgh) and Duquesne University (in Pittsburgh).  All of my travels to and from the city took me across the many bridges that intersect with Pittsburgh; as a result, I thought Building Bridges would be the perfect theme for our convention. I am eager to come back to the city and cross the Fort Pitt Bridge to plan our convention at the historic Omni William Penn.

The 2018 theme, Building Bridges, invites the exploration of cross-disciplinary research and encourages finding possibilities for connecting our research to theory and practice, creating new approaches to teaching, and collaborating with communities for service and civic engagement opportunities. How can we build bridges within our discipline? How do we communicate and engage others when the bridges are broken? What are ways in which communication creates opportunities for new connections and for building new bridges? What can we gain by fostering communication among our many communities in order to promote further connection?

My goal for this convention is to harvest connections with the diverse communities that create the unique city of Pittsburgh. I hope to plan a convention that includes the wonderful traditions of the city, so please look out for our “Cookie Call” and many other distinctive Pittsburgh traditions (e.g. Pierogies, Primanti Bros, Prantl’s).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, seeing you present your research, and engaging with you in the city of Pittsburgh. Please consider reaching out to your friends and colleagues to invite them to submit their work to one of our many interest groups.

Together, we can build a wonderful bridge that connects us to our constituents and communities. I hope to see you in April!

Leeanne M. Bell McManus