NCA Inside & Out

Out and About

NCA Out & About

May 25, 2016

NCA members and staff have been on the road recently, representing NCA at an array of events and meetings.

National Humanities Alliance Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day: NCA members and National Office staff heard about ways to become year-round advocates for the humanities at the National Humanities Alliance’s (NHA) annual meeting in March. Max Kenner, Founder and Executive Director of the Bard Prison Initiative, which enrolls incarcerated women and men in academic programs, served as this year’s Luncheon Address speaker. Dr. Bro Adams, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), served as the keynote speaker at the meeting. During NHA’s Advocacy Day, we advocated for humanities funding at several congressional offices.

Consortium of Social Sciences Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day: NCA members and National Office staff attended the Consortium of Social Sciences Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day (COSSA) Annual Meeting, and advocated for sustained federal funding for social science research at an array of congressional offices. This year’s meeting focused on such topics as congressional attacks on federally-funded research, social science and the media, use of social and behavioral science in industry, and how to communicate the value of social and behavioral science research.

American Academy of Arts and Science’s Lincoln Project: In early April, National Office staff attended the American Academy of Arts and Science’s Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education meeting. The Lincoln Project examines the causes and results of reduced state investment in public research universities. The discussion featured recommendations for how to sustain and strengthen public research universities for future generations. Read the full report here.

Henry and Bryna David Lecture:  On May 3, Executive Director Nancy Kidd attended the National Academies of Science’s Division of Behavioral and Social Science and Education (DBASSE) annual David Lecture, which featured Mary Waters from Harvard University talking about “The War on Crime and the War on Immigrants: New Forms of Legal Exclusion and Discrimination in the U.S.”  Kidd also attended a dinner with the DBASSE Advisory Committee and other key stakeholders in the social sciences.

ACLS: On May 5-6 NCA Executive Director Kidd and Immediate Past President Carole Blair attended the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Annual Meeting as NCA’s representatives. There, Kidd presented a report as the head of the Conference of Executive Officers. Held in Arlington, Virginia, the meeting featured professor, feminist, and author Cynthia Enloe as the Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecturer. She reflected on her lifetime of work in the interplay of gendered politics in the national and international arenas. Ford Foundation President Darren Walker spoke at the meeting and Bro Adams, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities served as the Luncheon speaker. Various breakout sessions included a conversation on preparing Ph.D. students for jobs beyond the academy. 

Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities: On May 9, Kidd attended the National Endowment for the Humanities’ 2016 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, which featured Ken Burns, the award-winning documentarian who pioneered a new genre of historical filmmaking. Kidd also attended a special private pre-lecture reception with key stakeholders in the humanities.

Regional Conferences:

ECA Convention

The Eastern Communication Association’s Annual Convention was held March 31-April 3 in Baltimore, Maryland.  NCA staff joined  Laura Davis of Harrisburg Area Community College, Susan Ward of Delaware County Community College, and Kerry Byrnes-Loinette and Jenny Warren of Colin College on a panel that was part of NCA’s Learning Outcomes in Communication (LOC) project.  Panelists highlighted best practices in the assessment process, discussing how to align curriculum outcomes, map outcomes to courses and assignments, and then assess those learning outcomes. NCA staff also spent time interacting with the NCA student organization members who presented original research at this year’s convention.   

NCA staff and Byrnes-Loinette also participated in an LOC panel at the Southern States Communication Association’s Annual Convention which took place April 5-9 in Austin, Texas.  The panel, “Incorporating and Assessing Communication: Learning Outcomes for Community Colleges,” addressed ways in which community college faculty can incorporate NCA’s LOCs into the community college classroom. The panel also explored ways to use the LOCs in assessment programs and in curriculum and professional development programs.

NCA staff and LOC team members David Bodary of Sinclair Community College, Chad McBride of Creighton University, and Theresa Castor of the University of Wisconsin, Parkside also presented on two LOC panels at the Central States Communication Association’s late April Annual Convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The first panel, “Curriculum Mapping Workshop for Learning Outcomes in Communication,” provided a specific exercise that aligns a determined, established set of learning outcomes with an individual department’s or program’s curriculum and pedagogical practices. Panelists discussed NCA’s LOCs and explored how the outcomes may be aligned with specific curricula in the Communication discipline. Panelists also explored how curriculum mapping can be helpful to faculty members and departments as they develop a shared understanding of how a program’s curriculum may or may not be helping students attain learning outcomes in the discipline. The second session, “Learning Outcomes in Communication: Curricular Alignment,” provided an overview of NCA’s LOC project and described the use of assignment workshops, curriculum mapping, and outcome alignment for the improvement of teaching and learning.

NCA officers and staff also participated in NCA’s informational panel at each regional convention, in which panelists discussed resources available to members through NCA. These panels are available each year at every regional convention and are open to all attendees.