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Regional News

Regional and Affiliate Association News

July 8, 2020


ECA Congratulates 2020 Award Winners

The Eastern Communication Association (ECA) is proud to present the following recipients of our 2020 awards. More information about these awards can be found on our website.

  • Everett Lee Hunt Award: Ozum Ucok-Sayrak (Duquesne University): Aesthetic Ecology of Communication: Existential Rootedness (Fairleigh Dickinson Press, 2019)
  • Distinguished Service Award: Trevor Parry-Giles (University of Maryland/National Communication Association)
  • Donald H. Ecroyd & Caroline Drummond Ecroyd Teaching Excellence Award: Mark Hickson (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
  • Past Officers’ Award: Christina Knopf (State University of New York, Cortland) and Susan Ward (Delaware County Community College)
  • Article of the Year Award: Sara LaBelle & Hannah Ball (Chapman University): “College Student Goals in the Context of Prescription Stimulant Misuse: An Application of Goals-Plans-Action Theory,” Communication Quarterly, 67(1)
  • Research Fellows: Timothy Barney (University of Richmond), Megan Dillow (West Virginia University), Christina Knopf (State University of New York, Cortland), and Thomas Nakayama (Northeastern University)
  • Teaching Fellows: Kerry Byrnes-Loinette (Collin College), Sean Horan (Fairfield University), Steve Granelli (Northeastern University), Corey Liberman (Marymount Manhattan College), Annette Madlock Gatison (Liberty University), Rebecca Townsend (Hillyer College, University of Hartford), and Susan Ward (Delaware County Community College)
  • Applied Urban Communication Research Grant: Rachel Clancy, Ph.D. student (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Richard E. Vatz Agenda-Spin Persuasion Award: D. L. Stephenson (Western Connecticut State University)
  • Top Undergraduate Papers:
    • Mackenzie Regan, Riley Redd, Alyssa Cole, Margaret McPherson, Kennedy Johnson, & Sydney Shaw (Christopher Newport University): “We Post Pictures to Prove We Are Best Friends”:  iGen Friendship Characteristics and Maintenance Strategies 
    • Gabriella Olivia Dignitti (State University of New York, Geneseo): Female Figure Skating:  A Unique Communicative Arena Against Hegemonic Masculine Sport World
    • Jennifer Woolley (Messiah College): The Political is Personal:  The Rhetoric of Social Intervention in the Women’s March of 2017
  • Lambda Pi Eta Top Paper: Jennifer Woolley (Messiah College): The Political is Personal: The Rhetoric of Social Intervention in the Women’s March of 2017

We congratulate all of the winners, and we especially look forward to the students sharing their work at next year’s convention.

Executive Director Transition  

Effective July 1, the Eastern Communication Association transitioned to its new Executive Director, Dr. Stacy Smulowitz, of the University of Scranton. Consequently, the primary contact information for the Association has changed:

University of Scranton
Department of Communication, STT4106
910 Linden Street
Scranton, PA 18510

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Smulowitz to this new role!

Conference Planning in Uncertain Times – ECA 2021 Conference Update  

Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Massachusetts
Wednesday, March 24 - Sunday, March 28, 2021


In the spirit of our 2021 conference theme, “Resilience,” we are moving forward with planning an in-person conference that will be held in Cambridge, MA, March 24-28, 2021. The uncertainty of the months ahead also requires that we explore virtual options for conference attendees. 

Here’s where we’re at in the planning process:

  • Finalizing calls for papers and updating website information. Our submission portal is scheduled to open in the next few weeks.
  • Exploring options for virtual conference platforms.
  • Developing a survey to assess the needs and preferences of the ECA community.
  • Securing advertisers and sponsors for digital and print opportunities. Thanks to our sponsors who have transferred their 2020 contribution to the 2021 conference. For more information, please contact Director of Sponsorships Matt Mancino, at

We hope that you are looking forward to re-connecting with ECA friends and colleagues in March 2021. Please reach out to Amanda McKendree, Primary Convention Planner, with any questions (

Call for Nominations: Social Media Director

ECA members are invited to submit nominations or self-nominations for Social Media Director (term: immediately – Convention 2023). Nominees must hold and maintain current membership in ECA.

The Social Media Director should have a deep knowledge of a wide variety of social media platforms and activities, including an understanding of how to engage, listen to, and monitor communities on each platform. Duties expected of this role include:

  • Curate, write, and publish content for ECA’s social media platforms, engaging with and managing, if necessary, any comments that are left by our audience;
  • Develop social media strategies across platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram;
  • Use social media analytics tools and interpret results;
  • Build social media strategies for key events, including the annual ECA Convention;
  • Organize, manage, and mentor a team of university/college students to develop and implement a social media strategy for the annual ECA Convention;
  • Provide regular updates and postings to each platform leading up to and throughout the Convention;
  • Work closely with the Executive Council, conference planner and membership to develop and manage creative content;
  • Manage access and privileges to the social media accounts, including usernames and passwords for each account; and
  • Develop bi-annual social media reports to share key learnings and actionable insights for the NCA & ECA conferences.

Nomination materials are due by August 1, 2020 and should include:

  • A letter of application
  • Copy of current vita
  • Three letters of recommendation

Please send questions and nomination materials electronically to:

Stacy M. Smulowitz, Ph. D.
ECA Executive Director


Call for Papers and Announcement Regarding SSCA Convention

From Executive Director, Dr. Jerry Hale:

The Southern States Communication Association (SSCA) was looking forward to holding its 2020 conference at the Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas, when plans to do so were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the interest of public health, the hotel released SSCA from its 2020 contract. In turn, SSCA contracted with the property for its 2024 conference with the same terms as the 2020 contract.

John Haas, Director of the School of Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, will assume the role of SSCA Executive Director on July 1.

Southern States Communication Association 91st Annual Convention
“Harboring Hope: Rebuilding through Communication”
April 7-11, 2021, Hilton Norfolk The Main, Norfolk, Virginia

The word “harbor” has multiple, and sometimes contradictory, meanings. It is, of course, a safe space for boats and ships to be stored. It is a refuge, a home, a place to put down anchors. Harbors guide us to safety. At the same time, harbors also constrict movement—driving certain behaviors and actions. We might also choose to harbor something away—keeping it hidden from others. The conference theme of “Harboring Hope” asks us to consider the role that communication should—must—play in securing, anchoring, guiding, fixing ways of maintaining hope in even the most dangerous of waters. But we can also consider the ways that communication can stifle progress if used in the wrong ways.

Tumultuous times call for disruptions and questions, the theme that we (theoretically) explored in preparation for the 2020 SSCA conference. Soon thereafter, we experienced disruption on a major scale. Now and over the next few months, we must also look for some reprieve from the chaos and the struggle. We must especially reflect on the important role that communication—in all of its forms—will need to play in establishing a sense of hope when it seems there may none to be had. When we meet as a discipline in Norfolk, Virginia in 2021, surrounded by the waters of the Elizabeth River and the warming sands of the beaches, let’s spend time reflecting and recharging by exploring ways to rebuild hope through communication.

Each division and interest group is encouraged to program at least one panel addressing the conference theme, and division/interest group cosponsored panels that provide unique opportunities to reflect on the theme are encouraged. Workshops and interactive programs that provide opportunities to address the theme and/or contemporary communication issues in ways that encourage professional development will also be considered. 

Where entire panels are proposed, submitters are encouraged to diversify the institutional affiliation of the panel participants, and to consider opportunities to bring in colleagues and peers who have not recently or never attended an SSCA conference. Program proposals that do not align with SSCA’s divisional and interest group structure may be submitted directly to the Vice President for consideration as part of the Vice President’s Spotlight Series.

The deadline for all submissions is October 1, 2020. The complete call for papers will be posted in June 2020. For more information, contact Dr. Wendy Atkins-Sayre, Vice-President and Program Planner, by email at Join us in Norfolk in 2021!

New York State Communication Association

Keynote Addresses at 78th Annual Conference

The 78th Annual Conference at New York State Communication Association (NYSCA) is proud to be featuring Dr. Nicholas David Bowman and Dr. Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University, through WebEx Cisco System.

Nicholas David Bowman, Texas Tech University

Evolving norms for communication research: The costs and benefits of a culture of transparency

Friday, October 16, 2020 at 6:00 pm (EST)

The knowledge that we generate about human communication is always evolving. Yet, this implicit evolution is not always reflected in the ways in which we train for and engage in human communication scholarship. Advances in communication technology have paired with concerns over the veracity of what we "know" about communication in recent calls to amend, update, and extend what we publish and share with each other.

For example, Communication conferences and journals are already encouraging open science practices designed to make scholarship more transparent by asking scholars to share research materials and even study data with the broader community. Dr. Bowman will discuss and explain these emerging open science practices broadly and discuss their implications for Communication scholarship. Best practices and key concerns will be explored, and the session will conclude with an interactive question-and-answer session on how we can integrate open science practices into our teaching, research, and service practices.

Dr. Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University

Spatial debilities: Slow life and carceral capitalism in Palestine

Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 6:00 pm (EST)

There has been much written on the forms of control enacted in the splintering occupation of Palestine, in particular regarding mobility, identity, and spatiality, yet this vast scholarship has presumed the prominence of the abled-body that is hindered through the infrastructures of occupation. In this lecture, Dr. Puar will examine the splintering occupation in relation to disability and the spatial distribution of debilitation, highlighting the logistics of border crossings and movement in the West Bank in relation to disability rights frameworks. Dr. Puar argues two things: one, that the creation of what Celeste Langan terms "mobility disabilities" through both corporeal assault and infrastructural and bureaucratic means are not only central to the calculus of the occupation, but importantly, linked to logics of debilitation; and two, that these calibrations of various types of movement are forms of  carceral containment and enclosure that render specific stretchings of space and time, what we could call slow life.

Submissions Deadline  

Submissions to the 78th annual conference at NYSCA will be due on July 1, 2020, at 11:59 pm, by email to VP and Conference Planner Noura Ahmad Hajjaj (SUNY New Paltz):

We accept completed manuscripts, abstract proposals for research in progress, roundtable panels, paper sessions, undergraduate and graduate posters, and short videos. 

For further CFP guidelines, please follow our official website.