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Regional Association News

May 9, 2017

ECA Celebrates 108th Convention in Boston

With snow, sleet, and rain dueling for supremacy outside, Communication scholars, teachers, students, and professionals hunkered down inside Boston’s Omni Parker House March 29-April 2 for ECA’s 108th annual convention. The convention theme, “Freedom to...and Freedom from…,” drew an extraordinary array of submissions, and the program offered such topics as freedom for cultural diversity in network television, freedom to theorize and innovate, and freedom from unconscious bias in the academy.

The Basic Course Conference set the stage on Wednesday, emphasizing freedom to take teaching risks. Competitive graduate and undergraduate poster sessions on Friday and Saturday showcased emerging scholarship in social media, interpersonal communication, persuasion, feminist and queer theory, and advertising, among other topics. The James C. McCroskey and Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference, Great Ideas for Teaching Sessions, and panels addressing freedom from the perspectives of 23 different interest groups in the Communication discipline filled the diverse program developed by Primary Planner Ben Bates.

Raymie E. McKerrow, Professor Emeritus at Ohio University’s School of Communication Studies, delivered the keynote address, reviewing the significance of critiques of domination and critiques of freedom, focusing on Michel Foucault’s analysis of the relationship between power and knowledge. In closing, McKerrow asserted, “These are unruly times. It is time to be unruly,” drawing a standing ovation from the audience.

ECA is especially proud to congratulate its 2017 award recipients: Mary Toale (SUNY-Oswego) for the Distinguished Service Award; Kristen Lynn Majocha (University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown) for the Ecroyd Teaching Excellence Award; Donna M. Kowal (SUNY-Brockport) for the Everett Lee Hunt Award; Mary E. King (Bloomsburg University) and Jennifer A. Theiss (Rutgers University) for the Article of the Year; Donica O’Malley (University of Pittsburgh) for receiving the Centennial Scholarship; and new Teaching Fellows Benjamin R. Bates (Ohio University), Gary Gumpert (Urban Communication Foundation), Dale Herbeck (Northeastern University), Andrew Rancer (University of Akron), Ted Sheckels (Randolph-Macon College), Sara Weintraub (Regis University), and Nancy Willets (Cape Cod Community College). The James C. McCroskey and Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference awarded Top Paper to Julia Schuller (Penn State - Schuylkill).

We thank Kathie Cesa, our Member Services Director, and all our vendors, volunteers, attendees, and leaders for ensuring the freedom to convene in intellectual camaraderie.


Announcing the 2018 Western States Communication Association Conference Theme

The Western States Communication Association will hold its next annual conference February 16-19, 2018 in Santa Clara, CA. WSCA President-Elect and Primary Program Planner Brian Heisterkamp has chosen “Mindfulness and Communication” as the theme.

Mindfulness – the practice of present moment awareness while remaining non-judgmental about self and others – has been the focus of considerable scholarly exploration. Only recently, however, have Communication scholars begun to examine connections between mindfulness and communication practices, problems, and politics. The study, theory, and practice of mindfulness spans contexts and situations, including managing physical and mental illness, parenting, resolving conflict in mediation settings, teaching, and maintaining focus in workplace and classroom settings.

Scholars’ approach to mindfulness goes far beyond a traditional, spiritual approach to mindfulness.  Indeed, scholars have been critical of the ways mindfulness has been appropriated within popular culture and portrayed by media. Consideration has also been given to whether the introspective practice of mindfulness has been exploited for commercial gain.

The 2018 WSCA conference theme “Mindfulness and Communication” asks participants to think in new ways about how present-moment awareness, non-judgment, and other mindfulness concepts, including trust, attunement, patience, and acceptance, influence and interact with their area of Communication scholarship.

Competitive papers, program proposals, pre-conference proposals, and workshop proposals on the theme of “Mindfulness and Communication” are encouraged, and are due by September 1, 2017. Please see for full submission details. We would love to have you join us for WSCA 2018! #WSCA2018