NCA Inside & Out

Institute f Faculty Development Participants

Summer Conference Recaps: Institute for Faculty Development, DHS, Writing Retreat

September 6, 2018

Denison University Hosts NCA Institute for Faculty Development

The NCA Institute for Faculty Development, also known as the “Hope Conference,” was held July 22-28 at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. More than 40 faculty members representing 17 states (along with Japan and Canada) participated in the annual conference, which is designed for undergraduate Communication faculty who want to build collaborative research and pedagogical relationships, learn about new directions in theory and pedagogy, and develop new course area expertise. This year’s seminars included "This Ain’t Your Grandparent’s Research Methods: Holistic Research for 21st Century Problems and Issues," led by Christine S. Davis (University of North Carolina at Charlotte); "Communicating about Taboo Topics," led by Mark P. Orbe (Western Michigan University); "Communicating Positive Deviance for Social Change," led by Arvind Singhal (University of Texas at El Paso); "Gender Matters in Contemporary News Media," led by Linda Steiner (University of Maryland); "Critical Interpersonal and Family Communication," led by Elizabeth A. Suter (University of Denver); and "Inventing a Rhetoric of (Black) Suffering," led by Eric King Watts (University of North Carolina). Patrice Buzzanell (University of South Florida) served as the 2018 Scholar-in-Residence.

Vanderbilt University Hosts NCA’s Annual Doctoral Honors Seminar

The annual Doctoral Honors Seminar (DHS), held July 23-26, was hosted by the Department of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University. Thirty-six doctoral students from twenty different programs attended the DHS, which had a theme of “Communicating Intersections.” Faculty Seminar Leaders included Carlos Alemán (James Madison University), Jiyeon Kang (University of Iowa), Claire Sisco King (Vanderbilt University), Kate Magsamen-Conrad (University of Iowa), Roopali Mukherjee (Queens College), Cindy Koenig Richards (Willamette University), Paul Stob (Vanderbilt University), Dave Tell (University of Kansas), and Steven Wilson (University of South Florida).

Participating students included:

  • Sam Allen, University of Pittsburgh
  • Rebecca Alt, University of Maryland
  • China Billotte-Verhoff, Purdue University
  • Robb Bruce, University of Utah
  • Katie Bruner, University of Illinois
  • Maria Butauski, University of Missouri
  • Gemmé Campbell, Texas A&M University
  • Curry Chandler, University of Pittsburgh
  • Allie Chase, University of Kansas
  • Michelle Colpean, University of Iowa
  • Ryan D’Souza, University of South Florida
  • Seth Fendley, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Kim Hannah-Prater, University of Maryland
  • Kaitlyn Haynal Allen, University of Pittsburgh
  • Brandon Knight, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Smith Mehta, Queensland University of Technology
  • Carrie Murawski, Texas A&M University
  • Subin Paul, University of Iowa
  • Matt Pitchford, University of Illinois, Urbana
  • Ailesha Ringer, University of New Mexico
  • Dylan Rollo, Northwestern University
  • Devin Scott, University of Maryland
  • Morgan Smalls, Howard University
  • Jonathan Smith, University of Memphis
  • Curtis Sullivan, North Dakota State University
  • Tracy Tinga, Temple University
  • Christopher Vincent, Louisiana State University

2018 NCA Mid-Career Scholars Writing Retreat

In July, NCA sponsored the 2018 Mid-Career Scholars Writing Retreat (MCSWR), held on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This second MCSWR followed a successful inaugural retreat at Chapman University. The overriding goal of the MCSWR is to provide associate professors with time and encouragement to help them accomplish their scholarly writing goals and gain momentum toward their next promotion. Seven participants from around the country attended and worked industriously on their projects. The retreat was organized by John Caughlin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) of the NCA Research Council. Patrice Buzzanell (University of South Florida) and Cara Finnegan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) served as faculty mentors. 

According to Buzzanell, “Our sessions were designed to discuss how [participants] might pick up the scholarly threads of their work to produce theory, research, and engagement that is both fulfilling and would lead to promotion to full professor.”

Retreat participants describe the experience as “transformational” and a “game-changer.” One attendee said the ripple effects of the week “are likely to be felt for a long time,” and that “the opportunity to work side-by-side with fellow communication scholars as they tackle thorny methodological and practical questions about their research and careers was one that I will always cherish.”

"The MCSWR was exactly the kind of mid-career support I have been searching for,” another participant wrote. “The generous advice from the facilitators, and the energy of seeing other colleagues at work, helped me refocus my research agenda and move forward with stalled projects. I am thankful that NCA offered us this opportunity and I hope that more of these retreats are offered in the future."

Special thanks are extended to the MCSWR organizers, facilitators, and participants, and to our institutional hosts. Stay tuned for information about future retreats.