Press Room

The National Communication Association Presents “VEEPS 2020: Kamala Harris vs. Mike Pence,” A Virtual Public Program

October 19, 2020
Political, Race/Class/Gender

(Washington, DC) — The National Communication Association recently released a special public program episode of Communication Matters: The NCA Podcast featuring a panel of experts on communication, rhetoric, and debates, moderated by NCA Executive Director Trevor Parry-Giles. The panelists addressed a variety of topics related to the 2020 vice presidential debate, including the influence of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the role of gender and race in the debate, whether the Commission on Presidential Debates should schedule more vice presidential debates in future election years, and the influence of the vice presidential debates on the 2020 election.  

“VEEPS 2020: Kamala Harris vs. Mike Pence” was co-sponsored by the Mark and Heather Rosenker Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership at the University of Maryland and the Communication Research Center at Boston University. 

You can watch the virtual public program on NCA’s YouTube page, or listen to the special episode of the Communication Matters podcast.


  • Karrin Vasby Anderson, Professor of Communication Studies, Colorado State University

Dr. Anderson teaches courses in rhetoric, political communication, and gender and communication. Anderson’s books include Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture, co-authored with Kristina Horn Sheeler; Women, Feminism, and Pop Politics: From “Bitch” to “Badass” and Beyond; and Governing Codes: Gender, Metaphor, and Political Identity

  • Darrian Carroll, Doctoral Student, Department of Communication, University of Maryland, College Park

Carroll is interested in race, rhetoric, and world making. Carroll has written about President Bill Clinton's advocacy in favor of the 1994 Crime Bill and is currently working on a longer-term project that focuses on the rhetoric of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

  • Sumana Chattopadhyay, Associate Professor, Marquette University

Dr. Chattopadhyay’s research interests focus on political advertising, public opinion, media use and political participation, and cross-cultural media coverage of crises. Chattopadhyay has published work focusing on the 2004, 2008 and 2016 U.S. presidential campaigns. Chattopadhyay is the Chair of NCA’s Political Communication Division. 

  • Kimberley Hannah-Prater, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts, Community College of Baltimore County (Maryland)

Hannah-Prater researches media representations of gender in politics and pop culture and has studied the ways in which Hillary Rodham Clinton has been depicted over the years in mediated political satire, parody, and internet humor.

  • Shawn J. Parry-Giles, Professor of Communication, University of Maryland, College Park, and Director of the Rosenker Center for Political Communication & Civic Leadership

Dr. Parry-Giles studies rhetoric and politics with a focus on the presidency and the first lady. Parry-Giles is the author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books and is the co-editor of the NEH-funded Voices of Democracy: The U.S. Oratory Project and Recovering Democracy Archives: Speech Recovery Project.

  • Kristina Horn Sheeler, Professor, Communication Studies, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

Dr. Sheeler researches gender and political communication, studying the ways in which political candidate identity is contested and constructed in popular media, political discourse, journalism, and punditry. Sheeler is the co-author of Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture with Karrin Vasby Anderson

  • Mary Douglas Vavrus, Professor of Communication Studies, University of Minnesota

Dr. Vavrus teaches and researches in the areas of feminist media studies and political communication. Dr. Vavrus has published research that examines news media representations of women in electoral politics and is the author of Postfeminist War: Women and the Media-Military-Industrial Complex.

  • Tammy R. Vigil, Associate Professor of Communication, Boston University

Dr. Vigil’s research focuses on political campaigns, persuasion, and women in politics. Dr. Vigil’s books include Moms in Chief: The Rhetoric of Republican Motherhood and the Spouses of Presidential Nominees, 1992-2016; Melania and Michelle: First Ladies in a New Era; and Connecting with Constituents: Identification Building and Blocking in Contemporary National Convention Addresses.

Learn more about the panelists and the virtual public program here.


To arrange an interview with one or all of the panelists, contact Grace Hébert at 202-534-1104 or

About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems. NCA supports inclusiveness and diversity among our faculties, within our membership, in the workplace, and in the classroom; NCA supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion.

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