Conversation Piece

June 23, 2023
















Please join me in welcoming two new colleagues to the NCA National Office. LaShawn Duckett is our new Convention and  Meetings Director (CMD). Arnyae Neal is our new Membership and Member Services Director (MMSD). The MMSD is a new position in the National Office. It was created with strategic development funds the Executive Committee authorized in 2022.

Data Driven

In February, the National Office embarked on an effort to incorporate more efficient data collection, curation, and utilization processes within the organization. Fostering a robust data culture rests on the data literacy of National Office staff members. Professional development workshops allow us to assess and develop NCA staff members’ data literacy skills —all needed as we establish a baseline, identify opportunities for upskilling, track improvements to literacy, and maximize NCA’s data culture. The staff has participated in these five workshops:

1. What is Data Culture?

2. Using a Data Focus to Guide Objectives and Goals

3. Optimizing Metrics

4. Running the Appropriate Analyses

5. Using Results to Drive Interpretation and Future Initiatives

Accompanying this work, we also plan to meet our goals to communicate progress toward strategic planning objectives through an interactive dashboard that will be accessible by NCA staff, leaders, and members. This dashboard will interface with current and future data collection and storage platforms to accommodate NCA National Office strategic plans, goals, and progress. Future iterations would be flexible enough to contain similar information for the Executive Committee, Governance and Standing Committees, and Interest Groups. When ready, we will post the dashboard on the NCA Homepage.

Good Conversation

Finally, thanks to member Andy Gilmore, Ph.D. (Central State University) and his infant daughter Bowie, a future Communication scholar, and member Corey Reutlinger, Ph.D. (Arizona State University)  for joining B. Denise Hawkins, Pene Durham, and me for the inaugural “Conversation with the Executive Director.” This monthly opportunity is a way for us to get to know you, our NCA members, and learn about your hopes, concerns, and needs in an open and casual forum.

Are you wondering how you can be selected from among NCA’s almost 6,000 national and international members? Corey and Andy were chosen randomly from our membership database—you may be next! Not even sending homemade cookies to Arnyae and Jennifer Fletcher, NCA Membership Associate, will guarantee you a spot. 

We welcome your feedback, and that’s why I look forward to these regular lively, informative conversations with you.