Last month, thousands of Communication scholars joined virtual sessions and watched asynchronous presentations as part of the NCA 106th Annual Convention, themed “Communication at the Crossroads.”
The Opening Session, sponsored by the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society, highlighted the factors that impact mental health and mental health treatment throughout the nation. This interdisciplinary panel included Shana Kopaczewski, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Indiana State University; David Berman, Vice President of Development for Mental Health America of Indiana; Diane B. Francis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky; Emily Krebs, Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah; and Gary L. Kreps, Professor and Director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University. Panelists examined ways in which mental health intersects with race, gender, sexual orientation, educational attainment, and income.
Thomas K. Nakayama, Professor of Communication at Northeastern University, served as this year’s Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecturer. Nakayama addressed “The Challenge of Global Whiteness.” The presentation examined how whiteness transverses local and national borders and tackled the networks of communication that sustain and normalize whiteness locally and globally.
On the final evening of the convention, before presenting this year’s NCA Awards, NCA President Kent A. Ono, Professor of Communication at the University of Utah, spoke on “Civic Activism and Social Justice: Leading NCA As/Through Change.” Ono’s presentation addressed the need for "civic activism" by Communication scholars and by the association itself.
The convention also featured a virtual Graduate School Open House, Exhibit Hall, NCA Job Fair, and more than 1,100 sessions and business meetings designed to allow attendees to share ideas, present new research, and network with colleagues across the discipline.
NCA extends thanks to all who participated in this year’s convention! Registered attendees can watch recorded asynchronous and synchronous presentations until December 31 by logging in to NCA Convention Central. For more information, visit natcom.org/convention, and check the #NCA20 hashtag on Twitter to see what attendees were discussing and sharing during the convention.
Start planning now to attend next year’s convention, “Renewal and Transformation,” to be held November 18-21, 2021, in Seattle, WA.