Regional and Affiliate News

Regional News
May 10, 2022


Please join us for the 114th Annual ECA Convention.
Harboring Innovation
Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor
Baltimore, MD
March 29 – April 2, 2023
Submission Deadline: October 16, 2022, 11:59 PST

“Innovate”: To make changes in something established, especially by introducing new ideas, methods, or activities. To create transformation, revolution, metamorphosis. 

When the 2020 ECA convention was canceled less than two weeks before its scheduled date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, innovation probably meant something different to us all than it does today. Innovation became more important than ever before during an extended period of virtual teaching, difficult access to research participants and venues, and the absence of events like the ECA convention. Thus, I felt it appropriate to take up the intended theme of my first ill-fated, but fully planned 2020 convention for 2023. And I encourage all ECA members and Communication researchers to bring their best thoughts about innovating our discipline, our scholarship, our teaching, and our outreach to Baltimore. 

ECA 2023Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, an area with one of our nation’s richest and most innovative histories, offers a unique setting for our discipline’s oldest existing association to gather and consider the ways in which we innovate. In 1608, Captain John Smith sailed north from the newly formed Virginia Colony to the lands that were the future site of Baltimore, foreshadowing the kinds of visionary leadership, creativity, and innovation that have characterized Baltimore throughout its long and challenging history. Baltimore seems to be a place that grows both in calculated ways and out of adversity: 

  • Baltimore is the place where Francis Scott Key’s The Star-Spangled Banner was born.
  • Baltimore overcame division and ruin in a difficult, gradual recovery from the American Civil War.
  • Baltimore has innovated in front of, and in response to, shifts and disruptions in the economy, education, technology, and healthcare.
  • Baltimore was a model to the nation for its major renovation of neglected downtown and waterfront areas after World War II.
  • Baltimore has orchestrated an ongoing and evolving renaissance after the collapse of the American steel industry, led by visionaries such as Under Armour founder Kevin Plank. 
  • Baltimore is a hub of art, culture, sports, and entertainment (Travel + Leisure magazine even named Baltimore “the coolest city on the East Coast” and Zagat listed it as “one of the most exciting food cities” in the United States). 
  • And Baltimore is where ECA will continue its positive and innovative path as the oldest existing professional association in the Communication discipline. 

Our Baltimore Inner Harbor convention and the “Harboring Innovation” theme provide us with the opportunity to consider the lessons the city has to offer Communication scholars. 

I invite ECA interest groups and members to develop programming for the convention that focuses on how we have innovated and how we need to innovate to remain relevant, cutting-edge, and unique. In what ways is our discipline at the forefront of studying the powerful relationships between communication and our relationships, organizations, communities, and the environment? What innovative theories, questions, methods, data analysis techniques, and practices are emerging from our field? What opportunities exist for us to innovate with our research, service, pedagogy, and practice? How are you responding to your environment to ensure that your work and our discipline are addressing the practical communication concerns of today and tomorrow? 

Our “Harboring Innovation” conference will provide a venue to showcase how we are innovating, and to deliberate on the ways in which we must innovate to ensure that the Communication discipline continues to make an important impact at all levels of society. I look forward to us all being together for a second year after a long period of being apart. The ECA Annual Convention is so important to us all, and nothing can substitute for a vital in-person convention. I can’t wait to see everyone.

Jennifer Waldeck 
University of Georgia

2022 Eastern Communication Association Convention

The 113th Annual ECA Convention (RE)UNION was held in Philadelphia, PA, from April 7 to 9, 2022. The conference welcomed 600 attendees, including 200 first-time attendees.

Notable highlights include:

  • ECA Conference Keynote Address by Dr. Kami Silk of the University of Delaware, entitled "Leveraging the Discipline for Good: A Communication Perspective for a Post-Pandemic World"
  • James C. McCroskey and Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference
  • Connect Conference Panel
  • Anti-Bullying Roundtable
  • Special Sessions to Honor Dr. Marianne Dainton and Dr. John Courtright

The ECA 2022 Planning Team included ECA Executive Board members Amanda McKendree, Katherine Thweatt, Jennifer Waldeck, Pam Lannutti, and Stacy Smulowitz. The primary planning team included Melanie Laliker, Tracey Quigley Holden, Angela Corbo, Julie Volkman, Nancy Willets, Anne Mattina, Katie Dunleavy, Jordan Atkinson and Nicholas Tatum. Kathie Cesa shared her expertise and provided the necessary structure for conference planning and implementation.

2022 ECA Award Recipients

ECA Distinguished Service Award

  • Janie Harden Fritz, Duquesne University

ECA Teaching Fellows

  • Megan Dillow, West Virginia University 
  • Stephanie Verni, Stevenson University
  • Valerie Schrader, Penn State University, Schuylkill
  • Robin Smith Mathis, Kennesaw State University 
  • Jessica Papajcik, Stark State College

ECA Past Officers’ Award

  • Alan Goodboy, West Virginia University

ECA Centennial Scholarship

  • Victoria Ledford, University of Maryland

ECA Distinguished Research Fellows

  • Lisa Gring-Pemble, George Mason University
  • Kenneth Lachlan, University of Connecticut

Applied Urban Communication Research Grant

  • Benjamin Bates, Ohio University

2022 Richard E. Vatz Agenda-Spin Persuasion Award

  • Theodore Sheckels, Randolph-Macon College

Everett Lee Hunt Award

  • Annette Holba, Plymouth State University for “Philosophy of Communication Inquiry: An Introduction”

Donald H. Ecroyd & Caroline Drummond Ecroyd Teaching Excellence Award

  • Leeanne M. Bell McManus, Stevens University
  • Susan M. Wieczorek, University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown

Dr. James W. Chesebro Marginalized Community Scholarship Fund

  • Ololade Afolabi, Sacred Heart University


Call for Submissions: Western States Communication Association 93rd Annual Convention

Phoenix, AZ 
February 17 – 20, 2023 

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 - 2022 changed many aspects of the human experience. When the world shut down for months, re-opened, and then went through cycles of isolation and gathering, people across the globe reconsidered what it means to be well. For many, it meant expanding conceptualizations of well-being, considering the multiple aspects of well-being in new ways, or prioritizing being well over other elements of being that had previously been priorities, such as being productive or being successful.

Communication scholars, teachers, and students are uniquely situated to focus on the interplay of communication and well-being. Although many definitions of “well-being” exist, various theoretical and practical approaches share a common focus on what is “good.” That might entail what is good for a person, for a community, for the environment, and so on. 

In preparing for the WSCA 2023 convention in Phoenix, Arizona, we can continue our focus on growth and sustainability that began with the 2022 “Cultivate” theme by turning our attention to the relationship between communication and well-being. What are nuanced connections between communication and emotional well-being? How does the communicative constitution of physical and mental well-being impact our concepts of self and other? How do we communicate to reduce – or perpetuate – stigmas surrounding a lack of well-being? What is the role of communication in environmental well-being? Each WSCA interest group features scholarship and teaching that explore well-being in some way. I invite each of you to consider the power of communication in your own well-being journey.

Our 2023 convention in Phoenix will provide multiple opportunities for interrogating the ties between communication and well-being. I encourage you to submit proposals that will facilitate robust conversations about communication and well-being. I also will be working with our local hosts to provide a variety of formal and informal ways to engage our convention theme.

Heather E. Canary
WSCA President-Elect and 2023 Program Planner

Call for Competitive Papers, Program Proposals, and Pre-Conference Workshop Proposals, and Undergraduate Scholars’ Research Conference (USRC) Submissions

1. Competitive Papers (Deadline: 9/1/22): Submit online at by clicking Convention, then clicking 2023 Submissions, and then selecting the appropriate interest group.
2. Panel Session Proposals (Deadline: 9/1/22): Submit online at by clicking Convention, then clicking 2023 Submissions, and then selecting the appropriate interest group.
3. Pre-Conference Workshop Proposals (Deadline: 9/1/22): Submit online at by clicking Convention, then clicking 2023 Submissions, and then selecting Pre-Conference Workshop.
4. Undergraduate Scholars’ Research Conference (Deadline: 12/1/22): Submit online at by clicking Convention, then clicking 2023 Submissions, and then selecting USRC.

Specific information about submitting to interest groups is available in our online submission portal. Detailed information about all submission types is provided below. 

I. Competitive Papers – Deadline: 9/1/22

Authors are encouraged to submit papers to interest groups for competitive selection. Papers may employ any humanistic, scientific, and/or other methodology(ies) and may address theoretical developments, critical analyses, disciplinary issues, pedagogical issues, and/or research advancements.

You should submit your paper to one interest group. Not all interest groups sponsor competitive papers, so be sure to review the interest group’s online call for papers prior to submission. These calls will be posted on Submitted papers should not include information that identifies the author(s).
Competitive paper submissions must be submitted using the Attendee Interactive system no later than midnight PST on Thursday, September 1, 2022

Research in Progress: Some interest groups sponsor “Research in Progress” programs. Papers submitted to these programs should not exceed ten pages in length. Be sure that the interest group to which you want to send your paper accepts “Research in Progress” programs before submission.

Debut Award: The WSCA Executives Club Debut Award recognizes the author (or co-authors) of a paper presented at the convention who have not presented a paper at a state, regional, national or international convention, or published in any academic journal. Papers presented at student-only conferences are exempt from this requirement. All authors of a co-authored paper must meet these eligibility requirements for a paper to be considered a debut paper. Papers eligible for the Debut Award should select “debut” in the Attendee Interactive online submission system. Some interest groups also sponsor debut programs. Papers need not be presented on a debut panel session to be eligible for the Executives Club Debut Award.
Competitive papers must be submitted online using the Attendee Interactive system no later than midnight PST on Thursday, September 1, 2022. Please address any competitive paper questions, comments, or concerns to the Interest Group Planner or the WSCA Primary Program Planner Heather Canary.

II. Panel Session Proposals – Deadline: 9/1/2022

Panel session proposals should focus on a unifying theme relevant to research, theory, or instruction in the area of the sponsoring interest group. Panel sessions may consist of a chair, individual presenters, and a critic/respondent in a traditional conference format. However, we encourage proposals for debates, round table discussions, performance activities, or innovative programs that provide opportunities for interaction among participants and attendees. We welcome programs co-sponsored with by multiple interest groups. We particularly solicit programs that relate to the 2023 convention theme, “Communication and Well-Being.”

Panel session proposals must contain the following:

1. Thematic title of the panel session.
2. Names and affiliations of all participants.
3. Title and brief description of each presentation.
4. An abstract of 50-75 words that identifies the content and purpose of the panel, which will be printed in the program book. If accepted, additional explanations or details may be included in a separate panel session leaflet or handout made available at the panel session presentation.
5. Equipment needed for the panel session. Equipment availability is extremely limited. Note that an AV request is not a guarantee that AV will be available. If your submission is accepted, your Interest Group Planner should inform you whether you will have access to AV equipment.

Panel session proposals must be submitted online using the Attendee Interactive system no later than midnight PST on Thursday, September 1, 2022. Please address any session proposal questions, comments, or concerns to the Interest Group Planner or the WSCA Primary Program Planner Heather Canary.

III. Pre-Conference Workshop Proposals – Deadline: 9/1/22

A workshop is intended as a training or informational short course that can be presented in a three-hour or six-hour time block. A workshop topic may concern the presentation of teaching innovations, an area of research, a new theoretical perspective, the application of a body of knowledge, skill development, or another clearly focused topic. Workshop leaders are encouraged to advertise their workshops and solicit participation.

Workshops are scheduled as a pre-conference activity on the day of the kick-off, Friday, February 17, 2023. Workshop participants pay a modest registration fee. The fee is intended to cover only the direct costs (photocopying, materials, etc.) incurred in conducting the workshop.
Pre-conference workshop proposals should include the following:

1. Title of the workshop.
2. Names and affiliations of all presenters.
3. A detailed rationale that outlines the workshop's goals.
4. A brief (50-75 words only) outline and description of workshop activities for potential inclusion in the conference program.
5. Room size and configuration requested (e.g., theater seating, tables of eight, etc.).
6. Equipment needed for the pre-conference. Equipment availability is extremely limited. (Note that AV costs are the workshop submitter’s responsibility. You will either have to pay for it directly, bring it with you [if the hotel contract allows], or put it in the cost of the workshop and pass the fees on to the participants).
7. Maximum enrollment number.
8. Fee amount, set in accordance with WSCA policy (see below).
9. Time-block requested (i.e., three hours or six hours).

Guide to setting fees for workshop leaders: WSCA has set $5.00 as the base fee for any workshop. The first $5.00 of each registrant’s fee is designed to cover the association’s administrative costs. Any fees above $5.00 should be set at such a level as to provide reimbursement to the workshop leader(s) for only the cost of materials, equipment, and any other out-of-the-ordinary expenses. Costs for audio-visual and other equipment rental and costs of producing materials for participants must be covered within the overall fee that is specified. WSCA cannot reimburse more money to a workshop leader than it receives from participant fees. If a part or all of a fee is proposed as covering an individual presenter’s expenses or as an honorarium, WSCA President Christina Yoshimura must approve it prior to any commitment to the individual.

Workshop proposals must be submitted online using the Attendee Interactive system no later than midnight PST on Thursday, September 1, 2022. Please address any workshop proposal questions, comments, or concerns to the President-Elect Heather Canary.

IV. Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference (USRC) – Deadline: 12/1/22

USRC submissions must be submitted online using the Attendee Interactive system no later than midnight PST on Thursday, December 1, 2022. Go to, click on Conventions, click on 2023 Submissions, and then when you are directed to the Attendee Interactive system select USRC as the interest group. All submissions should be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. For the USRC, all authors of the submitted papers must be undergraduate students at the time of submission. Please address any questions, comments, or concerns to WSCA Second Vice-President Anthony Cuomo at

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Authors must disclose whether they have obtained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, organizational approval, or other necessary permissions for any convention submission involving the collection of data on human participants. If no approval was obtained, the reason should be stated.

For example, if authors have not obtained IRB approval because their institutions do not have IRBs, that fact should be stated. The IRB disclosure statement should be included in a footnote, author note, or submission text.

WSCA News and Notes

The WSCA newsletter is adding a feature called “News and Notes” where people can share good news with WSCA members. News and Notes is a place to make announcements about promotions, job changes, grants, books, sabbaticals, and any other great news that you want to share. To submit to News and Notes, fill out this google form

American Forensic Association

David Sutherland, Chair of the Board of International Care Ministries, has been honored by the Board of Trustees of the National Debate Tournament (NDT) with the 2021 Laurence H. Tribe Award for Excellence in Public Advocacy. The award, named after 1961 NDT champion Laurence H. Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard University, is given annually to an alumna of the National Debate Tournament who has taken advocacy skills acquired through participation in intercollegiate debate and become an exemplary public advocate who makes a real difference in the world.

David Cram-Helwich, Senior Lecturer and Director of Forensics at the University of Minnesota, received the Lucy M. Keele Award for leadership and service to the intercollegiate debate community. 

The George W. Ziegelmueller Award for Excellence in Education was awarded to Amber Kelsie, Assistant Professor of the Practice/Associate Debate Coach at Wake Forest University. 

John Turner, Director of the Dartmouth Forensic Union, was recognized with the Ross K. Smith Coach of the Year Award.