Vision Statement

Being nominated for Second Vice President of NCA is a tremendous honor. If elected, I pledge to build on my sustained record of service, scholarship, and teaching to advance NCA and enact the commitment to “fostering and promoting a diverse and inclusive organization” that is central in our bylaws. Together we can enhance transparency, enrich open dialogue, and responsively serve the needs of our membership.

Winston Churchill’s words inspire me: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” NCA has been my academic home for more than three decades, providing a place for sharing my scholarship, engaging collaborations, and building lasting friendships. I am seeking this office to give my best efforts back to this discipline by working tirelessly to maintain NCA’s strengths and joining with you to achieve our shared goals.

Experience and Background

Communication has been my lifelong passion. I have a B.A. from Wayne State University, an M.S. from Illinois State, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Embracing NCA’s mission to advance our discipline, support scholarship and teaching, and promote communication to improve lives, I have been actively engaged in service throughout my career. My leadership skills include working collaboratively, cultivating creative initiatives, and building bridges among varied constituencies.

I have a comprehensive knowledge of NCA from service for our association:

Governance and Deliberative Processes

  • Finance Board and Executive Committee – two terms
  • Presidential Working Group on Association Governance
  • Chair, Task Force on Affiliate Organizations
  • Legislative Assembly and Nominating Committee

Sustained Advocacy for Diversity and Inclusion

  • Diversity Council and Affirmative Action/Intercaucus Committee – 14 years
  • Chair, Task Force on NCA’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion in Convention Planning and Site Selection
  • Chair, Women’s Caucus

Advancing Scholarship, Teaching, and Service

  • Coordinator, Leadership Accelerator Program
  • Chair, Feminist and Women Studies Division
  • Golden Anniversary Monograph Award Committee

Serving as President of Southern States Communication Association and in other leadership roles broadened my collaborative skills and deepened my understanding of the important contributions of regional associations:

  • SSCA President, 2017; Principal planner, SSCA Convention in Austin, 2016
  • SSCA Administrative Committee, Executive Council, and Publications Committee
  • Chair, SSCA Executive Director Search Committee
  • SSCA Elected Representative to NCA Nominating Committee
  • Chair, Rhetoric and Public Address Divisions in SSCA and WSCA
  • Vice President, ORWAC

Other professional and service experiences enhanced my understanding of higher education, scholarly development, and community and international partnerships:

  • Fulbright Scholar Awards – 2019 (India) and 2011 (Poland)
  • American Council on Education Fellow
  • Editor, Women’s Studies in Communication
  • Administrative/leadership positions at Texas State University
  • Board member/volunteer for community organizations

My published work includes a book about Sojourner Truth, essays in Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and numerous other articles, chapters, and presentations. Professional honors include:

  • Francine Merritt Award for Contributions to Women in Communication from the NCA Women’s Caucus
  • Michael M. Osborn Teacher-Scholar Award, Rose B. Johnson Publication Award, and Gender Scholar of the Year from SSCA
  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Service and Presidential Distinction Award for Teaching from Texas State

Goals and Vision

Our strategic plan calls for cultivating research and disseminating knowledge, enhancing teaching and learning, and facilitating member development. NCA’s most profound challenge is to develop policies and practices that honor all voices and uphold our commitments to diverse perspectives, social justice, and ethical communication. Accordingly, my vision encompasses two initiatives to advance NCA.

Diversity and Inclusion

NCA must be vigilant regarding who is present among our association membership, leadership and governance roles, journal editors, and published authors. We have made significant strides by featuring diversity and inclusion in governance documents, convention sessions, and Task Force efforts, but much work remains.

NCA must actively:

  • Pursue additional structural changes to enhance diversity and inclusion
  • Promote new programs for leadership pipelines
  • Improve student recruitment and support

To address these goals, we should begin with a comprehensive effort that enhances leadership development to ensure diverse membership and representation. NCA’s caucuses have shouldered this work, but now mentoring future leaders, editors, and scholars must be an association-wide initiative backed by dedicated resources. NCA needs a program that fosters our future by establishing an inclusive pipeline extending from student support, through faculty development, to association leadership roles.

Public Engagement

NCA must insistently advocate for our discipline by seeking additional avenues to feature our scholarship and pedagogy in academic and public realms. Particularly in this turbulent era of ostensible post-truths and fractured communities, we need to vigorously defend the value of our research, the pursuit of knowledge, and the essential role of civil debate and dialogue in a democratic society.

NCA must actively:

  • Increase the visibility of our scholarship and promote our pedagogy
  • Bolster our collaborations with scholarly associations and public partners
  • Lead efforts to enhance the practice of informed critique and deliberative discussion

We have strong collaborations with scholarly associations and a foundation of public programs and previous partnerships, such as Communicating Common Ground with the Southern Poverty Law Center, but we should do more. For example, we could create a focused public initiative that features our disciplinary expertise while seeking to improve the quality of our civic life. Let’s be bold in envisioning a comprehensive outreach program to serve the public good and reinvigorate communication as the essential component in a conscientious citizenry.

Final Thoughts

We each have our own story about what brought us to the intellectual community of NCA, but we all share the opportunity it affords to flourish among vital ideas and enduring relationships, to study, teach, and research, and to make a difference in our communities. Your next Second Vice President should know how NCA functions, honor our history and anticipate future needs, and lead according to our values. I am fully prepared to serve, while humbly recognizing the gravity of the responsibility that you would entrust to me.

Please feel free to contact me ( and ( I look forward to devoting my energies and experience and working with you to realize a strong and inclusive future for NCA.