Reflections from India

As I sit in my residence hall room on the campus of Indraprastha College for Women in Delhi, I have been reflecting on the great honor it is to have been nominated for this most significant role in our association, and I have been overwhelmed by the support and the endorsements I have received.  In the midst of my journey here in India,RM _Humayan I wanted to express my gratitude and my sincere thanks.  Regardless of the outcome, these two endeavors have intersected for me in powerful ways, and I hope to bring back to NCA a wealth of new partnerships with scholars and students here, as well as an expanded personal perspective.  I cannot help but to be guided by the ancient and profound spirits, and the notes of grace, I experience everywhere around me!

Balloting Begins!

I write this post from my guesthouse in New Delhi as I begin my Fulbright semester in India – this is the rooftop garden outside of my room. Because we are 10 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Washington D.C., it already is the morning of Tuesday, January 8th here!  IMG_3795As the link to the ballot from the NCA National Office soon reaches your mailbox, I hope that you will consider supporting my candidacy. Regardless of what happens, however, my nomination has given me the incredible opportunity to interact with so many members, especially at our convention in November, to listen to concerns, and to participate in significant discussions. I have been impressed by your dedication and moved by your passion for research and pedagogy and your visions for the pursuit of excellence.  It has been my great honor to serve NCA in many capacities through my many years as a member of the association, and please know that my commitment to helping to ensure that NCA is a welcoming home for our pursuits, a responsive advocate for our needs and interests, and significant voice for our discipline will continue well into to the future.

Upcoming Election and Fulbright in India

Today I write this post from Chicago O’Hare airport – this is my last stop before I board my flight this afternoon for India, to begin my Fulbright semester there teaching at Indraprastha College for Women in Delhi.   If you would like to follow my adventures there, please visit my blog site:  I am thrilled to have been selected for this opportunity and I am so excited about the challenges and rewards that await me.

The same goes for the NCA Election – I am so honored to be a nominee for 2nd Vice President!  When the ballots open, I will already be three days into my Fulbright journey – both the travel to India and the chance to serve the NCA membership if elected are incredible gifts that have already afforded me a great deal of personal and professional development.  I hope that you will consider supporting me as you cast your vote – it would be my great honor to continue to contribute my skills and talents to enhancing our association and advancing our discipline.

Celebrating the Season’s Gifts

As I suspect was the case for many of you, the post-NCA weeks have flown by as we reengaged with our classes and research tasks, then celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. Now, as the calendar turns to December, more holiday preparations and celebrations await.

These months between the end of the NCA IMG_3687convention and the opening of the ballots for 2nd Vice President and the other association posts offer a time for reflection for me.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to have visited many Division, Section, and Caucus meetings during time together in Salt Lake City.  I enjoyed our conversations and I am grateful for the chance to have shared some of my ideas with you.

I look forward to hearing from our members in the coming weeks if you have questions or comments about my vision for NCA’s future.  All the very best wishes for the holiday season, and then, remember to vote when the ballots open on January 8th!

NCA’s diverse voices

As I await the departure of my flight at the Austin airport, I am thinking ahead to the substantive conversations that await us in Salt Lake.  I always am excited to travel to our association’s convention, and this year I have the added privilege and honor to have the opportunity to address the Legislative Assembly tomorrow, and meet with members throughout the week, to talk about my ideas for how together we can improve our association.

I look forward to sharing my vision particularly related to diversity and inclusion. NCA has made significant strides toward increasing inclusiveness and honoring diverse voices, but as the panels concerning “CommunicationSoWhite” indicate, there is much significant discussion that we need to engage, in order to move forward together.  It does matter, very much, who sits at the table, who edits our journals, whose research is recognized, and who serves in our leadership positions.  I pledge to listen, to learn, and to participate in formulating positive plans for action.

Onward to Salt Lake!

Like many of you, I am making my preparations for our association’s Convention in Salt Lake next week. I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to meet new people, see old friends, and encounter new perspectives – that’s what our coming together for these annual meetings is all about. In particular, I hope to have the opportunity to share my vision for our association with you and to listen to your ideas and concerns. So, here we go – Onward to Salt Lake!

NCA in Two Weeks!

I am so very honored to be a nominee for 2nd Vice President and am looking forward to the opportunity to share my vision for our association with our members. I hope that you will be able to attend the “Meet the Candidates” forum on Friday, November 9, at 11:00 in 155D in the Salt Palace Convention Center, or that I will have the opportunity to meet and talk with you about what together we can accomplish for NCA. There’s so much we can do to make our association inclusive, diverse, welcoming, and to advocate for our discipline. See you soon in Salt Lake!

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.