With the aid of travel funds approved and provided by the Professional Development Committee, I had the opportunity attend the 105th annual convention of the National Communication Association held in Baltimore, MD from November 14 – 17, 2019. The conference was intellectually stimulating and professionally enriching.
The National Communication Association is the national professional organization for my discipline of communication, and as a result its annual convention is the largest gathering of communication scholars in the country. The convention attracts communication scholars and practitioners in the field from all over the country and around the world. Being able to rub shoulders with and interact with colleagues from various places not only enriches my love for my discipline but also helps me to keep up with the latest research and scholarly trends in the field.
This year, I had the opportunity to bring three communication students to the conference. These three students are the leaders (President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer) of the Vanguard University Pi Upsilon chapter of Lambda Pi Eta the national Communication honor society.
It was their first time attending the National Communication Association conference, indeed, it was their first time attending an academic conference. While at the conference, the students attended several panel sessions while also having the opportunity to meet and interact with fellow undergraduate students from other universities from across the country.
They also got to meet two Vanguard University Communication Department alums who now teach at other institutions. One of those alums also happened to be the first president of the VU Lambda Pi Eta chapter when it was first started back in 2005. That alum was also among the first group of students that I had the privilege of taking to a NCA convention in Boston back in 2005. Meeting these alums was certainly very inspirational for the students.
While at the conference, I chaired a session for the Religious Communication Association that meets concurrently with the National Communication Association. Also at the conference I attended several panel discussions, paper presentations, round-table discussions and business meetings of both the National Communication Association and the Religious Communication Association.
Additionally, in my role as faculty advisor for the Vanguard University Pi Upsilon Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta the National Communication Honor Society, I along with the three honor society student leaders, attended the honor society’s national annual business meeting and represented the Vanguard University chapter at that meeting through voice and vote.
Overall, the conference was a boost to my professional development as a communication scholar and professor and I look forward to being able to attend future conventions of the National Communication Association.