Once a year, Communication scholars, teachers, and students alike assemble at an annual conference organized by the National Communication Association (NCA) with the purpose of furthering communication research. Each year Western Kentucky University’s Department of Communication sends a team to the convention to share their research from the previous year, learn about what other researchers have been studying, and make connections within the field.
This year the event took place November 19-22nd in Las Vegas, Nevada and WKU sent a team of sixteen professors, graduate students, and undergraduates to participate.
Professors Mize Smith, Thompson, Payne, Jerome, Brown, Kong and Sterk represented WKU. Like the other professors, Dr. Blair Thompson presented his own research, reviewed other papers to determine which papers would receive awards, and participated on a panel of experts that would answer any questions that arise. Dr. Thompson pointed out that WKU faculty and students have taken home many awards over the years, but also value the connections they make with other researchers. Through networking at the conference, Dr. Thompson has teamed up with schools like Clemson and Xavier for research. Dr. Angela Jerome also shared some of the benefits of attending, “It’s great to see, discuss research, and catch up with the people that I attended graduate school with at the University of Kansas. It also gives students a broader view of what we do in research and what they are capable of doing. An all-around great experience”.
Undergraduate student Paige Settles attended as one of two student representatives for the National Forensics Association National Council. She discussed policies for the next tour this coming April and business that has been conducted throughout the year. Before the competition she also reiterated Dr. Jerome when discussing what she was most excited about, “I am really looking forward to the variety of areas within communication that the conference covers. This is one of the biggest things that surprised me last year, the variety of research that you have access to. I’m already looking at the schedule and trying to decide which panels that I want to attend.”
Those representing WKU enjoyed another great experience this year under the bright lights of Las Vegas.