Since at least 1970, NCA has sponsored annual or biannual Doctoral Honors Seminars, bringing together promising doctoral students and prominent faculty leaders in the communication arts & sciences for an intensive weekend of discussion and dialogue around a specific theme. Doctoral Honors Seminars have been held all over the country, at dozens of prominent doctoral-granting institutions. For the first time, in 2013, the host for the DHS is the University of Maine. On July 18-21, about 30 doctoral students joined with eight faculty leaders at the Schoodic Education & Research Center (right) in Acadia National Park for the 2013 NCA DHS.
The general theme for the 2013 DHS is “Research Collaboration on Disciplinary Frontiers,” and working from this theme, students are divided into three groups for engaged interactions with one another and with faculty leaders about their doctoral research and the research process in general.
Discussing “Spanning Methodological Boundaries–Communication & the Environment,” were faculty leaders Stephen DePoe (U of Cincinnati), Laura Lindenfield (U of Maine), and Tema Milstein (U of New Mexico). Ten students in this group discussed transdisciplinary and intra-disciplinary dimensions of research in environmental communication, engaged in a “World Cafe” style program to discuss research and professional development issues, and pursued individual workshopping of ongoing research endeavors. The doctoral students in this group included Maria Blevins (U of Utah), Tover Cerulli (U of Massachusetts), Katherine Cooper (U of Illinois), Brian Cozen (U of Utah), Bridie McGreavy (U of Maine), Renu Pariyadath (U of Iowa), Aaron Philips (U of Utah), Jessica Rich (U of North Carolina), Elizabeth Schwarz (UC-Riverside), and Yuanxin Wang (Temple University).
Focusing on “Rhetoric & Materiality” were faculty leaders Greg Dickinson (Colorado State), Brian Ott (U of Colorado-Denver), and Nate Stormer (U of Maine). Ten students in this group discussed general theoretical issues and problematics in the relationship between rhetoric and materiality, identified common research problems in this sub-domain of rhetorical studies, and read and engaged in discussion about individual student research endeavors. The doctoral students in this group included: Cynthia Bateman (U of South Carolina), Roberta Chevrette (Arizona State U), Mary Domenico (U of North Carolina), Emily Winderman Hallsby (U of Georgia), Brook Irving (U of Iowa), Marie-Louise Paulesc (Arizona State U), Pamela Pietrucci (U of Washington), Yvonne Slosarski (U of Maryland), Scott Tulloch (Georgia State U), and Justine Wells (U of South Carolina).
The final group of nine students joined with faculty leaders Robert Brookey (Northern Illinois U) and David Gunkel (Northern Illinois U) to discuss research issues related to “Digital Media Convergence.” While discussing individual student research projects, this group also emphasized professional development concerns, networking, and issues of interdisciplinarity and engagement across disciplines. The doctoral students in this group included: Bryan Behrenshausen (U of North Carolina), Sarah Bell (U of Utah), David DeIullis (Duquesne U), Eunice Kim (U of Texas), Lindsey Meeks (U of Washington), Ben Morton (U of Iowa), Renee Powers (U of Illinois-Chicago), Jessica Rudy (Indiana U), and Julie Wight (U of Minnesota).
Hosting the DHS was the Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of Maine–and the primary organizers for the event were Nate Stormer and doctoral student Bridie McGreavy. From lobster bakes to hikes out on Schoodic Point, from great conversation and compelling discussion, the 2013 NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar continued the tradition of NCA Doctoral Honors Seminars with a decidedly New England flair.