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Division & Interest Group News

Posted By John Paul Gutierrez, Monday, December 4, 2017
Updated: Monday, December 4, 2017





Dear CAT community,


I would like to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself – hi! My name is Chrissy Cook, and I am both a Canadian PhD student at Tilburg U, and your division’s new Early Career and Graduate Student representative. My job is essentially to be our newest members’ gateway to the division board. If you are a student or postdoc (or a humble assistant professor) and you have an idea, concern, or question that you want to bring to the table, I am your ‘in’, so to speak. My other job is to make sure that you are all taken care of and have a great time at our events, and particularly our ever-famous doctoral consortium preconference. In the spirit of communication, therefore, I would like to start a dialogue with you about what you would like to see from CAT in the coming years in terms of graduate studies and early career. If you have an idea or something that you want to make happen, I encourage you to send me an e-mail at so we can work together to make sure CAT is not just the biggest division, but also the best for you. 



Chrissy Cook


*          *          *


Dear CAT members,


The ICA Communication and Technology Division (CAT) is seeking nominations the Herbert S. Dordick Dissertation Award. The submission deadline award nomination is 12:00 am GMT, March 1, 2018. Any doctoral dissertation in the area of communication and technology, completed and defended between 1 January and 31 December of 2017, is eligible for consideration. 


This  Dordick Dissertation Award honors the memory of Herbert S. Dordick (1925-1998), a distinguished telecommunications engineer, public/urban policy researcher and intellectual, teacher and mentor. The  Dordick Dissertation Award recognizes the most outstanding doctoral dissertation in the area of communication and technology completed and defended in the preceding year, and is presented annually at the business meeting of the Communication and Technology Division of the International Communication Association.


Dissertation authors need not be members of ICA or the CAT Division for their work to be considered, but Award recipients must be ICA members at the time the Award is given (i.e., the ICA annual conference in the year after completing the dissertation). Self-nominations are welcome. 

Nomination materials should include:


  1. Full contact information of the dissertation author, including name, surface mail address, email address, and phone number; 

  1. A cover letter or statement (1-2 pages) by the nominator describing the significance of the work and its merit/suitability for the Award; 

  1. A one-page abstract of the dissertation; 

  1. A representative chapter or selected sections of the dissertation, OR a paper summarizing the dissertation study, problem/hypothesis and rationale, methods, and findings, of up to 30 pages in length (double-spaced, excluding references and figures; approximately 7,500 words). 


Please submit the nominations and address any questions to Mike Yao (U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Chair of the ICA CAT Awards Committee, 


Best regards,  

Mike Yao, Ph.D. 

ICA CAT Awards Committee Chair 

Associate Professor of Digital Media, College of Media 

U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 





ICA Environmental Communication Division Dissertation Award 

DEADLINE:  1  March, 2018


The ICA Environmental Communication Division's dissertation award recognizes the best in doctoral research and dissertation writing in environmental communication. The 2018 award will be the inaugural competition of the division. The award will be given in even-numbered years thereafter. The winner will be recognized with a certificate and cash award during the division’s business meeting at the annual conference. 


Nominations for the award are invited from programs and institutions granting a Ph.D. in any aspect of communication or related fields (e.g. environmental studies, political science, sociology). The rules for the competition are as follows:


1) Dissertations completed between January 1 and December 31 (inclusive) for 2 years prior to the conference year are eligible for consideration. For this first competition, dissertations completed AND successfully defended between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017 are eligible. 

2) The dissertation advisor, dissertation committee member, graduate program director, faculty colleague, or the nominee may make nominations. Nominations have to be made with a cover letter indicating the scholarly strengths of the work. In the case of a self-nomination, a cover letter from the advisor must accompany the nomination. 

3) A manuscript that summarizes the key elements of the dissertation must be submitted with all nominations. The summary must follow these guidelines:


•               The manuscript must not exceed 30 pages of text (double spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins) plus references, tables, appendix, etc.  

•               The manuscript should clearly identify and include the rationale, theoretical framework, research questions, relevant literature, methods, results, and conclusions.  

•               The submitted manuscript must include a cover sheet that contains only the title and the abstract. All identifying information has to be removed from the text of the paper and the file properties. 

•               The manuscript and accompanying documents must be submitted as a single PDF document.  

•               Full dissertations or chapters of dissertations will not be accepted for review.  

•               Submissions that do not meet these guidelines will be returned without undergoing review. 


4) All materials must be received by 1 March 2018 and should be submitted via email to the ICA Environmental Communication Division Chair:  

Bruno Takahashi 

Michigan State U 





2018 ICA/NCA Amanda L.  Kundrat Thesis of the Year and Abby Prestin Dissertation Awards 

Each year, a committee composed of leaders from the Health Communication Divisions of the ICA and NCA reviews Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations submitted for consideration. Authors of the top-rated thesis and top-rated dissertation (and their faculty advisors) are recognized at the annual division business meeting during ICA’s conference with the presentation of a certificate and cash award and are also acknowledged at the annual NCA division business meeting. 

In 2010, the Thesis of the Year Award was renamed the Amanda L. Kundrat Health Communication Thesis of the Year thanks to an endowment created by the  Kundrat family for that award. Amanda’s MA thesis previously won the Thesis of the Year Award. 


The dissertation award is given in honor of the late Abby  Prestin, an exemplary health communication scholar and person who tragically passed away on 3 September, 2014 at the age of 34 after a year-long battle with lymphoma. Both her MA Thesis and PhD Dissertations won these awards, and the Award is endowed by her family and friends.  


For more information about these endowments and ways for you to contribute to this fund, please go to and look for the two funds alphabetized under the name “Health Communication.”  



ICA and NCA are pleased to release a call for outstanding masters theses and doctoral dissertations in the area of health communication. A cash award is given in the amount of US$500 each for the top dissertation and top thesis.


To be considered for the 2018 awards, theses and dissertations must have been completed (defended) between 1 September 2016 and 31 December 2017. If the completion date was in the last four months of 2016, the thesis or dissertation cannot have been submitted for last year’s (2017) competition. Individuals may nominate themselves, but advisors must be notified of the nomination. Thesis and dissertation nominations will be evaluated by a panel of officers and members of the ICA and NCA Health Communication Divisions, with the ICA Chair serving as the award coordinator.


The nomination packet should include (a) a cover letter with the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of the nominee and his or her advisor(s) and completion date of the thesis or dissertation, and (b) a summary (excluding title page and references) of the thesis or dissertation not exceeding 5 pages (8 ½ x 11” page, Times New Roman 12 point font, double-spaced, one-inch margins on all sides, and in English; not counting title page and references).  The 5-page summary should describe clearly and concisely the study’s rationale, theoretical framework, research questions, methods, results, and conclusions. Care should be taken to mask the identity of the author within the text of the summary. The summary should include a title page that contains only the title of the thesis or dissertation. Complete theses or dissertations or chapters of same will not be accepted for review.  Reviewers will be instructed not to read beyond the first 5 pages of text.  PLEASE SUBMIT PACKET AS A MS WORD DOCUMENT—NOT AS A PDF.


On or near Feb 23rd, a slate of up to 3 finalists for each award will be selected by the evaluation committee. Finalists will be invited to submit an extended integrated summary of the thesis or dissertation not exceeding 30 pages (double-spaced, one-inch margins on all sides, and in English).  These summaries will be reviewed by the committee and the award winners will be selected from among the finalists. 


Send an electronic copy of the nomination packet including cover letter and 5-page summary to: 


Evelyn Y. Ho 

Chair, ICA Health Communication Division 



The deadline for receipt of the nomination packets is February 1, 2018.  Nomination packets received after that date will not be reviewed. 



ICA Interpersonal Communication Division  

Call for Submissions: Outstanding Dissertation and Thesis Awards 2018 


The Interpersonal Communication Division of the International Communication Association seeks nominations for the Division's annual Outstanding Dissertation and Outstanding Thesis Awards. Applicants should submit (a) a 25-35 abstract or paper-length version of the thesis or dissertation, and (b) a letter of nomination from the dissertation/thesis director explaining why the project should be recognized. Deadline for submission of materials is 30 January, 2018. Applicants must have defended the project between Jan. 1 and Dec 31 of 2017. Submit application materials electronically in a single .pdf to Jennifer A. Samp, Interpersonal Division Chair, at 




Preconference Call for Panelists 

Inclusivity and Family Communication Research: 
Advances and Innovations from across the Discipline 

Thursday, 24 May 2018, 10:00-17:00


Scholarship related to family communication continues to be of interest to many scholars across the communication discipline. Although the flagship publication for family communication scholarship, Journal of Family Communication, tends to publish research in interpersonal and relational contexts, it is not unusual to see families studied in a variety of other communication contexts including health, media, organizations and organizing, law and policy, and cultural studies, to name only a few. 


Often, family communication studies draw from literature in only one contextual area; and, similarly, those research studies are presented back to people within that same sub-area of the field. Although valuable scholarship is undoubtedly generated in these silos, one has to wonder how much family communication scholars from across the field can benefit from each other’s work. 

This preconference brings together scholars from all backgrounds who study both families and communication. In doing so, we will consider how to advance family communication studies in relevant, informed, and innovative ways. In addition to a keynote speech and opportunities for discussion, the preconference will also feature competitively-selected research. 


Possible topic areas for competitive papers or high-density presentations include the following: 


  •       Relational communication in families 

  •       Family health concerns 

  •       Family use of traditional and new media 

  •       How laws and policies continue to shape families 

  •       Representations of family in media 

  •       Families and work-life balance 

  •       Communication theory as it relates to families 

  •       Inventive approaches to studying family communication 

  •       Diversity and inclusion issues regarding families 


As this topic list indicates, even though this preconference is being sponsored by the Interpersonal Communication Division, we strongly encourage participation across the many divisions and interest groups that are involved with family communication studies. Additionally, and embracing yet another facet of inclusivity, at least one panel or session within the preconference will be dedicated to non-normative families. 


Submitting to the Family Communication Preconference 


Abstract submissions should be sent as a Microsoft word document to by Monday, 22


January 2018. To assist in organizing abstract review, please include your last name as part of the file, and in the subject line of your submission email include FAMILY COMMUNICATION: LAST



Abstracts should include a title, 5-7 key words, a body of up to 500 words, and references. 

Review and Notification of Decision


We anticipate a fast peer-review process, and authors will be notified of their acceptance before 1 February 2018. Submission of a full paper is expected by 1 May 2018. Authors of accepted abstracts will be expected to register for and attend the pre-conference that is held on Thursday, 24 May 2018, from 10:00-17:00. The full 2018 ICA meeting will begin that night with the opening reception.  


Authors presenting at the preconference may be considered for an edited collection to be published in 2019. More details will be provided with acceptance notifications. 




9th Annual Doctoral Consortium of the Communication and Technology Division  
co-sponsored by the Mobile Communication Interest Group of  
the International Communication Association (ICA) 
Thursday, 24 May 2018 | Skautsky Institut, Prague, Czech Republic 
The consortium will bring together PhD candidates conducting research on various types of communication technologies and mobile communication to give them the opportunity to present and discuss their research in a constructive and international atmosphere. The objectives of the event are to provide feedback and advice to participating PhD candidates on their in-progress research thesis. Moreover, the Doctoral Consortium will provide the opportunity to meet experts as well as fellow PhD candidates from different backgrounds working on related topics.  
During the consortium, students and faculty will be organized into small groups, determined by the thematic nature of the research. In each group, students will present their work, and receive feedback from their fellow students and faculty participants, all of whom will have read the proposals in advance of the Doctoral Consortium. Each proposal will receive detailed feedback from three faculty participants. There will be two poster sessions to allow participants from other groups to learn about and comment on the research of the PhD candidates. 
In addition to the presentation and critique of proposals, there will be discussion of issues related to making the transition from graduate student to faculty member. Of course, this process differs widely across different nations and academic traditions. Bearing these differences in mind, we will discuss positioning one’s work for the job market, strategies for publication, the interviewing process and other aspects of faculty job searches. Anticipating a time when participants will have an academic position, the discussion will include issues like managing workload and working relationships, finding a work/life balance, and ways of being a successful academic.  
Submission Process 
Applicants must be advanced to candidacy, and have their dissertation proposal topic previously approved by their committee or supervisor. Ideally, students will be in the early stages of their dissertation, where feedback would be helpful in refining and advancing their work. To apply, students must submit a proposal describing their research. 
Submissions must be related to one of the working areas of the Communication and Technology Division (CAT) or the Mobile Communication Interest Group (MCIG) of the International Communication Association (ICA). A description of the respective research areas can be found in the last section of this call. In your submission, please identify whether you’re submitting to MCIG or CAT. 
Proposals must identify a significant problem (or problems) in a relevant field of research, briefly outline current knowledge of the problem domain, and clearly formulate a research question, or specify hypotheses to be tested. Proposals should outline the research approach, methods, and any results obtained so far. Submissions should be between 3000 and 4000 words (excluding references and appendices), and must include name and affiliation of the PhD candidate.  
Applications need to be accompanied by a short letter of recommendation from the advisor or member of the dissertation committee stating how the PhD candidate can benefit from participation in the Doctoral Consortium. 
The proposal and letter of recommendation must be submitted as one PDF document and sent as an attachment in an email to Veronika Karnowski at The deadline for submission is 1 February 2018. Submitted proposals will be reviewed by the members of the program committee based on significance of research, specificity of research topic and/or questions, clarity of writing and degree to which student can benefit from expert guidance and feedback. 
To help ensure the consortium best meets the needs of its members, limited financial assistance is made possible by the CAT Division and the MCIG. Please note in your application if you would like to be considered for financial support to cover your costs for participation in the Doctoral Consortium (this support would cover only the US$75 participation fee and not travel to the conference). 
About the Communication and Technology Division 
The CAT Division is concerned with the role played by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the process of communication. It is committed to enhancing theory and methodology pertaining to adoption, usage, effects, and policy of ICTs. Areas of research include human-computer interaction, computer-mediated communication, mobile communication, and other technologically mediated social interaction and networking in all contexts (interpersonal, group, organizational, societal/cultural) and at all levels of analyses. CAT invites papers that make an innovative and original contribution to our understanding of ICTs, with the primary focus on communication aspects of particular technological characteristics.  
About the Mobile Communication Interest Group 
The MCIG focuses on the phenomenon of mobility in communication – thus being placed on the intersection of mobility, technology, and culture in human communication. While including a wide array of perspectives and approaches in communication scholarship from historical perspectives to studies on future media innovations, from ethnographic to quantitative empirical approaches, from journalism studies to media effects research the common ground of the Interest Group is state of the art theorizing on mobile communication as well as the discussion of adequate methodology to do so. 
Participation is only by invitation. Once a proposal is accepted, students can register through the ICA website. Cost for participation is US$75 per person.  
Program Committee (faculty mentors) 
Marjolijn L. Antheunis, Tilburg U, Netherlands (Program Director) 
Katy Pearce, U of Washington, USA (Program committee) 
Veronika Karnowski, Ludwig-Maximilians U, Germany (Program committee) 
Klaus Bruhn Jensen, U of Copenhagen, Denmark 
Benjamin H. Detenber, Nanyang Technological U, Singapore 
Jordan Frith, U of North Texas, USA 
Jesse Fox, Ohio State U, USA 
Roselyn Lee-Won, Ohio State U, USA 
Richard S. Ling, Nanyang Technological U, Singapore 
Malcolm Parks, U of Washington, USA 
Lidwien van de Wijngaert, Radboud University, Netherlands   
Mike Yao, U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA 




Pre/PostConference Proposal Submissions 

At the 2018 ICA conference in Prague, the Public Relations Division will sponsor/co-sponsor the following pre- and post-conferences. Please check the 2018 ICA conference website for more information and calls for papers:


  1.        The Ph.D. Student Workshop, prepared by Katerina Tsetsura and Dean Kruckeberg, is sponsored by   the Public Relations Division. 


  1.        The Preconference proposal, Diverse Voices: Authentic Communication, Trust, Dialogue, and

  2.        Society, prepared by Flora Hung-Baesecke, Regina Chen from Public Relations Society of

  3.        China, Oyvind Ihlen from the European Public Relations Education and Research Association, and

  4.       Denisa Hejlová from Charles University in Prague, is sponsored by the Public Relations Division a   nd co-sponsored by the Global Communication and Social Change Division, and the Organizational

  5.       Communication Division.


  1.       The Preconference proposal, Theories in Public Relations: Reflections and Future Directions,

  2.  p     prepared by Chiara Valentini and Lee Edwards, is sponsored by the Public Relations Division. 


  1.       The postconference proposal, Lobbying and Democracy: The Voice of Communication, prepared by

  2.        Oyvind Ihlen, Anna Shavit, Chiara Valentini, Scott Davidson from the European Public Relations

  3.        Education and Research Association, is sponsored by the Public Diplomacy Interest Group and co-s     ponsored by the Public Relations Division.


  1.       Preconference proposal, Voice and Voices: Exploring the Tensions between Plurivocity and

  2.       Univocity (exact title to be confirmed), prepared by Professor François Cooren (Université de  

  3.       Montréal), is co-sponsored by the Public Relations Division and other ICA divisions. 

Tags:  December 2017 

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