Reviewing for a conference is not an easy task. You sign up when your schedule seems fairly open—it seems like a great idea at the time, doesn’t it?—but the actual work inevitably shows up in your inbox at precisely the worst, busiest time. You feel yourself pulled between needing to get reviews DONE and off your desk, and the responsibility of providing substantive and useful feedback to your colleagues. Perhaps you curse your months-ago self for having agreed to do such a thing.
We recognize this struggle, and understand why so many reviewers (at so many associations, not just ICA) often succumb to submitting only numerical ratings and leave off the qualitative commentary, just to cross the task off their lists. That qualitative commentary, though, is crucial to the improvement not only of papers who ultimately are rejected, but also to those who are accepted, so that they may come to conference months later with the best version of their work.
In 2017, in an effort to put an emphasis on qualitative reviewing for our conference in San Diego, ICA instituted a process whereby each division and interest group may nominate one “rock star reviewer,” defined is someone who may have taken on a high number of last-minute reviews when others failed to fulfil their obligations, or who has provided especially helpful, detailed, or astute commentary to submitters to help them truly improve their work. The Rock Star Reviewer is nominated by the planner from each division, and then all “rock stars” are entered into a randomized drawing to receive a complimentary conference registration.
This year’s rock star reviewer WINNER, chosen at random from all nominees to receive the complimentary main conference registration, is Nithila Kanagasabi (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai), nominated by the Feminist Scholarship Division. Nithila will receive complimentary main conference registration for the 69th Annual ICA Conference in Washington, DC. Thank you, Nithila!
Although they don’t all receive free registration, we also extend our gratitude to all of the other top reviewers submitted by each* division/interest group, as follows (in alpha order by Division/Interest Group name):
Peter Flemish (Activism, Communication & Social Justice), Brigitte Nadener (Children, Adolescents & the Media), Danielle Barb (Communication and Technology), Annie Rudd (Communication History), Christin Scholz and Jacob Fisher (Communication Science & Biology), Andrew Prahl (Environmental Communication), Lauren DelCalvalho (Ethnicity & Race in Communication), Christine Cook (Game Studies), David Keatina (Health Communication), Nancy Rhodes (Information Systems), Tobias Rohrbach (Intergroup Communication), Brandon Walling (Interpersonal Communication), Rachel Mourao (Journalism Studies), Jack Joyce (Language and Social Interaction), Traci Gillig (LGBTQ Studies), Marisa Ashley Smith (Mass Communication), Roei Davidson (Media Industry Studies), Brenda Berkelaar (Organizational Communication), Jack Bratich (Philosophy, Theory & Critique), Christian Baden (Political Communication), Sharonna Pearl (Popular Communication), Efe Zevin (Public Diplomacy), Ansgar Zerfass (Public Relations), and Allison Kewsall (Visual Communication Studies).
*Some groups did not submit a rock star reviewer name by the deadline
Thank you to ALL of you who review each year for ICA. If you haven’t reviewed before, please consider reviewing next year for the conference in Gold Coast, Australia. The success and quality of the ICA conference—and of individual submitters’ work—depends on rigorous review and guidance from colleagues and mentors.
We look forward to seeing you all in Washington, DC!