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Student Column

Posted By Myrene Magabo (UP Open University) & Sarah Cho (UMass Amherst), Friday, April 3, 2020

Seven in a Thousand Reasons to Attend the Virtual Conference #ica20

Myrene Magabo, Co-chair of Student and Early Career Advisory Committee, U of the Philippines Open U


#ICA20 is going virtual for real! As someone who has been both an on-campus and an online learner, instructor, and online organizational leader, I could truly speak from experience. Virtual meetings, virtual conferences, and virtual classes are for real! They are just as productive. Commonly known to most virtual space learners, leaders, and online educators, there are at least seven (benefits) that can be enjoyed in a virtual conference. 

These benefits include:

  1. Less or zero cost compared to traveling to a conference site. 

  2. Geographical and other limiting barriers are overcome for as long as your Internet is running. You can be anywhere in the world and yet you can be in the conference.

  3. Virtual conferences or meetings allow for better opportunities for sharing and accessing virtual presentations synchronously (in real time) or asynchronously (at any time) at your convenience.

  4. There are increased opportunities, increased productivity, and efficiency.

  5. You may pre-record your presentation therefore giving you better preparation time (i.e., you can edit your presentation before it goes out live to various audiences).

  6. There is less physical stress as you can attend any session right at the comfort of your homes or offices, or you can be in your backyard or lawn. 

  7. Despite the social distance, the meeting of the minds, and creation of output are achieved. 

This year, we will miss the beautiful scenery of the place, the warm handshakes, the voices from speeches and presentations, the hot coffee and tea, the exchange of business cards, the face-to-face social gathering and camaraderie. However, what we will miss cannot equate to the value of noble cause and reason why we must go virtual instead. Look up above. There are seven major reasons you shouldn’t miss #ICA20! See you then!


Sarah Cho, Co-chair of Student and Early Career Advisory Committee


For the last two years, I truly enjoyed every moment serving our great community of student members and early career scholars within the ICA. During my service, I was able to see clearly that the International Communication Association is working hard to keep this academic society running by addressing the needs of various underrepresented groups. However, as a student member myself, I was very happy to see how the SECAC played a pivotal role in promoting the voices of student and early career members. The SECAC has organized numerous meetings, receptions, and workshops for the members we are representing, but, more importantly, we have focused on building networks among young scholars from the global south since last year. Although it is still early to say that the networks fully serve the needs of the global south members, I would like to say that we successfully took our first step toward our goal and continue to move forward. We have tried to expand our own networks as well. For example, the SECAC recently met with the current and newly elected Student and Early Career Representatives of divisions and interest groups. In the virtual meeting, we had a very productive and meaningful conversation on how to further our relationships and expand our roles together in the ICA. I was so glad to be able to play a bridging role between the two groups, and I found myself very lucky to be where we could discuss a way for us to better serve our community of student and early career members. 

Although we still have a month before the ICA conference, I would like to say goodbye because this will be the last student column that I contribute. I will officially step down from the position as a co-chair of the SECAC after the conference. After #ICA20 conference, I am pretty sure that Myrene Magabo, the current co-chair, U of the Philippines Open U, and Lara Schreurs, the new co-chair, KU Leuven - School for Mass Communication Research, will continue these efforts with the support from other SECAC members - Grazia Murtarelli, U IULM, Cecilia Zhou, U of Massachusetts - Amherst, and Muhammad Ittefaq, U of Kansas. If you are interested in working with the wonderful members of the SECAC or the SECReps of your division/interest group, feel free to contact us. We’re here to work with you

Tags:  April 2020 

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