More than 52 scholars will present cutting-edge communication research during the 24/25th Annual New Jersey Communication Association Conference, being held virtually March 20, 2021. Hosted by SC&I this year, the event promises to be one of the most exciting, relevant, and impactful in NJCA’s history.
The conference theme is “Communicating in Challenging and Difficult Times and the Need for Clarity and Transparency.” Organized by Teaching Professor Richard Dool, who is director of both the Master of Communication and Media (MCM) and the Master of Health Communication and Information (MHCI) Masters Programs at SC&I, the conference combines two years: the 24th annual conference, which was scheduled to be held in 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 25th annual conference scheduled for 2021.
“We are thrilled to host this year’s event as we all try to make the most in this pandemic world,” Dool said. “We are also pleased to welcome back many participants from our 2020 canceled event. It has been a momentous year since we had to cancel, and we did not expect be virtual again in 2021. But as we all learned, we can pivot and make the most of our ‘remote’ opportunities. We are so pleased that so many worthy scholars submitted a wide variety of subjects, it will make our 2021 conference a rich learning experience.”
Dean Jonathan Potter said, “As a discipline, Communication is important at international, national, and regional levels. The State of New Jersey and its adjoining and overlapping conurbations are extraordinarily rich in companies and organizations that require communication skills at the highest level . . . this conference promises to be an exciting event!”
Explaining the significance of the conference, and the ways the research presented can be leveraged to help our local communities, Chair of the Communication Department at SC&I, Professor Lea Stewart said, “This year’s theme, ‘Communicating in Challenging and Difficult Times and the Need for Clarity and Transparency,’ could not be more timely. It has indeed been a challenging year in so many ways. While we are most fortunate to be able to continue our work in a virtual environment, we have faced countless difficulties dealing with remote teaching, maintaining our research programs, and serving our communities in familiar ways. And, of course, many, many people have struggled much more than we have. As communication researchers, teachers, and practitioners we are in a unique position to use the findings of our research to support our communities and, hopefully, pave the way forward to a future that we are just beginning to glimpse.”
“Thank you to all of the people who have worked to make this conference a success and put in the extra work to transition it to a virtual environment. In particular, I would like to thank this year’s keynote speaker, Juan Gonzalez, Rutgers Professor of Professional Practice, award-winning journalist, and co-host of Democracy Now! His years of experience in the media industry and community activism give him a unique perspective on communicating in challenging and difficult times. We are fortunate to have Richard Dool as this year’s conference organizer. He is director of both the Master of Communication and Media (MCM) Program as well as the Master of Health Communication and Information (MHCI) Program at Rutgers. Rick has done a wonderful job ‘pivoting’ the conference from last year’s planned in-person event to this year’s virtual one. I’m sure you will join me in thanking Rick for all of his hard work to ensure that NJCA continues its long tradition of facilitating connections among Communication scholars, teachers, and students in New Jersey.”
The keynote will be delivered by Juan D. González, the Richard D. Heffner Professor of Communications and Public Policy and Professor of Professional Practice, Journalism and Media Studies at SC&I.
González is an award-winning broadcast journalist and investigative reporter. A two-time winner of the George Polk Award, he is co-host of DemocracyNow!, author of "Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America," and a founder of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He spent 29 years as a columnist for the New York Daily News. Before beginning his career in journalism, González spent several years as a Latino community and civil rights activist, helping to found and lead two national organizations, the Young Lords Party during the late 1960s, and the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights during the late 1970s.
Presenters from SC&I:
Moderated by Richard Dool
“Communication as the Foundation for Designing and Leading Change”
Moderated by Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Communication, Mark Beal
“Gen Z Transforming Communication Transparency in Media, Marketing and the Workplace” presented by Beal, et al.
"COVID-19 Related Food Insecurity Among School-Age Children K-12 in two New Jersey Cities: Jersey City and New Brunswick," presented by Susan Chanin and Krystal Mora, Master of Communication and Media (MCM) students.
Moderated by Richard Dool
"’I Don't Know’: Patient Attitudes toward Physicians' Transparent Communication of Diagnostic Uncertainty,” presented by Ph.D. student Allyson Bontempo.
Presented by Richard Dool