For the second time in the 30-year history of the Organizational Communication Mini Conference (OCMC), the Department of Communication at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information (SC&I) served as the conference host. SC&I is one of only eight schools to have hosted the conference more than once. The conference was sponsored by the Rutgers School of Communication & Information; SCI Ph.D. program; Communication Department; and the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership.
The OCMC highlighted the research of doctoral students on the job market with 18 public presentations. Held from Friday, October 12 – Sunday, October 14, 2018 on the Rutgers University College Avenue and Cook campuses, 122 participants (82 doctoral students and 40 faculty members), attended from colleges and universities all over the United States. These included Arizona State University, University of California-Santa Barbara, Boston College, University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, the University of Southern California, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Texas-Austin, Texas State, University of Oklahoma, University of Kansas, University of Missouri, University of South Florida, Texas A&M, Ohio University, and nearly all of the Big 10 schools. (For a complete list of participating colleges and universities, click here.)
Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication, Craig Scott, said, “OCMC is the best conference in organizational communication for highlighting doctoral student researchers. Thus, the event attracted some of the very best graduate students and faculty in the field to our campus for the three-day event.”
The conference kicked off Friday afternoon with two preconferences. Workshop #1 was titled “Health and Organizations” (facilitated by Professor Marya Doerfel) and Workshop #2 was “Organizational Communication Master’s Pre-Con” (facilitated by Professor Laurie Lewis). SC&I’s Associate Professor Matthew Matsaganis presented during the first workshop. Two SC&I Ph.D. students, Deborah Yoon and Allyson Bontempo (health communication students), assisted with the “Health and Organizations” preconference. They attended the 3-hour workshop, summarized ideas discussed during the conference, and delivered the final report to the organizers. Several other current and former doctoral students also assisted with the master’s-focused preconference.
Following the preconference, attendees gathered at a reception held at Old Man Rafferty’s in New Brunswick.
On Saturday, faculty members led a session titled “Publishing” (moderated by Sophia Fu) and a number of panels and presentations were held, followed by dinner and entertainment at the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health. Sunday, additional panels were held, and the faculty led a panel titled “Strategic Communication and the Job Market” (Moderated by Assistant Professor Katya Ognyanova; for a complete list of the panelists and presenters, click here). The student panels were titled “Social Network and Collective Action,” “Anonymity and Empowerment,” “Tension and Negotiation,” “Narrative, Discourse and Sense Making,” and “Identity.”
Three SC&I students, Teis Kristensen, Katie Kang, and Hyunsook (Eunice) Youn, submitted their work to the OCMC Planning Committee, and their work was competitively chosen from among many submissions. Youn and Kang presentations were selected for public presentations (among the 18 total presenters) and Kristensens poster presentation was one of the 27 posters selected for the OCMC. Kristensen’s presentation was titled “The Ways Communication Ease Knowledge Sharing in Organizations”; Kang’s was titled "(De)Constituting Alcoholics Anonymous: The Four-Flows of Anonymous Organizational Communication”; and Youn’s was named “Volunteers’ Level of Engagement and Multiple Targets of Identification: A Communication Network Perspective.”
Beginning last spring , several SC&I doctoral students planned and organized the OCMC. The group included Katie Kang, Minkyung Kim, Chris Goldthwaite, Teis Kristensen, , Maria Zhigalina, and Hyunsook Youn. First year students Hajar Shirley, Melanie Kwestel, and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick-Milano provided some additional support this fall.
Scott, one of the faculty organizers, noted: “This conference was largely student-run, and we are grateful for the hard work of many of our doctoral students. In particular, Katie Kang, Min Kim, and Chris Goldthwaite put in numerous hours of work over the past several months as the lead organizers of what turned out to be a very successful event.”
SC&I Ph.D. student and conference co-organizer, Katie Kang, said, “Our amazing student organizers at Rutgers worked together to make this conference a success. I received a lot of compliments from attendees about Rutgers' devoted graduate students who were so well-organized. It was a great success, from preconference workshops to the main conference. I am especially grateful to have worked with our faculty members, who are so passionate about and dedicated to the field of Organizational Communication.”