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Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV communications students, faculty attend 2023 NCA Convention

Courtesy / GVSU School of Communications

Every year, the National Communication Association (NCA) holds a convention that provides opportunities for learning, career development and educational advancement. At the 2023 NCA convention, which was also the organization’s 109th year running the convention, two Grand Valley State University graduate students presented their papers regarding social issues through the lens of communication and media.

According to their website, the National Communication Association “​​advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry.” The 2023 NCA convention took place from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19 just outside of Washington D.C. in National Harbor, Maryland. 

One of the GVSU graduate students who attended the event and presented her paper during a panel discussion was Taylor Deschaine-Hurd. Her paper discussed the media’s racial framing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

“I looked at two news organizations, Fox News and CNN, and I looked at how they covered not only the murder (but also) the protests and the trials,” Deschaine-Hurd said. 

Deschaine-Hurd really enjoyed the NCA and said her faculty advisor was helpful in navigating the “overwhelming” experience. 

“What made it really special was that my advisor, my professor, Dr. Anthony Spencer was there with me so he was able to kind of walk me around (and) introduce me to people because it was my first year going,” Deschaine-Hurd said.  

The other GVSU graduate student who attended the conference was Rheyna Bui. Bui presented two papers, one in panel form and the other in a poster session. The first paper discussed “Jane Crow” and the intersectional experience of women of color. The second paper discussed the censorship of Black content creators on social media. 

“The theme of the panel was intersectionality and highlighting difference and then the conference theme was freedom, and so I got to experience things that you always wanted to talk about,” Bui said.

One of the benefits of the NCA conference, was the opportunity to network.

“Networking is huge,” Deschaine-Hurd said. “Ph.D. programs are really difficult to get into, so if you make those connections of like, ‘Hey, we met here,’ and there’s like an anecdote or whatever, that will just do nothing but help you get into these programs.”

Bui echoed Deschaine-Hurd’s statement. Bui said the conference opens up possibilities to meet new people.  

“It’s very much not what you know, it’s who you know. So going there was really fun because I’m extroverted,” Bui said.

In addition to the two GVSU student presenters, five GVSU professors were in attendance. Corey Anton, one of the GVSU professors who attended the event, said the convention is inclusive of a lot of different specific aspects of the communications field. 

“It does represent the largest swath of very different groups that are affiliated with communication, so it’s not as if it’s just one group. It has different hosting subsections and divisions and sponsor groups,”Anton said.

The other professors who attended the event were Anthony Spencer, Imran Mazid, Richard Besel and Peter Zhang. Anton also discussed how important this convention is for students. 

“From my own perspective, it’s not as much an important convention for scholars in the field to go to. It’s probably more essential or basically, maybe vital for graduate students, for many masters students or even undergrads. This is a place to shop for a graduate program,” Anton said. 

Anton said the conference can have a very positive impact on those who attend it. 

“It’s a rare opportunity to bring so many different scholars who you respect all into one place, so it is fun,” Anton said. “When somebody whose work you’ve read is there presenting it, sometimes it can be just a rocket blast in the arm, and you’re like ‘wow.’”

Courtesy / GVSU School of Communications
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