Three years ago, when the Denison University Communication Department agreed to host the Faculty Development/Hope Conference for the National Communication Association (NCA), professors Suzanne Condray and Jeff Kurtz were determined to build something meaningful — to create a vital template for future conferences for the three-year hosting commitment.
Evidently, Condray and Kurtz were successful, as were professors Laura Russell and Amanda Gunn, who joined the next year. In November, NCA President Ron Jackson awarded the Department of Communication at Denison University a Presidential Citation for hosting the NCA Institute for Faculty Development/Hope Conference.
These faculty, aided by Academic Administrative Assistant Sally Scheiderer, planned for a year to organize the week-long event. “We selected the most intellectually engaged and approachable scholar-teachers in our discipline and invited those who teach undergraduates and covet opportunities for professional growth to spend a week on our campus,” reported Condray.
“Then, as hosts, we provided a venue and the resources for them to stretch one another and build communities that will sustain them beyond the week. If we get it right, well we get an award,” she added. “It takes faculty, an administrative assistant, student workers, housing, physical plant, dining, communications and administrative personnel, and a generous university commitment.”
In July 2019, the NCA Institute will mark its third and final year at Denison, with Associate Professors Russell and Alina Haliliuc as co-hosts.