Minutes, November 15, 2014, Kean University

NJCA Executive Board Meeting
Saturday, November 15, 2014 – 10:00am – 12:30pm

Kean University-  CAS-rm 443

In attendance: Barna Donovan; Laura Farrell;  Todd Kelshaw; Christine Lemesianou; Christopher Lynch; Gina Marcello; Evelyn Plummer; John Pollock;  Suzanne Schwab


Chris Lynch distributed the meeting agenda and thanked the group for attending.

NB: Many ideas and perspectives were offered throughout the meeting. For clarity, all of the brainstormed ideas are listed at the end of this document. This includes a written suggestion forwarded by Gary Radford.  Some of ideas generated became initiatives and others are simply included for future reference.


The meeting began with extended discussion considering the optimum vision and mission for the association. Several reasons were cited for the declining levels of participation and involvement. These included the changing climate of scholarship within the state, competition with higher profile entities for faculty development dollars, and lack of a focused niche serving the needs of NJ communication educators and professionals.


Several thoughts were offered about how to generate interest in the association and attract new members. (see list below) . Today’s attendees supported  a revision to the types of memberships and the structure of  conference registration fees. A related suggestion involved initiating NJCA student chapters on state campuses. Because the details for the proposed revisions to the fee structures were not finalized at this meeting, the formal motion to be offered for voting was tabled and will be addressed at the next board phone conference—to he held some time in early December. Many of those present expressed a preference for  phone conferences later in the day.

In brief, the  sense of the discussion was in favor of having Chapter memberships rather than the current “Institutional memberships”.  This change would include some sort of package deal of discounted conference registration  & 1 copy of the journal for schools with such chapter memberships. (Chapters already would have paid approximately $100.00 to NJCA as a chapter fee).


Programming - Barna confirmed that the theme of the Conference is being revised slightly to read “A Virtual Revolution – Technology & Change”

A brief flyer with the Call-For-Papers & Save-the-date will be disseminated soon—on line and via email. This will make it easier for faculty mentors to recruit student work before the end of the Fall semester.  Several other thoughts were offered for formulating a more scholarly/faculty-based/colloquia-influenced model for the conference (such suggestions are labeled with * in the list below). Interest in pedagogy was discussed but with a goal of developing a more pragmatic focus of adjunct teaching development.

Conference Fees, Registration & Late Registration - Since any proposed changes to fees must be formally presented to the membership prior to any vote, today’s suggestions about (1) raising fees (by approx $10-20), (2) converting the “Institutional” membership, (3) instituting a pre-registration deadline+ late registration fees, and (4) eliminating the ability to pre-register without payment are all currently in a to-be-determined status. The goal is to ensure that  the association remains solvent and that the conference can pay for itself . In general, the conference  lunch & publishing the Atlantic Journal of Communication appear to be the biggest expenditures.


Chris L has been in touch with treasurer, Sheena Howard, who confirmed $1400.00 as NJCA’s cost for publishing the Atlantic Journal of Communication.  Clarification is needed in terms of the exact composition of those costs. Gary Radford is planning to talk with Taylor and Francis (our publishers) while at the upcoming NCA Conference.


This idea, generated at the April 2014 Board-to-Board meeting, originally was offered as a strategy for increasing visibility and interest in NJCA. The corrected original composition of this exploration committee was listed as: John Pollock, Gina Marcello, Gary Radford, & Thom Gencarelli.  Today, some additional brainstorming occurred about how to tie in the awardee to the “White Paper” concept (listed below). There is no report at this time.


Chris L. received widespread agreement that a major area of mission “daylight” for NJCA exists in reference to communication adjunct faculty. For example, there is no centralized database, nor is there any state-wide mechanism for pedagogy development nor is there any sort of certification. Christine Lemesianou volunteered to use Chris’ list of department chairs in order to begin compiling the database of adjunct names and emails.


There was widespread agreement that the website needs improvement in several areas. It is perceived as dated in image and lacking in the ability to function as an informational and/or professional resource.  Also, NJCA would benefit from an infrastructure that can easily be maintained and is independent of any particular college.

Suzanne Schwab and Laura Farrell will initiate a Wordpress site (approx. $150.). It would have a new URL and we have can have Andy Mudrak set up a “redirect” on the current site as we gradually construct a new website.

Mostly by using an internship structure Gina Marcello {Students studying PR} and Suzanne Schwab {PRSSA members} intend to enlist students for developing site content & promotional materials - including video.


Gina Herrman has resigned, thus leaving an opening for a “Special Projects Director.” This person would serve as a coordinator of the several ongoing initiatives—e.g. the various committee initiatives generated at today’s meeting. David Oh has expressed interest in the association and Chris Lynch will approach him to assess his willingness. In addition, John Pollock knows of a colleague he can approach.


In order to bring some focus to the many different ideas generated, Chris Lynch clarified the establishment of  3 committees and expressed the overall charge that each executive board member should participate in at least one of the committees:

  • Website Upgrade Initiative_ Co-Chairs: Suzanne Schwab & Laura Farrell – who will manage the construction. This initiative still needs to create a structure for implementing content maintenance. In addition, Laura will update our Facebook & Twitter. Gina M. will ensure that Laura also has administrator access to those items.
  • Adjunct Outreach Initiative_ Chair: Christine Lemesianou. Christine will begin by compiling the list of adjuncts. Longer terms goals include boosting faculty development—perhaps through a certification procedure [e.g. attending NJCA pedagogy development sessions 3 years in a row to earn a certificate]
  • Student Chapter Initiative_ Chair : Todd Kelshaw with John Pollock and Gina Marcello. The charge is to develop procedures and bylaws for creating student chapters on as many state campuses as possible.

SUMMARY OF IDEAS GENERATED: ( also see  document below from Gary Radford.)

*>John P. supports the colloquia idea  (“ people w/ PhD’s talking about interesting materials”)

>Website content could include video content

>Website content could include ongoing pedagogy-based dialogues

> Website could include a database listing people’s research areas in order to search for  potential collaborators

*> As an association, can we find a means to direct our research in applied ways? Maybe via a different conference model

>Conduct Webinars via the website?

> Send out a monthly email newsletter via our Listserv

> Institute webpage links to NJ grad programs; this will need to be monitored & regularly updated

> Assign work on the website as a student projects/internships

*> Institute an Aspen Institute model (white paper generation-3 on a given topic at a given conference) a phased-in paradigm change (only one at first)

> Create a certification program for NJ adjuncts (3 pedagogy sessions | new trends in comm. research

*>Have an Exec Board meeting at ECA to discuss the topic of our just completed conf to create a white paper [2014 = “A Virtual Revolution” ] [ solicit a volunteer editor & publish in AJC

> Institute a system of student NJCA chapters (1 copy of the journal per chapter & special conference rates.) Will provide an additional source of student volunteers (could align w/ Lambda PI Eta chapters). Todd & committee will formulate set-up structures, bylaws, dues, etc

*> Revive involvement from Rutgers. Pull in people from Rutgers: past scholars such as Brent Ruben for colloquia sessions ( also see attachment from Gary Radford)

*> Continue developing Faculty Award initiative ( recognize a scholar as a leader in Tech &/or  Comm education. Awardee will attend as many sessions as  possible then build a 10 paper white paper to be submitted, edited &  published in AJC.

*> John P—volunteered to submit a colloquium-type  session on Media & Human Rights tied in to “A Virtual Revolution” ( citizen journalism, Human rights associations etc)  . To summarize by generating  a White Paper  to be published AJC . He has a connection at  Annenberg

*>Chris L: volunteered to create a panel session on Comm pedagogy – follow up w/ White Paper

*> possible colloquia/White Paper topic = The role of Communication discipline in  Higher Ed

> This face-to-face meeting was very productive and the Board will have face-to-face meeting  in the Spring. Current plan is  @ Georgian court (circa Belmar)  & then lunch. Some time in  early March. Gina Marcello will organize.

Respectfully submitted, Evelyn Plummer 11/19/14