Minutes - December 2, 2011

Minutes of the NJCA Meeting

December 2, 2011, Monmouth University, NJ


Present: Robert Coles, Chad Dell, Mike Echols, Victoria Jordan, Todd Kelshaw, Christine Lemesianou, Sheila McAllister-Spooner, & Wenli Yuan.

Participated via conference call: Christopher Caldiero, Katherine Dunsmore, Shawn Kildea, Anastacia Kurylo, Aaron J. Moore, Gary Radford, Marie Radford, & Carol Stavraka.


1.   Call to Order.  President Mike Echols called the meeting to order at 12:20pm.  He stated that the facility tour prior to the meeting was impressive.


2.   First Vice President’s Report.   Sheila’s student Victoria reported the results of a recent NJCA survey.  Specifically, the most inspiring factors to encourage student participation in  NJCA conferences include: 1) having an influential speaker; only 40% of the survey respondents said the speakers in the past met their expectation; 2) opportunity to network with professionals and peers; 3) participating in panels; 4) gaining internships.  In response to the four factor, there was discussion regarding whether businesses are willing to come to the conference site.  Sheila stated that professionals are very interested in getting to know the students before hiring them.  Christine suggested to create a list of employers who are looking for interns.  Chad proposed to combine graduate school and internship tables in one session. In addition, Victoria noted that students want “what is for me” (e.g., job and internship listings) on the NJCA website. 

Regarding student volunteers, Carol said her event planning students can help with the conference.  Todd pointed out that last year some student volunteers had nothing to do.  Attendees discussed ways to provide more activities for students, such as having AM and PM shifts, or participating in panels.

 3.   President’s Report.  Mike commended the Executive Board for responding quickly to the election of a new treasurer and he thanked Shawn Kildea for taking over the position.  Mike said that we should try to reach out to more communication department chairs to get them and their students involved in NJCA.  He also stated that Executive Board members should fulfill their commitment and try to attend the board meetings.  He proposed to have predetermined meeting dates and anyone going for the election should keep these dates in mind.  Participants expressed different opinions about its feasibility.  Most people, however, agreed that although board members are volunteers, they should take their responsibilities seriously. 

 4.   Membership Director’s Report.  Todd reported that this year we have much fewer (NJCA) journal recipients than the previous year.  Mike noted that the 2011 conference date was around the spring break, which might prevent some people from attending the conference.  Todd said although the number of regular members dropped, we have a healthy number of student participants.  Sheila asked Todd to make a chart of student attendees.  Anastacia suggested to have panel chairs and respondents as a way to increase membership.

 5.   Journal Editor’s Report.  Gary met with Taylor & Francis’ representatives at this year’s NCA conference.  They were delighted that the Atlantic Journal of Communication (AJC) is associated with an organization (NJCA) and satisfied with the journal content.  Currently the journal doesn’t survive on subscription (only 30 institutional subscriptions).  The main outlet will be the database (such as EBSCO).  In 2011, more than 9,030 articles from the journal were downloaded.   Since the journal has no impact factor now, they will try to pursue the journal indexing.  Gary is accepting articles for publishing in April 2013.  There are more than 100 reviewers and the journal’s acceptance rate is approximately 29%.

 6.   Treasurer’s Report.  According to the handout from the former treasurer, Hui-Min Kuo, as of June 14, 2011, NJCA’s account balance was $12,163.37.  At the board meeting in June $1,000 were approved for website expense, therefore, the total balance will drop to $11,163.37.  Overall, NJCA is financially healthy.

 7.   Website.  Bob Coles was praised for his work on the new website.  Bob thanked Andy for his contribution.  The registration page will be reprogrammed to be compatible with the current website.  Christine said that new options of payment (such as P-card) may help increase institutional membership.  Sheila said putting pictures on the website can make it more visually appealing.  Christine also suggested to put the keynote speech and top presentations on the web.  Sheila will contact Larry (keynote speaker) to see if he’s willing to be recorded.  Bob will investigate on tools used to put conference abstracts on the website.

 8.    2012 Conference.   Discussion was held on the conference schedule and number of panels.  Tentatively, the keynote speech and business meeting will be scheduled around lunch time, and the award ceremony & reception will be held at the end of the day.  Todd noted that we need one computer (internet available) with printer for the registration table.  Christine will send out the conference call soon, and she prefers all submissions to be sent to her directly.  Sheila was wondering if it’s worth to have advertising on the conference program. Chad will reach out the department chairs to see if they are interested in it.

 9.  The meeting was adjourned at 2:10pm.

 Respectfully submitted,  

 Wenli Yuan, Secretary