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ECA - 2020 Convention - Call for Panelists - Interpersonal Communication Interest Group

Hello members of the Interpersonal Communication interest group at ECA!

I am the program planner for the interest group for the 2020 conference. I received reviews for the submitted papers and panels and am currently working to building sessions for the accepted submissions. I have some space available to build a few more panels that are not related to the work you submitted. Below are some ideas that I had for panels I’d like to develop. Now that I have the titles and topics, I need panelists who are interested in any of these topics and would have something to share! (Hopefully that’s you!) Please read the descriptions below and email me directly ( to offer your participation in any, some, or all of these panels! Contact me by Friday November 30, as the sessions are all due to ECA the following week. Please note that these panels would be appropriate for students and for faculty scholars. Let me know if you have any questions! I’m also open to suggestions for panel ideas and panelists. I look forward to continue planning our interest group and appreciate your participation!

Sincerely, Aimee Miller-Ott
Illinois State University,

Translating Interpersonal Communication Research for a Public Audience

The focus of this panel would be to discuss how we find ways in our teaching and research to make our work accessible to a public audience. This might include talk about asking students to translate research for class projects or through service learning or applying our own scholarship to outlets outside of the academy – panelists could include students and faculty.

Interview with a Scholar

At CSCA two years ago, Jody Koenig Kellas interviewed Kathleen Galvin during a session. Her interview included questions about being a woman early in academia, the overlap between her therapy training and communication, the development of the discourse-dependent framework, etc. I would be interested in proposing the same type of panel but I need 1) an interviewer and 2) an interviewee – someone who has made significant contributions to the study of interpersonal communication who is also a member of ECA. I’m open to suggestions for the scholar being interviewed and who may want to interview them.

Interpersonal and Family Communication Perspectives on Mental Health

I along with some of my colleagues at Illinois State University recently published an edited book examining communication research on mental health. We presented a panel at NCA that addressed various ways of examining and challenges to studying mental health in the communication discipline. I would love to continue this conversation at ECA. This panel would be ideal for student and faculty scholars who are conducting or have conducted research on mental health, or have experience working with mental health issues in the community. I’m envisioning this as more of a roundtable so you could not need to present an actual paper. Instead we would engage in a discussion on what it’s like to study and/or work with mental health from a communication perspective.

Technology in Interpersonal Relationships

Some of you may know that I conduct research on cell phones in interpersonal relationships. I know that some of you also conduct research on technology and relationships. On this panel, we will discuss ways that interpersonal scholars have contributed to the body of knowledge on technology in our discipline and ways that we can continue to advance our understanding of the way that people use tech in their relationships in both prosocial and antisocial ways. This panel will be discussion-based and could include talk about methods for studying tech usage, important populations to explore, communication theories best used to understand technology usage, etc.

Struggles in Academia: From the Dark to the Bright Side

There was a similar panel at NCA in the Family Communication Division, during which panelists shared moments of struggle in their academic journal with the goal of addressing these obstacles and becoming empowered by sharing them publicly – panelists can include students and faculty scholars. Conversations might also include ways to sense-make and cope with these struggles.


If you have projects you are currently working on and would benefit from feedback by other scholars, you might be interested in this panel. This panel might be particularly useful for students who have projects in various stages of completion. I could envision having a couple of respondents on this panel who get the “research in progress” outlines or paper drafts ahead of the conference and work with the panelists to provide suggestions for future direction during the session.

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