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ECA 2023 - Call for Proposals: First Vice President’s Special Programming: Promoting Faculty Vitality, Health, and Wellness

Dear ECA Members:

Regular submissions have closed and the numbers promise an exciting, innovative convention!  Remember that you still have the opportunity to submit (or support your students) for Graduate Posters and the James McCroskey and Virginia Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference.  In addition, I invite you to consider submitting a proposal in response to the call below.  I wish everyone a great week! 

Jennifer Waldeck

Call for Proposals:  First Vice President’s Special Programming:  Promoting Faculty Vitality, Health, and Wellness

Eastern Communication Association 2023 Convention, Baltimore 

The stress of the past several years has limited many academics’ creativity, productivity, capacity for innovation, and overall feelings of joy related to work.  Online teaching, feelings of isolation, discomfort with a range of social and cultural changes, illness, death, economic and financial pain, and an uncertain employment forecast are just a few of the issues we have all dealt with directly or indirectly.  In addition, the pandemic has illuminated the emotional labor academics have shouldered for decades.  Many are simply saying “enough.” 

The call to support undergraduate students and their mental health during these “unprecedented times” has, with good cause, been loud and persistent.  Yet, one has to wonder, what are these depleted support-givers experiencing, and what do we need in order to flourish?    

To be innovative, as this convention’s theme encourages us, we must be well and free to focus on a bright future for ourselves, the discipline, and our students.  Toward that end, Jennifer Waldeck, University of Georgia, ECA First Vice President, invites proposals for special programming on the topic of Promoting Faculty Vitality, Health, and Wellness.  

Please consider how ECA attendees might best engage with these topics.  I am interested in programs that will offer us healthy take-aways, and promote positivity and wellness in the profession.  A range of formats in addition to traditional conference papers and panels are welcome:

Panel and roundtable discussions
Research presentations
Field trips away from the hotel
Creative and artistic displays
Classes, workouts, meditations
Hybrid experiences that could continue online after the convention to support participants

What can we do to feel better, cope, be strong and engaged when we want to rest or even give up?  What are the sources of our un-wellness, and how can these be managed?  (The pandemic is far from the only cause.)  What strategies can we implement in our lives or at work to create a community of strength and support?  How can we manage our professional and personal challenges with courage, and free of shame?  What research questions and organizational practices would fruitfully support faculty wellness and vitality?  Bring your best practices, your questions, and your concerns to the table for an innovative series of convention discussions around this important and timely set of topics.

Please submit your proposals to Jennifer Waldeck at by December 1, 2022.  There is no required format other than to include all relevant presenter/facilitator information and a description of your program.  Feel free to reach out to me to discuss your ideas in advance.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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