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Leaders in the Discipline

The faculty in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences has provided leadership to the communication discipline in numerous ways over the past 50+ years.  On this page, we celebrate the highest level of service from our current and former faculty who have presided over our national and international professional organizations and served as editors at the most prestigious journals in the field. 

Presidents of the National Communication Association 

Formerly known as the Speech Association of America and the Speech Communication Association, the National Communication Association serves scholars, teachers, and practitioners addressing all forms, methods, and consequences of communication using a variety of modes of inquiry. The National Communication Association promotes an engagement for theory building and revision, methodological advances, and practical applications to improve human relationships through its eleven publications and annual conference. Presidents are elected by NCA’s 5,000+ members. 

1964    Robert T. Oliver
1975    Herman Cohen
1991    Dennis Gouran


Presidents of the International Communication Association 

Formerly known as the National Society for the Study of Communication, the International Communication Association has emerged as a major organization for the study of communication. The International Communication Association was formed to foster methodologies, courses, and philosophies of scholars in speech, journalism, and mass media. Today, the organization has grown to include interpersonal, health, and social influence forms of inquiry, and ICA hosts one of the largest conferences offered in the field. Individuals elected president of this organization are respected leaders, who have made significant contributions to the field in scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and service.

2005-06   Jon Nussbaum


Presidents of the Rhetoric Society of America

The Rhetoric Society of America has emerged as the most recognized organization in rhetorical studies, broadly construed, and it fosters interdisciplinary studies across the humanities. RSA sponsors one of the top journals in the field of rhetoric, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and hosts a major conference for research on discourse and analysis in various contexts, such as race, economics, feminism, sexuality, and politics. The president of this organization is not only a leader in communication, but within in the humanities more broadly defined.  

2017    Kirt Wilson


Editors-in-Chief at Flagship Journals


Associate and Book Review Editorships