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MSU Communication Expert to Keynote 2023 MCA Conference at Mississippi College

John Nicholson, associate professor of communication at Mississippi State University, will deliver the keynote address during the 2023 Mississippi Communication Association Conference.
John Nicholson, associate professor of communication at Mississippi State University, will deliver the keynote address during the 2023 Mississippi Communication Association Conference.

The best and brightest communication scholars and practitioners from across Mississippi will descend upon Mississippi College Friday, Feb. 17, to attend informative panels, participate in a roundtable discussion, and hear from one of the state’s leading communication experts.

John Nicholson, associate professor of communication at Mississippi State University, will discuss hands-on activities to improve learning during his keynote address at the 2023 Mississippi Communication Association Conference, scheduled from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in Anderson Hall in the B.C. Rogers Student Center on the Clinton campus.

The MCA is a scholarly, not-for-profit institution that promotes the study, criticism, research, teaching, and appreciation of the artistic, humanistic, and scientific principles of communication. It seeks to create a sense of unity among the state’s high school, community college, and university communication departments.

Dr. Reid Vance, assistant professor and chair of communication at MC, said he is excited that the conference will return to MC again after hosting last year’s summit.

“As a presenting sponsor of the event, the Department of Communication at MC will have several students and faculty in attendance, and we always enjoy welcoming our MCA friends to our beautiful campus,” said Vance, who currently serves as president of the MCA. “John Nicholson is an outstanding communicator and educator, and we’re looking forward to him sharing with conference attendees.”

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nicholson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication at the University of Memphis. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Iowa, with a focus on communication theory and rhetorical theory, interpersonal communication, and family and small-group communication.

Before joining the MSU faculty, he taught at Angelo State University in San Marcos, Texas. He has written a textbook on communication theory and has published numerous articles exploring communication theories in different contexts and their use in a wide array of methods and methodologies.

Mississippi College, along with Hinds Community College, co-founded what would become the MCA almost 100 years ago. Brad Bailey, MCA vice president and planner of the conference, said it makes perfect sense that the Christian University provide the setting for this year’s conference.

“We are nearing our centennial year,” said Bailey, dean of teaching and learning at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, “so we have come full circle.”

He said any student interested in the broad field of communication is encouraged to attend.

“Students can meet communication faculty and practitioners from all over the region,” he said. “This interaction could one day lead to a graduate assistantship, a job, an internship, or ideas about where they may further their education with an advanced degree.

“The topics are interesting. It is a great place to learn and experience what is happening in the broad communication field.”

Programming sessions will include a “Great Ideas for Teaching Students (GIFTS) panel that will offer original, unique, and classroom-tested teaching ideas for communication courses; a roundtable discussion with community college faculty; faculty, graduate student, and undergraduate research paper presentations on various topics in the broad field of communication; an undergraduate/graduate rhetoric paper panel that will focus on using rhetorical analysis as a mode of inquiry; a “Research in Progress (RIP)” panel for students and faculty to discuss their research, hone their ideas, and get direction for their discovery endeavors; and an awards presentation.

Sixteen colleges and universities from four states will be represented at the conference. Among them are eight public research universities, four private colleges and universities, and four community colleges.

In addition to Vance, a number of MC communication faculty serve in leadership roles for the MCA. J. Mignon Kucia, associate professor of communication at MC, is the MCA’s executive director, while Lindsey Dancy, assistant professor of communication, is secretary/treasurer of the MCA.

“MCA has benefited greatly from strong leadership from Mississippi College,” Bailey said.

He said the association welcomes all practitioners, researchers, teachers, and students in the broad field of communication to take part in the conference. Student membership costs only $1, and conference registration is $10.

For more information about MCA membership or to register for the conference, click here.