The National Communication Association held its annual convention in November 2018 is Salt Lake City, Utah. This year, my obligations at the conference were many, and having never been to Salt Lake City, I was excited for the trip.
I was honored to be invited to serve as one of the inaugural members of the Teaching and Learning Council’s Teachers’ Office Hours. With 30 other seasoned professors, I held office hours at NCA, available to any members for discussion about the process of teaching and learning related to social and mobile media.
My first formal presentation, titled “DIgital Tools, Our Human Environment, and the Augmentation of Play” was featured in a session on the digital humanities. My paper connected visual, haptic, and navigational augmentation. The end result was the assertion that digital augmentation is currently in demo mode. We are working through a time of augmentation as play, but from play, it is a short leap to other issues.
I enjoyed participating fully in the conference and attended the opening night session and welcome party which, building on the conference theme of Communication at Play, included caricature artists:
And I even had a minute to do something touristy in Salt Lake City and attend the evening rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as they practiced for their Veterans Day concert and began rehearsals for Christmas.
My second presentation was a poster session with graduate student (now alumna) Erin Hunt on “Toward a theory of Brand-Event-Self Integration: A grounded theory analysis of #cowappreciationday on Instagram” – our research on Chick-Fil-A’s brand marketing through #cowappreciationday.
Finally, as 2018 division chair, I presided over the business meeting of the Human Communication and Technology division of NCA. I have gotten to know so many scholars around the nation who are leading the conversation on the intersection between digital technology and communication studies (broadly defined). It has been one of the highlights of my career and involvement with NCA to lead this fantastic division.