Fostering Excellence in Business Communication

ABC Newsletter

Issue 6, September 2015

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From the editor

Sky Marsen, ABC News Editor

Welcome to the September 2015 Issue

There are many ABC events coming up in the second half of the year, including the annual conference in Seattle. This issue contains information and updates on this as well as on other conferences, research grants and member books.

Registration for the conference in Seattle is now open. If you have not visited our site since mid-August 2015, you will need to create a password by clicking here.  When prompted, enter your email address (the one that you used while joining or renewing) and the system will find your profile. Next, click the button to have an email sent to you with a temporary password; you will be prompted to update the temporary password upon login. If you have problems, please contact ABC headquarters. It could be that your membership is not up to date.

 I hope you enjoy reading the topics of this issue. As always, please continue to send me your news and any items that you think our members would be interested in.
Sky Marsen
ABC News Editor

From the president

Peter Cardon, ABC President

Dear ABC friends:
With the start of another school year, Fall is always a time of excitement and renewed friendships.
In high school, I always loved getting ready for a new school year. I enjoyed shopping for “trendy” clothes to match my mullet, buying a new Trapper Keeper folder, and getting lead for my mechanical pencils (yes, I’m a product of the 80s). I loved the first week of classes getting to see all my classmates again. Every year I asked myself, “Why didn’t I get in touch with so-and-so during the summer?”
I often feel the same way about our ABC community. We have such productive, friendly conferences. We’re composed of outstanding instructors and scholars. We develop and renew friendships at our conferences. And, sometimes we miss opportunities to stay in touch in between conferences.
If you go to the ABC website ( and sign in, you’ll notice we now have new community-building features. You can add your picture and other information to your profile, you can follow other members, you can form communities, and you can connect in many new ways with all the AMAZING people you see at our conferences.
So, in preparation for the Seattle conference, check out the ABC website. Log in and experiment with some of the ways you can learn about and follow other ABC members. When our annual conference is over, please check back in and continue your ABC friendships online. Let’s make sure we’re a year-round community.
Hope to see you soon in Seattle!


From the executive director

Jim Dubinsky, ABC Executive Director

Dear ABC Members,
Our 80th annual international conference is quickly approaching, and, for the third consecutive year, we will partner with a nonprofit organization in the city that is hosting us.  This year our partner is Stories of Arrival: Youth Voices Poetry Project.  I’m writing to ask for your help in making this event a success.
Stories of Arrival enacts our theme of Creativity and Innovation daily.  The organization’s staff teach students to use poetry to bring experiences of war, forced migration, and immigration to the larger community.  Most of the project’s students are ethnic minorities who have experienced violent conflicts in their home countries; many have lived in refugee camps for most of their lives. Each young person in the project will be the first to attend and graduate from a high school in the U.S.  As a result of the instruction, they become ambassadors, and they learn to give voice and expression to their identities as immigrants and refugees in a new country and culture.
You can help by sharing gift certificates or items for the auction (It helps if gift certificates are valid through 2016).  Actual goods can be delivered to the conference/silent auction site at the Renaissance Seattle. If you plan to bring a gift to donate, please contact Becky Morrison, our silent auction chair, @
The C. R. Anderson Research Fund, ABC’s 501@c-3 affiliate, will be the official entity holding the auction, and the money from the gifts you donate will go to support the Stories of Arrival: Youth Voices Poetry Project’s umbrella organization Shunpike, also a (501@c-3), as well our own fund for supporting graduate students.  Any gift you make will be tax deductible.
For questions, please contact the silent auction chair, Becky Morrison or ABC’s office manager, Marilyn Buerkens,
Thank you again for your commitment to making ABC an organization with a heart and a social conscience. 


ABC News
ABC Annual Conference, Seattle October 28-31


This year the annual ABC conference is in Seattle. Visit the ABC annual conference page to see the schedule and other details.  The keynote address follows the Wednesday, October 28 opening reception and the Presidential Awards Dinner is Friday evening, October 30.   A preliminary schedule is posted on the conference site.   You’ll also find details of the optional  pre-conference architectural walking tour and the post-conference Bainbridge Island visit.

Perhaps you will consider arriving in time for one or two of the pre-conference workshops.  Details are also forthcoming for a Thursday, October 29 Lunch and Learn sponsored by Cengage Learning.  You'll be able to sign up at no cost for the Lunch and Learn with online registration.  Sign ups are required; seating is limited. 

You may also like to review some transportation options on the conference page from the Seattle-Tacoma airport.  Options include Seattle's budget friendly ($3) Link rail from the airport to the downtown near our conference hotel.

Pre-conference workshops


Pivoting Your Business Communication Course: Competency-Based Syllabi, Assignments, and Rubrics
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM, Wednesday, Oct 28, $40
Kristin Lucas, University of Louisville
Jacob Rawlins, Brigham Young University
Jenna Haugen, University of Louisville

Entrepreneurship and Business Communication: A Workshop on Integrating Entrepreneurship Practices into the Service Course   
1 PM - 3 PM, Wednesday, Oct 28, $40

Sean Williams, Clemson University

A Practical Experiential Method for Developing Students’ Intercultural Competence in Business Communication (and Next Year’s Curriculum)
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM, Wednesday, Oct 28, $40

Dianne Hofner Saphiere, Nipporica Associates LLC
Jolanta Aritz, University of Southern California
Fast Track Your Business Communication Course: Focus on Updating, New Assignments, and Assessment
1 PM - 3 PM, Wednesday, Oct 28,  $40

Marsha Bayless, Stephen F. Austin State University
Nancy Schullery, Western Michigan University

Academic Coaching to Develop World Class Professional Skills for a Competitive Labor Market

Carol Carter, LifeBound

News for SIG Coordinators

Committee and SIGs traditionally hold meetings on Thursday and Friday afternoons during the conference. Based on some exciting schedule changes, including the awards banquet being held Friday evening, we believe we can also open spaces for committee meetings from 8-9 on Saturday morning. And lunches on both Thursday and Friday are "on your own," so committees might choose to meet at a nearby restaurant for a lunch meeting as well. This will help us to ensure that everyone who wants a room for a committee meeting will have space.

If you would like to hold a formal committee meeting or a lunch meeting during the Seattle conference, email Rebecca Pope-Ruark with the name of your committee, a preferred day if you have one, and the type of space you might need (regular room, small lounge space, restaurant, etc.). Email

Consulting SIG Panel

The Consulting SIG is organizing a panel titled "My Favorite (Consulting) Assignment.” In this case, the focus is not on an assignment you give as a consultant but an assignment you've been given by a client. Plan a 5-10 minute talk about one of your favorite consulting jobs to help others broaden their perspective about the range of possibilities that consulting offers.  If you have an interesting assignment to share, please contact Barbara Shworm,

Regional Conference Cape Town

Even more than ever before, questions of communicative honesty, integrity, transparency and disclosure are being asked of individuals, companies, even countries. Sustainability may have become a buzzword but as we witness the unsustainable actions that have destroyed large entities, it should remain a watchword. In this multidisciplinary conference, themes comprise a variety of topics from professional discourse to financial literacy, from change communication and diversity management to digital and virtual communication.

Stakeholder relations, brand and reputation management are key topics. On reporting on the conference, Cape Times columnist, Pierre Heistein, commented: “This uptake of personal internet access not only gives customers more access to change the message around company branding, but it also gives companies new access to create a conversation with their customers – if they choose to do so.” And choose to do so they must if they wish to avoid the crises and ethical dilemmas so often reported in the press.
While not all presenters have been confirmed and applications are still open for the submission of abstracts, there are a number of interesting names and topics appearing on the schedule from academics and workplace practitioners from around the world. Keynote speaker Mervyn King will speak on the role of communication in corporate governance while Rob Paddock, co-founder of Getsmarter, will discuss digital platforms and online education. Judge Dennis Davis will chair a panel comprising financial journalist, Bruce Cameron, TV executive producer of Carte Blanche, George Mazarakis, and international academics and practitioners, Professors Gina Poncini and Melvin Ayogu. Visit the website,, for more details of the conference and the hosts, the Professional Communication Unit at the University of Cape Town.

Society for Technical Communication 2016 Summit
Are you interested in sharing your knowledge at the industry-leading technical communication conference? Now is your chance! The 2016 STC Summit will be held May 15-18 in Anaheim, California. STC is inviting you to contribute your ideas, studies, experience, and expertise. All proposals must be submitted by 11:59 PM EDT (GMT-4) on September 21, 2015, using the online submission system. Good luck!

Successful Spring Conference for the Southwest U.S. Region

Officers and planners for the ABC-SWUS 2016 Conference in Oklahoma City include (l-r) Traci Austin, Katie O’Neill, Laura Valenti, Carol Wright, Debbie DuFrene, and Kelly Grant. Not pictured, Susan Jennings.

The annual conference of ABC, Southwest U.S. was held in Houston, Texas, March 11-14, 2015, in conjunction with the Federation of Business Disciplines (FBD) conference. Katie O’Neill of Sam Houston State University served as program chair for the ABC program, and ABC member Ann Wilson, Stephen F. Austin State University, served as general program chair for the FBD conference.

The ABC program included 28 presentations by 55 authors from institutions in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as from Mexico. The program included a joint breakfast and morning session with the Association of Business Information Systems. Attendees received a CD copy of the conference proceedings and enjoyed after-hours events at Bayou Place and the Houston Downtown Aquarium.
Mark Leonard, Marsha Bayless, and Timothy Clipson, all from Stephen F. Austin State University, received the 2015 McGraw-Hill Distinguished Paper Award for ABC-SWUS, for their paper entitled “Media Selection in Managerial Communication:  Exploring the Relationship between Media Preference, Personality, and Communication Aptitude.”
Lucia Sigmar from Sam Houston State University was named the 2015 Federation of Business Disciplines Outstanding Educator for ABC-SWUS, and Margaret Kilcoyne from Northwestern State University received the ABC-SWUS Marlin C. Young Outstanding Teacher award.
The 2016 ABC-Southwest U.S. conference will be held in Oklahoma City, March 9-12, with Susan Jennings of Stephen F. Austin State University serving as program chair. The submission dates are October 1 for presentation proposals and January 15 for the proceedings. More information about the 2016 conference is available on the ABC website.

Lucia Sigmar (r) receiving the FBD Outstanding Educator Award for ABC-SWUS from Marshall Horton, FBD president, and Margaret Kilcoyne (r) receiving the Marlin C. Young Outstanding Teacher Award from Debbie DuFrene, ABC Regional VP, Southwest US

ABC Board of Directors

Kristen Pickering, Tennessee Technological University, has been elected to the ABC Board of Directors as Southeastern Region Vice President.  She will begin her four-year term October 31, 2015 at the conclusion of the annual international conference in Seattle.

Kristen will replace Lisa Snyder, who effective October 31, will begin her service on the ABC Executive Committee as Second Vice President.


Grants and Awards

Margaret Baker Graham Research Grant
The award will be presented Friday evening, October 30, at ABC's Seattle International Conference Presidential Awards Dinner. If you are a doctoral student entering the research phase of your program, we encourage you to apply for this award. Nominations by faculty members are also welcome, with the understanding that the nominee will submit the completed application. The deadline is September 15.
More information on the eligibility criteria and application procedures described on the ABC website.

Rising Star Award
This award recognizes the meaningful contributions to the mission and membership of our Association and to the field at large by members who have been active in the Association for 10 years or fewer and who are currently in good standing. The award will be presented at the Presidential Awards Dinner, Friday evening, October 30 at the ABC Annual International Conference in Seattle. For more information, please review the eligibility criteria and nomination procedures described on the ABC website.

ABC Graduate Travel Scholarship
There are $400 travel scholarships available to support graduate students presenting at the 2015 International Conference in Seattle. These scholarships will be awarded to graduate students presenting papers on business communication research or pedagogical innovations. The scholarships will be presented at the Presidential Awards Dinner Friday evening, October 30, and can be used to reimburse travel expenses and/or ABC annual dues.

Eligible applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program at the time of the conference and must have been accepted to present at the conference. Scholarships will be awarded based on both merit and need, with preference given to first-time attendees, though ALL graduate students are encouraged to apply. Scholarship recipients will be asked to donate two hours of service at the conference (e.g., staffing the registration table, helping to coordinate the silent auction, etc.).

To be considered for a scholarship, please complete this application no later than September 15, 2015.
Please direct any questions about these scholarships to the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, Matt Sharp (



Member Books

Business Communication: In person, in print, online 10th ed, Amy Newman, Cengage

Get Along, Get It Done, Get Ahead: Interpersonal Communication in the Diverse Workplace, Geraldine E. Hynes, Business Expert Press

Lost in a Cornfield: Never Losing Faith, Bob Stowers, Page Publishing

Managerial Communication: Strategies and Applications 6th Ed. Geraldine E. Hynes, Sage

The SOFAwriter's Guide: Streamline your Writing Tasks, Chris Hyde

Thinking and Interacting Like a Leader, 2nd Ed. Kim Sydow Campbell, Parlay Press

Copyright © 2015 Association for Business Communication, All rights reserved.

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