Fostering Excellence in Business Communication
The Association for Business Communication (ABC) Newsletter
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ABC Newsletter

Issue 11, Winter 2016

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From the editor

Sky Marsen, ABC News Editor

Welcome to the Winter 2016 Issue

As the year comes to a close, time to make plans for 2017. ABC offers many opportunities for us to contribute to the business communication community through conferences, research opportunities and participation in projects and committees. Below is a digest of opportunities coming up soon.

After the very successful 81st Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, preparations for the next annual conference in Dublin, Ireland, are in full swing. Information about the conference, location, venue and deadlines is available here. The conference will take place in October 18-21, 2017.

Looking at the other ABC conferences for next year, The Southwestern/ FBD Conference will held on March 8-11 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Western US conference will be held in Orem, Utah, on March 30-April 1. And the Asia-Pacific Conference will be held in Hong Kong, in June.

For researchers, the C. R. Anderson Research Fund Award applications are due by January 1.

You still have a few months to apply or submit nominations for the other ABC awards, but to start preparing for them, choose from this list.
This has been a busy and eventful year for many of us. I hope you all manage to get some rest and have some fun during the holiday season, and I wish us all a happy and productive New Year! As usual, I welcome any items of interest to our ABC colleagues for the newsletter.

Sky Marsen
ABC News Editor

From the President

Deborah Roebuck, ABC President

First, I  wish each of you a blessed, merry holiday season and the most Happy New Year.  In reflecting upon what I should write for this first newsletter, I felt it appropriate for me to share my acceptance speech, which I made during the Awards Banquet at our annual conference. 
I am humbled and honored to become your new President, and I thank each of you for allowing me to serve as your President. Last Sunday evening before I left to head to Albuquerque, I went by to see my 84 year old mother and 86 year old father.  I told them I needed their help to put together my acceptance speech.  As some of you know, my father was bi-vocational all of his life serving as a high school teacher, farmer, and country preacher.  My mother was also an elementary school teacher and ended her career as a middle school guidance counselor.  So it goes without saying that education was HUGE in my family.  My Dad always taught me to have three main points for any presentation.  But Sunday night, my mom said, well I think you might need more than that. And guess what, Mom was right.  So here are five points I want to share with you.
First, with your help, WE can continue to make our organization great.  I am passionate about our discipline and LOVE our organization. 
Second, have we not had a great conference here in Albuquerque?  I have loved every minute and so enjoyed our key note speaker on Wednesday night sharing her father’s story of being a code talker. 
Third, I know you don’t want a long speech at this hour of the evening, so I promise I’m almost finished!
Fourth, I do want to thank you again for your support, your encouragement, and your belief in me.
Fifth, the next time someone asks you what ABC does, you can share our new Tag Line the Board of Directors created on Wednesday which is “Advancing and Connecting Business Communication from the Classroom to the World.”  And, with that, I wish each of you a wonderful evening and look forward to working with you this next year as your President.
As 2016 draws to a close, I am excited about our new year together.  Serving as your President is a dream come true for me.  Together, we can grow our organization and our discipline.  You have given me the chance to live my passion, and I thank you all sincerely from the bottom of my heart.

Deborah Roebuck, Ph.D., RCC
Professor of Management
Kennesaw State University

From the Executive Director

Jim Dubinsky, ABC Executive Director

Dear ABC Members,
This past year was eventful, literally and figuratively. We further enhanced our identity as an international organization with conferences in Cape Town, South Africa (our first ever conference in Africa!); Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; St. Louis, Missouri; Denver, Colorado; San Luis Potosí, Mexico; and Albuquerque, NM for our 81st Annual Conference. Over 600 people attended these events. The word is spreading: Business Communication and ABC, specifically, have much to offer.
Other important news items:
  • We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with our colleagues from the Korean Business Communication Association (KABC). 
  • Our membership grew by over 5 percent.
  • We added another award (for Diversity and Inclusion) and are taking steps to focus more explicitly on accessibility for all of our members.
Jim Dubinsky, Dr. Hyejung Chang, President, KABC, and Bertha Du-Babcock

As 2016 comes to a close, I hope you will take a moment to reflect on what ABC has meant to you and consider--
  • Nominating a fellow colleague or yourself for one of our many ABC awards.  As you’ll see in this newsletter, we are sharing the names of those recognized by ABC at our annual conference this past fall in Albuquerque.  
  • Making a contribution to ABC or the C. R. Anderson Foundation in your financial planning.  A gift to the C. R. Anderson Foundation is fully deductible (at least in the US) to the extent allowed by law.   
  • Joining us at one of our events this coming year, especially our 82nd Annual Conference in Ireland, our first-ever conference outside of North America.
  • Sharing news about ABC with colleagues and students.
ABC has had another strong year, and so much of its success comes from the time and talents of its staff and volunteer leaders. I want to again thank those who work so diligently to serve this fine organization: our staff (Marilyn Buerkens, Alfredo Deambrosi, and Sky Marsen); our elected leaders, to include the Executive Committee, Regional Vice Presidents, Directors at Large; our Journal Editors; and our Committee and Special Interest Group (SIG) Chairs.
Finally, I’ll close with an excerpt from Charles Wright, who lives and writes in my home state of Virginia, and who, in 2014, became the Poet Laureate of the United States.

Landscape's a lever of transcendence
                                                                    jack-wedge it here,
        Or here, and step back,
        Heave, and a light, a little light, will nimbus your going forth. . . .

As you contemplate these words, I wish you a joyous holiday season, and I hope you will share some of your personal or geographical landscape’s transcendence with us in the coming year.
Jim Dubinsky, PhD
Associate Professor, Rhetoric and Writing, Virginia Tech

ABC News

2017 Annual Conference in Dublin

We are excited to announce the 82nd annual international conference October 18-21, 2017 at the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland.  You’ll find the Call for Papers, a travel tips blog, and a slide show on the conference web page 

To share our theme: shaping and expanding the landscape of business communication, we offer individual or group sessions, poster sessions, research roundtables, and pre-conference workshops along with a limited number of sessions as Spanish and virtual presentations.  Join us as we envisage the future on teaching and learning, research, and service in business communication.

We invite proposals addressing:

  • Contemporary influences, key issues, and future challenges to business communication with a focus on convergence in the areas of identity, rhetoric, culture, nationhood, or politics
  • New dynamics of stakeholder engagement in business communication
  • Cutting-edge approaches, activities, and strategies that shape and expand the applications of contemporary business communication
  • Emerging trends and advancements in the development of technology, visual communication, and business communication
  • Research and theory on the effects of influences on contemporary business communication such as, but not limited to, identity, rhetoric, culture, nationhood, or politics
  • Discussions on the imaginable - evolving definitions, best practices, and leading research in business communication today

Submissions Open: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mentored & Peer Review Proposal Due: Friday, March 3, 2017

Workshop Proposal Due: Friday, March 3, 2017

Final Proposals Due: Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ABC Awards

Here is a summary of the prizes awarded at the annual conference in October.

Marty Baker Graham Research Grant

Sponsored by the C.R. Anderson Foundation

Dina Piepoli Udomsak, Wilkes University

ABC Rising Star Award

Sponsored by SAGE Publications

Abram Anders, University of Minnesota Duluth

Fellow of the Association

Sponsored by ABC

Bertha Du-Babcock, City University of Hong Kong

Bernadine P. Branchaw Spirit of ABC Award

Sponsored by ABC

Kathryn Rybka, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Meada Gibbs Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award

Sponsored by ABC

Timothy Clipson, Stephen F. Austin State University

Distinguished Member Award

Sponsored by ABC

Barbara Shwom, Northwestern University

Kitty O. Locker Outstanding Researcher Award

Sponsored by McGraw-Hill Higher Education and ABC

Augustine Pang, Nanyang Technological University

Francis W. Weeks Award of Merit

Sponsored by ABC

Recipient: Terri Grant, University of Cape Town

Terri Grant with the Francis W. Meeks Award of Merit

Award for Excellence in Communication Consulting

Sponsored by Association of Professional Communication Consultants (APCC) and ABC

Carolyn Boccella Bagin, Center for Clear Communication, Inc.

Ambassador Award

Sponsored by ABC

Kristen Lucas, University of Louisville

Distinction in the Practice of Diversity and Inclusion Award

Sponsored by Peter Cardon

Recipient: Anita Pandey, Morgan State University

Anita Pandey (left rear), Morgan State University,  received the new ABC award “Distinction in the Practice of Diversity and Inclusion.”  Thank you Peter Carson (right rear) for sponsoring this award.  Also here, Bertha Du-Babcock (rear center) and Jackie Lowman, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair with her companion Saint

Publication Awards

Distinguished Publication on Business Communication

Sponsored by ABC

Glen Alessi, University of Modena & Reggio Emilia
Geert Jacobs, Ghent University
Article: 'The Ins and Outs of Business and Professional Discourse Research'

Outstanding Article of the Year BPCQ

Sponsored by Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Lowey

Kristen Lucas, University of Louisville
Jacob Rawlins, Brigham Young University
Article:  'The Competency Pivot: Introducing a Revised Approach to the Business Communication Curriculum'

Outstanding Article of the Year IJBC

Sponsored by Kathy Rentz

Gail Fann Thomas, Naval Postgraduate School
Kimberlie Stephens, University of Southern California
Matthew Weber, Rutgers University
Article: 'Organizational Disruptions and Triggers for Divergent Sensemaking'

Best Paper Proceedings 2016

Sponsored by ABC

Milton Mayfield, Texas A & M International University
Jacqueline Mayfield, Texas A & M International University
Robyn Walker, University of Southern California
Article: The Essential Theories of Business Communication

Outstanding Dissertation Award

Sponsored by Special Friend of ABC

Karin Goettsch, University of Minnesota
Title: 'Understanding Intercultural Communication on Global Virtual Teams: Exploring Challenges of Language, Culture, Technology and Collaboration'

Pearson Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology

Sponsored by Pearson

Katherine Castle, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Business Communication Impact Award

Sponsored by Marshall School of Business, USC

Recipient: Ben Arbaugh, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Student Awards

Outstanding Student Writer

Sponsored by Maryann and Andy Wysor, Mary Munter, and Barbara Shwom

1st place: Lauren Holcomb, Auburn University (Instructor: Robyn Sexton)
2nd place: Kimberly Ostiller, University of Southern California (Instructor: Jolanta Aritz)
3rd place: Lee Richardson, University of Arkansas (Instructor: Sarah Clements)

Graduate Student Travel Awards

Sponsored by ABC and Sustaining Members

Ashley McNatt, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Barbara E George, Kent State University
Jeremy Rosselot-Merritt, University of Minnesota
Katherine A Robisch, Kent State University
Kelly Scarff, Virginia Tech
Kimberly S. Baker, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Lauren Malone, Iowa State University
Masuda Akter, Carroll University
Matt Baker, Iowa State University
Prabin Lama, Virginia Tech
Ruby Nancy, East Carolina University
Sara B. Parks, Iowa State University
Sara Doan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Stephen Carradini, North Carolina State University
Tana M. Schiewer, Virginia Tech
Vincent Robles, Iowa State University

Graduate students receiving graduate student travels funds are here with ABC President Bertha Du-Babcock and Jim Dubinsky, Executive Director.  The sustaining member option on your membership renewal helps support the graduate student travel fund, as do some proceeds from the silent auction at the annual conefernce


Member News

Teaching and Research Collaborators

The Virtual Business Professional project (VBP) is now accepting applications for the spring semester to collaborate on a teaching project that involves undergraduate students from across the globe working in virtual teams. Dubbed the “Virtual Business Professional” and co-sponsored by IBM and the Department of Business Communication at the Marshall School of Business at USC, the six-week assignment gives students real-world experience using communication and collaboration technologies employed in today’s corporate environment. Using the IBM Connections platform, students plan and hold virtual meetings, co-author and collaboratively revise documents, use project management tools, and create online presentations.

Researchers are currently gathering both quantitative and qualitative research from students to learn more about how they use technology in teams, intercultural communication, and leadership. To learn more about the project, please go here.  To apply for the spring cycle (Feb 20 - April 8, 2017), please e-mail Professor Jolanta Aritz at Spring application round closes on January 15, 2017.
Participants on a Work-Life Balance Study

Drs. Leslie Ramos Salazar and Elsa Diego-Medrano from West Texas A&M University would like to invite all faculty to participate in a new study investigating work-life balance issues in academia. They are looking for faculty who work either full or part-time at any higher educational institution. To participate in the study, please go to this link.

Also, if you know someone who might be interested, please share the link with your colleagues and peers in the academy. Your participation will benefit the scholarship on work-life balance.

International Teaching Collaboration

Kristen Lucas
, University of Louisville, is teaching a new class in Human Resource Management Applications in Spring 2017. The unit 'Managing Geographically Distributed Work' includes a small project in which students will collaborate with others located outside the U.S. If you would be interested in having your students participate in an online collaboration with business students from Louisville, Kentucky, USA, please contact Kristen Lucas, The project will be slated for late March and should require about a week of collaboration.

Recognition of Service

In August 2016, Jim Archibald, former Vice President for Canada, was named a life member of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) in recognition of his support of the Association and "in gratitude for his long-standing commitment to the Association and the profession". Jim continues to serve on ABC's MLA Liaison Committee which organizes a session at the yearly MLA Convention. This will be held in January 2017 in Philadelphia.


Ana Lucia Magalhaes is leading a team effort to engage business administration first-semester students in academic writing. At the core of the effort is the choice of highly motivating research themes. One student group studied ways to revive the logistic importance of the railroad town where the college is located. The research set the bases for a trade fair for logistics and transport. The paper aroused a lot of interest in the local business community and the students were invited to give a formal presentation for city council members and business leaders.

Clive Muir, Stephen F. Austin State University, was selected as a 2016 Summer Faculty Institute scholar by the National Endowment for the Humanities, a United States Federal Government agency. He spent two weeks at the University of North Carolina Asheville examining the history and use of commonplace books. He explored archives such as the Biltmore Estate, Grove Park Inn, Black Mountain College Museum, Thomas Wolfe House, Pack Memorial Library, and the Western NC Regional Archives. His project focused on the role of commonplace books in business formation and record-keeping. He has embarked on a project to encourage business students to create and keep commonplace books.

Members' Books

Communicating in Digital Era Corporations. Anna Danielewicz-Betz. Palgrave

Intercultural Communication for Global Business. Elizabeth A. Tuleja. Routledge

Planning and Organizing Business Reports. Dorinda Clippinger. Business Expert Press

Copyright © 2016 Association for Business Communication, All rights reserved.

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