Radford University Holds Their First VACAS Conference on Redrawing Boundaries in Communication

Last Updated on

1195 views

By Jeremy Moser | jmoser9@radford.edu

Radford University is hosting the Virginia Association of Communication Arts and Science (VACAS) conference this weekend, Mar. 29-30.

According to the VACAS website, the non-profit organization aims to foster the study of communication in various fields. The event will contain submissions of papers, panels, and poster presentations to be shown at the conference.

Over 27 panels are planned to take place over Friday and Saturday.

The 2019 conference is titled “Redrawing Boundaries.” The description of the conference on Radford’s website reads, “As a discipline keen to explore the unfolding edge of social phenomena, Communication is always poised to map new borders when it comes to social, rhetorical, media, and cultural practices. In an era of uncertainty, the discipline’s voice is one that helps to address where new territories are being laid out in every communicative practice from leadership to social media.”

As a discipline keen to explore the unfolding edge of social phenomena, Communication is always poised to map new borders when it comes to social, rhetorical, media, and cultural practices. In an era of uncertainty, the discipline’s voice is one that helps to address where new territories are being laid out in every communicative practice from leadership to social media.

One of Friday’s panels, “The Changing Horizon, From China’s Mainstream Media to New Media,” will be presented by four people from the Southwest University of Political Science and Law in China.

On Saturday, there will be a friendly competition between the universities at attendance, called a “Campaign-A-Thon.” This contest will give teams a few hours to put together an advertising campaign for a business in Virginia.

There will also be a graduate fair allowing different universities to showcase their graduate programs.

A special topics class in the School of Communication, Event Planning (COMS 460), organized the conference. The Tartan reached out for an interview with a student in this class to gather an idea of what all went into planning this year’s VACAS event.

“There are many things that a conference needs to succeed,” said Abigail Tenshaw, a junior. “For the class, we had four different groups, the IMC [Integrated Marketing Communications], scripting, recruitment, and hospitality. Each group was assigned different jobs that they had to do to help create the conference.”

Tenshaw was part of the IMC group which their job was to promote the event with a social media presence including posters and fliers around campus.

The hospitality group put together a list of available hotels for the people traveling to this conference to stay in overnight. Indeed, people are coming not just from across the state, but from across the world as well.

As Tenshaw described, there have been a couple of complications over the last two months of planning. Spring break, being only two weeks before the conference, disrupted some of the teams’ plans.

More importantly, their planned keynote speaker, Radford alumna Priya Ramesh, had to cancel at the very last minute. The class replaced her with another alumna, Stephanie Winebrenner. In 2006, as a Communications student at Radford, she won the SGA presidency and the honor of Dean Scholar.

Winebrenner is now a Senior Account Executive for Cisco Systems, Program Manager and Central Virginia Lead for Girls Rock in Tech, and an MBA student at the University of Richmond.

Despite the difficulties, Tenshaw has enjoyed her role in planning the conference.

“One thing I enjoyed most about planning for the conference is realizing just how much goes into them,” Tenshaw said. “At the beginning, I thought it was pretty simple, but now I realize that there’s a lot behind the scenes that many people don’t know about.”

Radford University is hosting the entire event in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building on campus from Friday, Mar. 29 to Saturday, Mar. 30. The event is free to attend and open to all students.

for more information on this event head on over to Radford.edu.