Gannon University will be this year’s host for the Pennsylvania Communication Association (PCA) pre-conference and conference. The 74th Annual convention will be held Oct. 17-19 in the University’s Waldron Campus Center located at 130 W. Sixth and Peach Streets.

Representatives from more than 10 Pennsylvania universities, including Robert Morris University, Duquesne University, Point Park University and Penn State University among others, will accompany more than 25 Gannon students, faculty and staff in panel discussions and speeches. Students were given the opportunity to write and submit papers prior to the event for a chance to win a scholarship and debut their work during the conference.

Some topics that will be discussed include: “Providing Clear and Effective Communication to Online Students,” “Communication as a Liberal Art: Rhetoric in a Contemporary Age” and “Rhetoric and Advertising in the Public Sphere.”

Unique to the format of the event this year is the  pre-conference, held Oct. 17-18, and made possible through a grant provided by the Gannon University Schuster Fund for the Arts. The theme will focus on “Albert Camus & Philosophy of Communication: Making Sense in an Age of Absurdity,” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of  the philosopher of communication and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The core of the conference, however, takes place Oct. 18-19 engaging the theme “Communication as a Liberal Art: The Historical Roots of the Discipline.” The pre-conference and conference are open to PCA members and the public through onsite registration.

Gannon communication arts associate professor Brent Sleasman, Ph.D. and assistant professor Mary Carol Gensheimer co-taught the University’s event planning class, which assisted in planning and coordinating this year’s PCA Convention alongside the PCA Executive Committee. Through this experience, 11 undergraduate students participated in the first-hand practice of  skills necessary to plan an event such as this.

Sleasman has previously served on the PCA Executive Committee as a member at large and vice president elect. He is currently serving as the Association’s vice president this year, and will serve as President next year. He is also this year’s primary program planner for the convention.

According to the PCA website, the association is “dedicated to the research in, ethical use of, and education for excellent oral communication in every human activity, but especially those in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Its purpose is to promote teaching, scholarship and service through commitment to communication.

Gannon University welcomes you to interview our honored, visiting guests:

  • Bernard Murchland, Ph.D., of Ohio Wesleyan University, is the editor of the Civic Arts Review. He will be the chair of the first panel discussion “A Dialogue with Albert Camus” Thursday, Oct. 17 from 1:45 to 3 p.m. Interviews will be available in the Haggerty Lounge immediately following this time.
  • William Rawlins, Ph.D., of Ohio University, is this year’s recipient of the annual Julia T. Wood Award. He will deliver the keynote address on “Providing Clear and Effective Communication to Online Students” on Friday, Oct. 18 from 5:00 to 6:15 p.m. Interviews will be available in the Haggerty Lounge immediately following this time.
  • Stephen Bronner, Ph.D., of Rutgers University, presents “Communicating the Absurd” Saturday, Oct. 19 from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in the Yehl Ballroom. Interviews will be available outside the Yehl Ballroom immediately following this time. 

    Professors Sleasman and Gensheimer will be available for questions and interviews in the Waldron lobby during pre-conference registration, Thursday, Oct. 17 at noon

    For more information about the event, visit the PCA here and Gannon University here.