Penn State presence remains strong as international conference goes virtual

June 03, 2020

In person or online, faculty members and researchers from the Donald P. Bellisairo College of Communications at Penn State play an important role among their peers internationally.

Most recently, the International Communication Association (ICA) conducted its annual conference virtually. It was originally planned as an in-person event in Australia. Even without traveling, the Penn State presence was strong with presentations, panel discussions and award-winning efforts.

More than 20 faculty members and graduate students from Bellisario College shared their expertise during the weeklong conference, the group’s 70th. Through innovative collaborations and novel approaches to today’s pressing communication issues, Bellisario College faculty members showcased their work at a global level. Research topics included advertising, filmmaking in Africa, internet privacy, social media, sports, technology, women in the military and more.

S. Shyam Sundar was selected as the winner of the Frederick Williams Prize for Contribution to the Study of Communication Technology. The award, presented by ICA’s Communication and Technology Division, recognizes major contributions of senior scholars who have advanced the study of communication and technology. Sundar is the James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects in the Bellisario College and founding co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State. 

Research by doctoral student Ruosi Shao and Sundar was recognized as a “Best Paper” by ICA’s Information Systems Division. The study was titled "How does presence persuade?: Testing competing theoretical claims about effects of virtual reality."

ICA is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching and application of all aspects of communication. The Bellisario College has been well represented and active in the organization for years.

Mary Beth Oliver, the Donald P. Bellisario Professor of Media Studies, is the president-elect of ICA. She will be the program planner for the organization’s 71st conference, scheduled next year in Denver. The theme for that meeting is “Engaging the essential work of care: Communication, connectedness, and social justice.”

Sundar and Oliver serve as ICA Fellows, as does incoming faculty member Homero Gil de Zúñiga.

ICA was founded as a small association of U.S. researchers and is now an international association with more than 4,500 members from 80 countries. It aims to advance the scholarly study of human communication by encouraging and facilitating excellence in academic research worldwide. Since 2003, ICA has been associated with the United Nations as a non-governmental association. 

  • Ruosi Shao

    Research by Ph.D. student Ruosi Shao and faculty member S. Shyam Sundar, and ICA Fellow, was recognized as a “Best Paper” by ICA’s Information Systems Division.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated June 14, 2021