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President's Message

Diane Keeling

Dear ORWAC Members,

Our 2021 summer newsletter is filled with many notable updates about our organization.

We recently concluded our search for the sixteenth editor of Women’s Studies in Communication and are proud to announce the selection of Dr. Marissa J. Doshi. Dr. Doshi is a feminist scholar of media and cultural studies and associate professor at Hope College. She will lead WsiC’s publications of volumes 46-48. Dr. Doshi’s expertise in transnational feminisms, global media and qualitative methods will strengthen the journal’s growing reputation. A special thanks to Claire Sisco-King for her recruitment efforts and Jenna Hanchey for organizing the search.

Dr. Doshi’s leadership could not come soon enough. After 45 years of the journal’s existence, Dr. Doshi will be ORWAC’s first editor of color. This observation demonstrates the continued work ORWAC must do to eradicate the systemic racism evident within our organization and field writ large.

At our virtual business meeting, February 13, 2021, the executive board presented on and confirmed its commitment to implementing the recommendations outlined in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion audit. Immediate and ongoing action is being taken, including changes to our website, a self-study to consider the renaming of the organization and journal, diversification of the selection process of awards committees, and work to address issues of organizational climate and labor. Business meeting minutes can be found on the ORWAC website, and we look forward to continuing this conversation at our next business meeting.

At our next annual business meeting we will be electing a new vice president and graduate student representative(s). Please consider serving. Further details about the positions are included in this newsletter.

The annual business meeting will be held during the Western States Communication Association conference in Portland, OR, February 17-20, 2022. WSCA leadership is planning for an in-person conference. The conference theme is “Cultivate.” In particular, I want to emphasize that we are looking to schedule panels and roundtables that discuss ways for making ORWAC more representative of diverse identities and to ensure ORWAC services and benefits are directed at BIPOC scholars. Submissions for papers, panels and roundtables are now being accepted, with a submission deadline of September 1, 2021.

ORWAC offers some of the most generous top paper awards. Alongside these benefits, this year we are pleased to announce the implementation of the Brenda Allen Travel Grant for Women, Trans and Non-Binary Graduate Students of Color. As described in our call for submissions

“ORWAC offers $500 awards to the Top Paper, Top Student Paper, and Top Debut Paper recipients, as well as a $250 Brenda Allen Travel Grant for top submissions from BIPOC students. All student submissions should be marked as “Student” in the upper right-hand corner of the title page for consideration of the Top Student Paper award. All BIPOC student submissions should be marked as “BIPOC Student” in the upper right-hand corner of the title page to be considered for the Brenda Allen Travel Grant, in addition to the Top Student Paper award.” 

Spread the word to graduate students you know. We are still working to raise money for the Brenda Allen Travel Grant endowment. Your support will ensure the continued legacy of mentorship by Dr. Allen. You can donate here

As the pandemic is showing some signs of ease, I hope you are finding time for rejuvenation when and where possible. I look forward to seeing you all at future conferences and continuing to work with you on our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.


Diane Marie Keeling, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Communication Studies
University of San Diego

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