The 65th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (I.C.A.), held recently in San Juan, Puerto Rico, featured three Communication Arts faculty members presenting their research. T.J. Lakin, Dr. Elena Nuciforo, and Dr. Nurhayat Bilge (L to R, above) were part of the five-member panel “Teaching Culture in Public Speaking,” put together and moderated by Dr. Nuciforo.
The 2015 conference theme “Communication Across the Life Span” encouraged academics to explore the various ways in which communication provides a lens for interpreting the evolving meanings, relationships, experiences, and critical crossroads of the life course. “Teaching Culture in Public Speaking” took a broad look at teaching public speaking in academic settings and presented a variety of contexts, ranging from U.S. graduate students immersed in diversity issues at a seminar to college students in a classroom in Turkey and to Russian and American undergraduates debating each other via the Internet.
Visiting instructors Elena Nuciforo and debate coach T.J. Lakin presented on “Debating Cultures: Teaching Debate in an International Context,” a case study of an intercollegiate debate within an international context. Their focus was about the ways in which debate develops as an educational exercise between two colleges: Florida International University and Buryat State University in Russia’s Siberian region. The findings led to recommendations on how to use debate as a pedagogical tool that can promote international collaboration and develop cultural competency that is key for global citizens.
Nuhayat Bilge, Assistant Professor in Communication Arts, presented on “Age or Education? Sage or Expert? Teaching Credibility as a Culture Specific Public Speaking Component.” In her presentation, Bilge explored the culture specific nature of concepts of credibility and competence within the context of public speaking, specifically, the pedagogical tools employed to teach these concepts at universities in the U.S. and Turkey.
The I.C.A. is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching, and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. Begun more than 50 years ago as a small association of U.S. researchers, the I.C.A. is now a truly international association with more than 4,500 members in 80 countries. Since 2003, the I.C.A. has been officially associated with the United Nations as a non-governmental association (NGO).