Forget the Cubs’ win … ComSHER is back in town

by Anthony Dudo, Division Head

Chicago and the annual AEJMC conference go together like peanut butter and jelly. So how very fitting that we’ll be celebrating our organization’s 100th annual conference on the banks of Lake Michigan! What’s more, judging by the looks of this year’s phenomenal program, us ComSHER folks will be in a festive mood.

Our Teaching and PF&R chairs have engineered some truly engaging and timely panels that I hope you all will be able to attend. Our secretary has arranged what promises to be a magnificent field trip to Chicago’s famed Adler Planetarium. And, as has become the norm, our research program is poised to showcase research that is innovative and in line with this year’s conference theme: enhancing links between communication research and communication practice. Please mark your calendar now for our top paper session, which will be held on Friday, Aug. 11 from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.

Please also note that the ComSHER business meeting will be held immediately after the top paper session on Friday, Aug. 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  This meeting is when we will recognize our many award winners, including the Top Faculty Paper, Eason Prize for best student paper, Article of the Year, and Top Poster Award. Approval of the minutes from last year’s meeting will also be an order of business, so please review the them beforehand here:

For those of you who haven’t attended our business meeting yet, it’s the place to be if you want to have a voice in the future of our division. It also provides an exceptional opportunity for newer members to meet other “SHER” scholars who may share similar interests. And, to help bolster these networking opportunities, we will hold the always-popular ComSHER social immediately following the business meeting. Join us at 8:30 p.m. in the Rush Bar & Lounge in the Marriott Chicago Downtown.

For those interested in leadership, the process according to our bylaws is as follows. For elected leadership—Head, Vice Head, Vice Head-Elect, and Research Chair—nominations must be submitted to me ( ) via email 48 hours before the business meeting. In order to qualify for any of the elected leadership positions, a member must have served as an officer at any level for a minimum of one year and reviewed papers for at least two years. The bylaws also make clear that a stable succession of leadership from Research Chair to Vice Head-Elect to Vice Head to Head is highly desirable. This succession order should only vary if someone is unable or unwilling to continue in the leadership progression.

For appointed positions in leadership—Professional Freedom and Responsibility Chair, Teaching Chair, Secretary, Newsletter Chair, Social Media Chair, Website Chair, Membership Chair, Grad Student Liaison—up to two people can be appointed to each of these positions to facilitate transitions to new chairs and involve more people in division activities. Graduate students may only serve in the capacity of Grad Student Liaison, Secretary, Newsletter Chair, Website Chair, and Social Media Chair. Although all division members are eligible and can indicate interest for these positions, preference will be given to members with a history of involvement with and service to the division, most importantly work in other appointed division positions, reviewing conference papers, panel organization/participation and attendance/involvement at division panels, events, and meetings.

Enjoy reading through the rest of our summer 2017 newsletter. This marks my last newsletter post as the head of ComSHER. I was first introduced to our division in 2005, when it was still an “interest group” with a different name. My how we have grown. I’ve been a part of the ComSHER leadership team for the last seven years and it’s been wonderful watching our membership and accomplishments expand so rapidly. We continue to exhibit some of the top metrics among AEJMC divisions, while balancing that productivity with our trademark friendly vibe. I look forward to seeing you all in August. And I look forward to our division’s future in the hands of its exceptional leaders and members.