WMU News

National leaders in communication ethics gather at Gull Lake

May 3, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- More than 60 scholars in communication ethics will gather on the shores of Gull Lake May 11-14 to attend the sixth National Communication Ethics Conference, hosted by Western Michigan University.

The ethics conference, held biennially, brings some of the top ethics researchers from across the nation to Southwest Michigan to discuss ethical issues and standards in all aspects of human communication.

Held at the Kellogg Biological Station Conference Center on Gull Lake, the conference is sponsored by the Communication Ethics Commission of the National Communication Association; the Department of Communication at Duquesne University; and Western Michigan University's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, Department of Communication and College of Arts and Sciences.

The conference 's keynote address will be made by scholar-in-residence, Dr. J. Vernon Jenson, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday, May 12. Jenson, who taught at Minnesota for more than 30 years, was a Fulbright Lecturer in Burma and is the author of four books, including "Ethical Issues in the Communication Process," which was published in 1997. His areas of expertise include ethics, critical thinking, British rhetoric and East Asian communication. He is among the founders of the National Communication Ethics Conference.

The conference has continued to grow since its founding and boasts a higher submission rate for papers this year than in previous years. Participants are traveling from as far away as Amsterdam to attend this year's event.

"This conference is unique in that it focuses exclusively on communication ethics," says Dr. Sandra L. Borden, conference co-director and WMU assistant professor of communication. "It originated with the founders of NCA's Communication Ethics Commission and continues to act as a catalyst for significant research, teaching innovations and projects such as the Credo for Ethical Communication that was ratified at the National Communication Association convention in November."

There will be a session at the conference dedicated to implementing the credo, along with a reception honoring former NCA President Kenneth E. Andersen, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a driving force behind the credo.

For the first time this year, the conference has awarded Duquesne Graduate Student Fellowships in Communication Ethics. Awarded to the authors of the top four student papers submitted, the fellowships cover the cost of conference registration fees for the winners. Four fellowships were shared by six students: Linda Cardillo of Ohio State University; Elaine Aamodt, Jason E. Combs and Katherine Rosback of Purdue University; Pat J. Gherke of Pennsylvania State University; and Alexandre Lopes de Miranda of Loyola University of Chicago.

For more information about the conference, contact Borden at (616) 387-3146 or visit the conference's Web site at <www.wmich.edu/communication/ethics/>.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400