VACAS Conference

VACAS conference flyer

Submissions are now open! Deadline is February 15, 2019.


All submissions should be emailed to

1. Proposal Guidelines:

*All proposal submissions will be reviewed by VACAS division or section chairs. 

(a) Individual paper submissions — Please email a completed paper or a 250-300 word abstract of your paper


(b) Panel submissions – Please email a 400-500 word proposal for your panel which includes:

  1. A title
  2. A list of panelists and their institutional affiliations, including panel chair and (optional) respondent
  3. Titles and abstracts for each paper or presentation
  4. A rationale of no more than 250 words that states the relevance of the topic for your unit and how panelists will make the topic interactive for the audience (handouts, links to websites, paper distribution, etc.)

Note: Issue-based discussion panels, or roundtables, are welcome as well. We view panels as a particularly good venue for discussing pressing issues or challenges facing communication students, graduate students, and faculty in Virginia and beyond.


(c) Individual poster presentationsPlease email a 250-300 word abstract describing your plan for a poster presentation on your research. Submissions for a poster presentation can include in-progress work.


(d) Audio/Video/Multimedia PresentationFor audio and video submissions, please email a link to the submission, either through YouTube or Vimeo. Submissions should be no longer than 8 minutes in length. Include in the email of your submission a brief description of your presentation. All forms of audio and video are encouraged, including but not limited to: film, podcast, web productions, radio broadcast, and animation.


FACULTY SPONSORS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL UNDERGRADUATE SUBMISSIONS: All undergraduate students must have a faculty sponsor for paper, panel, poster, or audio/video submissions. Faculty sponsors will submit proposals on behalf of the undergraduate student(s).

Length – all panels are 50 minutes long. With a brief introduction from the chair and 10 minutes for audience questions at the end, this leaves about 40 minutes for all the panelists’ presentations. Please consult with your chair regarding presentation length. Your chair will also help you keep your presentations on time by giving you signals when you are approaching the end of your allotted time. Audio/Video submissions should be no longer than 8 minutes.

Technology – all rooms in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building at Radford University have state-of-the-art technology, including ports and attachments for devices to connect to projectors and sound systems. It is encouraged for presentations to be backed-up on a thumb drive/flash drive in the event of unforeseen technical difficulties.


2. Campaign-a-Thon:

We will be having a friendly competition amongst our universities with a Campaign-A-Thon. This fast-paced workshop, to be held on Saturday March 30th, will allow teams to put their PR/Advertising/Media Skills to the test by preparing a campaign for a business in the Commonwealth in only a few hours! Further details will be made available at on this page at a later date and on our Facebook page in early February. Be sure to follow our Facebook Page to keep up to date with announcements, changes and additional information.

For general questions, please email


Additional Information

Conference Theme

As a discipline keen to explore the unfolding edge of social phenomena, Communication is always poised to map new borders when it comes to social, rhetorical, media, and cultural practices. In an era of uncertainty, the discipline’s voice is one that helps to address where new territories are being laid out in every communicative practice from leadership to social media. In fact, Communication specialists should not only be charting where society is redefining its borders, but we must also be at the forefront of drawing where new boundaries need to be established, ones that encourage greater inclusivity, participation, and engagement.

The 2019 conference, “Redrawing Boundaries,” invites individual and group papers, panels and poster presentations that challenge existing social boundaries and explore new borders by connecting research and theory to Communication practice. How can we create new boundaries that include greater inclusivity, participation, and engagement? In what ways can we collaborate to broaden the mindset of existing boundaries? In this time of political and social upheaval, how can we, as practitioners, encourage and motivate others to engage in positive social change? We look forward to the conversations, hearing the research presented, and engaging with each other as we redefine our own boundaries.

VACAS itself is embracing this thrill of exploration, first by experimenting with a return to annual conferencing and second by partnering with Radford University to situate the convention towards the western edge of the Commonwealth. In redefining its own previous boundaries, VACAS hopes to inspire a conference program that similarly points towards new frontiers.

Conference Events

We are in the process of planning an exciting and fruitful conference that will benefit all communication focused students and faculty. In addition to the traditional paper/panel presentations, we plan to have a video/film panel to showcase production technology students. Furthermore, we will be having a friendly competition amongst our universities with a Campaign-A-Thon. This fast-paced workshop, to be held on Saturday March 30th, will allow teams to put their PR/Advertising/Media Skills to the test by preparing a campaign for a business in the Commonwealth in only a few hours! There will also be a poster presentation as well as a graduate fair, allowing universities to promote their graduate programs.

Beyond these activities, we will be having a keynote speaker and present our prestigious Communicator of the Year award to a fellow colleague in Virginia.

This will be a wonderful, affordable opportunity for all undergraduate and graduate students in communication to experience, either as a presenter or attendee.

Submission Topic Ideas

We encourage submissions across the whole range of the communication field, including, but not limited to: media studies, journalism, political communication and campaigns, public relations, communication theory and rhetorical criticism, critical/cultural studies, science and environmental communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal/small group communication, health and risk communication, and communication education/pedagogy.

We welcome submissions from undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty, and papers/posters can present completed work or work-in-progress. Undergraduates in particular are encouraged to submit their work. In short, we envision this conference as a particularly supportive venue for undergraduate students to present their exemplary work in communication research and critical analysis.

Submissions are currently open through February 15, 2019!

Email submissions to


Registration is Now Open

VACAS 2019 Fees

Undergraduate Student Participant- $10
Graduate Student Participant- $20
Faculty Participant- $40

There is no fee to observe the conference. However, if you would like to become a VACAS member, the above fees apply.

To pay with credit card, please visit:

To pay with cash, check, or money order, please use this form. Checks and money orders to be payable to Radford University. Payments and registration forms must be postmarked by March 22, 2019. Fees can be collected at conference; exact change only.