114th Annual ECA Convention

Harboring Innovation

Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor

March 29 to April 2, 2023

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Basic Course Conference 2023

Contact Dr. Sean Horan, Basic Course Co-Director, for information.

ECA’s Basic Course Conference 2023

Theory, Practice, & Next Steps

Wednesday, March 29 from 9am to 4pm

Whether at a two-year institution, a four-year liberal arts school, or a large land-grant research university, teaching the basic course tends to be a unifying experience for all communication faculty. Our courses vary: ranging from large lecture hybrid courses, to smaller public speaking courses, or seminars in communication theory. Some of us are in programs with one basic course whereas other programs have a menu of courses. Regardless of the experience, we are – at times – students only coursework in communication. Despite this being a singular experience for many students, communication remains an in-demand job skill that actually increased in demand during COVID. 

With this in mind, this year’s focus of the Basic Course Conference is on unifying theory and translation. That is, in what ways can we empower our students to translate theoretically and/or empirically grounded skills in communication into marketable employment skills and/or evidence-based recommendations for communication in the workplace.

With this theme in mind, the Conference Coordinators (Craw & Horan) have designed a day-long conference blending discussion, analysis, and participation. It is our ultimate goal for teachers of the basic course to leave with tangible skills and resources to complement their existing teaching. Attendees will have access to a Drobox following the conference containing the resources used/discussed during the conference. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the planners: Dr. Sean Horan, Chair and Professor of Communication, Fairfield University (SeanMHoran@gmail.com); Dr. Erin Craw, Strategic Account Manager of Client Success at Youturn Health and Lecturer at Chapman University (ecraw@chapman.edu).

Special presentations

Keynote speaker: Dr. Kerry Byrnes-Loinette, Collin College.

 Kerry Byrnes- LoinetteKerry Byrnes-Loinette (Ph.D., West Virginia University) is a Professor at Collin College located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. A recipient of the Eastern Communication Association’s Distinguished Teaching Fellows distinction and the National Communication Association’s Michael and Suzanne Osborn Community College Outstanding Educator Award, Dr. Byrnes-Loinette has 13 years of community college teaching experience. Published with Drs. Sara Weintraub and Candice Thomas-Maddox, her textbook, Communicating in Your Personal, Professional, and Public Lives, focuses on the introductory communication studies course. Dr. Byrnes-Loinette participated in the National Communication Association’s Learning Outcomes in Communication project, and her work is published in Communication Education, Communication Teacher, and Communication Studies.

Guest speaker: Dr. Mark Hopson, Chapman University

Mark HopsonMark C. Hopson, Ph.D. serves as Professor in the School of Communication, and Senior Director of Ethnic Studies Programs at Chapman University. His research interests and publications include critical intercultural communication and diversity, African American rhetorical traditions, the rhetoric of social movements, and the communication of violence prevention. 


Dr. Hopson earned a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication from Ohio University, and B.A. and M.A. degrees in Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University. 

Prior to joining Chapman, Dr. Hopson held a faculty position and served as Director of African and African American Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. He also served on the university’s 2020 Taskforce on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence for the Office of the President. Moreover, Dr. Hopson has facilitated workshops and seminars for more than 5,000 youth and adult learners, including Changing Lives Through Literature for Fairfax County Public Libraries. CLTL is a nationally recognized alternative sentencing program for juvenile offenders. 

He is the author of two recent books: 

  1. Hopson, M. C., Castle Bell, G., Whittington, E., & Otusanya, A. (2022). Communicating interculturally: Theory, themes, and practice for societal wellbeing. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing.
  1. Hopson, M. C. & Petin, M. P. (2020). Reimagining Black masculinities: Race, gender and public space. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.