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News & Press: Conventions

Recognizing Immediate Past President, Michelle Holling

Wednesday, March 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christina Yoshimura
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By Marnel Niles Goins, First Vice President

Michelle Holling has provided a great deal of service to WSCA. She is the Immediate Past President of our Association. She created and currently chairs WSCA’s newest interest group, Communication, Identities and Difference. She planned the 2017 Convention in Salt Lake City, where the Convention theme was, “Centralizing Marginality: Marginalizing the Center.”  It was during this time that I was able to get to know Michelle on a more personal level. She's courageous and unapologetic; she's frank; she's fierce; and she is consistent in providing ideas about diversity and challenging others to be more inclusive.

I was Second Vice-President of WSCA when Michelle was planning the 2017 Convention. I am currently First Vice-President and I'll be planning the 2020 Convention in Denver. I'll be the first Black president of WSCA and I've got to tell you: Michelle Holling, her conference theme and conference speaker, her ideas and her challenges to me and others, her being, have given me, a Black woman, permission to be bold within the Western States Communication Association and also within the Communication discipline.

My experience is not unique. I've contacted a few of Michelle’s colleagues and former students and they too have accolades:

“What stands out to me about Michelle is her driven, calm demeanor.  I've never seen Michelle lose her cool, but I've seen her navigating the intersection of at least three challenging situations in a single moment (and I've seen that happen in more than one moment!).  I've seen her calm focus, and I've seen her passion for justice, visibility, and inclusion come to fruition in a conference theme, new interest group, and compelling luncheon address that couldn't have come to pass without that focus.”

“Michelle Holling is the embodiment of teaching and scholarly excellence. An individual who mentors well beyond the confines of her academic institution, Michelle has had a profound impact on so many lives. As one such mentee, I am thankful for the meaningful impact she’s had on my life. From helping me refine my Masters personal statement to giving me food-ordering tips for on-campus interviews, Michelle is the kind of academic who illuminates the path she has forged.”

WSCA family, I present to you this award of recognition to our Immediate Past President, Michelle Holling.



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