Vice President’s Report

Dear Western ABC members,

Our spring issue of the Western ABC Bulletin is reaching you in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the university systems and changed our jobs in ways that have challenged many. Our university campuses closed, we moved all our teaching online, and celebrated virtual student graduations.

This spring issue of the Bulletin has focused on how the pandemic has affected your professional life and research priorities, how you are coping, adapting, or perhaps even thriving in your new work environment. How you are talking about the pandemic within your professional circles and how your research interests have shifted in response to the pandemic. I want to thank Sushil Oswal and Mikel Chertudi for quickly re-conceptualizing the issue to address the new realities that we were confronted with.  This is the very essence of an online journal – to quickly react and serve our professional community by making relevant material available quickly and putting resources at our fingertips.  I hope you will enjoy reading it.

We held our ABC West Conference on the brink of the pandemic on March 1-5, 2020, and lost some participants due to the uncertainly of travel at that time. Despite these obstacles, we held a successful conference on a cruise ship. This new conference format provided for ample community building opportunities, more intimate collegiate conversations and discussion, group meals, a group hike on Catalina Island, and an Ensenada wine industry tour. I want to thank ABC Western conference chair Peter Cardon for doing an excellent job putting together an exciting conference program on board the Carnival Imagination. This experience truly earned its trending hashtag #bestconferenceever. Please look for conference papers to be featured in the fall 2020 issue of the ABC Western Bulletin and for a conference slideshow at the Western ABC regional meeting in October 2020.

We also announced the date and location for our next regional conference. We will hold the next ABC Western region conference on the BYU-Hawaii campus, HI, on the north shore of Oahu on February 16-18, 2022 ( A big thank-you to Ann and Scott Springers who agreed to serve as our hosts and conference chairs. 

The 2019 ABC annual conference in Detroit gave us a lot of reason to celebrate our Western region.  Please join me in congratulating these Western ABC members for their accomplishments:

Sushil Oswal (University of Washington) received Francis W. Weeks Award of Merit for contributions to the profession and to recognize outstanding advancement in the discipline of business and professional communication.

Patricia Sias & Kaylin Duncan (The University of Arizona) received the Outstanding Article of the Year award for the article “Not Just for Customers Anymore: Organization Facebook, Employee Social Capital, and Organizational Identification” published in the International Journal of Business Communication.

Gail Fann Thomas (Naval Postgraduate School), Roxanne Zolin (Noble International Business School), and Jackie Hartman received the Business Communication Impact Award for their article “The Central Role of Communication in Developing Trust and its Effect on Employee Involvement” published in the International Journal of Business Communication.

The ABC annual conference in San Diego presents an attractive geographical location for our region, and I hope that we will be able to see each other in person or in virtual sessions. One thing is for certain – our increased reliance on virtual communication as a way of connecting and working professionally. We have much to learn, teach, and research.

Stay connected by following the new ABC YouTube channel or maybe participating in the Virtual Business Professional project (VBP) that will now run in Fall 2020 to accommodate the increased need for online instruction and the desire to teach virtual collaboration skills to students:   

In the meantime, I wish everyone a restful and productive summer as we navigate our entry into the fall semester, whatever it will look like for our schools and professional workplaces. 

Jolanta Aritz
ABC Western Regional Vice President