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Setonians Take on the 80th Annual PCA Conference

During the weekend of September 27-28, 2019, communication major Brittaney Pietrangelo, hospitality and tourism major Hannah Long and I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Pennsylvania Communication Association’s (PCA) conference at Penn State Berks with Jen Jones, Ph.D., associate professor and department coordinator of communication at Seton Hill and PCA president. The PCA promotes teaching, research, service and development in all areas of human communication. The annual conference is a chance for current and aspiring professionals to network, present research and discuss the field of communication. 

On the first day of the conference, we were reunited with Amy Podoletz, a Seton Hill alumna and former communication major. We attended several panel discussions together. Dr. Jones was among those who presented that day; her panel was called “Giving Voice to a Female Pragmatist: Ruth Anna Putnam.” In addition to the panel discussions, we all had the opportunity to network with various communication professionals.

"The conference was a fantastic experience that allowed me to network with communication professionals from across Pennsylvania." - Seton Hill student Hannah Long

On the second day of the conference, my classmates and I presented research we had conducted during the Spring 2019 semester. On the honors society panel, I presented research on Paulo Freire and his educational philosophy. As an introvert, I found the experience to be exhilarating. Even though I was nervous, the way I spoke outweighed the visible anxiety. I used the skills I learned in Oral Communication with Dr. Klapak to maintain a steady pace, tone and volume. I am very passionate about my work, so it was affirming to hear that people enjoyed it.

Hannah did a poster presentation on Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy. When asked about her experience, she stated that “the conference was a fantastic experience that allowed me to network with communication professionals from across Pennsylvania and present my research that I worked so hard on!” 

Brittaney also did a poster presentation, on Immanuel Kant’s philosophy. Brittaney shared “the conference was a memorable experience that made a major impact on my education here at Seton Hill. Meeting Ronald Arnett, the scholar I referenced in my research, was an inspiration as I shared with him the research that I presented. I wish I could relive the moment!”

Hannah, Brittaney and I helped organize the 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference at Seton Hill, where we originally presented our research. As the semester concluded, Dr. Jones encouraged us to submit our papers to a writing competition held by the PCA. Looking back, I’m glad I took her advice. In addition, I’m also thankful to Dr. Jones for informing us about this opportunity and providing unconditional support along the way.

“It was an incredible conference,” Dr. Jones said. “I'm proud of the Seton Hill students and alumni who presented their research, and it was an honor to have them there as I completed my presidency of the association.”