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Communications Professor Qingwen Dong

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Communication faculty honored with NCA award

Dec 8, 2017

University of the Pacific Communication professor Qingwen Dong has received an award from the National Communication Association for work he has done to organize conferences between educators and scholars in the United States and China.

"I feel pretty excited about this award because it's national recognition," Dong said.  

The Presidential Citation for Service was given to Dong last month in Dallas for "exceptional service as the co-chair of the NCA Task Force on Fostering International Collaborations in the Age of Globalization."   

The NCA has about 10,000 members nationwide, mostly from higher education institutions ranging from community colleges to elite universities such as Stanford. It supports scholars, teachers and communication professionals in research and teaching. The NCA task force has three missions: international collaboration on research, teaching using different paradigms, and offering services such as conferences and workshops. Dong has played a key role in organizing conferences, which take place every two years and attract about 100 participants. The next one is in Beijing in June 2018 where Dong will present his research on new media impact on globalization and how it can galvanize movements.

"Just look at the 'Me Too' movement," Dong said, referring to the multitude of women using social media to say they, too, had experienced sexual harassment. It's a movement so powerful that Time magazine named it its Person of the Year. "Without Twitter, I don't think as many women would get engaged in the 'Me Too' movement."

Dong has also organized events to bring Chinese students to the United States. Last July's Pacific Summer Institute on Pacific's Stockton campus hosted students from the College of Media and International Culture at Zhejiang University. As part of the seminar, they traveled to Silicon Valley and visited Google. Dong has also received a $5,000 grant so he can take elite communication scholars to next summer's conference in China. Dong says that while the conferences are a place for academics to share ideas, the notion of more open communication is slowly making its way to the historically restrictive Chinese government. He cites a recent incident in which the government rounded up thousands of homeless people in Beijing and moved them out.  

"This has generated so many opinions and arguments from all over social media," Dong said. "They say people cannot just treat people like dogs. Now the government has stopped. The mayor of Beijing apologized."     

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