The Life, Legacy Of Carole Barbato To Be Presented At 2014 NCA Conference
A panel dedicated to the life and legacy of Carole Barbato, Ph.D., emeritus professor of Communication Studies at Kent State University, will be featured at the 100th Annual National Communication Association (NCA) conference in Chicago. The session, “Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Carole Barbato, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Kent State University" will highlight the research and scholarship of Barbato, who died unexpectedly last spring. The panel session will be held Nov. 21, at 2 p.m. in the Astoria Room of the Hilton Chicago.
A panel dedicated to the lifework of one person is a distinct honor, according to Paul Haridakis, Ph.D., Director of the School of Communication Studies at Kent State. Barbato was a long-time member of the NCA.
“The National Communication Association is by far the largest communication association. For them to devote a program to a particular person says a lot about the impact that the person has had,” Haridakis said.
Although Barbato spent most of her teaching career at Kent State’s East Liverpool Campus, she also taught undergraduate and graduate classes on the Kent campus.
“Everything she gave was for her students. She would always encourage them and she touched all of their lives. Even masters and graduate students that didn’t have her for classes were mentored by her and would seek her advice when she was on the Kent Campus,” Haridakis said. “She was an integral faculty member of this school.”
Panelists will address Barbato’s contributions to communication scholarship, her impact on students, and the legacy of May 4th at Kent State.
“Not only did she have a great impact on the field of communication, the impact she’s had at this University has been phenomenal,” Haridakis said.
Speaking about Barbato’s legacy is a great honor for Haridakis whose topic is “Teacher, Mentor, and Friend to Students.”
“Carole was extremely gregarious and selfless. I don’t think I ever had a conversation with her where she didn’t laugh, and her laugh was infectious. She was the most jovial colleague with whom I’ve ever worked with and that came across with her students as well. She was always upbeat, always cared and always put student and colleague interest ahead of hers and was happy to do so,” Haridakis said. “She was a faculty member here for about 40 years and is incredibly missed.”
Barbato has conducted research on interpersonal communication, team-building, group communication, and family communication. “Her work in small group communication has guided a lot of future research,” Haridakis said. “In addition, she was integral in establishing the May 4th Center and I can’t think of another person who’s had more of an impact on this University.”
According to the NCA program, “Barbato and her colleagues were instrumental in designating the site of the May 4, 1970, Kent State Shootings on the National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior. Their efforts culminated in the May 4th site Walking Tour and the May 4th Visitors Center, located on the Kent State University campus, and was opened to the public in 2012.”
This year’s conference will bring many of Barbato’s former students and colleagues together to celebrate her life and career.
In addition to Haridakis, presenters include Laura Davis, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of English and Founding Director of the May 4th Visitors Center, Kent State and Scott Myers, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University. Davis will speak on “A Time It Was: May 4, 1970 and Its Aftermath” and Myers will speak on “Carole Barbato’s Impact on the Study of Team Building and Interpersonal Communication Motives.” Panel co-chairs are Elizabeth Graham, Ph.D., Professor, School of Communication, University of Akron and Elizabeth Perse, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Communication, University of Delaware. Perse and Graham are Kent State alumni.