Left to right: Angela Largo, Lucy Niyazova, Tommy Hernandez

For the first time in two years, the Eastern Communication Association (ECA) Conference took place in-person in Philadelphia from April 7 - 9. Klein College of Media and Communication is proud to have had six students attend the conference as student ambassadors.

As student ambassadors, Alyssa Eder (she/her), Angela Largo (she/her), Lucy Niyazova (she/her), Tommy Hernandez (he/him), Mikayla Renwick and Harry McKinlay attended at least two days of the conference where they helped with logistics and got to attend presentations of the research done by various people in the communication studies film. 

"To me, that was awesome, being able to help people and then actually sitting in on the conversation," Hernandez said. 

We talked to Hernandez, Eder, Largo and Niyazova before the big weekend and followed up after to hear about their excitement for the conference and their experience there.

All three women found out about the conference through Hernandez who, as president of Communication Studies Honors Fraternity Lambda Pi Eta, spread the word to the honor society members about the opportunity to get involved at this year's ECA Conference.

Hernandez was originally interested in the possibility of submitting work he has done in the past to present at the conference, but the timing of the conference with his other obligations made it difficult. Instead, he signed up right away to be an ambassador so he could still experience the conference and sent an email to Lambda Pi Eta members to inform them of the opportunity, as well.

After seeing the email from Hernandez, Eder became interested in attending in order to see how a large-scale event like ECA comes together. She described the presenters and papers at the conference as contributing to one big conversation that is shared by all attendees, and was excited to see what people had to say about urban communication, social media and digital literacy.

Eder has done research of her own as a Diamond Research Scholar at Temple University. Under the mentorship of Senior Associate Dean Deborah Cai, she researched political rhetoric and communication.

"I would just like to see how the arena of research and presenting your research works on more of a higher level," Eder said. She sees research as being something that will drive her life and is always looking for ways to educate herself.

Largo was very excited to not only be attending the ECA conference, but to be attending the reunion event after two years of not being held in person. This, she said, makes it more special. 

"Being a student ambassador was something that I was really excited to do just because it gave me an opportunity to participate in an event as prestigious as this one," Largo said. In addition to her major in communication studies, Largo has a minor in public relations and saw the conference as the perfect opportunity to combine her interest in working events and learning about communication studies.

"I'm just excited to go. It's a great way to finish off senior year," Niyazova said. 

Niyazova wants to use her degree in communication studies to pursue education policy, and was interested in seeing if anyone else at the conference had done and planned to present research in that field. As she finishes her communication studies major and education minor, Niyazova is glad she got the opportunity to connect the two at the conference. 

"I attended all three days of the conference and met a lot of people who had the same interests as me!" Niyazova wrote. She noted that it was amazing to network with so many communication studies students, professors and professionals in one place.

As Hernandez, Eder, Largo and Niyazova prepare to graduate, they are all glad to have had the experience to have represented Temple and Klein College at the ECA Conference.

"It just seemed like the perfect fit for me," Largo said.