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Jeff Beam

On Friday morning, the bulk of the Emerson undergrads presented at the IABD Conference (Emjaye McDonald presented the day before to glowing reviews from all in attendance).  8:30 in the morning in Pacific Time still felt like 8:30 in the morning, regardless that we were 3 hours ahead of Boston.  The Emerson College International Arts Exchange Program, which consisted of Alex Pearson, Evan Chapman, and myself, had to battle some technical difficulties before being able to present our powerpoint to the group.  After being saved by an internet cafe at the Imperial Palace, we delivered our pitch for an Emerson-based program that encourages dialogue between international students via the ability to talk about each others' works of art.  The project was Alex Pearson's brainchild, and I felt honored to be a part of it.

The presentation went fast, and at first I was unsure of how it was received.  However, my jangled nerves were quickly replaced with humbled pride as the Critique Panel relayed their feedback to us.  Antonio Noguero of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Diane McFarland of the University of Buffalo, Kaushik Chaudhuri of Reitaku University in Japan, and Ali Kanso of the University of Texas at San Antonio provided us with the most inspiring feedback I've think I've ever received.  All four of the panelists praised our efforts and claimed that we inspired them with our commitment to open up dialogue across the globe.  It sounds weird, but hearing that we inspired them in turn inspired me - I had approached the conference with the hope that our idea wouldn't be shot down.  I never considered the full impact of our idea could have on other people.  The most touching feedback was from Mr. Kanso, a former Emerson College professor.  He claimed that, because of us, he had to rethink his stance on anti-American sentiment, and that he felt that the future was full of hope if ideas like ours were to come to fruition.  Incredibly sincere and humbling.

The moral of this story is to not doubt yourself, and to always show up early as to avoid any unforeseen technological difficulties.
 
Emjaye McDonald, Emerson College

As I looked over the program for today at the IABD conference, I found myself somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer number of and variety of different panels. It was really difficult to pick where to go, but I ultimately ended up bouncing back and forth between multiple panels. Some of the most fascinating of these were the public diplomacy panel this morning and then the sports marketing and organizational communication panels this afternoon. Shannon Felton gave her presentation, "Your International Boston," which highlighted her efforts to debunk popular stereotypes amongst international cultures. Her project is unique and genius in that anyone, anywhere in the world, can share their thoughts about popular stereotypes by uploading their own YouTube video to her site (www.operationdebunk.wordpress.com).

Her presentation was followed by Genevieve Gearity and Katie-Coral Sicora's "Live in Hope." These two ladies are working to connect amputee soccer players in Sierra Leone with soccer player in the United States through an online collaborative forum. This specific project is gaining a lot of traction. They will soon be featured on Channel 5 news in Boston. Alex Pearson, Jeff Beam and Evan Chapman presented an overview of their organization "International Arts Exchange Program," an organization that works to connect art students from around the world. Steph Costa explained her efforts to bring together international students to produce coverage of the upcoming World Cup.

All in all, these presentations were amazing. The audience was clearly impressed and inspired with their efforts. I'm so proud to be a part of this group! Another great presentation by Giselle Gundron (University of Texas at San Antonio) analyzed the response by Domino's Pizza to a recent video scandal and the organizations ability to "channel anger into action." What I found particularly great about this project was Gundron's emphasis on the complications of social media and the need to develop new strategies to confront these complications. Traditional, by the book crisis communication no longer applies to all crises.  In the sports marketing panel, Ric Jensen from the University of South Dakota and Felix Abeson of Coppin State University gave two, very thought provoking presentations. Jensen, in his work with Nick Bowman and Yawei Wang, has been exploring the response of fans to the placement of advertisements on the uniforms of athletes. His research suggests that MLS fans are much more open to the advertisements on uniforms than their NFL, NBA or MLB counterparts. The group suggested a number of interesting explanations.
The focus then turned to Abeson's presentation. Felix Abeson gave an insightful look at the infrastructure of professional boxing and the negative effects of the system on boxing's reputation. Among other suggestions, Abeson suggests that colleges begin implementing boxing into their athletic programs and that multiple sanctioning bodies be centralized into a single body. Abeson's work is exceptional in that it is the the only scholarly literature that approaches professional boxing from a marketing perspective. This day, and the conference thus far, was utterly wonderful! I can't believe that we have to leave tomorrow!
 
Shannon Kelley Felton, Emerson College

Bright and early in beautiful Las Vegas, the troops rallied to pitch original Public Diplomacy efforts to a panel of peers and esteemed international academics. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous – because I absolutely was. My project had originally been a collaboration with another student. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend the conference, and so I was on my own. I felt like I had lost my crutch. However, I pulled it off – not exactly as planned but eloquently enough. Through this I have learn a valuable lesson and thus, I would like to offer some tips to future presenters:

·        If your project were not worthy of recognition it would not have been accepted to the conference. Own it and do it justice in the presentation.

·        Show up early!! The cardinal law of conferences is that technology will always fail. If you leave it until the last hour, it is almost guaranteed that your PowerPoint will not load, the printer will jam, or the projector will over heat. Being prepared for this unfortunate occurrence means showing up early to work out all the kinks (even if you are scheduled for 8:30 in the morning).

·        The question and answer session is just as important as the presentation itself. The people who ask you questions are genuinely interested in your work. Try to answer all questions to the best of your knowledge, and as if it would be in the Washington Post the next day.

·        Finally, accept constructive criticism and be gracious. How else will you improve for the next time you are accepted to conference for your brilliant work?

Good luck!!
 
Evan Chapman, Emerson College

Unfortunately coming to Las Vegas wasn't just about coming to Las Vegas, we were here to present. And present we did. The panel we were part of, a group of undergraduate students presenting on public diplomacy, could not have gone better on our part. As an undergraduate student, being able to take part in a conference like this is an invaluable experience.

The most valuable part of the panel though was without doubt receiving feedback from those in attendance. Whether it be Kaushik Chaudhuri from India, Antonio Neguero, or Diane Macfarland discussing the presentations, it really is great to hear that our projects could have such an effect on others. The comments from Ali Kanso specifically resonated with me. We do our projects and such in almost a kind of vacuum, and seldom get to hear what the projects mean to others. Ali's comments that what we were doing could truly change perception around the world, and his perception on our generation left me taken aback. Just to hear comments such as that alone make the conference that much more meaningful to me.
 
Evan Chapman, Emerson College

And so began the IABD conference. The highlight of my first day, being from Virginia, was Virginia Tech’s John Tedesco talking about the Health Benefit Model and colon cancer in the New River region of Virginia. Having driven through this part of the state too many times to recount throughout my childhood, it is certainly something that still strikes home. Coming from a more affluent part of Virginia, this lack of literacy, and as a result lack of efficacy, both in respect to health and politics, has always taken me aback.
This information inequity, at least in terms of processing the information, is something that has troubled me since before I came to college. While politicians, pharmaceutical companies, and many others market to an extremely literate market, they knowingly promote these products to those who are below this level. This irresponsible practice is something that must stop. Presentations like John’s and Dr. H. Paul Leblank’s presentation specifically on the reading level of ads, serve to end the practice. Hopefully more like them are heard by a larger collective ear soon.
 
Emjaye McDonald, Emerson College

Yesterday I gave my presentation on celebrity diplomacy as part of the political communication panel (my first conference presentation!!). Also presenting on the panel were Dr. John M. King of East Tennessee State University and Eve Sevin, a graduate student at Emerson College.


Dr. King’s presentation was one of my favorites of the day. He explored face-ism within the last American presidential election. More specifically, his work investigates print media’s tendency to highlight the facial features of male candidates while focusing on the body of female candidates. Possible explanations and implications were also discussed.

Efe Sevin gave his presentation about student exchange programs—further proving his expertise in the broader concept of nation-branding and public diplomacy. The audience seemed especially intrigued by this presentation and followed-up with a series of insightful and conversation provoking questions.

All in all, the panel was a great experience. The people at the IABD Conference are an extremely interesting, friendly and vibrant group of individuals. I look forward to the rest of the week and getting to know them all that much better.
 
Shannon Felton, Emerson College

Today was the first day of the IABD conference. First, we're in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada! Could you ask for a better setting? Although we got in very late last night, we were up early to attended the first breakfast of the conference. It was great to see everyone, and Dr.Payne introduced us to several people.


At 1:30 we went to our comrades Emjaye and Efe's panel presentation during the Political Communication presentation. Having been at the National Communication Association conference in November, I went into the panels with a lot of preconceived notions about how it would run. I was totally wrong! IABD is much more laid back and casual! It's great!! I feel like I really made some genuine connections with people by attending panels, which was not the case at NCA. Emjaye and Efe both did very well in their presentations, and John King from Eastern Tennessee State had a very interesting take on "face-ism" in the 2008 presidential campaign. I found his conclusions fascinating, an aspect of the campaign I had never thought about. One of those things that once it is introduced to you, it makes total sense. King concludes that the media crops pictures of female candidates lower than they do for male candidates. He found this to be true in the 2008 campaign. However, his other hypothesis that male candidates also get preferential photo placing in the media, was found to be wrong. We finished our session early, and thus had about an hour discussion with everyone in the room about the presentations we had just heard. Honestly, it was wonderful! Again, something that a smaller conference allows for.

At 3:30 we tried to bounce around to several presentations to cover as much ground as possible. We attended an interesting Cross Cultural Marketing presentation, and then caught the end of Nada's Students for Life presentation. As a college-student who is not an organ donor, I found her campaign proposal very interesting. WE also met Dr.Payne's mother and sister, which was a wonderful treat! WE LOVE ZULENE!!

The day was full but it's not over yet, we are attending an all conference gala at 7:30 for more networking and fun! Tomorrow is my presentation, I am a little bit nervous but after witnessing the casual and open-dialog style of IABD, I know it will be a lot of fun!
 
Stephanie Costa, Emerson College

Day 1 IABD Today has been an awesome kickoff of the IABD conference! And the schedule isn't even over yet!  We kicked off the morning with a great networking breakfast, where people were all surprisingly friendly and inviting -- it isn't frequent that you find industry professionals who are so willing and eager to talk to students, especially at 730am! From there we went into our first panel where one of our fellow Emersonians was presenting!  Chris Del Grosso and Emjaye McDonald both presented today. Emjaye's presentation led to a great panel discussion on Public Diplomacy with John King and Efe Sevin. The discussion covered how public diplomacy is impacted by students studying abroad both from the perspective of American students studying abroad, and international students studying in America.  We discussed in the panel, the importance of all students studying abroad and truly getting a perspective of global culture. The importance of doing more then just being a tourist, but exploring the culture of the people and what life is like in any given country gives you not only a more enriched life, but creates the indispensable role of a cultural ambassador both as an American abroad and as a cultured American at home.  So grab your passports and go! 
 
Katie-Coral Sicora, Emerson College

Going-green is no longer a topic only discussed by hemp wearing, vegan enthusiasts on grassy knolls. It is a calculated business tactic. As was explained in the panel today, "green is the new black" Today some of the greatest business professors from all over the world convened to discuss topics related to small business and entrepreneurship at the International Academy of Business Disciplines. It was not like any other panel I have attended. Omid Nodoushani, of Southern Connecticut State University presented "The Greening of Entrepreneurship USA: An Examination of Green Small Business Strategy," co-authored by Patricia Nodoushani. There were no eyes glazed over, there was no self-importance. There was instead, insightful presentations followed by lively discussion. As a student interested in the emerging "green" market, it was a dream come true to participate in the discussion. No matter what we call it, "Sustainable Enterprise" or "Going Green" or "Triple Bottom Line" the business of being "Green" is here to stay. Nodoushani discussed the difference between "Green Business" and "Green-Green Business" and the difference between a business preserving the environment versus a business who engages in a green practice to make a sale. It is rather clear that "Greening" is a trend, but what it means can be unclear. There are no standards to outline what "going green" means. To outline standards would be highly complex.   Small Business was highlighted in the presentation. According to Nodoushani, in the last decade, small businesses have created nearly 80% of "net new jobs in the U.S. economy each year." Small Business needs to be forward thinking when it comes to building in a sustainable way. I am a major proponent for PACE bonds (Property Assessed Clean Energy bonds) which pool often private funds that are dispersed to property owners to cover the upfront costs of retrofitting their buildings. The amount given is attached to property taxes each year and paid off over 20 years. The immediate savings are amazing. It is a way for business to cut costs. Whether it is switching to new light bulbs, going hybrid with vehicles or investing in solar panels it is clear today from this panel that green is indeed the new black. 
 
Jeffrey Beam, Emerson College

Janice Payne, Dr. Gregory Payne's sister, spoke at the International Academy of Business Disciplines conference today.  She spoke at two panels - "Health Communication & Public Policy" and "Public Diplomacy In The World."  The topic of her discussion involved care of the elderly and the benefits of keeping elderly family members within the home instead of shipping them off to retirement homes.  Janice spoke about how this is unique to American culture, and how providing care for elderly family members is perceived as an honor in other cultures.  She also spoke about how retirement homes are a money-making business like every other business in America, and how they are no different in looking to trim costs whenever possible.  Obviously, this has a direct negative effect on the care provided for patients.


I can completely relate to this presentation.  My grandmother lived with my family in Maine for four years.  My mother took take of her mother on her own by taking her into our home; she also had the assistance of care-givers that came to our home to help my grandmother with everyday tasks.  My mother was vehemently opposed to placing my grandmother in a retirement home if it could be avoided.  Taking care of my grandmother put a strain on my mother, who also balanced a full-time job and cooked for my father, my grandmother, and myself, but she was more than willing in the face of any alternative situations.  I certainly enjoyed having my grandmother around; as an only child, it was nice to have someone around when I got home from school.

When my parents get to the age where they need assistance caring for themselves, I will be more prepared to provide care for them due to my past experience with my grandmother.  I feel as though I've bucked the component of American culture that neglects the elderly, and I feel that this is a lesson that needs to reverberate further throughout the country.  Someone at the session commented that providing care at the end of a life is just as essential as the care provided for someone at the beginning of their life, and I couldn't agree more.