Dr. Russell Carpenter, executive director of the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity at Eastern Kentucky University, earned national recognition recently for his efforts to advance the professional interests of communication centers through creative advocacy.
Carpenter received the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Turner Award, which is only given when an appropriate candidate is identified and was last presented in 2015.
Carpenter’s first major service contribution took place in 2012 when he served as chair of the annual National Association of Communication Centers (NACC) conference, which attracted more than 100 participants to discuss communication center research and practices from across the country. He has also served as moderator of the NACC national listserv, a critical communication channel for the organization, since 2011.
His service to NACC and communication centers extends to numerous leadership roles. He served as vice chair in 2011-12, and organized the communication center section of the NCA conference. The process involved shaping and publicizing the call for papers, which attracted a competitive number of proposals, and managing a rigorous and fair peer-review process. As chair in 2013-14, he ensured the long-term sustainability of the organization and coordinated a promotional campaign to increase membership in the section, which included working with NACC leaders to design and publish mailers to current and potential section members. In 2013, he chaired the search committee for the Communication Center Journal’s first editor and worked with colleagues to draft the initial language, goals and procedures for CCJ, many of which are still in use today.
Carpenter also served on the NCA Legislative Assembly and Nominating Committee (2013-15), ensuring that the organization would have outstanding future leaders. As past chair, he headed NACC’s tutor certification program, which also involved migrating the process to an updated web interface and a revision of the materials included on the website, in addition to providing additional samples for use by applicants and potential applicants.
More recently, he was invited to serve in one of the organization’s most important roles: editor of the CCJ. Since the annual conference in 2016, he has developed a collaborative culture for the journal, envisioning first a major leadership structure to include three associate editors representing priorities for the journal, its authors, readers, and, of course, student tutors. To that end, he also designed four additional editorial leadership roles: managing editor, digital content editor, book review editor, and a student editor for the new Excellence in the Center section of the journal. To date, the journal has received a high number of submissions for review and consideration. Carpenter also worked closely with the editorial leaders to identify the most suitable long-term home for the journal. The CCJ is now housed at UNC Greensboro.
“It is important to cultivate scholars and future leaders, and the journal can serve this role,” Carpenter said.
In 2017, Carpenter was commissioned by the Southeastern Writing Center Association to research and develop the nation’s first true writing center certification program.
Carpenter, who joined the EKU faculty in 2009, also serves as as an associate professor of English at the University.
In a technically sophisticated environment, EKU’s Noel Studio, which opened in 2010, integrates services designed to enhance students’ writing, speaking and research skills and inspire individual and collaborative learning. It has been featured in numerous national publications, including University Business, American School & University and the Journal of Learning Spaces.