73nd Annual NYSCA Conference – October 16-18, 2015


Come listen to—and talk with—world class speakers.


Friday Night Keynote Speaker: HOWARD GILES


gilesHoward Giles (PhD [1971], D.Sc. [1996], University of Bristol) became Chair of Social Psychology and thereafter Head of Psychology at that same institution.  He emigrated to California 23+ years ago and is Professor (past-Chair) of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara (with affiliated positions in Linguistics and Psychology).  He is Founding (and current) Editor of the Journal of Language and Social Psychology and Co-founding Editor of the Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, elected Editor of Human Communication Research, and Editor of many Book Series. Giles has researched many different areas of intergroup communication (and is editor of the 2012 Handbook of Intergroup Communication for the International Communication Association (ICA)/Routledge), been on the editorial boards of dozens of journals, is an elected Fellow in 7 gerontology, psychology, intercultural relations, and communication Associations and, in addition to 30+ competitive Top Paper awards from Communication Associations, has received many distinguished honors (e.g., the ICA Inaugural Career Productivity [Chaffee] Award in 2000 and the National Communication Association’s Mark Knapp Career Award for interpersonal communication in 2010).  He has been Past President of ICA and the International Association of Language & Social Psychology (IALSP) and is currently Adviser to the Executive Committee of the latter.   Co-founder in 1979 (with Peter Robinson) of the International Conferences on Language (ICLASP) – with ICLASP15 planned for 2016 – he was one of the key initiators of the IALSP movement established in 1996.  In late 2011, he retired as a 15-year Reserve Detective Lieutenant with the Santa Barbara Police Department working with the major crimes unit and on 24/7 call for the Crisis Negotiation Response Team as well as on 24/7 call as a Police Chaplain. Giles has been the recipient of 13 California State, local, and departmental Outstanding Law Enforcement Service Awards.


Saturday Night Keynote Speaker: MECCA E. SANTANA, ESQ.

santanaMecca E. Santana is the Vice President of Diversity & Community Relations for Westchester Medical Center. As the head of the Office of Diversity and Community Relations, she is responsible for building and leveraging relationships with external stakeholders in the diverse communities that make up the Hudson Valley, while also ensuring that all internal organizational policies and procedures are aligned with diversity and inclusion best practices. Prior to this position, Ms. Santana served as the Chief Diversity Officer for the State of New York. Appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in September 2013, Ms. Santana was responsible for the creation and implementation of recruitment and retention initiatives designed to promote workforce diversity and inclusion, while also leading new initiatives to increase Minority & Women Owned Business (MWBE) procurement opportunities. Prior to joining the Cuomo administration in 2013, Ms. Santana was the Executive Director of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity Management for the Office of Equal Opportunity at the New York City Department of Education. As the Executive Director of EEO/Diversity & Inclusion for the largest school district in the country, Ms. Santana was responsible for ensuring department-wide compliance with all EEO laws and diversity policies by overseeing the Discrimination Complaint Unit, the Contract Compliance Unit, the Training Unit, the Disability Rights Unit, and the Diversity Management Unit – a unit that Ms. Santana created. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Ms. Santana was Senior Assistant Counsel for the New York State Commission of Investigation. In her capacity as Senior Assistant Counsel, Ms. Santana conducted state-wide investigations of municipal corruption and assorted criminal matters, making recommendations to the Governor and NYS legislature based upon her investigative findings. Ms. Santana began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney’s Office. Appointed by the renowned Robert M. Morgenthau in 2000, Ms. Santana prosecuted assorted criminal matters as a member of the Trial Division, the Sex Crimes Unit, the Domestic Violence Unit, and the Welfare Fraud Unit. Ms. Santana holds certifications from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Equal Employment Opportunity Studies and Diversity Management. Ms. Santana, who is licensed to practice law in both New York and New Jersey, graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in June 2000.