ECU Communication Professor Engages Students and Expands Horizons by Jordan Koonts

Spring Break 2018 North Ireland Study Abroad
A professor’s love for communication studies has a global reach and a lasting impact.

Dr. Rebecca Dumlao of East Carolina University’s School of Communication has found a unique way to share her innovative studies with students across the globe. And now, some will get a chance to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience alongside her.

Dr. Dumlao has a passion for communication studies and the benefits they can entail. Lauded for her expertise in the field by School of Communication Director, Dr. Linda Kean, Dumlao is regarded by many as a leading scholar of communication. “Dr. Dumlao’s expertise in communication and conflict is long-standing,” says Dr. Kean.

This expertise has helped propel Dr. Dumlao to the forefront of many global outlets and publications. Dumlao’s work has been featured in journals such as the Journal of Family Communication, Science Communication, and Health Communication. Dr. Dumlao is also currently completing a book on collaborative communication.

In addition to being a well-published author, Dr. Dumlao is known by the ECU School of Communication as a great mentor to both students and her peers. In 2013, Dr. Dumlao received the Robert L. Sigmon Award for Service Learning as a testament to her work across the department. Dr. Dumlao also serves on the University Service Learning Committee for ECU.

It is this passion for service through scholarly work that has driven Dr. Dumlao to spearhead a student trip to Northern Ireland. This spring break, Dr. Dumlao and the School of Communication are partnering with the Honors College and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE). Along with Amizade, a nonprofit service-learning organization in Northern Ireland, ECU students will learn how cultures and past histories, including conflicts addressed by the Belfast (Peace) Agreement of 1998, still impact communication and daily life for residents. Students will learn to work collaboratively through hands-on, service-learning experiences at youth clubs. They also will visit with officials who have experience in community-based learning, peace-building and peace-keeping efforts. Students taking Dr. Dumlao’s Honors Seminar, “Communication, Conflict and Community Engagement” will work along students participating in the Alternative Break Experience during this trip.

Dr. Dumlao is no stranger to studying communication and conflicts within another culture. She has previously worked and instructed students in both Trinidad and Tobago and in the Netherlands. To Director Linda Kean, this trip is yet another testament to Dumlao’s “commitment to global teaching and learning.”

The East Carolina University Alternative Break Experience has a mission of “Pushing Boundaries and Creating Change.” Along with Dr. Dumlao, Dr. Dennis McCunney, director of the CLCE, and Nichelle Shuck, Associate Director of Student Leadership and Educational Programs in the CLCE, will co-lead this unique experience for ECU students.

The 2018 trip will run from March 2nd until March 10th and will engage students as they study in Northern Ireland. This first-of-a-kind international service-learning program at ECU involves cross-campus partnerships between the Honors College, the School of Communication, and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.