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Dr. Carolyn Calloway-Thomas

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Dr. Carolyn Calloway-Thomas is professor  and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies (IU), an Intercultural Communication Competence (ICC) Advisory Expert on the World Council for Intercultural and Global Competence,  past president of the World Communication Association, and  a 2023-24 Kovener Teaching Fellow (College of Arts and Sciences). She is author of Empathy in the Global World:  An Intercultural Perspective, coauthor of Intercultural Communication: A Text with Readings and  Intercultural Communication Roots and Routes, as well as coeditor of Dr. Martin Luther , Jr. and the Sermonic Power of Public Discourse.  Her coauthored book, Intercultural Communication between Chinese and North Americans,   is forthcoming in 2023.  She is also coauthoring a forthcoming book titled “Speak Out,” under contract with SAGE. Her teaching and research areas are communication in Black America, empathy and conflict, intercultural communication, civic engagement, and pedagogy.   

She has won many awards, including the 2022 W. George Pinnell Award for Outstanding Service to Indiana University;  the National Communication Association’s Distinguished Service Award; the National Council of Black Studies’ Paul Robeson and Zora Neale Hurston Award for Outstanding Leadership and Promotion of African Humanities; a Fulbright scholarship to Nigeria, West Africa; a Carnegie scholarship; an Indiana University Bicentennial Medal “ in recognition of distinguished and distinctive service in support of the mission of Indiana University;”  the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Robert J. Kibler Memorial  Award for outstanding work on diversity;   two   National Communication Association Presidential citation awards for  “exceptional service”   to the organization and for her efforts in building partnerships between the NCA and China;  Indiana University’s “Building Bridges  Faculty Award,  which honors individuals whose intercultural and community work mirrors that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ;   the Black Caucus and African American Rhetoric Division’s Distinguished Leadership  Award (NCA) for advancing the discipline and promoting social justice;   and  the Distinguished Alumni award from Grambling State University.  

In 2010,  the  Central States Communication Association  (CSCA) inducted Professor Calloway-Thomas into the organization’s Hall of Fame. In 2018, CSCA highlighted her scholarship on African American and intercultural communication at a special “Spotlight” program  at the CSCA conference.  In 2018, the Central States Communication Association also created a Carolyn Calloway-Thomas Inclusivity Speakers’ Series in her honor.    

Professor Calloway-Thomas has served in many leadership positions, including  president of the World Communication Association, president of the Central States Communication Association (CSCA);  president, Bloomington Faculty Council;  chair, Public Address Division (NCA); president, Intercultural Communication Division (CSCA); associate dean of the faculties at Indiana University;  president of the Bloomington, Indiana Human Rights Commission; a member of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Praxis Speech Communication National Advisory Board, and director of the Interracial Communication Project (funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation). The latter position found expression in a co-produced educational video titled “In Search of Community: The Interracial Communication Project.” She  also   co-chaired NCA’s Task Force on International Collaboration,  served as book review editor of The Howard Journal of Communications, a member of  the editorial board of  Journal of Intercultural  Communication  Research, secretary of the Bloomington Human Rights Commission, and has co-produced a Bloomington--based television program titled  “Cultural Lens. “  

In 2007,  Oxford University in England invited Carolyn to participate in a  Round Table session on Diversity and Public Policy.  She is featured as an expert in a docudrama, “True First,” regarding the life of Shirley Chisholm.  The series  aired  on Urban Movie Channel in February  2019.  

In 1998, Dr. Calloway-Thomas served as a consultant to President Clinton’s Initiative on Race and the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations One America Guide program.  In addition, in 1989, she served as  a decade editor of TIME magazine’s special edition on communication.  

She holds degrees from Grambling College (now Grambling State University (B.S.),   University of Wisconsin (M.A.), and Indiana University (Ph.D.). 

 She lectures widely  and has  given hundreds of keynote talks and seminars on empathy,  intercultural and interracial communication nationally and internationally in places such as Algeria,  Australia, Barbados, China, Colombia, Costa Rica,  Estonia, Finland, Germany,  Ireland, Indonesia,  Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan,  Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand,  Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, and Sweden.    

Professor Calloway-Thomas is a master gardener, loves reading and traveling, and her favorite quotations are: 

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  (Eleanor Roosevelt) 

“Keep your eyes on the prize.” (Juan Williams) 

“Do the best you can with what you have.” (Thurgood Marshall) 

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) 

“Do not walk-through time without leaving worthy evidence of your passage.” (Pope John XXXIII) 

“Soon we shall breathe our last; meanwhile, while we live, while we are among human beings, let us cultivate humanity.” (Seneca)   

“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” (Rumi)