Disney Forum

Disney Forum is an annual speaker event series that features top-tier candidates in the form of keynote speaking events and panels. This series is hosted by Communication Department. Stay tuned for Disney Forum news/events here!

"Communication, Community, & Crisis" Series (2020-2021)


Making Sense of Communication in Times of Crisis:

Featuring Dr. W. Tim Coombs & Samuel McCormick

October 20, 2020


Dr. W. Tim Coombs: 

Pictured: Dr. W. Tim Coombs

W. Timothy Coombs (PhD from Purdue University in Public Affairs and Issues Management) is a full professor in Department of Communication at Texas A&M University and holds the Abell Endowed Professorship in Liberal Arts. He has received the 2002 recipient of Jackson, Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize from the Public Relations Society of America, the 2013 Pathfinder Award from the Institute of Public Relations in recognition of his research contributions to the field and to the practice, and the 2014 Business Impact Award from the Association for Business Communication and USC Marshall School of Business, Center for Management Communication. Dr. Coombs has won multiple PRIDE awards from the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association for both books and research articles. He is also a member of the prestigious Arthur W. Page Society.

Dr. Coombs was a Fulbright Scholar in Estonia in the Spring of 2013. In the Fall of 2013 he was the named NEMO Professor at Lund University, Helsingborg Campus. In 2015 he was invited to lecture at Tsinghua University, Beijing China. In 2015 he was designated an honorary professor in the Department of Business Communication at Aarhus University. He is also the current editor for Corporation Communication: An International Journal.

Dr. W. Timothy Coombs’ primary research focuses on crisis communication. In 1995, he published the first article that would lead to the articulation of the Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT). SCCT is recognized as one of the most influential theories in crisis communication. His work has been at the forefront of establishing crisis communication as an identifiable research field within corporate communication. The recognition of his expertise is reflected in the variety of speaking engagements in U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has keynoted at a number of academic and practitioner conferences as well as lecturing on crisis communication at a number of international academic institutions. Since 2000, his works have been cited 6,300 times. Most of those citations involve the crisis communication research. His book Ongoing Crisis Communication has been cited over 3,000 times. His seminal work on article on crisis communication in 1995 has been cited over 1,000 times. That article was awarded the 2014 Business Communication Impact Award from the Marshall School of Business at USC for being the most cited article over the past five years (2009-2013 in this case) in the following top business communication journals.


Samuel McCormick:

Pictured: Samuel McCormick

Samuel McCormick teaches Communication Studies at San Francisco State University. He is interested in communication, social theory, and the practice of everyday life, especially as these topics intersect with broader issues in intellectual and cultural history.  His first book, Letters to Power: Public Advocacy Without Public Intellectuals, won the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression, the James A. Winans - Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address, and the Everett Lee Hunt Award. His second book, The Chattering Mind: A Conceptual History of Everyday Talk, was recently published by the University of Chicago Press. Professor McCormick is currently at work on two new book projects: one on animal philosophy and another on Lacanian psychoanalysis.


Event TBD:

November 19, 2020




Please visit our Past Series Highlights for information about previous Disney Forum Speaker Series events.