Rutgers University is hosting an IARR mini-conference and new scholars pre-conference on June 19-21, 2015. The conference is being co-sponsored by the School of Communication and Information and the Department of Communication at Rutgers University. The theme for the mini-conference is Relationships, Health, and Wellness, but we welcome submissions on any topics that are of interest to IARR scholars.

Health and wellness have significant implications for people’s close relationships as both an antecedent and an outcome of relationship functioning. Thus, the conference theme will encompass research on the ways in which the features of close personal relationships can be influential in shaping individuals’ health and wellness, as well as the ways in which health or illness can affect the quality of relationships. At a broad level, this conference theme can also encompass research focused on the qualities and dynamics that promote general relationship well-being. Wellness can encompass any issues related to a rich and satisfying quality of life and the stability and quality of people’s relationships can be a significant factor in promoting individual and relational well-being. Given the inclusiveness of this theme, we believe the conference will be of interest to scholars from a variety of disciplinary and methodological backgrounds. Thus, we look forward to a rich and diverse program of scholarship on various topics in close relationships.


The new scholars pre-conference is a full day workshop for graduate students and new scholars in the field. The new scholars workshop will take place during the day on Friday, June 19, 2015, with a welcome reception for new scholars on the evening of Thursday, June 18, 2015. The workshop will include panel discussions by senior scholars in the field about such topics as publishing, finishing the dissertation, navigating the job market, and maintaining a positive work/life balance. The new scholars who attend the workshop will also have the opportunity to participate in an interactive lunch with senior scholars in the field to network, discuss their current research projects, and ask questions of established scholars in the field. Participants will not be required to submit a separate abstract of their research in order to attend the new scholars pre-conference.


The registration fee for the conference will include access to all keynotes, panels, and poster sessions at the conference. In addition, the fee will include a welcome dinner on Friday evening, as well as breakfast, lunch, and snacks on Saturday and Sunday. The early-bird registration fee is set at $275 for faculty members of IARR and $205 for student members of IARR. The deadline for early-bird registration is Friday, May 1, 2015.

The new scholars pre-conference will be held on campus at Rutgers University in the Scholarly Communication Center at the Alexander Library. The SCC is within walking distance of the Heldrich, but shuttles will also be available to get conference attendees to and from the hotel. The welcome reception on Thursday evening will be held at the Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center. The registration fee for the new scholars pre-conference is $40 and will include a welcome reception, as well as breakfast, lunch, and snacks during the workshop.


New Brunswick is a vibrant city in the heart of New Jersey, which is easily accessible from airports in Newark, New York, and Philadelphia. The Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center is located in the center of downtown New Brunswick. Within a brief walk from the hotel, conference attendees will find a melting pot of fine restaurants and eateries ranging from Italian to Ethiopian, Korean to Indian, and everything in between. The State Theater is located just across the street from the Heldrich and brings in a variety of theater, music, and comedy acts throughout the summer. Just a few blocks from the conference hotel, attendees can catch a train that will take them to the heart of New York City in just about 40 minutes. Saturday evening would be a perfect time to explore the sites of the Big Apple, eat at a world renowned restaurant, or take in a Broadway show. Conference attendees may also want to extend their stay to fully take in the sights of the city before or after the conference. In the summer, New Brunswick is also the perfect launching point for taking in the iconic Jersey Shore. The Garden State boasts 130 miles of pristine shorelines, with beautiful beaches and bustling boardwalks just a short drive from New Brunswick. A summer visit to the Garden State would not be complete without sampling the bounty of Jersey tomatoes and sweet corn at a local farmer’s market. New Brunswick is also an ideal location for hosting a conference with the theme of Relationships, Health, and Wellness, since it is the location of the world headquarters for Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company, as well as the country’s largest medical school at UMDNJ and two premier research hospitals. Thus, the conference provides opportunities to explore a vibrant community and network with scholars and researchers with diverse backgrounds and interests.


If you have questions, please contact the conference organizers Jen Theiss (jtheiss@rutgers.edu) or Kathryn Greene (klgreene@ruters.edu).