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Dean of Students

COM Week: An opportunity all majors should have

Since yesterday, COM Week 2014 has been taking place at Illinois State University. According to the ISU’s School of Communication website, every year dozens of speakers and panelists are invited to speak and share their expertise and skills in a variety of areas in communication.

Today, for instance, at 9:35 a.m., keynote speakers Kevin Petschow, global public relations manager at CISCO, and Steve Smith, CEO and executive director of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, will present at CVA 151.  They will be speaking on leadership and public relations.

From 2 to 3:15 p.m. in Fell 148  young alumni such as Ross Green, news anchor/reporter of KHQA-TV, Mark Long, regional creative services director of Radio Peoria and Radio Bloomington, Kaitie Ries, assistant digital associate of Weber Shandwick, and Amy Wallace, advertising sales coordinator of USA Today — Chicago, will speak on what it takes to succeed in the real world and how they managed the transition from college student to professional.

There is also a Documentary Film Festival Wednesday at the Caterpillar Auditorium sponsored by the ISU Documentary Project, which will present student made documentaries. The films presented will be on sociopolitical issues in society today.  This will allow the students to present what they have been working on throughout the year.

Having a week dedicated to the School of Communication is a great way for communication majors to show their work to the rest of the University as well as the community.  It is also a way for them to learn from the keynote speakers how they can succeed in the real world once they graduate.

If there was a week dedicated to every academic discipline at the University that would be an excellent way for students of all majors to get these sorts of opportunities.  Some majors, such as English, have a few certain days throughout the year where they will have guest speakers or students present papers they have written.

However, if there was a whole week dedicated to this, it would give more students in the major an opportunity to attend the events if they were not able to, as well as share the work they have been working on.

The College of Business had their Business Week in March.  According to their website, Business Week “offers engaging, authentic and professional opportunities that enable students to interact closely with alumni, employers and industry thought leaders as they develop essential soft skills and understandings required for success.

There is the Mentor Program where the older business students help the younger business students take advantage of all Business Week has to offer.  Similar to COM Week, there are also keynote speakers as well as young alumni who come in to speak on the transition from college to the professional world.

These are excellent opportunities for students in these academic disciplines to gain learning experience and growth in their competitive major.  However, this Editorial Board believes that having a week dedicated to all academic disciplines at ISU is a good idea since every student wants this same opportunity.  Because of time and money, it is obviously not easy to set these events up, but hopefully in the future, we can see something like COM and Business Week for all majors.

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