COM Week at Illinois State University will begin Monday with a full schedule of events and opportunities for students to explore.
The event marks the tradition at ISU of celebrating the best that the School of Communication has to offer. Each spring semester, COM Week returns to ISU, hosted by the School of Communication Promotions and Development Team.
COM Week features a variety of events, including panels of professionals, several alumni and plenty of keynote speakers. These events provide significant advice and lessons to students about working in the field of communication after they graduate college. The events allow students the opportunity to network with alumni and learn about the value that the School of Communication brings to ISU.
Stephen Hunt, Ph.D., from the School of Communication discussed some of the benefits that COM Week can provide students as they participate in the week-long event.
“Students get a lot out of this experience,” Hunt said. “They get amazing alumni that are doing incredible work in their field who come back to share their experiences with our students. It’s an outstanding networking opportunity and a chance for students to see what they can do with their degree. It allows students to start building that path towards their career.”
Hunt said that speaking with alumni gives students an understanding of what they can expect to see outside of university.
“In my interactions with students, they really seem to appreciate that lived experience that our alumni bring back to campus,” Hunt said.
“Our alumni are super passionate about the program. It doesn’t matter their major; they’re connected to ISU and the School of Communication because they care about the students. Their goal is to be as helpful as they can.”
Hunt went on to say that the School of Communication provides a familial feeling to students, giving them a sense of belonging and lifelong connections.
“One of the things that is unique about ISU and the School of Communications is that there is this family experience students get,” Hunt said. “I never had that in any of the institutions I attended before coming here, not to the same degree. The students look after each other, the faculty look after each other and the alumni are engaged with and look after the students when they visit.”
Hunt noted that there are several notable events that students can look forward to attending during COM Week.
“We have the Career Institute on Tuesday, which is an opportunity for students to network and find out what kind of jobs might be available for them after college,” he said.
Another notable event Hunt mentioned was the Documentary Film Festival on Wednesday evening, where students can see what kinds of work students and alumni are doing. Hunt also talked about COMedy Night on Monday, a popular event in the past. Hunt said the alumni that come to perform are amazing at what they do on stage.
Also premiering Monday night is Fred Hampton Jr., son of the prominent African-American leader of the Chicago Black Panthers during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Hampton will be accompanied by his mother, and discussions will talk about his father’s experiences as well as his own work with social justice.
“That will be really cool for students to see the civic engagement side of what we do as a discipline,” Hunt said.
COM Week begins Monday, April 15. A list of all scheduled events and activity can be found at https://casit.illinoisstate.edu/sites/comweek/