Rotary International President Ray Klinginsmith and Fred Cook, president and chief executive officer of GolinHarris public relations, are two of the keynote speakers scheduled for Communication Week 2012, scheduled for April 2–5 on the Illinois State University campus.

A 30-year tradition in the School of Communication (SoC), COM Week provides students of the SoC (and other majors) with an opportunity to advance their future with professional panels, keynote speakers, the Career Institute, and the Awards and Scholarship luncheon to conclude the weeklong event.

A group of eight interns, called the School of Communication Promotion and Development team (SoC PD) plans, promotes, and executes all COM Week events under the direction of SoC Business Manager Denise Thomas. The lead intern for COM Week 2012 is Colleen Cakora, a senior public relations major, and she appreciates the opportunities the SoC PD team has to network while planning the week.

“We act as liaisons between the team, faculty, staff, alumni, and professionals to expedite events and ensure a positive experience for all participants,” said Cakora.

The SoC PD plays a vital part in promoting and presenting nine School of Communication events each year. COM Week, which has taken its place with the largest events of its kind on campus, has grown from a few panels viewed by a couple hundred students total to more than a dozen events attracting attendance at nearly 2,000 last year.

When Thomas took over as director of COM Week in 2009, a career fair principally for radio students was replaced with the COM Week Career Institute. In addition to job and internship recruiters from more than 25 corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses form the “Networking” segment more than two dozen alumni and other professionals conduct the “Education” segment by assisting students with the processes of career building—resumes, portfolios, interviewing, the search process, job shadowing and more.

The Illinois State University Career Center partners with the School of Communication on the event, and career counselor Rickey Williams appreciates that partnership.

“The COM Week Career Institute is a great way for students from all majors to develop professional and networking skills with employers and professional staff,” said Williams.

SoC alumnus Eric Hoss, author of the popular how-to book, Removing Doubt in an Interview: A Better Approach to Getting the Job You Want, is slated to return for the 2012 COM Week Career Institute, 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 5, in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center.

SoC PD faculty advisor Tom Lamonica sees the uniqueness of the dual-purpose COM Week Career Institute.

“From freshmen who are starting the process of portfolio and resume building, to sophomores and juniors looking for internships, and seniors looking for employment, every Illinois State student is at some critical stage of career development,” said Lamonica. “The Career Institute serves the career-building needs of all students.”

Students are sold on its value as well.

“The COM Week Career Institute is a good opportunity for professionals to meet with students in a context that places an emphasis on learning as well as networking,” said Kelsey Brennan, SoC PD intern.

Among the headlining events in COM Week 2012 is the School of Communication Awards and Scholarships Luncheon April 5 in the Bone Student Center, plus the annual Documentary Film Festival April 4. For more information go to

2 thoughts on “Speakers, Career Institute Highlight COM Week 2012

  1. Kevin says:

    is attendance of the presentation by Ray Klinginsmith available to alum?

    1. Brian says:

      Yes, the event is open to alumni and will take place in Braden Auditorium. View for more details.