Illinois State University’s School of Communication will celebrate COM Week April 8 to April 11, with speakers that include leaders at Sun Times Media, the Chicago White Sox, GolinHarris and State Farm Insurance.

COM Week aims to provide an array of events that highlight the possibilities and potentials in the field of communication. Events will include speakers, panels, a film festival and a Career Institute. All events are free and open to the public.

Speakers will kick of with Chicago White Sox Director of Ticket Sales and Premium Seating Tom Sheridan, speaking at 2 p.m. Monday, April 8, in the Center for Visual Arts, room 151. A 1990 School of Communication graduate, Sheridan and his staff of 24 have presided over ticket operations that have clicked the U.S. Cellular Field turnstiles more than 22 million times in the past 10 years, including the 2005 World Championship season.

Tuesday, April 9, will bring two speakers. Kathy Miller will present at 9:35 a.m. in 235 Edwards Hall. Miller is president and chief creative officer of Total Event Resources, a Chicago-based, high-end event planning and management firm. Total Event Resources produces 50 percent of its events in Chicago, and the other 50 percent all over the world.

Also speaking Tuesday will be Fred Cook at 7 p.m. in Schroeder Hall, room 130. Cook is chief executive officer of GolinHarris and is responsible for key client relationships, strategic planning and managing the firm. He has orchestrated public affairs and handled crisis management programs for BAX Global, The Walt Disney Company and Toyota. He is a trustee of the Institute of Public Relations, and a former board member of the Council of Public Relations Firms.

Wednesday, April 10, will feature alumnus Eric Hoss, a director at State Farm and author of Removing Doubt in an Interview, at 1 p.m. in the Center for Visual Arts, room 147. Hoss earned a bachelor’s degree in 1987 and a master’s in 1990 from Illinois State. He has dedicated many hours working on campus with Illinois State students to enhance their understanding of important job-interview values like confidence and preparation.

Also speaking on Wednesday will be 2012 graduate Ryan Cashman, a producer and account manager at Fuse Communications, Inc. at 4 p.m. in 206 DeGarmo Hall. Cashman is known at Illinois State for his time at the TV10 station, and for his first-place ranking at the National Forensics Association.

Thursday, April 11, will be highlighted by Sun Times Media Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk at 3:35 p.m. in 206 DeGarmo Hall. Kirk oversees the Sun Times flagship newspaper, as well as the company’s seven suburban dailies. Earlier in his career, Kirk was a business reporter and columnist for the Sun Times. He later was an editor at the Chicago Tribune and moved on to jobs at Bloomberg News and the Chicago News Cooperative. Kirk came to the Sun Times from Crain’s Chicago Business, where he was chief of editorial operations.

This year’s COM Week theme is Imagine, Interact and Ignite.

“The theme reflects our goal for individuals to imagine the possibilities, interact with others and ignite their future,” said senior Emma Newman, a student coordinator of the event.

The week will include numerous panels of experts on topics such as sports communication, political communication, event planning, not-for-profit communication, agency public relations and creative services.

Other activities in the week include a documentary film festival and a Career Institute held from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 11, in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center. The Institute features an education segment, with students asking questions about resumes and interviews, and a networking segment, which allows students to meet with recruiting professionals from corporations, institutions and small businesses to make connections for to attain internships and jobs.

Thursday will also be the Awards and Scholarships Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the Circus Room in the Bone Student Center. This event honors outstanding School of Communication students and alumni with awards and scholarships.

All COM Week activities are sponsored by the School of Communication. For additional information on COM Week, visit the COM Week website or contact Newman at or (708) 407-1087.