COM Week 2017 kicks off with a journalism panel of five established professionals who will share their diverse backgrounds and careers.

The panel, led by Jim Kirk, editor-in-chief of The Chicago Sun-Times, will be at 10 a.m., Monday, April 17, in Fell Hall, room 162. The event is free and open to the public, and part of COM Week events, which run April 17-21 under the theme “Reach New Heights.”

Contributors to the April 17 journalism panel will include alumni of Illinois State. Taking part will be Fox 4 News Dallas-Fort Worth photojournalist Shauna Jackson, Chicago Athlete magazine editor-in-chief Holly Petrovich, The Pantagraph secondary education reporter Julia Evelsizer, and MediaTracks Communications Director of Operations Erin Fleming.

Kirk, Jackson, Petrovich and Evelsizer began their careers working for campus media as School of Communication students.

With more than 30 years in journalism, Kirk started at The Chicago Sun-Times in 1995 and became the editor-in-chief in 2012. Jackson continuously covered the 2016 police shootings in Dallas, Texas. Once the editor-in-chief of The Vidette, Petrovich now leads an endurance-niched magazine focusing on fitness and health.

After graduating from Illinois State in 2014, Evelsizer began working as a part-time reporter for The Pantagraph before she was promoted to secondary education reporter. As the director of operations for MediaTracks Communications, Fleming oversees program delivery for two public affairs radio programs which air weekly on 800 stations nationwide

“We are fortunate to have a group of outstanding journalists with us for this event, both seasoned veterans and those who more recently took on the challenge,” said John Huxford, associate professor, journalism program coordinator, and panel moderator. “Whether you are aiming for a career in the news industry, or are simply a news consumer who wants to know how to separate truth from fiction, this is one panel you should plan to attend.”

Sponsored by the Illinois State’s School of Communication, other featured panels during COM WEEK cover topics such as intercultural communication, event planning, women in the workplace, and effective speech writing.

For more information, visit the COM Week 2017 website, or contact Heather Tidwell at