Logo for Communication Week with the words COM WEEK 2018 Create your Space.

More than 80 professionals—80 percent of them Illinois State University alumni—will return to campus as speakers, panelists, and presenters for Communication Week (COM Week), April 16-20, presented by the School of Communication at Illinois State University.

All events are open to students and community members. Consult the COM Week website for times, dates, places, and full details.

This year’s theme, “Create Your Space,” focuses on how students can be entrepreneurial with their experiences and careers. Industry leaders like Broadway Musical promoter John Gilmour, Maui Jim business partner Stacey Shoemaker, Chicago Sun-Times editorial writer Marlen Garcia, and Chicago Bulls public relations manager Beth Grady are joined by award-winning documentary filmmaker Griffin Hammond, lead the keynote speakers.

Another keynote highlight is a return to campus by Professor Larry Long, retired executive director of the School of Communication, who will talk about using the learning process and educational tools to “create your space” as a professional. Long led the SoC from 2001-16, and served as an ISU SoC professor from 1979-85.

COM Week’s 17 distinctive panels cover wide-ranging topics, including: “Good Journalism or ‘Fake News,’” “The Language of Leadership,” “Social Media Management,” “Young Alums: So I Graduated…Now What?” “Event Planning: Plan To Be There,” and “Inside the TV Newsroom.”

The special events category begins with some laughs, as “COMedy Night” will connect talented comedic groups on campus with three SoC alums making their marks in the comedy industry. Another innovative networking event is the “Mocktail Hour: A Networking Event,” providing students with the tools for professional development, while simultaneously networking with alumni.

The “COM Week Career Institute” returns after a one-year hiatus in its dual role of educating job and internship seekers, as well as a more-relaxed internship fair with more than 30 recruiters. This year, the “ISU Documentary Film Festival,” a longtime COM Week favorite, focuses on young films by young filmmakers at the Normal Theater.