Communication week kicks off

By Emily Ferguson |

College lectures provide students with fundamental education, but sometimes they still long for something not found in a classroom. What if there was a way to bring the real world right to campus? Flagler College aims to do just that with its annual Comm Week event.

Comm Week celebrates communication studies and those actively working in the field (or hoping to one day). It will take place in the Gamache-Koger Theater, from Monday, March 19 until Thursday, March 22.

Events are open to all Flagler students, not just communication majors. There is no admission charge and attendance can count for co-curricular credits.

Comm Week invites professionals from the various fields of communication to speak and participate in panels. This includes journalists, marketing and public relations professionals, graphic designers and photographers.

Comm Week is organized and planned by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), who also escort the speakers to the college. This year’s theme is “Connecting the Dots.”

This year’s keynote speaker will be Michael Diebert, a journalist and author. He will be the first speaker of the week, kicking off the event at 10 am Monday.

In addition to the speakers and panelists, Thursday will feature Flagler alumni who are currently working in the field of communication.

Dr. Jin Hammick, assistant Professor of communications at Flagler, has been involved in the planning of Comm Week for three years now. She said this year will include a new event: a spotlight on the work of Flagler production students.

“It has to be our own event,” Hammick said of the student showcase. She said it will help to provide a “feeling of ownership…this is our own.”

Comm Week is intended to be a networking opportunity for speakers, panelists, and students. Hammick said that in the past, Comm Week has landed students with internships that turned into full-time jobs in their field.

In order to get the most out of Comm Week, Hammick says students should research the speakers beforehand. She also suggested bringing “something you can present: resume, business card, anything you can share.”

Hammick said what makes Comm Week special is that it brings the real world to Flagler.

“Flagler College is a great college, but it’s not in New York, it’s not in Chicago, not in Silicon Valley,” she said. “As faculty members, we’re trying to bring that real-life, secondhand experience to campus.”

Jordan Puyear, a recent Flagler double communication graduate who now works for the college, agreed that Comm Week can provide students something they won’t get in class.

“Expect it to be a more applicable classroom lecture,” she said.

Puyear has attended two Comm Weeks as a student, and will this year be attending as a Flagler staff member. Despite only going in the past because it was mandatory, she urges current students to go of their own free will.

She had two pieces of advice for students who are unsure of how to have a successful Comm Week experience.

“I would highly suggest dressing professionally,” she said. “and if you’re known for not speaking in class, throw that out the window.”

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