April 16-20, 2018

Note: times and dates are subject to change
An asterisk (*) indicates ISU alumni

Monday, April 16

Communication Innovation Center Grand Opening
Time: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Fell 280 – 2nd Floor of Fell across from the SMACC

Awards and Scholarship Luncheon
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Circus Room, Bone Student Center

Keynote Speaker:John Gilmour: “Bringing Broadway to ISU”
John Gilmour: Communications Marketing Director for the Broadway Musical Hamilton
Description:One of Broadway’s top publicity stars shares branding strategies for top Broadway productions, including Hamilton.
Time: 2 – 2:50 p.m.
Location: Stevenson 101

Panel Name:Bloggers and Vloggers
Description: In a blogging / vlogging rich society, learn how professionals attract a following and keep up with relevant topics and trends.
Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
Location: Fell 148

  • Jerome’ Holston: Former Nonprofit Blogger at Jerome’ Blogs and Current Director at LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois
  • Ashley Workman*: Lifestyle Blogger for Two Beautiful Disasters
  • Meghan Madl: Lifestyle Blogger for Two Beautiful Disasters
  • Gil Mercado*: Vlogger for GilMercVlogs

Panel Name: Good Journalism or “Fake News”?
Description:Journalism professionals will share share the importance of the news media and free speech in the democratic process.
Time: 5:30 – 6:45 p.m.
Location:Fell 123

  • Ema Sasic*: Editor-in-Chief at The Vidette
  • Lenore Sobota: Reporter at the Pantagraph
  • Judy Valente: Reporter/Producer at WGLT
  • Les Vann*: Vice-President/General Manager at FoxCarolina Greenville, SC

COMedy Night
Event Description: COMedy Night will be a night of laughter will commence with ISU alumni that will discuss their experience in the entertainment field and give insight on how comedy and performing can help your communication skills. The night will continue with performances by panelist and ISU RSOs including: Improv Mafia, Normal Humor, TV-10 – It’s So Funny and Theater of Ted.
Time: 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Stevenson 101

  • Mary McMahon*: Senior Marketing Coordinator at Medix™
  • Andrew Bogue*: Associate Director at Old Town Merchants and Residents Association
  • Ryan Cashman*: Training and Development Coordinator at SMS Assist, L.L.C.

Tuesday, April 17

Panel Name: Communicating in a Crsis
Description: Experienced communications professionals who have been there when “it” hits the fan share insight on effective communications strategies to mitigate crises.
Time: 9:35 – 10:50 a.m.
Location: Fell 152

  • Phil Bedella*: Former VP/GM at Comcast SportsNet Chicago
  • Jamie L. Fox*: Senior Public Affairs Manager at Caterpillar
  • Sarah Marotta*: Communications Strategist at State Farm
  • Nick Nottoli*: Issues and Crisis Communications Strategist at Golin

Keynote Speaker: Marlen Garcia
Marlen Garcia*: Editorial Writer and Columnist at The Chicago Sun-Times
Description: Marlen Garcia will share her experiences in the ever-changing world of journalism, from covering some of the largest sporting events with USA Today and the Chicago Tribune to writing editorials and columns on immigration and Illinois legislation for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Time: 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Location: CVA 147

Panel Name: Fashion in Communication
Description: Four professional fashionistas explain their journey into the fashion industry from majors unrelated to the field.
Time: 12:35 – 1:50 p.m.
Location: Fell 158

  • Amy Olson*: Independent Fashion Show & Event Producer
  • Brianna Duffer*: eCommerce Manager at Lana Jewelry
  • Sarah Throne: Marketing Director at HW Holdings/All about Eyes
  • Audie Lauf*: Fashion Assistant at Women’s Health Magazine

Panel Name: Making the Pitch: Effectively Pitching Stories to the Media
Description: Public relations and media professionals share best practices for pitching stories to media gatekeepers.
Time: 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Location:Fell 280 – CIC

  • Cassie Burica*: Senior Associate at Weber Shandwick
  • Ryan Denham*: Digital Content Director at WGLT
  • Mark Pickering: Editor at The Pantagraph
  • Ryan Smart*: Account Executive at BVK

Keynote Speaker:Dr. Larry Long: Communication Degrees Open the Door to Opportunities
Dr. Larry Long: Executive Director Emeritus, School of Communication at Illinois State University
Description: Listen to Dr. Larry Long share his keys to success during his time as the executive director of the School of Communication at Illinois State and the steps he took to transform its programs, open the SMACC lab, expand the internship program, develop Illinois’ first public relations program, and led ISU’s first Communication Week.
Time: 3:35 – 4:50 p.m.
Location: CVA 147

Keynote Speaker: Griffin Hammond: Upgrade from Amateur to Documentary Filmmaker
Griffin Hammond: Documentary Filmmaker
Description: Take your amateur documentary filmmaking skills to the next level as you learn from Griffin Hammond, an Illinois State University alumnus who has done just that.
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Fell 280 – CIC

Mocktail Hour: A Networking Event
Event Description: The Student Alumni Council and Association for Women in Communications will sponsor a 45-minute panel featuring ISU Alums discussing the importance of networking for professional development, followed by 30 minutes of guided round table discussions with Alums working in the field. The event will finish with 15 minutes of open conversation. Free headshots, appetizers and mocktails will be provided. The event is free, but registration is encouraged.
Registration Link:
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location:Hancock Stadium Club

Wednesday, April 18

Panel Name: Young Alums: “So I Graduated… Now What?”
Description: Recent graduates share what RSOs, courses, and internships at ISU made them stand out from other candidates.
Time: 9 – 10 a.m.
Location:Fell 280 – CIC

  • Alyssa Ortiz*: Spring 2017 graduate and business development project specialist for Guaranteed Rate
  • Tyler Krivich*: Spring 2017 graduate and consumer intern for Weber Shandwick
  • Allison Buehner*: Spring 2016 graduate and Junior Account Executive for Mac Strategies
  • Brian Hanik Jr.*: Spring 2016 graduate and Vendor Relations Fulfillment Specialist at Vivid Seats.

Panel Name: Student Accommodation
Description: Get a better understanding of instructors’ views on accommodations requests, what role anxiety and stuttering play in the classroom, and how student accommodations on campus make a difference for people after graduation and in their careers.
Time: 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
Location:Fell 280 – CIC

  • Dr. John Hooker*: Associate Professor at Illinois State University
  • Jillian Joyce*: Doctor of Education Student at Illinois State University
  • Anna Wright*: Doctor of Education Student at Illinois State University

Panel Name: Event Planning
Description: From corporate outings, weddings and concerts; get the behind-the-scenes scoop on all the things you didn’t know went into event planning.
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 11:50 p.m.
Location: Fell 158

  • Mike Pohlmann: Owner at Palace Events
  • Samantha Schultz*: Director of Operations at Palace Events
  • Sarah Watson: Director, Center for Operational and Resource Excellence at BCD Meetings & Events
  • Jenna Koons*: Senior Events Administrator at Illinois State University

Panel Name: Diversity and Language in the American Workplace
Description: Listen to a diverse panel of professionals as they discuss the value of a communication degree among other cultures, microaggressions, and other aspects of international communication, diversity, and cultures in the workplace.
Time: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Fell 162

  • Kallie Bundy*: Digital Analyst at State Farm Insurance
  • Brea Banks*: Illinois State Assistant Professor Department of Psychology
  • Charity Mendoza*: Quality Auditor at Caterpillar
  • Kenneth Porter*: Elections in Action Coordinator at Mivka Challenge

Panel Name: Outside the Box
Description: Hear from the alumni who are taking on careers “outside of the box” from what they thought they would be doing post graduation with their communication degrees.
Time: 12:00 – 12:50 p.m.
Location: Fell 152

  • Scott Peterson*, VP of Sales and eCommerce at Pregis
  • Nick Gulino*, Founder of Get Social Communication
  • Heather Young*, Owner at Ohmfit Activewear
  • Jenny O’Brien*, Owner of Dreams Dance Academy

Panel Name: College 2.0: The Value of a Master’s Degree
Description: Hear from SoC grad students about the process and work it takes to earn a master’s degree in communication.
Time: 1:00 – 1:50 p.m.
Location: Fell 148

  • Corey Green*
  • Haley Palmer*
  • Mitch Combs*
  • Nate S. Brophy*

Panel Name: Political Communication: Civically Minded in a Modern Society
Description: Take communication into the political realm as you learn how information spreads and influences politics and policy makers, the news media and citizens.
Time: 2:00 – 2:50 p.m.
Location: Fell 158

  • Mary Cullen*: Political Reporting Intern at NPR Illinois
  • John Walsh*: Government and Public Affairs Manager at Mclean County Chamber of Commerce
  • Carl Palmer: Assistant Professor at Illinois State University

Panel Name: Social Media Management 101
Description: Seasoned communications specialists share tips and tricks on how to create and implement a social media strategy that clicks.
Time: 3:00 – 3:50 p.m.
Location: Fell 162

  • Allison Kramer*: Creative and Digital Account Lead at All Points Public Relations
  • Dillon Maher*: Communications Specialist at Illinois State University Office of Admissions
  • Blake Zitko: Public Affairs Manager at State Farm

Documentary Film Festival
Event Description: The Documentary Film Festival, sponsored by the ISU Documentary Project, is a venue to present student made documentaries. The festival celebrates the hard work of the students and faculty involved in the project and allows students to present films addressing socio-political issues in society today. Each year, the ISU Documentary project invites an accomplished documentarian to present their work.
Time: 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Location: Normal Theater

Thursday, April 19

Career Institute
Event Description: Students can take advantage of the Career Institute, boasting over 25 professional networking opportunities divided into two segments. The education segment allows students to ask questions about resumes, portfolios and interviewing answered by professionals. The networking segment allows students to meet with recruiting professionals from corporations, institutions and small businesses. Talk to professionals one-on-one to gain more insight on the job search and how to navigate it. The Career Institute is perfect for all students regardless of your major or year in school.
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Brown Ballroom, Bone Student Center

Panel Name: Graphic Design: Tips and Tricks in a Digital World
Description: Experienced visual communicators give valuable insight on what it’s like to be a graphic designer in a digitally innovative world. From the writing process to print and social media these professionals will share the tips for success.
Time: 12:35 – 1:50 p.m.
Location: Fell 280 – CIC

  • Bobby Bobbitt*: Marketing Communications Coordinator at Illinois State University
  • Mallory Simonds*: Associate Art Director at Surface 51
  • Dylan Simonds*: Design & Motion Designer at Surface 51
  • Sean Thornton*: Graphic Designer at University Alumni Association
  • Cristy Gillespie: Senior Writer & Content Strategist at Surface 51

Panel Name: The Language of Leadership
Description: Learn, grow and be inspired as you discover the role of communication in leadership settings.
Time: 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Location: Fell 152

  • Dr. James Applegate: Visiting Professor at Illinois State University
  • Natilie Williams*: Business Analyst Apprentice at COUNTRY Financial
  • Joe Malisia*: Bank Supervisor at State Farm Bank
  • Thomas Sheridan*: COO at Incentivefox Marketing Solutions

Panel Name: PR Practice: Agency, Corporate and Institutional
Description: Public Relation professionals share their stories of how they used their PR degree to find their perfect fit across the industry
Time: 3:35 – 4:50 p.m.
Location: Fell 125

  • Jillian Collins*: Vice President at Edelman
  • Kaitlin Nickrent Saldanha*: Marketing Manager at Medix
  • Melissa Libert*: Development Direct at WGLT at Illinois State University
  • Michelle Nagy*: Marketing Project Coordinator at Joliet Junior College

Keynote Speaker: Beth Grady: No Bull: Working with the Bulls
Beth Grady*: Manager of Public and Media Relations at the Chicago Bulls
Description: As a young girl, Beth Grady dreamed of working in the pros. As an ISU SoC student and young alum, she worked hard to earn a job in pro sports, and now is manager of public and media relations for the Chicago Bulls. Learn how she got there, and how she stays there.
Time: 3:35 – 4:50 p.m.
Location: CVA 147

Keynote Speaker: Stacey Shoemaker: “Behind The Shades”
Stacey Shoemaker: HR Business Partner at Maui Jims[LT3]
Description: Learn what it takes to be the best in the human resources field while incorporating major communication aspects, in a tropical style.
Time: 5:00 – 6:15 p.m.
Location: Capen Auditorium