Communication Department Holds COM Week 2017

Communication majors and minors, regardless of concentrations, came together to explore their area of interest for Communication Week (COM Week), held February 20-24, 2017. It was also a time for current students in the program to encourage friends to check out the communication program.  

The week started out with a seminar titled “Strong Women Let it Go,” taught by Associate Professor of Communication Carla Ross. The seminar featured Ross’ expert insight on the physical and mental benefits of forgiveness.

Though forgiveness is often thought of as a religious virtue, Ross said that it is also an important part of relational communication, a subject she has been teaching for 32 years.

“Forgiveness is an important part of your journey to become a strong woman,” she told students.

Communication major Megan Shannonhouse,’18, said that she was glad Ross’ seminar was a part of COM Week this year. “Her talk made me realize how important it is to forgive people and how our energy can be restored when we just let things go,” said Shannonhouse.

Other events during COM Week included a two-part workshop on social media analytics as well as a guest lecture from prominent speech pathologist Linda Shields.

The social media analytics workshop was a two-day event held on February 20 and 22. Kirsten Hamstra, global social media manager at SAS Institute Inc., was the presenter for the workshop.

“I started off as a team of one a few years ago and now we are a powerful group of six,” said Hamstra about how far social media has come in such a short time. She and her team each separate social media responsibilities into multiple areas to better enhance the client experience when they visit SAS’s social media platforms.

In the first part of the workshop, Hamstra taught the importance of social media and how each platform, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs, has a different purpose.

Hamstra created a more hands-on environment for the second part of the workshop, where students had the opportunity to experience the role that she and her team play on a regular basis. Students gathered in groups of six and were assigned a different company. Each group was instructed to give examples of how they would market that company on popular social media platforms.

COM Week concluded with a lecture on projecting one’s best vocal image and speaking with authority by speech pathologist Linda Shields.

Shields took an interactive approach to the lecture and led the audience in several brief speech exercises, such as having audience members repeat the same sentence but placing the emphasis on a different word each time in order to show how one’s tonal inflection can change the entire meaning of a statement.

“Vocal image, or how others perceive us based on the way we speak, is extremely important,” Shields said. “In fact, it is about 40% of the meaning of our message.”

By Cailyn Clymore, ’18, Caroline Diorio, ’20, and Yessy Anorve-Basoria, ’19

Melyssa Allen

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