Communication Week opens doors to students

Today is the last day of the fourth annual Communication Week, the UM School of Communication’s intense eight-day series of panels, discussions and workshops for UM students and the community.
Communication Week was started as a way to allow students to network with professionals in the communication fields. It continues to serve this purpose, but now also educates students about the issues related to their fields and introduces different and unusual career ideas to communication students.
“It’s meant to be an eye-opener for students,” Bob Hosmon, associate dean for the School of Communication, said.
Hosmon went on to explain some of the more unusual seminars and workshops, including a session on war photography and a presentation on “the oldest city in the world,” in addition to the usual workshops on “alternative career opportunities for communication students” and more.
Also, four diverse films were shown at the Cosford Cinema, including The Trials of Henry Kissinger and How I Killed My Father.
Speakers came from far and wide to have discussions with UM students. Guests included Iscar Blanco, reporter from BBC Latin America; renowned photographer Peter Howe; Mirta Ojito, reporter for the New York Times; and award-winning filmmaker Bob Gardner, as well as professors from UM and Florida International University.
According to Hosmon, several speakers were from the Latin American communication fields, appropriate guests since many communications employees in South Florida will work in this aspect of the media.
“We are lucky to have talented alumni who are willing to come back and share their experiences,” Hosmon said. “We have [communication] alumni who are lawyers and business people, not necessarily just print or broadcast journalists.”
“This week is for students and others to talk to professionals about the opportunities they can have when they graduate,” Hosmon said.
All events were free except the newspaper design workshop which was comprised of two days of one-on-one critiques by nationally renowned designers.
According to organizers and participants, Communication Week has proved to be increasingly popular each year.
Approximately 75-100 participants attended each event on average for this year’s Communication Week, with some events, such as the screening of Gardner’s film, Forest of Bliss, bringing in many more people.
Students generally look forward to the Week and participate in workshops for both their intrinsic value and the opportunities for grade boosting that some teachers offer.
“I’m honestly interested in many of the workshops,” Cecily Chambliss, sophomore communication student, said. “The internship workshop sounds good. Plus it’s cool that teachers are encouraging students to go by giving extra credit.”
Some teachers even rearranged class plans to accommodate Communication Week for their students.
“I wanted to see Peter Howe,” Christina Malone, a photography major, said. “But then I saw it was during my class. I was upset that I couldn’t attend, but then I found out he was talking to my class.”
Malone also found Howe’s workshop to be directly relevant to her immediate life and to her future career.
If you missed Communication Week this year, don’t worry: the School of Communication is already beginning to plan for next year. For more information, visit

Jaclyn Lisenby can be contacted at