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University News

Student-Organized Communications Week Celebrates a Quarter Century


April 21, 2003 :: No. 205

Jan Mittermeier and Larry
For 25 years, the student organizers of Communications Week have been successful in bringing a wide range of speakers to campus, including former Orange County CEO Jan Mittermeier (2000) and former White House press secretary Larry Speaks (1987). The annual event “provides a living classroom experience for students,” said Rick Pullen, dean of the College of Communications.

From foreign correspondents discussing the war in Iraq to an award-winning photojournalist recapping his experiences following the tragedies of Sept. 11, journalists and other communications professionals are featured presenters during the 25th anniversary lineup for Communications Week, which begins today at Cal State Fullerton.

The student-led activities are planned by a 23-member task force overseen by faculty advisers Dennis Gaschen and CSUF alumna Pamela Caldwell, both communications lecturers.

“In a time when things around us are so unstable, working on a project that has the stability of 25 years behind it brings a sense of calm,” noted Caldwell. “This year we have invited more than 150 past Comm Week task force members to join us at the corporate dinner on April 25.”

Photojournalist Tom Franklin, a Pulitzer Prize nominee for his photography of the Sept. 11 flag-raising by New York firefighters, will deliver a photo presentation at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in the Titan Student Union’s Titan Theater. His presentation is co-sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association.

A discussion of “Government Public Relations and Irvine’s Great Park” will be led by Heather Morris, public information officer for the city of Irvine, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 22, in the Ontiveros Room of the Titan Student Union. A “Forensics Showcase” illuminates the university’s award-winning debate team at 4 p.m. April 22 in the Titan Theater.

Jess Marlow and John sinclair
In 1992, one of Communications Week's guest speakers was local newsman Jess Marlow, who shared his experiences covering Los Angeles
news and events for KNBC. After his presentation, Marlow, who now is one of the anchors of KCET's “Life and Times,” was interviewed by Daily Titan reporter John Sinclair.

Staff members representing five shows featured in ABC-TV’s daytime lineup are scheduled for a panel discussion at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in the Ontiveros Room. Their programs are “The View,” “Port Charles,” “All My Children,” “One Life to Live” and “General Hospital.”

Other events include a presentation April 23 by civil rights attorney Morris Dees, a town hall meeting April 24 featuring panelists discussing the conservative perspective, a poetry slam April 22 with prizes for participants, and a career-focus day aimed at providing insights into getting a first job, dressing for success and being your own boss.

“Over the past 25 years Communications Week has had eight different advisers, but the one who stands out is the founder, Norman Nager, emeritus professor of communications,” noted Rick Pullen, dean of the College of Communications.

“Nager had the vision for a Communications Week of great magnitude that would be a showcase event for the Department of Communications. I doubt anyone can imagine the many hours of planning that go into an event that lasts one entire week and that brings nearly 100 speakers to campus,” he added. “Students who work on the Comm Week Task Force gain excellent skills that can be taken to their first job. This experience gives them an advantage in the marketplace.”

Among the topics featured in presentations scheduled throughout the week are: “The Key to Good Customer Service,” “Cross Cultural Conflict Management,” “Leading an Organization With Effective Management and Passion, “Getting to the Meat of Public Relations” and “Deregulation of Radio & Television: How It Affects You.”

The College of Communications will host a dinner Friday, April 25, at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine celebrating 25 years of corporate partnership. The keynote address will be delivered by CSUF alumnus Bill Ross, senior vice president, industry relations, for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

“Communications Week provides a living classroom experience for students,” noted Pullen. “They move from the textbook to the ‘real world’ and receive hands-on experience in planning and facilitating this major event.”
Heading the student task force as executive director is senior communications major Michelle LaForest-Barwick of Yorba Linda.

This year’s event is sponsored by the university’s College of Communications, and the departments of Communications, Speech Communication and Radio-TV-Film.

Additional information about Communications Week is available from website at http://communications.fullerton.edu/commweek/.

Media Contacts: Pamela Caldwell at 657-278-7128 or pcaldwell@fullerton.edu
Susan Katsaros, Public Affairs, at 657-278-4854 or skatsaros@fullerton.edu
Stephanie Eshbach, promotions, publicity and public relations chairperson of the 25th Anniversary Comm Week task force, at (949) 842-5842


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