More than 400 students from across campus participated late last month in Communication Days, an annual event sponsored by the Department of Communication.
The two-day event, held Oct. 27-28, featured keynote speaker and CBS 11 broadcaster Karen Borta, alumni panels and student challenges, and offered Communication majors the chance to explore how their field of study might translate into a career.
“Communication Day was a rousing success,” said Dr. Charla Markham Shaw, chair of the Department of Communication. “The focus of the two-day event was on helping communication students make connections, both within and outside the department. … Our students had a wonderful opportunity to connect with alumni and other professionals, and with each other.”
The event began with a keynote address from Karen Borta, CBS 11 news anchor and UT Arlington alumna. Borta entertained the overflow crowd in the Rosebud Theatre of the E.H. Hereford University Center with stories about her career in broadcast journalism, then stayed another 30 minutes following her speech to talk with students individually.
Dr. Chunke Su, Assistant Professor of Communication and lead organizer for the event, said the feedback he received from students and staff was positive.
“Everything went very well,” Su said. “We had a great turnout. Karen [Borta] was very well received … and popular with the students.”
Highlights from the midweek event included an alumni panel on Day 2 – in which students had the chance to talk one-on-one with UT Arlington alumni working in a Communication field – and the Student Challenge, a group activity. Su said the panel discussions were very interactive and student-driven, while the Challenge was “very fun and showed how creative our students can be.”
Su said the department will continue to plan a student-oriented program for the event each year and look for ways to include graduate students and non-Communication majors into the process. Ultimately, Su said, the goal of Communication Days is to prepare UT Arlington students for what lies beyond graduation.
“It’s not about faculty or speakers, it’s really about our students,” he said. “We need to help them succeed, get excited about being a communication major and get them ready for their careers.”
[SOURCE: James Dunning, COLA Communications]