Happenings: 24th Annual Comm Week

Hear us roar: Comm Week 2012 invites Bobcats to find their voice

By Catherine Harper

How important are strong communication skills for your career? How does music communicate emotions to make us laugh and cry? And why are good first impressions so important?

From Feb. 27 to March 2, answer these questions — and more — at Texas State’s 24th Annual Comm Week featuring speakers from all over the nation.

From hard-hitting issues — such as humane animal treatment, homosexuality and 9/11 — to obstacles we encounter everyday, Texas State’s 2012 Comm Week invites Texas State students, faculty and the community to speak out on topics of communication with a  full schedule of events.

All events are free and open to the public.

According to a study by the University of Texas in Austin, we speak on average about 16,000 words a day. However, communication comes in many forms. On each day of lectures this week, students can explore each form of communication and how it impacts their daily lives.

The Art of Storytelling

Peter Bay, director of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, is a speaker for COMM Week 2012. Photo credit: Austin360.com.

There are many times in life when everyone could benefit from being a better storyteller — perhaps in getting out of trouble as a child, or telling a story about ourselves in a job interview. In Monday’s series of lectures, the art of storytelling will be explored including personal, technological and even musical storytelling.

In Monday’s spotlight event, “How does music communicate emotion?”, Maestro Peter Bay, artistic director and conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, will join Gordon Jones and Ian Davidson, Texas State professors in the School of Music, to discuss how storytelling in music can shift one’s emotions and perspective in a powerful way. The event starts at 3:30 p.m. in the Music Building, room 236.

Inside and Outside Voices

Communication discussion panel in lecture hallWhether you’re a communications studies major or not, communication — both external and internal — is a vital aspect of life. In Tuesday’s lectures, this hits home with topics ranging from discussions about homosexuality to understanding the brain’s constant communication with our bodies.

Tuesday’s spotlight event, “How to Make the Most of Your Comm Studies Major,” invites attendees to learn how to market communications in a career. The event starts at 12:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall, room 157.

Seeing Is Believing

In visual communication, seeing can be even more powerful than saying. In Wednesday’s lectures, the power of communication through visual images and events will be explored.

In Wednesday’s event entitled “Rhetoric and Fear: The Place of Horror Films in Walking through the Trauma of 9/11,”  Dr. Sean Tiffee of the University of Texas will explore the power of visuals in nationally impacting events such as 9/11 and elsewhere. The event starts at 2 p.m. in Centennial Hall, room 103.

Actions Speak Louder

Dr. Ryanne Janca, Talent Acquisitions Specialist at Enterprise Holdings, explains how to make a good first impression at a job interview at COMM Week 2011.

Sometimes, the less we say, the more we communicate. Non-verbal actions account for 55 percent of communication, and are a major part of how we understand others. From our identity on issues such as animal treatment to making a good impression in the work world, Thursday’s lectures explore how our actions can often speak louder than the words that we say.

In Thursday’s spotlight event, Dr. Wendy Atkins-Sayre, assistant professor at the University of South-Mississippi, will deliver the “Golden Apple Awards,” which were selected through voting by Texas State undergraduate and graduate students, for excellence in the communication studies field. The event starts at 3:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall, room G02.

Doughnuts and Discussion

Ending the week’s lectures is a sweet opportunity to speak with Dr. Stephen Smith, professor at the University of Arkansas and the youngest person to serve on the Arkansas House of Representatives, with provided doughnuts and refreshments. The discussion takes place on Friday at 9:30 a.m. in Centennial Hall, room 206.

For more information about Texas State’s 24th Annual Comm Week, go to the Texas State Communication Studies website or contact Dr. Steven Beebe at (512) 245-2165.

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