The UTSA Department of Communication will be hosting its annual Communication Week from April 7-12. The event is aimed at informing students of all majors the importance of diversity and how it is achieved through communication.

Communication Week will kick off with an opening ceremony by Department Chair Dr. Paul LeBlanc and Dr. Sarah DeTurk. A presentation from TJ Haygood, founder and CEO of Confidential Search Solutions, will follow at 9 a.m., to be held in BB. 2.01.18.

The theme “Diversity Elevates Communication” will take a comprehensive look at how various individuals from the community have used their spheres of influence to create established businesses in San Antonio as well as how diversity has made a positive impact in their lives.

The event is organized by Dr. Renee Cowan’s seminar class titled “Leadership and Communication,” and includes juniors and seniors from the communication department. In the course, each student was assigned a specific role related to either promoting the event, obtaining guest speakers, reaching out to donors or raising overall awareness of communication week.

Senior communication major Kristen Rodgers, who is one of the directors of operations, said that communication week is a vital experience for any individual interested in developing relationships, especially in the world of business.

She said, “I think it’s important because we’re talking about diversity, and diversity can be hard to comprehend. With communication it really goes hand in hand to help you understand people.”

On her role in the project Rodgers added, “This experience of being a director has really taught me a lot by gaining leadership skills because I’ve worked with all of the other directors by trying to figure out deadlines and handle being organized.”

Guest speakers for Communication Week feature a diverse group of locally and nationally recognized business people.

Senior communication studies major Alex Herrera, a member of the Guest Speaker Directors group said, “We invited people from every industry, so if you come to communication week you’re going to get a little bit of everything; you’re not just going to get straight communication people. We’ve invited motivational speakers, event planners and entrepreneurs, so the students should definitely be excited. I think it’s a lot more diverse than what we’ve had in the past.”

Other events for the week include a Career Exploration Fair, a panel on “What can you do with a Communication Degree?” and keynote addresses from Edmund Ortiz (North Central News at the San Antonio Express News), Sophia Ortiz (UTSA CAPRI Center), Wayne Terry and Sonia Canales (Diversity Supplier/Manager of H-E-B). The week will conclude with the 2nd Annual Student Open Mic and Professional Concert at the UTSA Main Building Ground Floor Teaching Theater on April 12.

Attendees to any of the communication week events will also be eligible to receive prizes ranging from Chili’s, H-E-B and Palm Beach Tan gift cards to Spurs tickets.

Communication Week will provide students with the opportunity to network with respected professionals in the community. As Cowan explained, “They get to see a wide variety of professionals who are using communication and their degrees in the professional world, but also because any student, and not just communication majors, can network with these wonderful professionals. Of course, they’re going to learn so much.”

For more information, visit Facebook.com/commweek2014, on Twitter @comm_week_2014 or Instagram @Comm_Week2014. For inquiries on booking classes and attending events, contact Dr. Renee Cowan at renee.cowan@utsa.edu.

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