Details of COMS Week Schedule


In it to Win It: Strategies to Land Your First Job:   11:00-11:50 a.m. Bonnie Auditorium

  • Haley Frazier: Coordinator of Alumni Engagement in the Office of Alumni Relations
  • Sam Wall: Journalist for The News Messenger and Radford New Journal
  • Max Esterhuizen: Journalist for HokieHaven and Communication Instructor

o   Recent graduates of RU will share tips and advice for entering the job market; the good, the bad, and lessons they learned along the way.

“Chute” for the next level: Becoming the Ultimate Undergrad:    1:00-1:50 p.m. Bonnie Auditorium

  • Panelists: Dr. John Brummette, Dr. Joe Wirgau, Kristina Contreras & Kyra Keene

o   Thinking about graduate school? Have a class project you are proud of? Did you know you could receive funding to attend conferences? This panel will focus on opportunities available after you have finished that big project and what you should be doing to prepare yourself for graduate school.

Play Like a Champion: Career Advice from Sportswriter Roland Lazenby:    2:00-2:50 p.m. Bonnie Auditorium

  • Roland Lazenby: Author of Michael Jordan, The Life; FCP Media Productions & Writer for

o   Learning to write about the game is as important as playing the game. Come listen to stories from Roland Lazenby about his experiences as a sportswriter. Lazenby has written more than five dozen nonfiction books, mainly about basketball and American football. These include Fifty Years of the Final Four: Golden Moments of the NCAA Basketball Tournament (1987), Bull Run! The Story of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (1996), Tom Brady: Sudden Glory (2002), and Michael Jordan: The Life (2014). He is also the co-founder of Planet Blacksburg, a student organization focused on new media, journalism, and publishing.


Find the “Sequence” to a Great Career:    11:00a.m. -12:15 p.m. Bonnie Auditorium

  • Elisabeth Givens: Director of Digital Strategy and Outreach
  • Brent McConnell: Solutions Advisor at Higher Logic

o   Elisabeth Givens has developed and implemented several social media marketing programs using a full suite of digital and traditional communication channels, in addition to planning special events. As a client relationship manager, Elisabeth crafted programs tailored to her clients’ specific brand personality, target market and business goals. Brent McConnell is a successful software Solutions Provider in advising member-based associations with Website, Mobile App, and Online Community solutions. He mentors new hires in assisting with their onboarding and is taking on more leadership opportunities.  Come listen to Elisabeth and Brent show you the steps to take to a great career!

Don’t be “Trivial” with your Life, Make Your Dream Job a “Pursuit.” :  12:30-1:45 p.m. Bonnie Auditorium

  • Stephanie Ballein: Senior Associate Athletics Director & Senior Women's Administrator
  • Jack Herron: Senior Contributor and Analyst at

o   How do you find a job you are passionate about? Stephanie Ballein works with Radford University Athletics and oversees all internal operations within Radford Athletics. Additionally, she is the athletics department's Senior Women's Administrator which supervises all women's sports. She has provided leadership to Student-Athlete Support Services as well as life skills education, career development and community service initiatives to many student-athlete programs. Jack Herron is a recent graduate of Radford University and currently the senior contributor/analyst for Vantage Hoops covering high school and AAU basketball in the state of Virginia. He helped found Commonwealth Basketball Group, an NCAA Certified Scouting Service and serves as Head of Recruiting and Marketing. Stephanie and Jack will let you know what it takes to find the job that is right for you.

#BoardwalkToSuccess:  3:30-4:45 p.m. Bonnie Auditorium

  • Michael Galliher: Social Media Campaign Manager for Deschutes to Roanoke & Communication Specialist for Rotary Club of the Blue Ridge - New Generations
  • Holly Keener: Human Resources Manager at Higher Logic

o   Looking for your pathway to success? Michael Galliher and Holly Keener will discuss how unexpected opportunities and determination can help you uncover your professional goals. Michael was the creator and driving force behind the Deschutes to Roanoke social media campaign. This was a grassroots campaign that gained national attention, helped unite the Roanoke Valley community and successfully landed the nation's 7th largest craft brewery to the Roanoke Valley. Holly works for Higher Logic, a software company that builds private, online communities. Holly worked in marketing and events until last year, when she switched careers to Human Resources. Attend this session to find out how the moves in your career can be a boardwalk to success.

The Game of Coms Carnival:   8:00 p.m. – Midnight MAC Court in Student Wellness Center

o   Mechanical bull? Sumo wrestling? Free Coke products? Free food? Games and Prizes? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! and Yes! Time to have some FUN!!


“Pass Go and Start Your Future” Panels

PR/Advertising Alumni Panel 9:00-9:50 a.m. Bonnie Auditorium

  • Amanda Allen: Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Feeding America Southwest Virginia
  • Logan Shumaker: Account Manager at ABS Technology
  • Holly Keener: Human Resources Manager at Higher Logic

Media Studies Alumni Panel 10:00-10:50 a.m. Bonnie Auditorium

  • Jason Stamm: Professional Journalist working in newspaper, radio and television
  • Timothy Martin: Communications and Media Coordinator for Roanoke, Va.
  • AJ Neuharth-Keush: Writer for USA Today

School of Communication Awards Program:   11:00-11:50 a.m. Bonnie Auditorium

o   Time to celebrate the outstanding students in the School of Communication, recognize achievements of our clubs and organizations, and welcome the new Director of the School of Communication, Dr. Matthew Smith

Apr 13, 2016
School of Communication