The Department of Communication at George Mason University and its Insight Committee has held the Communication Career Forum annually since 2011. It has evolved from a small group mentoring session with members of the Insight Committee and Communication faculty to a large, full-day mentoring event, including a key note speaker, panelists, and over twenty career mentors that has amassed over 200 people in attendance.
Find Your Future: 2020 Virtual Communication Forum and Spring 2021 Mentoring Series
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Communication Forum was held virtually over Zoom and split into six themed mentoring sessions with career professionals every Friday in October and November during the Fall 2020 semester and in March and April of the Spring 2021 semester.
Event Description and Theme: Gain career advice and network with some of the nation’s leading communication professionals. Interactive, small-group mentoring sessions offer an opportunity to speak to 20 professionals representing a wide range of career paths – corporate communication, media production, journalism, marketing, public relations, and more. Explore your future now! Don’t wait until you graduate.
Rana Novack, Mason Comm alum, Leader of IBM’s Global Business Services North America Communications Strategy
Kelsey Agostinelli, Mars Inc., Internal Communications
Jeff Houston, Senior Public Affairs Specialist, Naval Criminal Investigative Service,
Susana Castillo, Press Secretary, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser
Patrick Fernandez, Booz Allen
Paige LaPlant, Capital One
Suzanne Naylor, Marketing Program Manager, Goodwill Industries International
Gavin Gibbons, VP Communications, National Fisheries Institute
Derrick Robinson, VP at Fenton Communications (three years at the Obama WH)
Diana Gulotta, Director of Communications, Prince William County Public Schools
Lana Petruzzo, Global Corporate Communications, Senior Manager, Hilton
Molly Herman, Executive Producer/Partner, The Biscuit Factory
Marcella Robertson, CBS/Channel 9 Reporter
Bill Lord, Formerly General Manager at WJLA, WRC
Lauren Herchert, H+K Strategies
Julie Murphy, Sage, IC Member
Dvon Williams, Senior Director, PR & Celebrity Relations at National 4-H Council
Kate Greenberg, Senior Director, Strategic Marketing for the Dream Foundation at Washington Nationals
Pathways To Your Future, 2018 Communication Forum
The 2018 Annual Fall Forum is focusing on student career preparation with a special mentoring event, "Pathways to Your Future." Leading communication professionals will sit face-to-face with our students in small-group, interactive sessions. Each mentor represents Mason Communication Department's areas of concentration and will help show students where those studies can lead: public relations, journalism, media production, human resources, sports marketing, political communication, public affairs and more. See the list below and register now for the mentor of your choice for the first session. You'll be able to move to several other tables during the program. Kicking off the event for the keynote address is our special guest and hometown star, sports broadcaster and program host Lindsay Czarniak.
Paige Healey, Manager of Internal Communications, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Lori Lawson-Dischner, Digital Engagement Specialist, S. Department of State
Matt Guilfoyle, Associate Superintendent for Communications and Technology Services, Prince William County Schools
Tony Wyllie, Senior Vice President, Communications, The Washington Redskins
#RealNews2017 Communication Forum
Theme: #RealNews2017: The challenge of gathering, dispensing and presenting news to the public in today's social mediated world.
This symposium will examine the complicated and very necessary process that responsible parties in different communication roles go through -- to allow students to see inside that process. In an era of "fake news" -- where trust in the truth might be at all-time lows from various segments of the public, one might think communicators/PR professionals might be a odds with journalists and vice-versa -- but nothing could be and should be farther from the truth. The fact is that both communicators and journalists share a code of ethics -- to be truthful story tellers. Professional communicators support a particular point of view on any given subject/brand or issue -- but it must be clear and truthful. Good journalism supports complete and truthful story-telling, which means reporting all sides of an issue. Journalists, therefore, need to listen to communicators and be welcomed sources. So what does this mean students of public relations? That PR/communication professionals are incredibly important to the process of truthful story-telling -- and now, more than ever -- and must be seen as partners, not adversaries.
Jack Speer, Anchor, NPR News
Kevin Hall, Comms Director/Senior Policy & Strategic Advisor, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner
Pam Jenkins, President, Global Public Affairs, Weber Shandwick **Pam Jenkins will be replaced by Peter Carson- Managing Director of Public Affairs for North America for Weber Shandwick
Anthony Shop, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder, Social Driver **Anthony Shop will be replaced by Roy Abdo- Gallup
Richard Levick – Panel Moderator, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Levick
Jasmine Westbrook – Digital Producer, Ogilvy Public Relations
Joseph Campbell – Lead Associate in External Relations, Booz Allen Hamilton
Kira Wilson – Public Affairs, Hill Impact
Ciaran Clayton – Global Media Relations, Nature Conservancy
Logan Rice – Public Relations Representative, Northrop Grumman
Marcella Robertson – Reporter, WUSA9
Danny Selnick – Senior Vice President, Strategic Markets, BusinessWire
Carolyn Cuppernull – Director of Business Development, Inmarsat Government
Dan Hill – Founder, Hill Impact
Michael Dobal – Emmy-winning Director, Producer, Videographer
Ann Klenk – Executive Producer, MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews”
Patrick Fn’Piere – Moderator, Founder and President, Public Management Group
Capital Communicator article by Mason student Fareeha Rehman
Pictures of the 2017 #RealNews2017 Communication Forum:
Political and Policy Communications: Impact, Ethics and the Art of Persuasion
What do politicians say to get elected and what changes when they assume office? How do businesses effectively and ethically communicate their policy priorities to regulators, elected officials and the public? Where do journalists and the media fit into the equation? What role do professional communicators play and where does one find these jobs?
On November 8, all eyes will be fixed on the Presidential election. At the 2016 Communications Forum, George Mason University will take a closer look at political and policy related communications and what we can expect in the years to come.
Featured Speakers and Panelists Include:
Martin O'Malley, Opening Keynote Speaker
Mark McKinnon, No Labels Co-founder, Co-creator of Showtime's The Circus, Closing Keynote Speaker
Torie Clarke, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs, SAP
Content marketing: The art of storytelling across media platforms
“Content marketing is so broad that it eludes definition even by its most ardent practitioners, but the term includes essentially any form of content (a Facebook post, a celebrity Q&A, a feature‐length documentary) created by or on behalf of a brand with the hope that it will attract an audience on it’s own merits - as opposed to traditional advertising, which has the far smaller ambition of gaining notice from a captive audience before the ad break ends, or the page gets flipped, and the real content begins.” Michael Meyer, Columbia Journalism Review
This hot trend is the focus of the fifth annual industry symposium hosted by the Department of Communication Insight Committee. Students will engage with thought leaders and senior communication professionals to explore the power of storytelling, its implications for influencing behavior, and the broad opportunities and ethical challenges it poses for today’s graduates.
Michael Meyer, senior writer, Columbia Journalism Review
Kathryn McCarthy, chairman and CEO, ThinkGeek and GeekNet
Bill Aydelott, director-producer-cameraman, Waverly Motion Pictures, LLC
Gary Goldhammer, storyteller and digital communications strategist, H&K Strategies
Linda Smith, digital marketing strategist, Sage Communications
In order to identify the most useful and current theme for the Department of Communication’s fourth annual career symposium, the Insight Committee talked to students, faculty, and communication professionals. Social media was the clear winner. #AllThingsSocial will examine social media and integrated digital communication as a global phenomenon and opportunity for today’s graduates.
Aaron Sherinian, VP for Communication and Public Relations at the United Nations Foundation
Watch Sherinian’s TEDx Talk about the 5 Revolutions of this generation.
Lauren Green, director of Social Media, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Andrew Bleeker, global practice leader-digital – Hill & Knowlton Strategies
Angie Goff, News 4 weekend anchor/GMU alum/social media activist
Jill Moss, Democracy Fellow, digital media, ICT, & Social Media-USAID
Taming the Communication Beast
Mason students will have the opportunity to engage with many of the nation's leading communication professionals during a special student career forum. Taming the Communication Beast, a University/Industry Forum will examine the challenges and opportunities created by media convergence, non-stop connectivity and instant, on-demand mobile access.
Symposium coordinator Patrick Fn'Piere, a member of the Insight Committee, said the forum will help students learn how they can prepare to be a meaningful player in the changing media landscape. "These students are in the midst of a watershed period in communication. Opportunities are vast for graduates to enter and excel in today's social-mediated environment because they've grown up with this technology," he said. NBC-TV's Chief White House Correspondent, Chuck Todd, will present the keynote address, followed by a panel discussion lead by former White House Press Secretary, Mike McCurry. The panelist are professionals in public relations, corporate communication, government public affairs, non-profits and associations. The panelists include:
Mike McCurry, former White House press secretary
Anne Gearan, diplomatic correspondent, the Washington Post
Maureen Knightly, director of communications, U.S. Peace Corps
Scott Murphy, associate director for social media, mcgarrybowen advertising agency
Chad Tragakis, Sr. VP, Corporate Practice, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Crystal Yauch, Director of Proposals, Copper River IT
Skylar Zwick, External Communications & Program Director Entertainment Industries Council
Careers in Communication: Mapping Your Career Strategy in a Digital World
This symposium will provide an insight into the current communication employment market, hiring trends and the range of jobs available in the field. Learn what employers seek in new hires and how to map your own strategy to finding a job. If you are planning a career in communication, you need a keen understanding of the rapidly-changing marketplace and the skill sets that will help you gain that first job and advance in a highly-competitive field. Speakers include leaders in public relations, corporate communication, government public affairs, non-profits and associations. You'll have the opportunity for Q&A's with successful, experienced communicators and the opportunity to learn what strategies led to their success.
Jim Clifton, Chairman & CEO, Gallup
Tom Hoog, Vice Chair, Hill & Knowlton
Cassandra Carr, Senior Advisior, Public Strategies
Richard Florida, Author, "Rise of the Creative Class"