Annual University of Illinois Communication Collaboration ConferenceWith faculty funding, graduate students in the department plan and host an annual day-long research conference involving graduate students from other U of I campuses. Beginning during the fall semester, students select a theme and venue and invite a keynote speaker known for work on that topic. During the spring semester, students review proposals, organize the program, arrange a group luncheon, and of course deliver their own papers and research proposals. The event usually occurs on a Friday during March.
2012 hosted by UIS, get the flyer
2011 hosted by UIC
2010 hosted by UIUC
2009 hosted by UIS
2008 hosted by UIC
2007 hosted by UIUC
2006 hosted by UIC
ColloquiaThe Department sponsors a monthly colloquium during Fall and Spring Semesters. Students sit at the table (and can bring a lunch) and are first to exchange opinions with speakers, faculty, and each other. They receive feedback on emerging projects and join the intellectual community with professors and fellow graduate students. The colloquia are informal 90-minute conversations. Presenters may circulate a paper in advance for those attending to read. Colloquia are recorded and made available on Vimeo.
CommGrad ListservGraduate students track conferences, speakers, grant opportunities, interesting trends, valuable web links, and cutting-edge research papers and post these in brief messages to the department graduate student listserv. The Department automatically subscribes all students once they accept admission into one of its graduate programs. The list is not moderated but the posts avoid non-scholarly topics, especially those involving private or personal concerns.
Department CommitteesAfter completing the first year of study, students are eligible for appointment to department committees, especially those related to graduate study, including Graduate Program (admissions), Colloquium, IRB, Awards, Faculty Search, and others. To express an interest in serving, send a message to the department head by the end of the second semester, indicating any committees preferences.
Department WikiThe Department encourages healthy teamwork and discourages unhealthy competitiveness among students. Graduate students have established a wiki where they create pages for collaboration related to courses, research projects, and other scholarly exchanges. The page is password protected, so that students can work without concern for the larger world watching.
Social EventsStudents and faculty gather for informal brown-bag lunchtime discussions and socializing, usually once or twice a month during regular semesters on the weekday when no colloquium is on the schedule. Students writing theses and dissertations organize themselves to meet weekly for happy-hour discussions about their progress and research issues.
The Department Head or Director of Graduate Studies organizes occasional events in faculty homes to gather with professors, graduate students, staff, and alumni. Each spring, the Department hosts an open house for applicants interested in admission to the graduate programs.