5:15 p.m. – Check-in outside of 213 Gregory Hall

5:30 – 6 p.m. – Welcome/Keynote, 213 Gregory Hall

“Hit the Ground Running: The Know-how to Navigate Your Career Smarter, Farther, Faster”
Keynote Speaker: Candace Washington, MBA - Founder and Chief Learning Officer (CLO), Pivotal Impact, LLC

Candace D. Washington is a leadership consultant, speaker, and professional development guru. For over 12 years, Candace has guided people and organizations through personal and professional leadership and communications development initiatives with notable success. Her years of experience in Fortune 500 companies, higher education, and not-for-profit roles have yielded an exceptional record of bridging skill gaps with performance driven solutions. Before launching Pivotal Impact, Candace served as Senior Lead of Training and Development at the University of Chicago. Throughout her career Candace has been a thought-leader to set direction for design, implementation, and facilitation of enterprise wide professional development programs for staff and students that increase individual, team, and organizational effectiveness. Candace has also served as a leadership development facilitator within not-for-profit and held several project management and strategy roles within Discover Financial Services.

Driven by life experiences, passion for service, and developing effective learning resources, Pivotal Impact was founded to deliver services that support her “Why” – to equip the pipeline of diverse leaders with know-how and skills for maximum growth, and success. She is on a mission to develop exemplary leaders, equipping them with know-how beyond book smarts to chart their trajectory; navigating life and career smarter, farther, and faster with greater purpose and impact. Candace loves to travel abroad, spend time with family, connect with new people/ cultures, mentor youth, and relax to a good book. She volunteers as a mentor for several national youth development non-profit organizations. Candace is an aluma of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Advertising communications and received her MBA, with emphasis in Learning and Development from Roosevelt University. She lives in Chicago and is committed to using her gifts and talents to elevating outcomes of diverse emerging leaders and young professionals. 

6 – 8:15 p.m. – Panels (2 rotations for 60 minutes each with a 15 minute break in between) on the second floor of Gregory Hall

Each panel will have participants (alumni and friends of the College) focus on a specific industry or trend and participate in Q&A.  The topics include:

A broader perspective of communications: 205 Gregory Hall

  • Justin Breen* ’99 JOUR
    Founder & CEO, BrEpic Communications LLC
  • Joy Squier ’86 ADV
    Chief Communications & Marketing Officer - Chicago & Northern IL Region, American Red Cross
  • Kara Miller
    Digital Marketing Coordinator, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago
  • Kristen Basu ’01 LAS
    Associate Director of Strategic Communications, National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • Monica Detter ’15 ADV
    Marketing Engineer, CUNA Mutual Group

A cross-section of advertising and media: 215 Gregory Hall

  • Hannah McClelland ’13 ADV
    Senior Account Executive, The Marketing Store @ We Are Unlimited
  • John Malandruccolo ’13 ADV
    Supervisor, Starcom
  • Katerina Pappas ’16 ADV
    Sales Development Representative, Salesforce
    (formerly Account Executive, FCB Chicago)
  • Katie McElligott ’00 LAS
    Group Creative Director, Geometry Global
  • Laura Dihel ’99 ADV
    Chief Marketing Officer, EZLinks Golf LLC, a PGA TOUR Affiliated Company
  • Mike Dalton* ’12 JOUR
    Creative Account Executive, Teads TV
  • Oscar Grajeda ’12 MACS
    National Sales Planner, NBCUniversal

Putting your journalism degree to work: 217 Gregory Hall

  • Chris LaFortune* ’99 JOUR, ‘00 MS
    Photo/Video Editor, Tribune Content Agency
  • Eric Olson ’99 JOUR
    Group Editor, Shaw Media
  • Hannah Meisel ’13 JOUR
    Springfield Reporter, Law360
  • Joanne Von Alroth ’93 LAS
    Strategist, Galen Communications
  • Lauren Traut ’05 JOUR, ’06 MS
    Deputy Managing Editor, Patch.com
  • Tiffany Jolley ‘14 MS JOUR
    Strategic Content Specialist, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

The many facets of working in TV and radio: 219 Gregory Hall

  • Brett Clifton*
    Marketing Consultant, Sinclair Broadcast Group
  • Elizabeth Westfield ’07 JOUR
    Communications Manager, Illinois Public Media/WILL
  • Jeremy Werner ’09 JOUR
    Sports Radio Host, ESPN Radio 93.5
  • John Schippman ’00 MACS
    Director of Studio Content, NBC Sports Chicago
  • Senait Gebregiorgis, '16 JOUR
    MMJ, Reporter & Fill-in Anchor, Fox Champaign News WCCU (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

8:30 - 9:30 p.m. – Networking event in the Swetland Room at the Newman Center

Twitter/Instagram: To participate or follow along, see the MCS handle (@IlliniosMCS) and use these hashtags: #MediaCareerNight and #ILLINOISmedia

Student comments:

"I really enjoyed hearing about how the panelists got their jobs and moved up in the industry. It's reassuring to hear that even those who started out in small towns have become very successful in big markets. Lots of good advice all around."

"Every panelist brought great insight and motivating words. Thank you for putting this together!"

*Also serving as the moderator for the panel