Comm Week 2020
Attorney & WT Alum Zenobia Harris Bivens Headlines

 The WTAMU Department of Communication and Distinguished Lecture Series welcomed Zenobia Harris Bivens to the JBK Legacy Hall Monday, February 17 at 6 p.m. to serve as keynote speaker for Communication Week, 2020.  As an attorney with Frost, Brown and Todd, Bivens’ practice focuses on business litigation and all things related to government contracts, including white collar criminal defense and compliance. Zenobia is an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer and is recognized as a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star. She was named a Top Woman Lawyer in Texas Monthly. Zenobia also serves as an adjunct professor for the University of Houston Law Center Trial Advocacy Program and frequently writes and speaks on the procedural issues that arise in parallel proceedings—cases involving both civil and criminal allegations. An alum of the WTAMU Broadcasting program, Harris has served as president of the WTAMU Alumni Association and was inducted into the 2019 Communication Hall of Fame.

Zenobia Bivens

WTAMU Communication Week: COMM-e-dy

Zenobia Bivens was the featured speaker as part of WT Communication Week, which took place Feb. 17- 20 and included a Game Show, WT Alumni Table Talk, a service project in support of Amarillo Angels an open mic comedy night, and an Ellen’s Game of Games competition which featured Communication professors competing against one another. The COMM-e-dy Week theme for the entire week was inspired by the planning committee’s desire to focus on comedy in communication.

On Monday, Feb. 17, Planning Committee members Jakob Roop and Dailyn Wells hosted a game show in the Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall from 12:15-1:15 p.m.  The event was patterned after the game show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

A group of WT alumni gathered to meet informally with students at the Alumni Table Talk Event held at JBK Legacy Hall, Monday at 7 p.m., with appetizers provided by the Department of Communication.  During the Table Talk event, students had the opportunity to visit with Callie Shipley, high school English teacher at Randall High School; Seth Gillitzer, Associate Social Media producer, NFL; Guy Brown, podcaster and sales associate with Raffkinds; Andy Justus, KAMR news anchor; Blake Cartrite, visual content coordinator and teacher of filmmaking for the Amarillo Independent School District and owner of Simple & Historic production company; Charlie Keys, associate minister at First United Methodist Church, Canyon; and Saul Rodriguez,  marketing coordinator for Exceptional Emergency Center and stand-up comic. 

On Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 12:15 p.m. faculty members competed in Ellen’s Game of Games Competition, hosted by Dr. Mary Liz Brooks (as Ellen). Contestants included Professor Connie McKee, Professor Carolyn Baum, Dr. Mike McFarland, Dane Glenn, and Dr. Jessica Mallard, Dean of the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities.  As the faculty members competed in the Branding Iron Theatre, students voted after the final game of the contest to determine who would get the coveted crystal pumpkin prize. 

COMM Week Finale

At 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, students participated in a donation drive to benefit Amarillo Angels, a local non-profit devoted to assisting foster families. Items that may be donated included jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, Frisbees. A hula hoop contest and an Easter Egg filling contest  pit student organizations against one another.

The final event of the week was a COMM-e-dy meal where students had breakfast for dinner Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Live Lounge. A breakfast burrito bar was featured prior to the Open Mic Night which began at 7:00 p.m. in the Legacy Hall.  Hosted by WTAMU alum Saul Rodriguez, the event featured students sharing their 5-minute comedy sets.

Saul Rodriguez

Communication Week History

Communication Week is a entire week of events dedicated to bringing together students from every part of the Communication Department: Communication Studies, Broadcast Journalism, Advertising/Public Relations, Broadcast Media and Graduate students. Mixers, competitions and student showcase make up parts of Comm Week, but the students and faculty also focus on campus awareness by bringing a guest lecturer to WTAMU. In 2009, director of Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), Sandra de Castro Buffington, spoke about her program that provides entertainment industry professionals with accurate and timely information for health storylines. In 2010, author, educator and filmmaker Jackson Katz spoke on the topic of gender violence prevention, and his new book "The Macho Paradox."  The 2011 communication scholar, Jean Kilbourne, presented her groundbreaking study on the image of women in advertising, a lecture made famous by her documentary film Killing Us Softly.  In 2012, WTAMU hosted guest presenter Liz Murray who was the subject of Lifetime TV's Emmy nominated original film Homeless to Harvard as well as the author of the New York Times best selling book "Breaking Night." Then, in 2013, WTAMU was pleased to present Betty Nguyen as a portion of the Distinguished Lecture Series. Film Presenter, Will Bigham, spoke in 2016 about his film "The A-List." Eva Harder, writer and editor with America's Promise Alliance, was 2017's guest lecturer. Jill Whitfield, recruiter at Google, was featured in 2018. Storytelling business consultant Annette Simmons was the featured presenter in 2019