COMM-edy week provides service and laughter

For fifteen years, COMM week has been a time for the communication department to rally up the COMM-study focused students to spend time with faculty outside of the classroom and meet up for a variety of events. Each year COMM week has a centralized theme, and this time around it was dubbed “COMM-edy Week” to focus on the funny side of students and faculty.

According to Dr. Trudy Hanson, department chair of the Department of Communication , she and other faculty members nominated students in each of the areas of emphasis to be on the planning committee. “We have a representative from each of the three areas and media comm, and the areas in comm studies, and then our graduate students as well. And those people began meeting in the fall, bouncing around ideas and coming up with the theme,” said Hanson. 

The structure of COMM week is oriented to help students grow, Hanson attributes the importance of having this week. “The main mission of the communication week is to make our department more visible on campus and in the community. And so by sponsoring these various events, not only do students who are not in our building become aware of what you can do with a communication degree, but the community in a larger sense,” she said.

Hanson enjoys students taking ownership in conducting events, especially when it came down to preparing “Ellen’s Game of Games”.  “They [the students] met separately from my regular meetings and came up with the games came up with a list of things that needed to be purchased for the food challenge and so forth,” said Hanson.  

Another person that took ownership in COMM-edy with their role was Dr. Mary Liz Brooks, an assistant professor of media communication. She reprised her role as Ellen Degeneres for the “Game of Games” event. “Essentially what I do is I just research Ellen, I research her mannerisms. I write down a lot of the phrases that she says, and I practice her dancing,” Brooks said. For COMM week 2018, she hosted another Ellen-inspired event by the name of “Project Runway.” A show that had professors impersonate celebrities and be interviewed by Brooks. Calissa Kimberling, an advertising/public relations major, says that  Brooks was made to be Ellen Degeneres. “I thought it [Ellen’s Game of Games] was great. That’s actually why I went because I love that game show,” she said. 

Photo by Lacy Petty
Dr. Brooks enters as Ellen DeGeneres

Laughter wasn’t the only way thing being spread during the week, but also charity. Every year, COMM Week brings along a service project that will help a cause. This year’s service was Amarillo Angels, a non-profit foster care home located in its name of course. Hannah Frick, a corporate communication major, and many others were collecting easter eggs so they can give them to Amarillo Angels for their Easter egg hunt in April. “Each kid, no matter if they’re in foster care, or if they  live in the house as well… are given the eggs and they get to keep them,” she said. 

Photo by Jonah Dietz
Students competing in an egg-stuffing contest.

Brooks went on to say that the communication department looks for an organization that needs them. “One year I know we provided a lot of books for one organization, so we collected a lot of books another year and this year Amarillo angels. Since their foster care support group they needed a variety of items like games and just daily living items for kids and such that that needed to be donated,” Brooks. 

Overall, students find it entertaining and beneficial for various reasons. Kimberling believes that the events show opportunities for students of potential groups they can be involved with while contributing to charities. “I love the Amarillo Angels. I think they’re phenomenal and I love that we picked a local organization. The hope is to say they keep giving back to the community. I definitely want to be involved in that,” she said.