Goodbye SoCa Day, Hello ComArts Conversations

By Rebecca Osowski and Rachel Shepard – Feature editor and copy editor

Photos by Bailey Klingaman

Formerly known as SoCa Day, the School of Communication & the Arts hosts a series of lectures each year that students can attend. Now it has been renamed ComArts Conversations. This year, the conferences take place on Tuesdays from March 1 to April 12 and focus on a combination of communication and design.

Hosted by Graphic Design Program Chair and Associate Professor, Ken Calhoun, there are still two lectures available to attend.

ComArts Conversations are available to students outside of the School of Communications and the Arts. Calhoun said these conferences provide bridges between majors and schools.

Free design tools for non-designers

Catrina Gardner (’14), returns to Lasell as Head of Communications at Vision Advertising on April 5 from 5-6 p.m. at the Arnow Campus Center. Gardner will show students options for graphic design activities outside of Adobe Creative Cloud in template-based systems.

Social Media Storytelling Panel

Emily Crume, Chief Strategy Officer for the Social Media Examiner; Lauren Prociv, vice president and director of strategic planning at Martin Agency; and Raj Rawal, Head of Content at Tastemade will host a panel on April 12 from 5-6 p.m. via Zoom. They will share their expertise in combining visual design and communication via social media platforms.

When asked what he hoped students would take away from these final lectures, Calhoun replied, “Why not show people that you can create engaging visual communications without having a deep knowledge of Photoshop?”.

“For designers, it takes jobs, so what I think graphic designers need to understand is how they won’t be easily replaced. Adopt skills that are unique to them and can’t be replaced by a system based on models,” Calhoun said.

Events before Spring Break included two guest speakers, Nneka Enurah of Amazon Ads and Jessie McGuire of brand design firm ThoughtMatter. Each shared their experience in the field of marketing as well as tips and tricks for students starting their post-graduation job search.

A panel of alumni was featured after McGuire’s speech, where nine alumni spoke about their experiences at and after Lasell. The alumni panel was moderated by Associate Professor of Journalism Marie Franklin, Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design Deborah Baldizar, Senior Taylor Viles and Senior Anna King. A reception was held afterwards to allow students to connect with alumni.

More information about the Alumni Panel can be found on page three.

The most recent event was hosted on March 22 by Lisa Marie Russo. Russo is currently an executive producer and independent filmmaker and discussed the ins and outs of the production.

Recordings of previous lectures are still being edited, but will be uploaded to the Symposium website at a later date. Enurah and Russo’s Zoom calls were both recorded by Calhoun and can be made available upon request.

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