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Conference stresses communication

Amanda Gray | Thursday, March 1, 2012

The 2012 Communications Conference will stress the importance of effective communication in the workforce for all students, regardless of major or career path, organizer and junior Catherine Flatley said.

“Notre Dame students have incredible ideas that they can bring to careers,” she said. “It’s essential to learn how to communicate those ideas in such a fashion that they can be fully appreciated.”

Saturday’s Conference will feature six speakers and a workshop, Flatley said, and students will receive a certificate of completion after they attend the events. Registration for the conference is full and closed earlier this week.

“What I appreciate the most is that all the speakers come from a variety of backgrounds,” she said. “Their individual careers are across a variety of spectrums. I think it’s interesting to look at the universality and the differences across different career paths.”

Flatley said the Conference, which is the first of its kind held on Notre Dame’s campus, is essential for students who need to learn how to effectively communicate.

“There aren’t a ton of clear avenues through which one can learn those skills,” she said. “I was trying to create an opportunity for students to gain insight into how communication skills are relevant in every facet of one’s career.”

The Conference is not Flatley’s first endeavor to promote increased communication on campus, she said. Flatley also founded Speech ND, a speech club on campus.

“The reason why I am so interested with communication at Notre Dame is that Notre Dame students have never-ending, valuable ideas, which I’m struck by in every class, or in random conversations,” Flatley said.

Though she had the original idea for the Conference a while ago, she said planning for the Conference picked up around Thanksgiving. Flatley said she worked across colleges with Dean Greg Crawford from the College of Science, Dean John McGreevy from the College of Arts and Letters and Dr. Dominic Chaloner, the undergraduate research coordinator for the College of Science.

Crawford said the Conference focuses on the important concepts and skills everyone needs to succeed.

“Being able to communicate with different constituencies, across disciplines, is more important now than ever before,” he said. “So many problems in the world will require interdisciplinary solutions, so being able to communicate effectively is vitally important in the future, no matter what career path one pursues.”

Crawford said students will leave the workshop with a new perspective on communication essentials and communication’s importance in all disciplines and vocations.

“Being able to communicate effectively is vital in leadership — being able to articulate an argument well, to inspire others to follow and lead, and to have influence in an organization,” Crawford said. “Notre Dame students are the best of the best in the country … and I see them all as future leaders. So this conference is, in some respect, more about shaping future leaders.”

The Conference will be held Saturday in 101 Jordan Hall of Science.