Mass Media Keynote Speaker Event features Michel’ Cole

The Annual Keynote Speaker Event will be held by mass media department in Washburn A/B of the Memorial Union from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. It celebrates 25 years as a department and 30 years of the Mass Media Messenger.

The event is planned by mass media students from the Public Relation II class. Bayley Baker, a junior mass media major with an emphasis in public relations, is one of the students in the class.

“The Keynote Speaker Event is an awesome networking opportunity for mass media students,” said Baker. “There will be many alumni and prominent community members in attendance.”

The 2019 Keynote Speaker Event features speaker Michel’ Cole, an energy company executive and a Washburn alumna, a dinner and student achievement awards. An Alumni After Hours party will follow the event. There will be door prizes, including four Kansas City Royals tickets. Everyone who comes to the event has a chance to win.

“Students also have the opportunity to hear from our keynote speaker, Michel’ Cole, and learn about her experience in the professional communications world,” said Baker.

Anneleise McEvoy, a senior mass media major, is a student of the Public Relation II class and she is the head leader on the decoration team.

“I’m super excited for the event,” said McEvoy. “A lot of hard work was put into planning this.”

Cole is a native of Topeka, and she’s an alumna of Washburn University with a bachelors’ degree in communications. She had been the Vice President of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs at Westar Energy from 2014 to 2018.

According to Cole, she is a focused, dynamic communications professional with more than 30 years’ experience in corporate, marketing and brand communication management.

For many years, Cole helps organizations to connect with their customers and other constituencies through communications and brand management.

“I expect a great speech and advice from our keynote speaker,” said McEvoy. “I’ve heard her speak before and she has a lot of experience.”

Cole is also an active community volunteer and she has taken part in many non-profit boards, including the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, Family Service and Guidance Center and Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City, KTWU Public Television’s advisory board and the advisory council for the Washburn University Leadership Institute.

According to Gina Penzig, the Director of Corporate Communications of Westar Energy, Cole is an accredited business communicator through the International Association of Business Communicators. She has played a key role in public relations, corporate communications and philanthropic strategy for a variety of organizations.

“It’s really important for underclassmen to attend, so they can see what they will be doing in the future when it’s their turn to take the class and plan the event,” said Baker.

Washburn University students can attend for free. The regular tickets are $20 and open to the public. Tickets will be presented at the door.

People can purchase the tickets online:

“We are so thankful for all of the support and hope to see many students, alumni and friends of the mass media department in attendance,” said Baker.