Brent Goken

February 28, 2022

ICC Class of 1992 (Mass Communications)

Transferred to Eastern Illinois University – Bachelor’s in Mass Communication/Television and Masters in Interpersonal/Organizational Communication/Public Relations.

Professor of Communication and Public Relations, Illinois Central College

Tell us about the career path that led you to your current job.

I began my professional career in sales/direct marketing/event planning, working for a large media conglomerate, Lee Enterprises, Inc. Then, I moved to the Peoria area, where I worked at WTVP-47, in the Development Office as the Director of Corporate Support. During my tenure with WTVP, I began teaching at ICC as an adjunct (1997). Finally, prior to accepting my full-time position, I took a position as the Corporate Training Supervisor for Foster and Gallagher, Inc, where I worked until I began my full-time position at ICC in Fall of 2001.

How did ICC shape your future or help you attain your professional goals?

When I arrived at ICC, I lacked confidence and a clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I needed a degree to be successful but had so many interests and a lack of focus. The professors here nurtured those interests, inspired me to work diligently academically, and helped me get involved in campus life. Participating on the ICC Speech Team greatly improved my self-confidence, and opened my eyes to professionalism, high standards of presentation, and creativity. The campus newspaper and television programs were also a big part of my on-campus commitment and helped shape who I am to this day. I truly owe a ton of gratitude to my professors, all of whom became role models for me personally and fostered my interests, later, in becoming a full-time professor.

What does it mean to you to be able to teach at ICC and educate future ICC alumni??

I have often said my greatest blessing in life is to teach at the very institution that created a tremendous foundation for my success, both personally and professionally. I would not want to teach anywhere else. ICC has a long history of changing minds and developing highly successful individuals. Sharing my journey as an ICC student is always a part of my conversations with the students in my classes. I think it’s important to demonstrate the investment you make here at ICC paves the way for an incredibly bright future. And watching my students do just that inspires me exponentially. It’s a gift to see them succeed!

What advice would you give current students at ICC to succeed?

Seek out role models, both among your fellow students and your professors, advisors, and college administrators. Having a support system of encouragement is key. College takes work. Commitment. Dedication. Focus. And Time Management. ICC has a tremendous amount of support services here, among our award-winning library, our immensely talented and supportive faculty, learning labs, and student resources. If you’re struggling, always be willing to talk to someone here at ICC. I’ve been an employee for 25 years, and I’ve never seen a staff member, faculty, or administrator have difficulty finding a solution. We care about our students — they are our #1 priority. I’m excited to see stories about our alumni being shared. Our alums work for fortune 500 companies, assume leadership roles, are entrepreneurs, community activists, politicians, business owners, and leaders throughout the Country. It’s an important story to share– that being, you can create a new kind of life here at ICC, at any age!