Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

CCI faculty win prestigious national awards

Two of CCI’s most accomplished faculty members have been recognized for lifetime achievement in their fields.


Dr. Sam Swan, professor and director of internationalization and outreach was named the recipient of the 2009 Edward L. Bliss Award for Distinguished Broadcast Journalism Education by the Radio-Television Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Dr. Carol Tenopir, professor of information sciences, director of CCI’s Center for Information and Communication Studies and CCI director of research, has been awarded the 2009 ASIS&T Award of Merit from the American Society for Information Science & Technology.

The Bliss Award recognizes an electronic journalism educator who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the field in the areas of teaching, service and scholarship. Edward L. Bliss, who the award is named for, was a longtime writer, producer and editor for CBS News. He was a giant in the field of TV journalism and broadcast education for many years. Swan feels honored to be singled out among all broadcast journalism professors in the country.

Upon receiving the award, Swan stated, “My passion has always been television news and I have loved the opportunity to teach TV news to hundreds of students at UT and hundreds more in developing countries around the world.”

Swan has been with UT Knoxville since 1985 teaching television news, international broadcasting and management courses. Swan was department head from 1985 to 1994, overseeing the acquisition of a commercial all-news AM radio station, WUTK-AM, and moving the department of broadcasting into a state-of-the-art facility. He also developed and continues to produce a unique weekly television news program broadcast during spring semesters on Knoxville’s NBC affiliate, WBIR-TV. During his tenure the department became accredited by AEJMC for the first time and has held that accreditation since.

Swan has conducted more than 150 TV journalism and management workshops in nearly 50 countries, and he has brought journalists from many of those countries to the U.S. for workshops. He has served as a news trainer and consultant for all News Corp Europe TV stations and has conducted workshops for the Voice of America, IREX, the U.S. State Department and CNN.

Swan is the author of three books on radio-TV management, radio station operations and landing a job in the media, has produced numerous news and public affairs television programs and documentaries, and has made presentations at journalism and broadcasting conventions.

Swan was honored in a ceremony at AEJMC’s National Convention in Boston in August 2009.

To view the video shown at Swan’s awards ceremony, visit:

TenopirDr. Tenopir’s career has been remarkable as a researcher, teacher and contributor to the Information Science profession for almost three decades.

The ASIS&T Award of Merit is the Society’s highest honor, given annually to an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to the field of information science, including the expression of new ideas, the creation of new devices, the development of better techniques and outstanding service to the profession of information science.

“ASIS&T has been my professional home for my entire career, so this award from my peers at ASIS&T is very special to me. The list of other Award of Merit winners is humbling and I am honored to join this group and also energized to continue making contributions to information science,” said Tenopir.

A recent study of library and information science scholarship found Tenopir to be the most productive library and information science scholar in the field. Her research, with a strong user focus, covers the evolution and development of databases, online systems and searching, and, more recently, scholarly communications on a broad scale. Her bridging of the research and practice communities is outstanding.

An STM publisher supporting her nomination noted, “Her studies have been unique in bringing an evidence-based rigor to an area that has long been fraught with misinformation and controversy. Her exhaustive studies and their publication have been an inspiration to all those who seek to better understand how scholarly journals have been used and the role they perform for academics. Her book (with Don King), Towards Electronic Journals, still provides the most complete survey of the use, usefulness, economic modeling, price development and future prospects for journal publishing. Her studies on the behavioral patterns of academics in their approach to electronic literature have lain to rest many misperceptions.”

Tenopir is an international presence for information science, with more than a third of her presentations delivered overseas in more than 18 countries. In addition, she is a popular consultant for national and international firms. Tenopir has authored five books and more than 200 journal articles.

She has also been very successful in involving a large number of faculty and students in major research projects, giving them an opportunity to develop research skills and knowledge that immediately contributes to their personal and professional growth. Tenopir has received national awards for teaching excellence from ASIS&T and from the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE).

One juror for the award noted, “Carol Tenopir is no mere researcher, she is a significant contributor to the scholarly and professional communities and to the lives and careers of individuals.” Another commented: “if Carol didn’t exist, then we would have needed to invent someone just like her! Put most simply, Carol serves as a SET of bridges … that cross multiple chasms: between research and practice; between practice and commerce; between evaluation and practice; between data and decision.”

“The College of Communication and Information is proud of the accomplishments of Drs. Swan and Tenopir, and grateful for all of their contributions to the college, the university and the profession,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth.