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Distinguished Lecturers Inspire Students

Several distinguished lecturers shared their wisdom with CCI students over the last few weeks of the fall semester. 

Larry PatrickLarry Patrick (MS ‘ 73), CCI Board of Visitors member and managing partner of Patrick Communications, spoke to a group of JEM students on Friday, Nov. 2 about the future of the media and communication industries and how students can best prepare themselves for the job market.    He advised students to prepare for their careers by getting as much practical experience as possible while still in school.  He also shared the process he uses to review resumes and the types of experiences which carry the most weight with employers when they select candidates to interview. “Larry Patrick’s willingness to give generously of his ‘time, talent and treasure’ is what makes him exemplary,” said Patrick Powell, CCI development director.  “By sharing his wisdom and insight, he is able to help students think more clearly about their professional futures and inspire them to work hard and pursue excellence in everything they do.” Patrick received CCI’s Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given to UTK alumni, in 2012.  

Arlene TaylorOn November 7, Arlene G. Taylor presented her lecture, “Controlled Vocabulary in the Age of Google? Really?,” to a large audience of SIS students and faculty.  Taylor, professor emerita in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and distinguished adjunct professor with the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,  presented her research findings comparing keyword and controlled vocabulary searches.   She summarized the issues surrounding controlled vocabulary versus keyword only seaches and presented the current thinking of people charged with developing online systems.

 “Taylor is a highly respected authority on how to organize information and the co-author of the textbook we use in IS 520 (The organization of information),” said SIS Director Ed Cortez.  “Having her speak to our students was very special and of great benefit to our program because she rarely does these types of lectures.”

Rick ThamesRick Thames (MS ’78), editor of the Charlotte Observer, spoke to three JEM classes on Oct. 29.

JREM 475 Sports Writing
TOPIC: Sports coverage, the sports writer on a metro newspaper

JREM 400 Communication Law
TOPIC: Legal problems, examples and cases

JREM 499 Media Business/The Future of Journalism and Electronic Media 
TOPIC: Running a newspaper, changes that are coming

Thames shared the knowledge and expertise he’s obtained from his 32 years in the newspaper/information business with students and advised them to take advantage of the internship and practicum opportunities they have to gain professional experience while they’re still in school. He indicated that even though the media industry is changing, there are more jobs than ever available for technologically savvy young people who are creative, strong communicators (through writing, speaking and visualization) and willing to work hard.  He shared the lessons he learned from leading the transformation of the Charlotte Observer from a traditional print publication to a contemporary digital media information distribution platform. He also advised students to prepare themselves for change and innovation as they transition from the classroom to the professional world.

“Having guest lecturers like Patrick, Thames and Taylor share their stories greatly enhances our student’s classroom experience,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “The insights students gain from these lectures help them see the direct correlation between their college course work and their future careers.”