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CCI Alums/Friends Share their Time and Talent with Students

Dean Wirth, Bob Wilson, Cynthia Moxley and Alan CarmichaelTeaming up to deliver a real-world view of a public relations firm, Cynthia Moxley, Alan Carmichael (BS/JEM ’69) and Bob Wilson of Moxley Carmichael in Knoxville spoke to a group of CCI students this month.  The focus of their talk was on providing students with real world examples of how to help businesses/organizations do a better job of integrating social media into their operations. They also provided students with helpful career advice during the Q&A portion of the program. “This is a dose of reality for many of the students,” said Courtney Childers, assistant professor in CCI’s School of Advertising and Public Relations.  “Even though they hear it from faculty, it makes it real when students receive information about their chosen career from those in the industry.  It also means a lot to students when alumni and friends are willing to take time from their busy schedules to give back.”

“We often say it’s TIME, talent and treasure we value from our alums,” noted Powell.  “Frequently alumni who have shared their wisdom and experiences with students will remark on two points:  they are impressed by the knowledge, passion and engagement of our students, and they are invigorated by the experience.”

In addition to the group from Moxley Carmichael, several alumni presenters have provided student classes and groups with interactive sessions on current industry topics in recent weeks. Fred Cowgill (BS/JEM ‘79) met with JEM’s student chapter of the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association in January.  Fred is the Sports Director for WLKY-TV, the CBS affiliate  in Louisville, KY, where he has been for 27 years.  He told students that sports journalism has evolved and changed over the years and that the job market for traditional TV sports anchor jobs is shrinking. He also indicated that jobs still exist, but they are often in different forms and with different media in today’s world. 

“We welcome the opportunity to work with any alumni who are interested in giving back as mentors,” said Powell.  “We have a very impressive community of graduates who have important information and advice to share with our students as they transition from the classroom to professional careers.”  Anyone interested in finding out about how they can give back to the College of Communication and Information can start with an email or phone call to Patrick Powell at or 865-974-3211. 

Other alumni and friends who met with students during Fall 2013 include:

8/22 John Williams (BS/JEM ‘71) CEO, The Regional Eye Center and his wife Patty (SIS library endorsement ’86), retired librarian

9/12 Tom Lee (BS/JEM ’91) Partner, Frost Brown Todd LLC

9/18 Paul Jankowski (BS/Adv ’89) Chief Strategist for Access Brand Strategies/ Forbes contributor/ NFL agent

9/19 Mark Nagi (MS/C&I ’96), Community Relations Officer, Tennessee Department of Transportation

9/25 Wendell Potter (BS/JEM ’73), Author and Columnist

9/27 Alisa LaPolt (BS/ JEM ‘86), President, Topsail Public Affairs

9/30 Rex Repass (MS/C&I ‘78), CEO of R.L. Repass & Partners, Inc.

10/4 Tim Sellers (BS/ADV ’88) Partner & Account Supervisor, Inferno

10/4 Alisa Harrison (BS/ADV ’83) SVP Communications & Marketing, International Franchising Association

11/22 Stephanie Frazier (BS/JEM ‘91) Client Executive, Level 3