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October 2017: CCI Profiles

Alumni Profiles

CCI alumni, friends, faculty and staff gathered for CCI’s annual tailgate party on the patio overlooking Neyland Stadium and the Tennessee River three hours prior to the noon kickoff of the October 14 UT/South Carolina game.
The annual tailgate is open to all CCI alumni and their families. “Our patio provides the perfect place to hold these gatherings,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “I encourage all CCI alumni to attend next year’s tailgate three hours prior to the UT/Kentucky kickoff on November 10, 2018.”
2017 CCI BOV Fall MeetingCCI Board of Visitors
The Fall 2017 meeting of the CCI Board of Visitors (BOV) took place on Friday, October 13 in the Scripps Convergence Lab with 28 of 36 BOV members in attendance (see New BOV Chair John T. Williams (BS/JEM ’71) and Vice Chair Hilda Murray (BS/AD ’76) presided over the meeting, which focused on providing CCI with advice and counsel regarding the college’s goals and objectives, student experiences, resources and financial support. School and program reports were provided to update the BOV on CCI’s progress since the last meeting, and discussions and brainstorming took place to develop strategies for dealing with the college’s challenges and opportunities.
Students representing various CCI academic majors gave brief presentations about their UT and CCI experiences and shared their future goals with the BOV.
Current BOV Chair John T. Williams (BS/JEM ’71) said, “This was one of the most productive BOV meetings I have attended. This is a dynamic group of individuals with great knowledge of the communication and information industries that can help our students realize their dreams. Having the opportunity to work with CCI’s faculty and administration as a BOV member underscores the extraordinary commitment to excellence in teaching, research and service that can be found in this college, and I am proud to be a partner in this process.”
UT’s Join the Journey Campaign Kickoff
UT held its Join the Journey Campaign Kickoff Gala on September 22 in downtown Knoxville to officially launch its $1.1 billion capital campaign (see As part of the festivities, CCI’s Peyton Manning (BA/CS ’97), honorary chair of the campaign, addressed the gala attendees. Manning and Alan Wilson (BS/JEM ’80) are members of the 14 person campaign committee (see The campaign began with a silent phase in January of 2012 with CCI’s official kickoff in November of 2016.
CCI’s campaign goal is $15 million with over $12 million raised so far (see Details regarding CCI’s campaign goals and priorities can be found in the November 2016 issue of Circle Park News at
A short photo gallery of CCI alumni at the event is provided below.

Peyton Manning Honorary Chair Phenise Poole with John Oliver Wests with Governor Haslam
“Join the Journey” Honorary Chair Peyton Manning (BA/CS ’97) addressing the Join the Journey gala attendees. John Oliver (AD senior), pictured with scholarship donor Phenise Poole (BS/JEM ’95) at the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center’s gala exhibit Charles (BA/CS ’96) and Mary Beth West (BS/PR ’94) with TN Governor Bill Haslam
Williams and Poole Alan and Wendy Wilson
John (BS/JEM ’71) and Patty Williams (IS ’86) with Phenise Poole (BS/JEM ’95) Wendy and Alan Wilson (BS/JEM ’80), “Join the Journey” Campaign Committee member.

Justin CrawfordJEM senior Justin Crawford was selected to participate in the International Television Radio Society (IRTS) Foundation two-day Multicultural Career Workshop in New York City on October 12-13. The program is for students, recent graduates, and IRTS fellows to gain relevant knowledge and insights, and to help identify entry-level job opportunities. A firsthand account of Crawford’s IRTS experience is provided below.
“Day one was filled with guest speakers, panelists, and keynotes from top networks including Disney ABC Television Group, NBCUniversal, Viacom, and many more. They shared their stories and experiences and conveyed the importance and impact of IRTS on young professionals.
On day two, participants took part in a career fair, where industry employers (including radio, broadcast television, network owners, and talent agencies) provided information about employment options at their firms. The recruitment efforts helped participants better understand their career opportunities and many left with job-offers from these companies.
It was only 48-hours, however, the experience helped me better understand where the media industry is heading and the kinds of opportunities available.
Coming out of the IRTS Workshop, I feel determined, inspired, and ready to walk into my first full-time job in the media industry. Thank you to all our UTK faculty, staff, and alumni who have helped build such a strong presence with IRTS over the years!”