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CCI 50th Anniversary: My Proudest Moment – Part I

CCI 50th: Greatest Memories

To celebrate the College of Communication and Information’s 50th anniversary, we asked our alumni about their proudest accomplishments. Before beginning professional careers, they learned to deliver speeches, meet deadlines, and tell stories about the Knoxville campus and beyond. 

Read My Proudest Moment – Part II

N. Steve Tinder 

JEM, 1972

“The day I graduated from UT with a job awaiting me, knowing that CCI had prepared me for what I was to face in my future.”


Samantha Lane

PR, 2007

“So many great memories! I loved spending days in Circle Park as a student and returning on occasion to talk to a class as an alum. One of my favorite moments was this past fall. I brought some of my family to the CCI Tailgate event and showed my niece a seat with my name on it in the auditorium (from the Take a Seat campaign), all this while the Alumnus issue featuring my business was in production. It was a very powerful time for me where the value of my CCI degree, and time spent in that program, was crystal clear.” 


Thomas Cruise 

JEM, 2017

“This is difficult to pinpoint just one. However, one memory that impacted me the most on multiple levels was receiving three scholarships from CCI. These scholarships provided the additional financial support I needed to continue my education without having to stop to enter the workforce to support my family. Additional memories include winning the J. Paul Blakely science writing award 2 years in a row, working as news editor for the Daily Beacon, and winning second place in the Tennessee Associated Press student awards for specialized topic reporting.”


Candy McCampbell 

JEM, 1968

“The time we tore up the Daily Beacon front page to get the news of the deaths of astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee in a fire on the launch pad on the night of Jan. 11, 1967. We had to go from the Beacon office on Lake Avenue to the old Glocker Business Administration building to get the UPI wire copy to use in the story, and I think made deadline for the next day’s edition.”


Pamela Bradshaw 

PR, 1985

“I was totally surprised when one of my papers written for a class project was submitted by the professor and published in the Knoxville News Sentinel.”


Justin Crawford 

JEM, 2017

“If I had to choose one moment, it would be the night of our 2018 Chancellor’s Honors Banquet. That year, I was selected as a Torchbearer and (as much of an honor as it was) that very night … I will never forget. Everyone I cared about personally and professionally was in the audience as remarks were given on my behalf – speaking to everything I had accomplished in my four incredible years at UT. To this day, I am still so extremely proud to not only be in the UT Torchbearer family, but to represent CCI in doing so.”


Misha Cooper 

CS, 2012

“My proudest memory thinking back to my time in CCI is growing in my public speaking abilities and confidence over the years. When I took my very first public speaking course, it was something that made me terribly anxious. Through taking several courses I developed skills, knowledge and now public speaking is something I do almost daily in my work! In fact, I have even taught a handful of public speaking courses myself, which is NEVER something I thought I would be doing. I am proud to be a UTK CCI Alumna!”


Kate Spencer Sowrey 

JEM, 2010; MS C&I, 2014

“I have several proud memories from my time at CCI. My proudest memory was seeing my byline on TNJN for the first time while an undergrad. I had never had a story published before and one of my first stories was actually written about an event hosted in Knoxville for TOMS Shoes. (This event was around 2007 when TOMS was still very new.) I will never forget feeling proud of that accomplishment, and I still have hard copies of my published stories from undergrad and my internship.”


Karen Fuson Buchsbaum 

JEM, 1975

“I was thrilled (and a little intimidated) to be named General Assignment reporter for the Beacon, after transferring to UT my sophomore year.”


Taylor Hathorn 

JEM, 2014

“My proudest moment in CCI was our work with the Medal of Honor Project and watching that program, under Dr. Geidner’s leadership, transform into what it is today. We took an idea and he turned it into a life-changing opportunity for both students and the Tennessee community by transforming the skills and resources acquired through the Medal of Honor Project into what was needed to develop Land Grant Films. Due to our work with the Medal of Honor Project, I was able to secure a full-time job with the Medal of Honor Foundation in Washington, D.C. traveling the country with the recipients for my first year post-grad. I learned so much about life and leadership through my time with the recipients; none of which would have been possible without CCI.”

Read My Proudest Moment – Part II


Have a Favorite Memory?

Are you a CCI graduate? Tell us about your proudest moment as a student in the college. We might use your responses in a future story!