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School of Advertising and Public Relations alumnus Matthew (Matt) Dirsa was a man of many interests—he loved outdoor activities such as rock climbing, golf, and snowboarding, but he and his friends also taught themselves how to knit stocking caps and he trained to be a sushi chef.

“He wasn’t afraid to try anything and when he passed, it was amazing the number of people who contacted me. I had no idea he knew that many people, he was a special man,” said Melinda Gathers, Dirsa’s mother.

Dirsa had worked in advertising positions in New York and China when he … Read more “ADPR Alum Matt Dirsa’s Legacy Lives on Through Scholarship and Award Established by His Family”


Build-A-Bear Workshop had written the outline of her speech for the College of Communication & Information’s 2022 spring commencement ceremony two months in advance of the event. After all, one doesn’t become the head of a multi-million dollar company by putting things off. Doing her research and preparing ahead of time for a challenge is indicative of how Sharon Price John (’86) operates in both business and life: she likes to have a good idea of different ways to handle a situation, but understands the inevitable unpredictability of life.… Read more “CCI Alumna, President & CEO of Build-a-Bear Workshop Sharon Price John to be Keynote Speaker at CCI Commencement”


Journalism and Electronic Media students, that dream came true when both the Vols and Lady Vols basketball teams advanced to their respective NCAA tournaments this season, with the former claiming the SEC Tournament championship for the first time since 1979. For Ethan Stone, Josh Lane, Riley Thomas, and Andrew Peters, the opportunity to sit among professional sports writers and cover these games was one they hadn’t expected to have when they began working … Read more “JEM Students Cover NCAA Basketball Tournaments”


WUTK 90.3 The Rock, and some things have stayed the same over the last four decades, but a lot has changed.

In 1982, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s brand new radio station was founded by now-retired Professor Sam Swan to provide news and music for students, and to give students a chance to work in a real broadcasting environment.

At that time, WUTK was barely able to broadcast beyond downtown Knoxville, whereas today people all over the globe can tune in via online platforms if they want … Read more “Rockin’ Ears for 40 Years: WUTK Celebrates Major Milestone”