Back to top


Director Search, School of Advertising & PR


Position Description

Director, School of Advertising and Public Relations

College of Communication and Information

University of Tennessee, Knoxville


The School of Advertising and Public Relations in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s (UTK) College of Communication and Information (CCI), is conducting a search for the position of Director of the School. A Ph.D. is required for this 12-month position.  The successful applicant will hold the rank of Full Professor or meet the University of Tennessee’s criteria for Full Professor upon hire and will be eligible for tenure upon hire.  The salary is competitive and based on experience and academic credentials.

Candidates should have: strong intellectual, organizational, diplomatic and leadership skills; a strong record of research, teaching and service; the ability to build strong, positive relationships with all members of the School, with other CCI and UTK schools/departments, and the administration of the College and University; the ability to effectively manage School resources and staff; the ability to effectively represent the program externally; and the ability to maintain scholarly activity and actively promote research and scholarship in the School. The Director will provide leadership for the School in relation to the comprehensive academic program of the university, the infrastructure necessary for support of advertising and public relations programs, and through annual review of faculty and staff. For more details, see the UTK Faculty Handbook. Applicants should have knowledge of and a commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action.

 The University of Tennessee is the state of Tennessee’s flagship university and its only public Carnegie RU/VH (Research Universities/Very High Research Activity) institution. As a land-grant university and as Volunteers, serving our state and nation are key to our mission. UTK enrolls approximately 29,000 students at its Knoxville campus.

The School of Advertising and Public Relations includes 13 full-time faculty positions and several Graduate Teaching Associate positions.  The School includes approximately 400 undergraduate majors.  The School actively participates in the College-wide M.S. and Ph.D. programs.  For information about the School and the College, visit: and

The College of Communication and Information (CCI), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, consists of four schools: Advertising and Public Relations, Communication Studies, Information Sciences, and Journalism and Electronic Media. CCI has approximately 1,240 undergraduate majors (across five undergraduate majors in advertising, public relations, communication studies, information sciences, and journalism and electronic media), and approximately 320 graduate students (including College-wide M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in communication & information and an M.S. degree in information sciences). The College’s Center for Information and Communication Studies (CICS) provides a wide array of support services for CCI faculty interested in pursuing sponsored research. The Center involves dozens of researchers across various disciplines and agencies to focus the array of talent in CCI, the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and other research institutions in the pursuit and conduct of sponsored research. College-wide research facilities include: the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center, the Scripps Convergence Lab, a User Experience Lab, and a Message Effects/Focus Group Lab.

Knoxville, nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, has a metropolitan statistical area population of over 850,000 people. This moderate-sized city has a vibrant nightlife that includes numerous theaters and museums, traditional bluegrass music, a symphony orchestra and an opera company, world-class restaurants, lots of cultural festivals and a downtown market square. Surrounded by lakes and the Tennessee River, the Knoxville area boasts wonderful year-round water activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming that make for scenic and breathtaking views of the area. Knoxville is also home to many leading corporations, including Pilot Flying J; Ruby Tuesday, Bush Brothers & Company, Discovery Inc.’s National Operating Center, Regal Cinemas, TVA, and Alcoa. It also has a number of prominent advertising/public relations firms and is the fifth largest video production center in the United States.

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the university. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), the ADA (disability), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity, 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN  37996-3560, telephone 865-974-2498. Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.

Individuals interested in applying for the position should send, via email, (1) a letter of application, (2) a current curriculum vitae, and (3) a list of references to: Advertising/Public Relations Director Search Committee, at Or send hard copies of these materials to 302 Communications Bldg., 1345 Circle Park Drive, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996. Review of applicants will begin September 23, 2019 and will continue until the position is filled. The Knoxville campus of The University of Tennessee is seeking candidates who have the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the diversity and intercultural goals of the University.


Fall 2019 ADPR Social Media Intern

Social Media Intern Position 
Paid Internship, approximately 10 hours / week 

Submit your cover letter, resume, and social media samples in a PDF to by April 22.

Please use the Subject Line Social Media Intern Application

Required Skills: 
Junior or Senior in good academic standing at the University of Tennessee
Social Media Experience
Paid Social Advertising Experience 
Basic Design Skills 
Social Media Analyzing (Content Calendars, etc.)
Ability to work across Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat

Strong written communication


Preferred Skills:

Wordpress or other website experience

Social Media course(s)

Prior internship experience


Position Description: 
This position requires content calendar creation, scheduling and posting to ADPR accounts, extensive knowledge of ADPR branding and audience. Create full social campaigns for events like UTSMW and other school related events. Must be able to meet weekly with ADPR Coordinator. Be able to develop precise social media strategies with ADPR Coordinator. Show willingness to be trained on both Salesforce Social Studio and Hootsuite. Attendance at events will sometimes be required. Social media management, tracking, and editing goes along with basic knowledge requirements. Occasional attendance with ADPR communications team required. This position is paid and requires a minimum of 10 hours per week with a maximum of 15 hours per week. These hours are able to be completed within a flexible schedule and time frame.

This position will start August 2019. This is a paid internship with the School of Advertising and Public Relations.


Eric Haley Named AAA President

Eric Haley


HALEY NAMED AAA PRESENT-ELECT: ADPR Professor Eric Haley was chosen President-Elect of the American Academy of Advertising (AAA), the leading international organization for the advancement of advertising scholarship,    education and practice. He is currently serving as Vice President and will assume his new role during AAA’s annual conference, March 28-31 in Dallas, Texas. Haley will serve as AAA president in 2020.

ADPR Students Take Home ADDY Awards

Addy AwardsTwelve students from the School of Advertising and Public Relations earned 43 honors at the Knoxville American Advertising Federation (AAF) awards on March 2.

Hannah Lagoski took home a Gold ADDY Award for her work with Inuksuit. She also earned a Silver ADDY Award, as did three other students: Madison Duncan, Ashley Hendrix and Lukas McCrary. Hendrix earned a school-leading three Silver Addys for her advertising work on The Brown Girls Guide to College, KOKOA and BLKGRLPWR.

All 12 ADPR honorees collected at least one Bronze Citation of Excellence. Additional bronze medal winners included: Matthew Art, Joan Hargett, Brooke Heinsohn, Yulisia Lopez, Nicole Maestri, Bailey Morris, Noah Shirley and Jake Wade. Heinsohn earned nine total bronze citations.

University of Tennessee Student Award Winners

Matthew Art
Bronze Citations of Excellence (3)
- Goosewood Brewing Co. Outdoor Board
- Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain
- Disney Single Ticket Magazine

Madison Duncan
Silver Addy Award (1)
- Madison’s Portfolio
Bronze Citation of Excellence (1)
- Madison’s Portfolio

Joan Hargett
Bronze Citations of Excellence (2)
- Yes To
- WISEACRE Craft Beer Company

Brooke Heinsohn
Bronze Citations of Excellence (9)
- Jelly Photographs: eCommerce site
- Elevation Peak
- Camp Tellico T-shirt (2)
- Sounds Zesty
- Into the Abyss
- Mountain Drizzle
- Heavenly Cheers
- Aqua Goat

Ashley Hendrix
Silver Addy Awards (3)
- The Brown Girls Guide to College
Bronze Citations of Excellence (4)
- Saint Indigio
- Kelis – Harlem
- Kelis – Harlem (artist renovation)
- Bounty & Full

Hannah Lagoski
Gold Addy Award (1)
- Inuksuit
Silver Addy Award (1)
- Dizzy Bat

Yulisia Lopez
Bronze Citations of Excellence (6)
- Pearls Olives Print Ad (2)
- Quaker Oats Print Ad (3)
- Pearls and Quaker Oats Ads

Nicole Maestri
Bronze Citations of Excellence (4)
- Godiva Chocolate – You Deserve This
- Phoenix Pharmacy & Fountain Outdoor (3)

Lukas McCrary
Silver Addy Award (1)
- The Room
Bronze Citations of Excellence (3)
- Cumberland Streptease Improve
- Big Hair Night of Comedy
- Godiva Chocolate Ad

Bailey Morris
Bronze Citations of Excellence (2)
- Cross – Give ‘Em Your Jane Hancock
- Bass Pro – Family Style

Noah Shirley
Bronze Citation of Excellence (1)
- UnwarranTed Commercial

Jake Wade
Bronze Citation of Excellence (1)
- Phoenix Pharmacy & Fountain Outdoor Billboard

Photo Credit: Colby’s Photography

A Look Back at 2019 UT Social Media Week

Leo MorejonMore than 420 students attended panels at the eighth annual UT Social Media Week, which was held February 26-28 in CCI’s Scripps Lab Theater and Patrick Auditorium. #UTSMW2019 also generated 59,000 impressions and over 2,000 engagements on Twitter over a two-week period.

This year’s event featured 21 guest speakers over eight sessions, including one that involved a hands-on workshop. Eight CCI classes served as official anchor classes with 14 total classes attending. Topics ranged from incivility and politics on social media to the business of running social media accounts for companies and events, to social marketing and influencers.

Leo Morejon, an adjunct instructor at West Virginia University, served as the spotlight speaker at this year’s event. His presentation focused on the much-hyped and failed work of Fyre Media, “The Fyre Festival—They Couldn’t Even Spell Fire Correctly.”

The Fyre Festival was a 2017 “luxury music festival” founded by Billy McFarland, CEO of Fyre Media Inc., and rapper Ja Rule. It was heavily promoted by celebrities who are social media influencers. The festival ended up being indefinitely postponed, and the organizers have been sued multiple times.

This year, documentaries on Hulu and Netflix have rekindled conversations about the festival fiasco.

Morejon said he sees teaching lessons in the festival’s marketing.

“The Fyre Festival has brought a lot of attention to influencer marketing and online marketing in general—and not all of it good,” Morejon said. “As a marketer, I want to shed light on the positive side of things and give people a different perspective for them to think about.” UTSMW19

Morejon is an award-winning sales leader, speaker, content creator, and educator known for his work as a pioneer in real-time social media including the Oreo Super Bowl blackout tweet and a campaign for the most likes on Facebook in a 24-hour period. After his presentation on the Fyre Festival and the importance of being honest with consumers on social platforms, he fielded questions from students about social marketing trends and platforms. 

UT Social Media Week was made possible through the generous financial support of Dan and Melanie Peterson (pictured right with UT Social Media Week student ambassadors). CCI’s four schools sponsored at least one session, as did the Ad Club and the UT chapter of PRSSA. A summary of UTSMW 2019 sessions and speakers is provided below.


Session Topics and Speakers

Session 1 – “I’m Right, you’re wrong—you stupid jerk.” Incivility toward Journalists on Social Media

Speakers: Jack Lail, Heather Harrington, Mark Harmon


Session 2 – Getting Social @ AC Entertainment

Speakers: Rhett Talbert, Luna Brewer, Emily Harenza


Session 3 – The Role of Social Media in an Evolving Political Landscape

Speaker: Michael Sullivan


Session 4 – Social Media: Nurturing Connections with Retargeting

Speaker & Workshop Leader: Joe Pecor


Session 5 – Library, Museum, and Science Organizations Social Media Innovators Panel

Speakers: Mary Pom Claiborne, Zack Plaster, Jenny Woodbery, Sarah Zimmerman


Session 6 – MELT Culinary: Social Media Influencers in the Age of Sports

Speakers: Jenna Cook, Tristan Watson, Snigdha Dhar


Session 7 – Influencing Tennessee: The Life of a Social Media Influencer

Speaker: Marianne Canada


Session 8 – The Fyre Festival – They Couldn’t Even Spell Fire Correctly

Speaker: Leo Morejon

Student Spotlight: Cara Hunter

Cara Hunter is a public relations major (UTK ’19) and plans to graduate in December. Hunter currently serves as the social media intern for the School of Advertising and Public Relations (ADPR). Cara Hunter

During her time with ADPR, Hunter has worked to establish a connection with students on social media. Among her successful campaigns is the continuation of #loveADPR. Hunter has also worked behind the scenes at many events including UT Social Media Week. During UTSMW, Hunter was featured through an Instagram takeover for the @UTKnoxville handle.

Hunter is also involved with a variety of organizations on campus, such as PRSSA, Order of Omega and the Panhellenic Council by serving as the Vice President of Recruitment.

Hunter is studying abroad this summer in Rome, Italy, to learn about the influence of society on advertising. She recently received the Panhellenic Educational Enhancement Scholarship, CCI Study Abroad Scholarship, Phi Mu Kappa Scholarship and the CIE Study Abroad Scholarship to fund this experience.

“I am forever grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities that the School of Advertising and Public Relations has brought into my life,” said Hunter. “It is an incredible feeling to know that you have so many wonderful faculty and staff that truly care about their students.”

Due to both her academic and professional promise, Hunter has been nominated for multiple Chancellor’s Citation Awards.

ADPR New York City Trip

Fiona SparksAdvertising and Public Relations students ventured outside of the classroom for a week to partake in the annual Ad Club New York Trip. This yearly endeavor provides students the opportunity to network with industry professionals while learning about their future career.

Students who attended this trip in January of 2019 all came with similar career goals in mind. “I wanted to gather as much insight as possible from a talented network of alumni to prepare for my long-term goal of becoming a global communicator,” said Fiona Sparks, a senior majoring in public relations. “Additionally, this trip helped me determine if New York was in line with my lifestyle.”

During the trip, students had the opportunity to visit Publicis and Saatchi Saatchi, Significant Others, Wavemaker Global, VML, Y&R, McCann Worldwide, and EP & Co. Each of these companies provided students the chance to connect with UT alumni.

Additionally, students utilized free time to explore everything that New York has to offer. Visiting the New York Library, admiring the Empire State Building, attending the longest-running Broadway show, “The Phantom of the Opera,” and trying new restaurants ensured that students never had a dull moment.

While reflecting on the trip, Sparks stated, “I wouldn’t be where I am without the thoughtfulness and graciousness of people like our New York alumni. The best part was seeing New Yorkers for what they are on every level: human.”

ADPR Alum "Behind Some of Your Favorite Stories"

Chris Grabenstein


  New York Times bestselling author Chris Grabenstein earned his BS in communication in 1977 from the College of Communication and Information. While attending the University of Tennessee,   Knoxville, the Chattanooga native acted in dozens of plays and contributed to the Daily Beacon as an editor, columnist, and cartoonist. It was this experience that propelled him to a stellar  professional career. 

 Read more here.



Welcome Back ADPR Students

Welcome back to Rocky Top!

The faculty and staff in the School of Advertising and Public Relations welcome you back for the spring 2019 semester.

We have a lot of exciting activities planned for the new year including the AdClub New York City trip, an internship and job fair, AdClub and PRSSA meetings, UT Social Media Week, and a three-day trip to Atlanta's top public relations and advertising organizations.

We love to hear about your internships, study abroad experiences and your classes. I hope you will stop by the office to say hello.

Here are some important dates for spring 2019:

January 15             Welcome Back Coffee - ADPR suite, 9:30-11:30 a.m. get snacks and coffee

January 21             MLK King Jr. Day, University Closed

February 1            ADPR Scholarship Applications Due, see emails to follow

February 11           CCI Annual Research Symposium, in the Communications Lobby

February 13           Jumpstart Your Major, mandatory for all 310/340R students, see emails to follow

February 26-28     UT Social Media Week, see emails to follow

April 10-13           ADPR Development Trip to Atlanta, see emails to follow

April 19                Spring Recess, University Closed 

April 15                CCI  Honors Convocation for award and scholarship winners

May 9                   CCI Graduation


Maureen Taylor

Professor and Director

School of Advertising & Public Relations

Big Orange in the Big Apple

Matt MeyersFinding the right career path as a college student is a tough journey and looks different for everyone. For Matt Myers, a senior studying advertising, his journey included attending the advertising trip to New York City. 

 The AdClub is a student-run organization that hosts an annual trip to New York City to provide students the opportunity to tour advertising agencies, network with industry professionals and explore the city. Myers decided to attend the trip to New York because he wanted to better understand agency life, build relationships with companies and decide if he truly desired to pursue an advertising career in New York after graduation.

One aspect of the New York trip that makes it unique to other university trips is the freedom offered to the students during their week in the city. Although there is a schedule to tour specific agencies, students are given the opportunity to explore New York throughout the day, try new restaurants, and interview with companies on their own. Myers spent his free time attending a Broadway show and interviewing for summer internships.

For Myers and many other students in attendance, one of the most eye-opening parts of the trip was discovering the endless possibilities that advertising has to offer. “I discovered careers that I never knew were possible,” said Myers. “We met a woman whose sole job was brand activation. This trip opened our minds to career opportunities that we didn’t even know existed.”

One of the main reasons that students are given the opportunity to tour agencies is to expose them to the culture of each organization. Myers explains, “Every agency has a specific personality. Instead of just wanting a job after college, it’s important to understand the culture. This trip taught me how to ask questions about the organization’s dynamic, so I can find the best place for me.”

The New York trip gave Myers and many other students the clarity they were hoping to find. After graduating this spring, he hopes to move to New York and begin his career in agency life, specifically in entertainment marketing.



Interim Director of ADPR Announced

Sally McMillan: Interim Director of the School of ADPR, written by Cara Hunter

Dr. Sally McMillanAfter 20 years at the University of Tennessee serving as a faculty member, associate dean in the College of Communication and Information and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Dr. Sally McMillan will serve as interim director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations starting on June 1, 2019.

McMillan did not always plan on pursuing a career in academics. After changing her major many times, McMillan graduated with a degree in English from Southern Adventist University and went on to teach high school students for two years. After realizing that teaching at a high school level was not her calling, she went on to work in book editing and receive a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Maryland. Later, she moved to Wisconsin with her husband where she was hired by a software development company. Starting in the public relations department, McMillan quickly moved up to vice president for sales and marketing and later president of the company. However, McMillan questioned whether she wanted to work in technology for the rest of her life.

Because she had enjoyed adjunct teaching at the college level and had a passion for research, she decided to attend the University of Oregon, where she received a doctorate in mass communication and society. Upon graduation, McMillan taught advertising at Boston University but quickly realized that she did not want to live in Boston forever and applied for a faculty position at the University of Tennessee. McMillan started as an assistant professor and taught for five years before being recruited to serve as the associate dean in the College of Communication and Information. Five years later, she was recruited to be Vice Provost for Academic Affairs where she focused on developing a strategic plan for undergraduate students.

McMillan took advantage of her time in an administrative role to create positive change for undergraduate students. She helped develop One Stop and uTrack and revised curriculum to make it easier for students to graduate on time. Her work, along with the work of many others is reflected in the fact that the four-year graduation rate increased by 22 percent in 10 years.

In 2015, McMillan left her administrative role to return to teaching. She has taught an assortment of advertising and public relations courses and researches a variety of topics. When asked about which career achievement she is most proud of, McMillan states, “Being able to do research that helps students succeed in college has been the most rewarding. Teaching is great because I can work directly with students to help them learn, but being able to step back and research structural changes that can improve student success is the work that I feel can make the most broad-reaching difference.”

McMillan Award

Throughout her many years as a communication practitioner, technology executive, professor, researcher, and administrator, McMillan’s list of achievements does not go unnoticed. This past October, McMillan was awarded Alumna of the Year by the Southern Adventist University Alumni Association for her outstanding professional contributions to the fields of education, administrative leadership, communication and research. McMillan plans to take her experience and love for students into her new role as interim director to continue leading the School of Advertising and Public Relations in the right direction. See more about her award here.

Spring Advertising and Public Relations Intern

The School of Advertising and Public Relations is hiring an intern for the Spring 2019 semester. This is a paid internship for registered University of Tennessee students. Applications are due to by November 5, 2018. 

School of ADPR Marketing/Communication Intern


Duties Include:

Social media ad creation

Social media campaign creation

Social media strategy

Brand building

Streamlining website

Content creation

Work with coordinator and social media intern

Attend weekly meetings

Skills Needed:

  • Social media analysis
  • Google analytics (Preferred)
  • Adwords (Preferred)
  • Strong writing skills
  • Research
  • Design
  • Strong communication skills


  • Degree-seeking student currently enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Passion for design, content creation and social media
  • Strong writing and social media skills
  • Strong initiative to complete independent work
  • Demonstrate a desire to learn about the School of ADPR and its students

About the School of ADPR:

Located in the College of Communication and Information, the School of Advertising and Public Relations houses two fo the most popular majors at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The Advertising and Public Relations programs offer Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees. The programs are nationally and internationally recognized and accredited for the quality of their scholarship and instruction. 

Our program offers opportunities beyond the classroom that involve professional internships across the nation, study abroad in various countries, and school sponsored trips to network with industry leaders and alumni in New York, Nashville and Atlanta. With its nationally recognized educators and wide-ranging opportunities, the School of Advertising and Public Relations continues to be a program of excellence at the University of Tennessee, preparing students and scholars to become innovative leaders in their respective fields. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If interested, email resume and cover letter along with examples of your social media posts or portfolio to with the subject line: Student Intern

Student Spotlight: Brandon Boatwright

Doctoral Student Spotlight: Brandon Boatwright by Cara Hunter

Brandon BoatwrightOn October 10, the Howard Baker Center hosted the US senatorial debate between Representative Marsha Blackburn and former Governor Phil Bredesen. While the debate took place, the university’s Adam Brown Social Media Command Center provided live social media analysis of the sentiment of the debate.

 Dr. Courtney Childers and Brandon Boatwright oversaw the social media analysis of the debate. Boatwright is a doctoral student in the College of Communication and Information and the assistant in residence of the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center (ABSMCC).

 A career in academia and research was not on Brandon Boatwright’s radar when he majored in journalism as an undergraduate student at Clemson University. During the early years of his education, he had full intentions of becoming a sports writer. It wasn’t until an internship caused Boatwright to be working long hours and late nights that he realized sports journalism was not his passion.

When Boatwright decided to go back to Clemson for his master’s degree in communication, technology and society, he was given the opportunity to teach. “When I was in the classroom with the students, I realized this is where I want to be,” recalls Boatwright.

 After teaching at Clemson for four years, Boatwright came to the University of Tennessee to pursue his doctorate while continuing to follow his passion for teaching and research. “UT had everything I was looking for in a school,” says Boatwright. “I found myself conducting research with some of the best faculty members I have ever met, using innovative resources to study public relations and making an impact on the engaged undergraduate population that I teach on a daily basis. I found a community at UT.”

 Research is one of the many hats Boatwright wears on campus. He spends a lot of his time supporting research of various faculty members. “The ADPR community is awesome because I get to work with people who are much smarter than me every single day,” states Boatwright. He specializes in research that focuses on how an organization takes a stand on controversial issues, its decision-making process and the implications for the publics they target.

Boatwright also spends a lot of his time working in the social media command center. After working in Clemson’s social media listening center, this role of various tasks is familiar to Boatwright. Depending on the day, Boatwright is either working on the ABSMCC blog, giving demonstrations about the software to various courses so they can incorporate it into the classroom, analyzing the sentiment of social media posts regarding current events or facilitating research for other faculty members in the college. “It is such a robust tool, and it’s so rewarding that I get to help students feel confident and competent while using it,” says Boatwright.

Boatwright’s time at UT has helped him expand his skill set while discovering his true passion for teaching and researching. “I don’t think I would get a better doctorate education anywhere else,” states Boatwright. “UT was the best place for me.”

#SheCan Campaign Comes to Life

#SheCan Campaign Comes to Life written by Cara Hunter

When students spend an entire semester working on a project, they long for their ideas to be utilized for a real organization. For Alexandria Dodson and her fellow group members, Kayley Green, Maci Mays, Madi Mayfield, Bridgette Givand, Madeleine Constantine, this dream became a reality.

Dodson is an alumna of the School of Advertising and Public Relations and graduated from the University of Tennessee in December of 2017. During her final semester at UT, Dodson completed Public Relations Campaigns, a course that brings together all the skills that public relations majors have learned over the years in order to create a campaign for a real client.

Dr. Courtney Childers taught campaigns that semester and was tasked with choosing the client. The campaigns professors are often approached by a local nonprofit or small business looking for new ways to improve its communication efforts. Dodson and her fellow classmates were presented with Girl Talk, Inc. as their client for the semester. Girl Talk is a local nonprofit, founded by UT alumna Denetria Moore, that exists to empower young women to become their best selves by reducing the likelihood of teen pregnancy and helping them to advance educationally.

After recently celebrating its 10th anniversary, Girl Talk was looking to expand in donations and volunteers in order to serve more girls in the community. After learning more about their client, the various campaign groups worked towards creating a campaign that would help Girl Talk reach multiple audiences.

While all of the groups created campaigns that would benefit the client, Dodson’s group went above and beyond. By taking the time to interview the parents of girls being assisted by Girl Talk and going to the school programs to interact with the girls, Dodson better understood the client’s needs.

Dodson’s group’s campaign consisted of a new website, various branding materials, and a social media campaign titled #SheCan. “We wanted to focus on getting people inspired by the message of Girl Talk,” recalled Dodson. “Everyone talks about what she can’t do. We wanted to talk about what she can do.”

Following the campaigns groups’ final presentations to the client, Girl Talk immediately began implementing Dodson’s ideas into their organization. “Their project was bold and really captured the mission and vision of Girl Talk. #SheCan summarizes why we do what we do,” said Moore.

This social media campaign continued to transform when Girl Talk presented its #SheCan 2018 Fashion Show Gala consisting of professional women and Girl Talk girls walking the runway with poise and confidence.

“It was so rewarding to see our ideas come to life. #SheCan is so much more than a hashtag. It is a movement to empower young women,” said Dodson.

2019 MAIP Application

MAIP LogoThe 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) connects aspiring diverse entry-level advertising professionals with prestigious advertising agencies. Learn more about the 2019 MAIP Student Application.

Please review the Agency Department/Position Descriptions to help you determine the areas of greatest interest to you. On the MAIP application, you will be asked to indicate your top choices.




  1. Review the #MAIP2019 Application Checklist to make sure you have everything you need.
  2. Submit your $25 application fee on this page.
  3. Once you submit your payment, you will receive a link directing you to the next step of the application process.
  4. 2019 MAIP application and all required attachments must be submitted online via MAIP Alumniq (you will receive the link once you’ve made payment). Hard copies of the application will not be accepted.


APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, October 26, 2018. Recommendation letters due Friday, October 19, 2018.

If you encounter any issues while submitting your application online, please contact Gloria Lin at



More MAIP stories:

Tristiny Bell

Laura Gamo

Joshua Oliver 


ADPR Alumni Win UT Award

On Friday, September 7 two alumni from the School of Advertising and Public Relations won awards at the UT Knoxville Alumni Board annual event. Alumi Award Winners

Among them were: Chris Grabenstein (BS/JEM ’77 & an emeritus member of CCI’s Board of Visitors) received the Distinguished Alumnus Award and Erin Hauck (BS/AD '07) received the Alumni Promise Award.

Please see the full story here.




Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Beth Foster

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Beth Foster

Dr. Beth FosterWith 12 years of dedication to the University of Tennessee and its students, Dr. Elizabeth Avery Foster has been promoted to Professor. With a desire to form meaningful student relationships while conducting public health research, Foster positively impacts the lives of all individuals she encounters.

Despite her new promotion, Foster did not always plan on pursuing a career in academia. Originally a marketing major, she decided to change her career path to public relations because she was more interested in managing relationships. Foster completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia before going on to receive a master’s degree in communications at Wake Forest University. At this point in her education, Foster had full intentions of being a lobbyist in Washington D.C. due to her interest in public health. However, her plans began to transform when she was given the opportunity to teach and research during her graduate program. “I realized how much I loved getting to know the students and their unique personalities. It was so rewarding to teach them skills that I knew they would use in their careers,” said Foster.

She went on to complete her PhD in mass communications at the University of Georgia. “After graduating, I took my first job at UT, and the rest is history,” Foster jokingly recalled. While teaching at UT, Foster pursues her passion for public health by conducting research on a variety of topics, including Zika virus and the opioid epidemic. The university’s proximity to the health disparities in East Tennessee fuels Foster’s desire to make a change. “I have this sense of responsibility to make life better for those people. I love doing research that could make a social difference,” said Foster.

While Foster’s research continues to impact communities around the world, positively influencing students’ lives is her priority. Her contagious enthusiasm and caring personality cultivate a welcoming classroom environment that encourages students to discover their passions in the field of public relations. When asked about her favorite aspect of teaching, Foster states, “My position is a huge privilege and a huge responsibility. Our students have incredible initiative, but they are faced with more pressure than ever before. I try to provide some balance by supporting my students while pushing them to get out of their comfort zone.”

Although Foster has reached one of her biggest goals by being promoted to Professor, her work is not done. She plans to focus more of her energy on studying public health issues at a deeper and broader level with the hope that she will continue to use her platform to positively impact individuals around the world, while simultaneously inspiring this same passion for public relations within her students.

Cara Hunter Joins ADPR as Social Media Intern

Cara Cara HunterHunter joins the School of Advertising & Public Relations as the new social media intern. Cara is currently a junior at the University of Tennessee while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public relations. In addition to her internship, Cara spends a large portion of her time as the assistant vice president of recruitment for the Panhellenic Council and as the sisterhood chair for Phi Mu while  simultaneously completing academic and extracurricular work for the Chancellor’s Honors Program
While working with ADPR, Cara plans to bring a positive and refreshing voice to various social media platforms. She hopes to utilize her personal connection to the program to create a meaningful presence on social  media that encourages ADPR students to engage and enjoy.


Dr. Maureen Taylor Named to Pretigious ICA Fellow

Maureen Taylor

Dr. Maureen Taylor, became the Director for the School of Advertising and Public Relations in 2015. This summer at the International Communication Association (ICA) conference she was name was the ICA Felllow. This distinction is one of the top in the field of Public Relations.

“I’m humbled and honored to be named an ICA Fellow,” said Taylor. “Becoming part of this legendary group of communication scholars, provides me with even greater inspiration to contribute, serve and lead.”

The faculty and staff of The School of Advertising and Public Relations, would like to congratulate her on this occassion. For more information, please see her featured on the College of Communications and Information website here.


Laura Gamo ('18) Featured in Torchbearer Magazine

Laura GamoLaura Gamo was born in Colombia and moved with her family to Florida when she was six. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina in 2016, she started her master’s studies in UT’s School of Advertising and Public Relations as the graduate assistant to the Chancellor's Honors Program. Laura received an award from the Sammie Lynn Puett Endowment in Public Relations.

“I am finding my truth through words,” says Gamo. “As a woman of color and an immigrant to this country, I’ve become a unique hybrid as a student, an individual, and a professional. Having struggled to learn a new language and integrate myself into a host culture, I know the value of communicating with others and expressing ideas. More importantly, I recognize the need to empower and activate the voices of those who might be underrepresented or misunderstood."

"I am extremely grateful for the assistantship that is enabling me to work toward these goals.”

In 2017, Gamo was selected from candidates across the country for a Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) fellowship by the American Association of Advertising Agencies. In addition to her full-time paid summer internship at R/GA in New York City, she participated in a virtual training series and in weekly agency-sponsored professional development workshops focused on the host agencies’ culture, work, skills, and expertise. As of January 2018, she is a public relations intern at The Tombras Group in Knoxville.

To read the rest of the story visit here.

Previous story on Laura Gamo ('18).