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KNOXVILLE — A University of Tennessee alumnus who now works as director of research services for a global media company will headline the 30th annual UT College of Communication and Information Research Symposium, an event that features original research on topics ranging from individual rights to decision-making in higher education.

The symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29, in various rooms on the second floor of the University Center. The event will focus on “Celebrating the Past, Visioning the Future” and will feature several research panels, a poster session, alumni panel and keynote luncheon.

“This event features presentations from distinguished alumni of the College of Communication and Information and outstanding papers from current students, who will be our distinguished alumni of the future,” said Carol Tenopir, director of research for the college and its Center for Information and Communication Studies.

Reggie Murphy, director of research for Gannett Co. Inc., will provide the keynote luncheon address in the UC Ballroom. His topic is “Research in a Changing World.”

“The way in which consumers access and use media has changed dramatically in recent years, and that is due to advances in technology and the Internet,” Murphy said. “These changes present many advances and opportunities for researchers in communication — in particular, how we measure them using the various forms of media.”

Murphy earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from the college in 1994 and 1998, respectively. He joined Gannett in 2000 as market research manager with USA Today, where he managed projects for clients such as General Motors, FedEx, Intel, IBM and ESPN.

In his current position as Gannett’s director of research services, Murphy manages consumer research projects for the company’s 90 daily newspapers and nearly 1,000 non-daily publications and Web sites, with projects focused on strategic plan development for increased readership, circulation and advertising revenue as well as marketing of broadcast, print, online and mobile products and services. He is also responsible for designing and implementing research projects that test new concepts, ideas and products for Gannett’s newspaper, broadcast and digital divisions as well as the company’s innovation arm — the Gannett Center for Design and Innovation.

Murphy has won the Gannett’s Chairman’s Award for the past two years for his job performance and overall contributions to the company.

In addition to Murphy, several other alumni of College of Communication and Information programs will serve as speakers on an alumni research panel presentation. The speakers include David E. Sumner, professor of journalism, Ball State University; Debbie Treise, professor of advertising and associate dean of graduate studies, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida; Kandi Walker, associate professor, Department of Communication, University of Louisville; and John Price Wilkin, associate university librarian for library information technology and for technical and access services, University of Michigan Library.

Sumner and Treise each earned a doctorate from UT, while Walker earned a bachelor’s degree and Wilkin earned a master’s in library science from the university.

Awards will be given to the best doctoral and master’s student papers, best faculty/student collaborative paper and best poster.

For more information about the event, including a listing of research presentations, visit


April Moore, College of Communication and Information,, (865) 974-0463

Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,