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KNOXVILLE — The Office of Communications + Marketing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has won 23 awards from the Volunteer Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, including two first-place awards for Tennessee Today, the new faculty/staff communications program.

In all, UT won 28 awards. In addition to the 23 won by UT Knoxville’s Office of Communications + Marketing, the UT system won two awards and the Institute of Agriculture won three awards.

In addition, Lorna Norwood, director of marketing and communications for the Institute of Agriculture, won PRSA’s Harvey I. Cobert Award, for individual contributions to the growth of the public relations profession in East Tennessee and to the success of the local chapter. Norwood came to UT in December 2007. She previously worked for the Knox County Mayor’s Office, Leadership Knoxville and UT Medical Center.

The honors were announced April 10 at the annual awards dinner sponsored by the local PRSA chapter.

Of the 23 awards garnered by UT’s Office of Communications + Marketing, seven were Awards of Excellence, nine were Awards of Quality and seven were Awards of Merit.

“We have a great staff,” Vice Chancellor for Communications Tom Milligan said. “It’s important that we measure our work against the very best in our city and region. It’s very gratifying to be supporting University of Tennessee and have our good work recognized by our peers.”

The Office of Communications + Marketing won Awards of Excellence for Tennessee Today in both the internal relations and electronic newsletters categories. The faculty/staff newsletter is distributed weekly in print, as well as daily in electronic and Web forms.

An Award of Excellence also went to Kickoff to Commencement, a pre-graduation concert and celebration that was coordinated by Campus Events Manager Beth Gladden.

“Sacred Beauty,” a catalog of artwork in McClung Museum designed by Angie Dobbs and edited by Leigh Powell, and Gratia, a donor newsletter designed by Bill Baker, also won Awards of Excellence.

Assistant Director of Media Relations Amy Blakely won two Awards of Excellence for writing — one for press releases detailing how renowned UT forensic anthropologist Bill Bass was enlisted to examine the exhumed remains of the Big Bopper and one for a Tennessee Alumnus feature about Fr. Bernard O’Connor, a UT alumnus now working at the Vatican.

UT Knoxville’s Office of Communication + Marketing won Awards of Quality for:

• Tennessee Governor’s Academy publicity efforts, in the category of public service. Those most involved were Media Relations Coordinator Jay Mayfield and Dobbs.
• The Donor Leadership Appreciation Event invitation designed by Baker.
• “Homegrown Music,” a Tennessee Alumnus feature written by Blakely.
• eTorch, a monthly electronic newsletter delivered to alumni. Those most involved were Editor Diane Ballard and Web Designer Leigh Shoemaker.
• The Ready for the World Web site designed by Darren Hughes.
• The UT National Alumni Association Tour Program direct mail materials designed by Lee Hume.
• The safety program, which included Fort Sanders Safety Day, posters, booklets and other crisis communications materials. Those involved included the Media + Internal relations team, Powell and Designer Jill Sanders.
• “Where in the World is Smokey?” a community relations project aimed at focusing attention on the Ready for the World initiative. The program is coordinated by Blakely.
• “Alexander and Gordon at Forefront of Scientific Leadership,” a column written by Mayfield.

The office won Awards of Merit for:

• “AUTumn in Knoxville” faculty/staff appreciation event publicity materials designed by Dobbs.
• The “Taking PrecaUTions” safety poster series written and edited by Powell and designed by Sanders.
• “Harry Potter,” a press release written by Blakely about a law professor who is a Potter aficionado.
• Reaching Out, a magazine about UT’s community service and outreach efforts edited by Powell and designed by Sanders.
•, the university’s main Web site designed by Hughes.
• Cultural Attraction Series direct mail materials edited by Mary Marshburn and designed by Dobbs.
• “All That Glitters Is Orange,” a brochure describing services provided by the Office of Communications + Marketing, written and edited by Powell and designed by Sanders.

The UT system office received two Awards of Excellence — one for President John Petersen’s 2007 tour of campuses and one for “A Statewide Campus,” the 2007-2008 TV commercial.

The Institute of Agriculture received Awards of Quality for a TV news story on UT Extension’s Tai Chi program, written and produced by Chuck Denney and Doug Edlund, and its Third Thursday newsletter, written by Margot Emery and designed by Donna Hundley. The Institute won an Award of Merit for “Do You Want to Help the World?” an undergraduate recruitment catalog written by Mary Albrecht and designed by Rich Maxey.


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,