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Assistant Professor DJ Woo Wins Prestigious Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award

The National Communication Association (NCA) is pleased to announce the selection of DJ Woo, Assistant Professor in the School of Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee, as the 2018 recipient of the Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.  Dr. Woo’s award will be presented on November 10 at the NCA 104th Annual Convention in Salt Lake City. 


The award is given annually to recognize new scholars who completed outstanding dissertations during the previous academic year. Dr. Woo was recognized for her dissertation completed at the University of California, Santa Barbara, “Collaboration Life Cycle: Communicating Knowledge and Expertise for Getting In, Getting On, and Getting Out.”

  DJ Woo

NCA is the largest Communication association in the United States. We serve the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are our members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter at @natcomm, and find us on Facebook at

Meet our New Faculty in CMST

Jenny Crowley, Ph.D. 

Jenny Crowley has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa (2017) where she served as a graduate instructor in the Department of Communication Studies from 2015-2017. The title of her dissertation is: “The effects of support provider identity and locus of supportive message in the context of stigma.” Her primary area of specialization is interpersonal communication with specific research interests in stigma and supportive communication. 

DJ Woo

DaJung (DJ) Woo has a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2017) where she served as a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Communication from 2013-2017. The title of her dissertation is: “To transfer or not to transfer, that is not the question: How experts communicate about knowledge as accepted outsiders in long-term collaboration.” Her primary research interests include: organizational communication, inter-organizational collaboration, organizational and vocational socialization and intra- and inter-group




Violanti Receives 2017 CCI Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year Award

Associate Professor Michelle Violanti (CMST) has been selected by UT’s Office of Research and Engagement (ORE) to receive CCI’s Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year Award. To be eligible for the award, faculty members must have been nominated by multiple undergraduate students, and at least one of those students must have presented at EURēCA. Congratulations Dr. Michelle Violanti!!!!!

Wright Article in Inside Higher Ed: Framing Classroom Incivility

Courtney WrightWe are pleased to recognize CMST Associate Professor Courtney Wright for her essay which was recently posted on Inside Higher Ed.

According to her article, faculty members at colleges and universities around the country are grappling with how to address potentially sensitive topics such as race and ethnicity, sexual assault, gender and sexuality, religion, and political discord in the classroom. Trigger warnings, microaggressions, and political correctness now frame what and how they teach. 

More about the article can be found in the Tennessee Today

CMST Club Successful Moe's Percentage Night

MoesKnoxville, TN- Tuesday, September 27, 2016, CMST Club hosted their first Percentage night. Moe’s Southwest Grill on Cumberland generously hosted the student organization by donating 10% of proceeds to the CMST scholarship and philanthropy.

A percentage night is when an organization joins a restaurant for a joint effort in raising money. A night is selected and school community members are invited to eat at the restaurant during the set time period.

Club Vice President, Andy Bowers mentions "Isn't it great that local businesses are willing to give back to the community and help invest in our future."

From this one percentage night, the CMST club raised $160.00 towards their philanthropy. Thank you to all who came out and supported the club and the Communication Studies program.


Article contributed by: Kayla Benson, Junior CMST Intern


CMST Masters students to present at The Thomas C. Dowden International Conference: Media and the Public Sphere 2016,

Athens, Georgia- October 21-22, 2016 CMST Masters students Elizabeth Hurst and Joshua Cunningham will be presenting at an International conference at the University of Georgia.

The Thomas C. Dowden International Conference: Media and the Public Sphere 2016, Empowered Audiences in the Digital Age will bring together communication experts in media, audience studies, audience research, journalism, advertising, and related fields to discuss a broad range of topics related to audiences, the media, and the public sphere.

On Saturday, both will be representing The University of Tennessee Knoxville during the Communication Issues in International Settings panel.

Hurst will present, “How Russia is using the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Framing and Agenda Setting in Moscow Times and TASS Russian News Agency” while Cunningham discusses “Peculiarities of the Media in Putin’s Russia: Gazprom Oil Concern’s Role as a Media Giant.”

For the full schedule visit:

CCI Diversity Fair 2016

Diversity FestivalThe CCI Diversity Fair took place on Thursday, September 29 and was full of excitement. This all-campus event featured food, performances, games and most importantly the chance to learn about other CCI organizations and cultures.  

The CMST club hosted ring toss and the grand prize winner won a $25 Starbucks gift card. Kendall Whiteside, Ad Club member, was the winner of the toss and spoke about his experience at the festival. He thought, “The atmosphere is very inclusive with so many people that you don’t know sharing food and laughs with you. This festival is more than just fun, it is educational. I am learning so much about other clubs and different cultures.”

With the CCI Diversity & Inclusion Week 2016 coming to a close, the networking and education on Diversity and why “#ItMatters” is sure to last. 

To see more about CCI Diversity & Inclusion Week 2016 visit:


Article by: Kayla Benson, Junior CMST Major

Communication Studies would like to recognize recent graduate, Adam Worthington (’16).

Adam WorthingtonIn Summer of 2016, Worthington completed his undergraduate degree. Afterwards, he was unsure of what career path he wanted to pursue. His friends and family suggested he obtain a job in the music industry since he has a passion for music.

After moving to Nashville, Adam began his career as a booking agent by utilizing networking skills and landing a job with Midnight Flyer Group. Midnight Flyer Music Group provides services for artists looking to take the next step in their careers. These services include booking, publicity and media relations, as well as tour management and event coordinating.

Worthington finds himself combining his passion with skills he obtained while earning his degree in CCI by working with signed artists every day. He mentions, "I honestly thank UTK CMST for preparing me for the world that is so heavily based on communication because my job is so heavily centered on constant communication between various entities via different mediums on a daily basis." 

Congratulations Adam, we wish you the best on your journey in your professional career.

Article by: Kayla Benson, Junior CMST Major

CMST Club Meeting, September 21

Club Meeting SeptemberWednesday, September 21, 2016, was the kick- off meeting for the Communication Studies club. New members of the club were invited to Scripps lab (4th floor Comm bldg.) to enjoy dinner and skype in with guest speaker Michael Abrams. Club president, Katie Mitchell mentioned two trips including a new trip to Nashville, TN to network with alumni, and the annual Washington, D.C. trip. She encouraged all club members to attend the Communications job fair on Wednesday, October 29, 2016.

The first ever, percentage night is being held at Moe's, on the strip, from 5pm to close on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, to help raise money for the CMST club scholarship funds. CMST club will also have a booth at the CCI Diversity Fair on Thursday, September 29 from 5-7 p.m.  

Guest Speaker, Michael Abrams, spoke about his experiences out of college and his career with Americorps Vista in Washington State. He urges students to "Be okay with accepting defeat. Always push towards accepting something else, and be okay with hearing the word no. Keep your head up and shake as many hands as you can because networking is they way to go.” Abrams wants to further his career by pursuing international education.

The next club meeting will be held on October 12 at 6 p.m. with guest speaker Hayley Howell from the Tombras Group. We look forward to hearing about her professional journey and experience as a recent CCI graduate.

Article by: Kayla Benson, Junior CMST Major 

Baker Donahue- In With The Old

Baker DonahueHometown: Franklin, TN 

Year in school: Junior

Major/ Minor:Communication studies with a minor in Entrepreneurship

Your story:   To be honest, I have no idea what I am doing. In With the Old started out as a silly concept while two friends were brainstorming the next Facebook. Initially, we wanted to make a clothing company that strictly sold Jorts (jean shorts condensed). When we realized our market was probably too limited there, we expanded to vintage Vols gear. Something everyone at or associated with the University of Tennessee could relate too. I have always had a dream of becoming an entrepreneur, working for yourself and creating something people love has always been attractive to me. I never dreamed that it would have happened so soon. The idea of In With the Old is rather basic. Selling vintage clothes online. It's been done before. So you’re a glorified Ebay? In a sense, yes, but there is an entirely different animal to the concept. The purpose of In With the Old is to outfit an entire campus with legendary items of clothing. The purpose is to make sure everyone is looking their best (or most ridiculous) for when we win the national championship this year. The purpose is to bring back the type of stuff that Peyton Manning wore to orientation.

Please give a quote about your company: “We sell bangin’ old Vols clothes”

Do you have a mission statement for your company? Our mission is to outfit an entire campus in the type of clothes students wore for the 98’ national championship.

How is Communication Studies helping you achieve your final goal? Through my core Communication Studies classes, I have been given a lot of confidence in myself. Presenting or speaking in front of a classroom has always made me nervous. Through practice and repetition, I have been given the confidence to speak in front of Neyland Stadium or create an awesome company.

Anything else you would like people to know? I love working with others, bigger ideas form and productivity increases. If you have any interest in helping out with In With the Old email or direct message us on Instagram. Social media for business: 

Senior Student Accepts Marketing Director Position Prior to Graduation

Katie Scott

Senior Honors Communication Studies Major, Katie Scott, is joining local family law practice, Held Law Firm, as the firm’s Marketing Director.

With two years of experience spent at five marketing internships, Katie was ready to step into her first marketing leadership role. Katie has experience with both agency and in-house marketing environments, having worked at several local agencies and small businesses.

Katie says that the skills she has learned as a Communication Studies major have been critical to her success in her internships.

“The ability to adapt messages to your audience is fundamental for marketing, so I think Communication Studies majors have an advantage in fields like this because they have been trained to craft tailored messages. Skills like conducting research, writing, and public speaking are invaluable in any career path, and those are things that our majors become an expert in.”

After graduation, Katie intends to pursue a Master of Science degree in Communication Studies, as well as find a way to marry her interests in both marketing and academia.

New Thornton Center Opportunity for Fall 2016

Thornton Athletic Center

Apply Today to Tutor at the Thornton Center

Thornton Athletics Student Life Center is searching for a variety of tutors for the upcoming fall semester. The position is paid, the hours are flexible, and availability is determined by the tutor. The position is open to any Junior, Senior, or Graduate Student: who has previously earned a B or higher in the course they intend to tutor.  If you are interested, please contact Denise Jilka at or apply online today

The Legendary Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt CMST

It is a hard day on UT Knoxville's campus as we mourn the passing of Coach Pat Head Summitt. Our thoughts go out to Tyler, and the rest of her family, friends, and former players during this time. She was a trailblazer, educator, coach, mentor, and role model. Read more:

Thank you Coach Summitt for the many ways you impacted the lives of countless people. -your CMST family

Amelia Young, Seacrest Studios Internship in Vanderbilt Children's Hospital

Amelia Young

Communication Studies student Amelia Young will be spending her summer interning at Seacrest Studios in Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, which is part of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.

The purpose of the Secrest Studios, which have been put in children's hospitals around the country, is to give hospitalized children and teens an opportunity to experience radio, television, and new media. Radio and TV programs are produced in the studios and “broadcast” to the children's rooms if they are unable to come down and see a live show. A great thing about the studio, in addition to how much it impacts the children, is its mission to provide college students with first-hand experience in producing broadcast programming and in operating a multimedia center. Seacrest Studios brings in celebrities to interview on air as well as patients. Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus are just a few who regularly visit the Secrest sudios around the country. 

“My job as an intern is to help run the studio with my team and program manager,” said Young. “I will have a 30 minute radio show that I get to plan and host. But, the studio does more than radio. There are weekly karaoke battles between the doctors from the hospital as well as science experiments performed by students from the area. I will get to work hands on with interviewing celebrities and patients on air as well as helping run all the activities.” 

To read more on CMST intern Amelia Young, visit:


Extraordinary Community Service, Andraya Carter

The Extraordinary Community Service award honors students and student organizations that exhibit the Volunteer spirit in the community. Andraya CarterAndraya Carter, from Flowery Branch, Georgia, is a well-rounded student athlete and a member of the Lady Vols basketball team. She completed her bachelor’s degree in communication studies (BA/CS ‘15) in just three years with a 3.83 GPA and is now pursuing a master’s in kinesiology with a concentration in sport psychology. She spent 100 hours this academic year volunteering with students at the Tennessee School for the Deaf and has been involved in multiple organizations, including Hoops for Hope and the Boys and Girls Club. She is also a member of VOLeaders Academy, a group composed of Tennessee student-athletes seeking to affect social change through the platform of sport.