KNOXVILLE—A longtime executive and a promising young professional within the University of Tennessee System Administration were honored by members of Knoxville’s public relations community on Thursday night.
Awards went to Lofton Stuart for Executive of the Year and Erica Jenkins for Rising Young Professional from the Volunteer Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Stuart is executive director of the UT National Alumni Association, and Jenkins is a member of the UT System Office of Communications and Marketing staff.
The Executive of the Year Award is given annually to a chief executive officer outside the public relations profession who has shown exceptional support for the field. Stuart is a UT graduate whose 43-year career with UT includes numerous leadership posts within development, alumni affairs, and as executive assistant for two UT presidents. Stuart plans to retire from the University at the end of 2015.
The Rising Young Professional Award recognizes exceptional promise and leadership shown early in an individual’s career. Jenkins joined the UT System staff as a public relations intern in January 2011, received a bachelor’s degree in 2012 with a double major in political science and communication studies, and is currently a graduate student in addition to holding a full-time position as public relations associate. Jenkins also is a volunteer leader with Tennessee 4-H, judging public speaking competitions, reviewing 4th grade communication curriculum and raising awareness of the program’s impact on Tennessee youth.
The contributions and caliber of work produced by the UT System Office of Communications and Marketing team also were recognized Thursday. Five awards won include Awards of Quality for internal communication supporting a 2014 UT Employee Engagement Survey, the Tennessee Alumnus magazine, and video production of UT President Joe DiPietro’s pre-game dance lesson with Scrappy, UT Chattanooga’s mascot. UT’s statewide Conferences for Counselors event, and research efforts to improve the System’s daily news digest won Awards of Merit.
The UT System Office of Communications and Marketing supports the UT Board of Trustees, president, executive team and staff, and all UT entities in creating awareness of the statewide University of Tennessee System’s mission, role and impact on the lives of all Tennesseans.