Members of the Tennessee Tech communications and marketing team at the annual TCPRA conference. From left: Joshua Wallace, Jonathan Frank, Denise Colwell, Chaseton Earl, Bobbie Maynard, Bailey Phonsnasinh, Irene Sullivan, Megan Trotter, Cody Bryant and Sara Wright

Tech’s awards included a gold award in the news writing

Cookeville – The Office of Communications and Marketing at Tennessee Tech University brought home a dozen awards, including a first-place finish in three award categories, at the recent 2023 Tennessee College Public Relations Association conference.

TCPRA is an alliance of communicators representing public and private colleges and universities, two-year technical schools, technology centers and community colleges across Tennessee. The 2023 awards competition fielded a record-setting 301 submissions across 37 awards categories. 

“These awards are a great testament to our team’s dedication and top-notch creativity when it comes to sharing Tennessee Tech’s story,” said Bobbie Maynard, associate vice president for communications and marketing at Tech. “Whether through stories, videos, photos, publications, the university website or on social media, our team works diligently all year long and I am so proud to see them recognized for their hard work.”

Tech’s awards included a gold award in the news writing category for an August 2022 news release authored by marketing writer Megan Trotter on lifesaving flood prediction technology developed by Tech civil and environmental engineering and computer science faculty and students. Trotter’s story netted coverage by The Associated Press and WTVF NewsChannel 5, among others. 

Tech also picked up gold awards in the special publication category for the university’s “you’ve got your wings” acceptance packet – a customized informational packet, poster, certificate, and letter mailed to each accepted student informing them of their admittance – and in the digital ad-single category for its “we have room for you” ad informing prospective freshmen students of on-campus housing availability. 

They took home silver awards in the print advertisement-single and banners/outdoor media categories for an ad placed in “Tennessee Home & Farm” and banners promoting the department of English. The college also picked up seven bronze awards, including the college/alumni magazine-printed category for Visions, Tech’s magazine for alumni and friends. The magazine is designed by Tech graphic designers Carson Smith and Lorie Worley with assistance from RJ Young designer Chaseton Earl. Tech’s additional bronze award categories included: specialty item, news writing, feature writing, special publication, college promotional video and news/feature video. 

The three-day TCPRA conference included a presentation from Karen Lykins, vice president for enrollment and communication at Tech, entitled “blend your business, boost your brand.” Lykins discussed Tech’s successful unification of its communication and enrollment functions within the university’s newly streamlined division of enrollment and communication. The conference is capped off each year with the presentation of one student scholarship, which was awarded this year to Katie Blair, a senior communication major and student worker in the Office of Communications and Marketing at Tech.

Two Tech staff members also serve on the TCPRA executive committee for 2023: Maynard is serving a term as vice president of the association while Denise Colwell, assistant to the vice president for enrollment and communication at Tech, leads sponsor relations for the annual conference. 

See a full list of award recipients from the 2023 TCPRA conference at

Photo courtesy of Tennessee Tech.

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