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Updates from Arts and Sciences Communications

It has been a busy fall for the college communications team, and I’m excited to share some updates from our office. First, if you are not aware of it, the college has a professional communications team who develops a comprehensive communications strategy for the college, using best practices for highest impact and effectiveness across all communication platforms.

One of the biggest projects we’ve been working on this fall is the digital transformation of our department websites. As of today, 16 of our 21 departments have a new website. Kuddos to Kayla Lang, our digital communications manager, for her work with departments and vendors to get these new sites launched!

Division of Arts and Humanities

School of Art | Classics | History | World Languages and Cultures | Philosophy | Religious Studies

Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology | Earth and Planetary Sciences | Ecology & Evolutionary Biology | Mathematics | Microbiology

Division of Social Sciences

Africana Studies | Anthropology | Geography and Sustainability | Political Science | Psychology

A few other units, such as the Etnier Ichthyological Collection and the Biology Service Facility were updated as well. In January 2024, we continue with the remaining department sites, launch the new college website and the new college intranet site – our administrative gateway – and turn our focus to the interdisciplinary programs, research centers, and other unit-level websites in the college.

Another exciting update is staffing for the college communications office. We made three critical hires that doubled the size of our team this fall. The first hire was Logan Judy, who joined our team as the web developer to assist Kayla with department-level website updates and the ongoing digital transformation initiative. Next, we hired Ainsley Kelso as the social media manager for the college. One of her first tasks is to develop a LinkedIn account for the college, so be on the lookout for that announcement. Finally, we brought Randall Brown on in late November as our writer whose focus is content development for the college newsletter, Dialogue, our alumni magazine, Higher Ground, as well as other stories that align with our strategic communication priorities. The next immediate hire is a graphic designer so that Andrew Tessier, our creative communications manager, can move to a full time projects manager role for our team.

This spring, we will continue to build our capacity in order to support a variety of communication needs for our college, departments, and programs. We will hire a content strategist and two writers to focus on content development for all audiences of the college across a multitude of platforms. Also, we will hire a website manager responsible for daily website maintenance, a social media coordinator to support department-level social media needs, and a videographer. By summer, we hope to have everyone in place and begin meeting with department leadership to discover your top communication priorities for the 2024-25 academic year and how our team can help you accomplish them.

Standing up our administrative gateway for internal communications provides us with an opportunity to streamline our current email communications. Beginning in February, we will publish the college newsletter, Dialogue, on the first and third Thursdays of each month in order to highlight more college-specific news throughout the month. The weekly events email will become a weekly announcements email. We will continue to publish upcoming events, but also include announcements from various administrative offices and other newsworthy information for college faculty, staff, and graduate students.

In closing, thank you for your patience this fall as we’ve managed the university-mandated digital transformation and hired critical team members for the college communications team. We are building a professional communications team to support your needs for news items, websites, social media, event promotion, recruiting, and more so you can focus on teaching, outreach, and research, as well as the daily tasks that support our student scholars on their academic journeys.

If you have any questions or would like more information about our services, please email us at artscicomm@utk.edu.

Thank you!
-Amanda Womac
Director of Communications
College of Arts and Sciences