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A communications career in higher education spans many disciplines and skill areas. As a practitioner, you must combine elements of marketing, journalism, public relations, advertising, broadcasting and government relations. Add to this a mastery of changing technology, a deep-rooted understanding of the foundations of educational philosophy and a clear vision of your institution's goals - both today and tomorrow - and you have the qualities that make a career in higher education communications so dynamic and rewarding.

While no institution is identical to yours, there are issues and challenges that communicators in an array of higher education settings have in common. The Tennessee College Public Relations Association exists to explore these commonalities. Formed in 1975, TCPRA is an alliance of communicators who represent the colleges and universities, public and private, two-year technical schools, technology centers and community colleges that together define higher education in Tennessee.

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Hey, TCPRAers. On Wednesday night of the conference, we will head out to local eateries as small groups. When you're in Gatlinburg, where do you like to eat?


CONFIRMED CLOSING SPEAKER: Pulitzer-nominated cartoonist Marshall Ramsey will be our closing speaker. Known for his award-winning cartoons, entertaining radio program and engaging short stories. Ramsey will definitely send us out on a high note. Plus he is drawing a special TCPRA cartoon for us!


CONFIRMED SPEAKER: DANIEL RYAN is a consultant and speaker; co-captain of the Open Chattanooga Brigade; and resident technologist at Waypaver. Previously Daniel was the Director of Front-end Development for President Obama’s 2012 election campaign. Managing a team of two dozen, he oversaw the development of the online tools and technology that helped raised $690 millon online, recruited hundreds of thousands volunteers, and registered over a million voters.

Both Dan and Jan Winburn with join us for two sessions each (one general session to the conference and a breakout session).

For more details on the conference, go to


Our first confirmed speaker is Jan Winburn, the senior editor for enterprise reporting at CNN Digital. Winburn has been with CNN since 2009, and has worked as enterprise editor at The Atlanta Journal Constitution and The Baltimore Sun, where her writers’ work captured national awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. She has also taught narrative journalism at conferences and in newsrooms around the world.
Registration for this year's conference is available at


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