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Working to Build Community Connections

The Tombras School of Advertising and Public Relations has an ongoing commitment to building relationships within the Knoxville community. Over the past few months, our staff and students have worked with several community partners.

Dr. Christina Najera started working with Bryant’s Bridge as a volunteer last year, helping at events and teaching cooking lessons to the youth they serve. This year she serves as a board member and as their Secretary. 

Over the summer, Bryant’s Bridge was the client for Najera’s public relations campaigns class. In the class, students form a public relations agency and work to create a campaign for the client. Bryant’s Bridge wanted students to help them build awareness, they felt that people know of the organization but not the details of what they do. They wanted students to help promote their mission and vision of working towards eradicating youth homelessness in Knoxville. Students present their plans which included social media campaigns, community partnerships, and fundraising events. 

The partnership allowed students to work with a smaller and newer nonprofit organization, and hear directly from their leadership which is not always the case in the industry. This experience also allowed them to see the communication needs that arise in a newer organization. 

In late August, Dr. Joseph Stabb hosted the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians. The group of six scouts was able to practice their public speaking skills in the Public Speaking Center. This helped the scouts to earn their public speaking badges. Dr. Stabb was assisted by ADPR students Cole Pawlaczyk and Jessica Rice. 

Last week Dr. Stabb, Dr. Najera and ADPR student Timari Ray hosted a group of students from Emerald Youth. This is a part of an ongoing relationship between the school and Emerald Youth to raise awareness about the fields of advertising and public relations and the opportunities in the field.