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Dean Rice named UT Communication Studies Alumnus of the Year

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KNOXVILLE (Nov. 13, 2013) – Knox County Chief of Staff Dean Rice was named the 2013 Communication Studies Alumnus of the Year at the University of Tennessee’s annual College of Communication and Information awards and scholarship donor appreciation banquet on Nov. 8. CCI Alumni of the Year awards are presented to college alumni who have made notable contributions to the field of communication and information.

A 1994 graduate of the college, Rice currently serves as chief of staff to Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett.

“Dean is very deserving of this honor,” said Mayor Burchett.  “Knox County has benefitted greatly from his broad experience in both communications and government, and I am proud to have him as part of my administration.”

Rice has over 16 years of experience in the political and government sectors in South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

Other CCI alumni receiving awards at the banquet:


  • 2013 Donald G. Hileman Alumni Award: Charles Tombras (’64), president and CEO, Tombras Group advertising agency
  • Advertising Alumnus of the Year: Kevin Kirksey (’98), senior director, North America brand communication and digital, Nike
  • Information Sciences Alumna of the Year: Sha Li Zhang (’88), dean of libraries and professor, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
  • Journalism and Electronic Media Alumnus of the Year: Dean Littleton (’92), vice president and general manager, WATE-TV
  • Public Relations Alumna of the Year: Mary Beth West (’94), principal, Mary Beth West Consulting

For more information on the University of Tennessee’s College of Communication and Information, please visit

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