Austin Peay State University communication Students and faculty win big at Tennessee Communication Association



Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, Tennessee – Austin Peay State University (APSU) communications faculty and students recently won several awards at the 2021 Tennessee Communication Association (TCA) annual convention.

Dr Jessica Morris won the Horizon Award, which recognizes emerging leadership within the CAW, and Dr Tracy Nichols won the Dortha Norton Spirit of Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the organization and to the discipline of communications in Tennessee.

“I always look forward to learning from Dr Morris because she always has the opportunity for her students to gain hands-on experience with the content we learn in the classroom,” said Ashleigh Songer, a communications manager at the APSU who won second place in the undergraduate. Paper competition at the convention. “Dr. Nichols enjoys supporting her students and takes pride in recognizing their hard work. She constantly pushes her students to do their best and is always there to provide insight.

Taylor Hastings
Taylor Hastings

Nichols mentored the five award-winning APSU students at the convention. Austin Peay State University won the undergraduate articles competition and won two of the top three places in the graduate articles competition.

Taylor Hastings, a Knoxville graduate student in professional communication, won the undergraduate articles competition. She said she was “surprised, delighted and honored” that her article “Connecting with Our Community” – an awareness campaign for the agency Florence Crittenton – won.

Songer, a double major in public relations and corporate communications from Winchester, Tennessee, said she was “ecstatic to hear” how her article, “Corporate Social Responsibility Plan for Miss Lucille’s Market” , It’s over.

Michelle Turner
Michelle turner

“I felt all of my hard work paid off,” she said.

Isabella Christenson’s article, “Golly G’s Corporate Social Responsibility,” finished third.

In the Graduate Articles Competition, Michelle Turner took second place with her article titled “Servant Leadership and the Dalai Lama”.

“Honestly, I was a little surprised to learn that I had placed, but I’m very honored and thrilled to even be considered, especially among some really good article submissions,” Turner said, a marketing communications student from Cleveland, Tennessee.

Katelan Thompson, who won third place for her article, “The Montgomery County Court System: COVID Crisis Management Plan”.

Ashleigh Songer
Ashleigh Singer

“The timing of the award ceremony was impeccable,” she said. “When I received a notice, it was a time when I felt discouraged about my future. It was great knowing that my article was good enough to be recognized by the TCA.

All the students congratulated Drs. Morris and Nichols for their prices.

“They both contribute enormously to the communications department here at Austin Peay, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to learn from them,” said Turner.

To learn more about Austin Peay State University’s Department of Communication, visit



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