Laura Clemons named TTU's 1999 Outstanding Professional

She's the person behind the pen - the one responsible for the most visible representations of Tennessee Technological University. From the VISIONS alumni magazine to the president's annual report to myriad recruiting publications, her work often defines the image of Tennessee Tech.

That person is Laura Clemons, TTU's assistant director of Public Affairs and head of the office's publications division. Her excellent work, combined with her professional attitude, unsurpassed commitment and an exceptionally friendly demeanor have earned her the university's 1999 Outstanding Professional Award.

"Ms. Clemons is a marvelous example of an absolute professional," said Monica Greppin, Public Affairs director. "Her work writing, editing and coordinating production of all our major print publications defines an impressive image of the university. She's also one of the most reliable and gracious people I know."

The Outstanding Professional Award program honors a number of attributes, including job performance, attitude, commitment, professional development and program introductions.

"As a matter of typical practice, she automatically looks for ways to do the job better, to ensure that the planning time line for a project is realistic, and to take steps to guard against things that might possibly go awry," said Glenn James, TTU's director of Institutional Research, regarding her help with a recent professional conference. "She also generously worked some 'off hours' to complete some of the work, an unsurprising testimony to her commitment and professionalism."

In addition to her role as publications director, Clemons is second in command in the Public Affairs Office. She writes and edits the Tech Times faculty and staff newsletter, writes press releases, communicates with media representatives and helps coordinate special events.

As a member of the Public Affairs staff for 10 years, Clemons has won several awards for the office, including two Tennessee College Public Relations Association (TCPRA) Silver Communications Awards, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Special Merit Award and two International Association of Business Communicators Awards of Merit.

She is a 1988 graduate of TTU's English/journalism program and maintains professional affiliations with TCPRA, CASE and the University and College Designers Association. She lives in Cookeville with her husband, John, an engineer with the Cookeville Fire Department.

Clemons will receive a $1,000 cash award and a plaque at the April 26 Luncheon Forum. The awards program was created in 1993 to recognize outstanding professional staff. Last year's winner was David Zabriskie, building and grounds coordinator at the Joe L. Evins Appalachian Center for Crafts.