Reese Phifer Hall in Spring

C&IS Honors Day

Honors Day is a time-honored tradition on The University of Alabama campus and within the College of Communication and Information Sciences. As the academic year comes to an end, we recognize the accomplishments of our most outstanding students and alumni. Selected both within their academic units and college wide, the individuals honored today have contributed excellence to the College and are distinctive representatives for our field.

Bert Bank Distinguished Service and Achievement Award – François McGillicuddy

François McGillicuddy is President of the Big Ten Network. Before beginning his career in media, McGillicuddy earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1991, an MFA from The University of Alabama in 1994 and an MBA from Columbia University in 1998.

As president of the Big Ten Network, he sets the strategic direction and leads the business and content operations of the network, a joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and FOX Sports. Under his leadership, the Big Ten Network has achieved record profitability and viewership, developed an emphasis on storytelling, relaunched the BIG+ streaming service and undergone a network rebrand, among other achievements.

A 20-year media executive, McGillicuddy previously served as SVP and General Manager of FOX Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio, which became two-time winners of Regional Sports Network of the Year during his tenure. He oversaw all aspects of those channels, including studio and live event production, programming, advertising sales, marketing and team relations, while also working with FOX’s affiliate sales and marketing group on distribution matters. He managed the company’s relationships with the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Guardians, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Columbus Crew.

McGillicuddy joined FOX Sports Ohio from FOX’s national cable channel SPEED, where he served as Vice President, Finance and Business Operations from 2006 to 2013. Prior to working with FOX, he was an executive at Cablevision Systems Corporation in New York, serving as Vice President, Finance for Rainbow Media regional networks and as Director, Strategic Planning for Madison Square Garden. His work at Cablevision included strategic initiatives for the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, MSG television network and Radio City Music Hall. His background also includes positions with Universal Music Group, Acclaim Entertainment and The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.

McGillicuddy resides in the Chicago area with his wife, Deb. They have three children, Patrick, Hunter and Grace.

Betsy Plank Distinguished Achievement Award – Bobbie Knight

Bobbie Knight is the President of Miles College. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Communication and Information Sciences (C&IS) and a juris doctorate from Birmingham School of Law. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Executive Leadership Program.

Knight, a Birmingham native, had a successful career of more than 37 years with Alabama Power Company. Throughout her career, Knight held various executive and leadership positions, including Vice President of the Birmingham Division, Vice President of Public Relations and General Manager of Supply Chain.

Knight serves as Chair of the Board of Managers for the Birmingham Times Media Group. In 2017, she was tapped by then Birmingham’s Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin to serve as co-chair of his transition team. In 2018, Knight was appointed to the Birmingham Airport Authority (BAA).

She has earned recognition for her dedication to leadership with civic organizations. Her past philanthropic and civic board affiliations include the boards of the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Business Council of Alabama, the Alabama Independent Colleges and Universities (AAICU) and the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA).

In 2016, Knight was tapped into the 26th Order of the XXXI, one of the most prestigious women honor societies on the campus of The University of Alabama. Knight has received numerous accolades including the Outstanding Leadership on Corporate Platforms Award from the Birmingham Urban League, the Mann Medal in Ethics and Leadership from Samford University and the Power 60 Most Influential Award by the Birmingham Business Journal. In what she considers a highlight of her career, Knight was selected as one of 21 women worldwide for the acclaimed Leadership Foundation Fellows Program of the International Women’s Forum in 2007. This program allowed her to study at Harvard University and the Judge School of Business at Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Knight is married to Gary Burley, a retired NFL player, local philanthropist and founder of ProStart Academy.

Outstanding Alumnus, Advertising – Joel Braswell

Joel Braswell is the Director of Media Strategy and Investment at Papa Johns, where he leads connections planning and media buying.

Braswell earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama in 2008, where he served on the College of Communication and Information Sciences Student Executive Council and on the Student Government Association as a senator. He was also an account executive for “The Crimson White.”

Braswell is recognized as an industry leader for delivering connections plans and partnerships focused on driving impactful business results and long-term brand equity. He has had the opportunity to work in numerous industry categories and for some of the nation’s largest brands and ad agencies, including The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Darden Restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings, WarnerMedia, Moxie and 22squared.

Braswell and his wife, Maria, reside in the Atlanta, Georgia, area with their two children.

Outstanding Alumnus, Book Arts – Paul Moxon

Paul Moxon is a letterpress printer, book designer and independent educator. Moxon is a 2002 graduate of the Book Arts program in the School of Library and Information Studies. As a student, he produced works by renowned poets including Nina Cassian, Joel Brouwer and Thomas Lux. He also coordinated the Bankhead broadside series and did freelance book design for The University of Alabama Press.

Moxon has served the book arts profession in a variety of capacities, including interning at Hoole Special Collections and teaching at the Center for Book Arts in New York, where he developed his signature “Vandercook Maintenance” workshop to care for flatbed cylinder proof presses.

Moxon is the author of Vandercook Presses: Maintenance, History and Resources and is currently developing the fourth edition of the book. Additionally, he is the website editor for the American Printing History Association (APHA) website, the production designer for APHA’s semi-annual journal Printing History and moderates Moxon continues to teach workshops at more than sixty book arts centers and universities in the U.S. and Canada. His letterpress work can be seen at

Outstanding Alumna, Communication Studies – Catie Malone

Catie Malone is a non-equity Shareholder at Webster Henry. She earned bachelor’s degrees in communication studies and political science from Huntingdon College in 2010 and a master’s in communication studies from The University of Alabama in 2013. While at the Capstone, Malone was a graduate teaching assistant and an adjunct professor of public speaking and critical decision making.

She earned a juris doctorate from The University of Alabama School of Law in 2017.

At Webster Henry, Malone represents and advocates for the interests of her clients in first-party and third-party litigation. Malone is highly involved in her community serving in a variety of leadership roles like the Board of Directors for the Montgomery County Bar Association, the Diversity and Inclusion in the Profession Committee of the Alabama State Bar Association, Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, Capital City Bar Association, Child Protect Advocacy Center’s Junior Executive Board, Junior League of Montgomery, Huntingdon College Alumni Race and Justice Initiative and Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama State Committee. She is the 2013 recipient of the Marsha Houston Award for Outstanding Work in Social Justice and Diversity.

Malone resides in Montgomery, Alabama.

Outstanding Alumnus, Library and Information Studies – Joshua Burford

Joshua Burford is an archivist, activist and educator with over 20 years of experience working with Queer communities and social justice education. He is a co-founder and the director of community engagement for the Invisible Histories Project, a regional non-profit focused on the preservation, access and research of the diverse Queer and Trans history of the American South.

Burford attended The University of Alabama for his undergraduate degrees in English and History. In 2006, he earned a master’s in Library and Information Studies with a focus on archiving and a master’s in American Studies with a focus on Queer history from UA.

He creates stronger communities for Queer and Transgender people across the U.S., and he is passionate about education and advocacy for Queer Youth and the preservation and documentation of Southern Queer History. Burford has worked with K-12 schools, colleges and universities, corporations and non-profits to bring greater knowledge about the ways each can be more inclusive of diverse identities, engage in self-evaluation about best practices, and can create pathways for increased retention of minority individuals.

In 2019, Burford was chosen by NBC as one of the Stonewall50. This award honors 50 influential LGBTQ leaders of the last 50 years for their work to change the LGBTQ community.

Outstanding Alumna, Public Relations – Holly Shepherd Lollar

Holly Shepherd Lollar is founder and president of The Lollar Group, a full-service communications company. She received a bachelor’s degree in public relations from C&IS in 2001 and is currently in the College’s advertising and public relations master’s program.

Prior to beginning her own company, Lollar was public relations account director at o2ideas for three years and vice president of public relations and marketing for Kid One Transport, a state-wide non-profit organization, for three and a half years. She was recently named “Public Relations Practitioner of the Year – 2022″ by the American Advertising Federation and received the distinguished honor of being named one of the Birmingham Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” in 2011. Lollar holds her Accreditation in Public Relations, a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice.

In addition to her professional success, Lollar serves her community in a variety of leadership capacities. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Birmingham where she served for over 10 years, a board member of the Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, a board member of Sight Savers America, a member of the C&IS Board of Visitors and a C&IS Oakley Society mentor.

Lollar resides in Birmingham with her husband, Chris, and their three children, Caroline, Lily and Harrison.

Outstanding Alumnus, Creative Media – Jonathan Killian

Jonathan Killian is Vice President of Creative Marketing and Brand Communications for Nexstar Media Group’s cable news network, NewsNation. He oversees brand marketing strategy and oversees the promotions, creative and marketing departments for NewsNation, as well as Nexstar’s over-the-air networks AntennaTV and RewindTV.

Killian graduated from The University of Alabama in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications & film. In 2012, he received a master’s of business administration degree from The University of Georgia.

He is a 10-time regional Emmy Award-winning creative director and previously worked at CNN for 13 years, ultimately serving as the Executive Director for Creative and Brand Development at CNN International. While studying at The University of Alabama, Killian wrote for The Crimson White and Corolla; worked at WVUA Radio; was president of Freshman Forum and Lambda Sigma honor societies; was a member of all three senior honorary societies, Mortar Board, Anderson Society and Omicron Delta Kappa; and served as Drum Major for The University of Alabama Million Dollar Band.

Killian, originally from Albertville, Alabama, resides with his spouse Richard, and two children Thomas and Matthew, in Chicago.

Outstanding Alumnus, News Media – Delbert Reed

Delbert Reed is an active journalist and author, and a former Army Reserve officer, college instructor and public relations and marketing professional. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Alabama. Reed spent half of his 58-year career as a journalist with The Tuscaloosa News, Nashville Banner and Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Mississippi, holding the positions of sportswriter, news editor, city editor, sports editor, columnist and managing editor. He also worked four years as a writer in residence at the Paul W. Bryant Museum at the University.

He spent the other half of his professional career in corporate public relations, marketing and management positions and three years on active Army duty, all while he continued to write newspaper columns, teach mass communication courses at two local colleges and produce three books. Starting at age 68, Reed spent six years producing what he considers his best and most important work researching and writing three books that recorded important figures and moments in the history of The University of Alabama.

Reed lives in Northport, Alabama, and has contributed approximately five hundred personal columns about local people and events to The Tuscaloosa News and the Northport Gazette since 1995. He continues to write today.

To view the full Honors Day 2023 Program, click here.