Updates and news for the week of April 16-22, 2024

The UTC Campus Weekly newsletter is distributed every Tuesday morning. If you have news, events or announcements you would like shared with campus, please submit your information to chuck-wasserstrom@utc.edu in the Division of Communications and Marketing by 3 p.m. on Friday for placement in the following Tuesday’s newsletter.

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UTC Quantum Initiative Celebrates World Quantum Day 2024

A quantum particle in a superposition of states, symbolizing the inherent uncertainty in quantum measurements. Generative Ai.

A quantum particle in a superposition of states, symbolizing the inherent uncertainty in quantum measurements. Generative Ai.

In recognition of World Quantum Day 2024—April 14—the UTC Quantum Initiative kicked off the public launch of a compelling profile of the program that debuted at the American Physical Society’s annual global conference in March. It describes the crucial partnerships and spirit of collaboration behind the Quantum Initiative, and you’re encouraged to view and share the video here.

Also in observance of World Quantum Day, the UTC Quantum Initiative and its partners are offering six weeks of dynamic opportunities to learn about the impact of quantum technology now and in the future.

  • A three-part, weekly “Quantum Advantage” speaker series hosted by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship leads these events, and starts Wednesday (April 17) with Dr. Joe Lukens, formerly with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and currently head of quantum networking at Arizona State University.
  • Lukens’ talk on quantum networking is free and open to the public. If you can’t attend in person, watch the presentation on livestream here.

Introducing Dr. Michael Williams

Students, faculty, staff and members of the public are invited to meet Dr. Michael Vinson Williams, incoming professor of history and director of Africana Studies, at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday (April 18) in the Guerry Center Reading Room. Williams will give a talk, followed by a Q&A and a reception. Refreshments will be served.

Williams will speak on “Recognizing and Feeling the Human Element of Civil Rights Activism: Medgar Wiley Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, the Black Freedom Movement, and the Collaborative Vision Plan for Africana Studies.” This will be an opportunity to learn more about Williams and how his work brings academic research, community engagement and program development together.

Click here to read more about Williams’s appointment. If you have questions or need to request accommodations, please contact Julia-cummiskey@utc.edu.

Last Call for Commencement Marshals

We are still looking for additional faculty and staff to serve as marshals at each of our Saturday, May 4, undergraduate commencement ceremonies. This is the first time since 2019 that we will be doing student processions and have a full arena.

We will need approximately 25 faculty/staff members to serve as marshals at each ceremony (9 a.m. and 1 p.m.).

  • Marshals duties include lining up students before the ceremony, leading students into the arena at the start of the ceremony and directing students from their chairs to the stage and back during the ceremony.
  • Marshals will need to arrive one hour before the ceremony starts, so please schedule accordingly.

If you would like to volunteer to be a marshal, please register here and indicate which commencement ceremony(ies) you are available to marshal. Questions or concerns related to commencement marshals should be directed to Charlene-Simmons@utc.edu.

Get your Exclusive Gold Cord Today

To all our Spring 2024 graduating Mocs, congratulations from UTC Advancement. As your status advances from student to alumnus, you have the opportunity to create a lasting impact here at UTC. By donating just $5 or more, you can receive an exclusive gold cord to wear at commencement that signifies your commitment to future Mocs. This small donation can go a long way in helping to fund scholarships and enhance academic programs all over campus. Plus, wearing the gold cord at commencement will set you apart as a proud UTC supporter. Donate today and leave a legacy for future students at your alma mater.

Students can pick up their gold cord at the Alumni House (551 Oak St.) weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Purchase your Power C Pet Leash and Collar

Walks just got more spirited for you and your furry friend with our limited-edition Power C Leash and Collar set. Whether you’re strolling through campus, exploring the city or just enjoying a quiet walk in the park, let your Chattanooga pride shine.

Limited edition Power C pet collars ($12) and leashes ($16) are available individually or purchase a set for $25. With each purchase, you’re contributing to the UTC Campus Excellence Fund which fosters student aspirations and nurtures a brighter tomorrow. Your support enables students to access exceptional learning experiences, learn from renowned faculty and engage in top-ranked academic programs. Click here for more information and purchase options.

The outstanding people of UTC

Dr. Deborah McAllister

Dr. Deborah McAllister

Congratulations to UTC faculty and staff who received awards or submitted proposals for sponsored programs in March. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs announced that faculty and staff attracted $22,407 in external grant and contract awards during the month and submitted proposals for the potential to generate over $3,556,119 in external funding, if awarded.

Among those receiving awards in March was School of Education Professor Deborah McAllister, who received $17,500 from the Georgia Tech Research Institute for the project titled, “Inspiring NASA’s Next Generation through Building, Coding and Machine Learning Missions.”

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UTC chemistry alums Christine Rukeyser, left, and Bre-Anna Willis

UTC chemistry alums Christine Rukeyser, left, and Bre-Anna Willis

Recent graduates Christine Rukeyser, an Innovation in Honors student in the UTC Honors College who received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in December 2023, and Bre-Anna Willis, recipient of a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in December 2022, have been selected for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program—a highly competitive program that supports outstanding graduate students in STEM fields.

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Dr. Chris Doneski and HAL

HAL® S5301, billed as the world’s most advanced interdisciplinary patient simulator, is a new addition to the UTC School of Nursing. HAL has artificial intelligence capabilities and can speak, mimic many different emergent situations such as strokes and heart attacks, and be utilized to practice numerous invasive procedures. Said Dr. Chris Doneski, “We can make him have a stroke. It can have full facial droop. You can change the eyeballs. It can sweat, it can cry.”

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Check out these Mocs making a difference:

  • Political science majors Sophia Chrisco and Kristina Thompson both recently presented their original research at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago. The MPSA annual conference is one of the largest political science conferences in the discipline, with over 1,000 panels.
  • Physics major Landon Boone received a third-place prize in the student poster competition at the Tennessee Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers’ recent conference.
  • UTC men’s golf coach Blaine Woodruff has been selected to coach Team USA in this summer’s Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Tokyo.
  • The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) introduced Beverly Kemp as its new senior compliance officer focusing on research security. She will build upon and develop ORI’s capabilities in export control, research information security and research conflict of interest. She has over 14 years of research administration experience from Lamar University, where she managed research information technology infrastructure and implemented several software platforms to improve efficiency across the university.

Mark your calendar

The College of Engineering and Computer Science is hosting two virtual graduate program informational sessions this week. During these sessions, you’ll have the chance to learn more about CECS master’s programs in Engineering, Engineering Management, and Computer Science—as well as the Ph.D. program and various certificate offerings.

We’ll cover everything from admissions requirements to the application process and beyond. Mark your calendars and join us to discover how UTC can empower you to reach your academic and professional goals.

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Death Cafés have taken off in the United States and around the world as a way to encourage open, honest conversations about death and dying. These events are typically characterized by a loose structure and are held in a neutral environment.   

Join the Honors College Death and Dying class as we host our third Death Café from 3-4:30 p.m. today (April 16) in the Guerry Center Reading Room. Our twist on the Death Café will include stations created and led by students where participants can play games, explore end-of-life decision-making, learn about the post-death body, and more. The event is free and light refreshments will be served. Please contact Chapel-Cowden@utc.edu or Jenny-Holcombe@utc.edu with questions.

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The spring 2024 cohort of the Moc LEAD Leading Teams Experience has spent the last 10 weeks examining critical organizational operational areas, discovering new approaches, connecting with a network of resources, and creating a blueprint to help plan for positive changes in their organizations and communities.

Everyone is invited to celebrate and further support our students’ commitment to leadership development at the Moc LEAD graduation and reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m. today (April 16) in the University Center Chattanooga C Room. An RSVP is not required but is highly appreciated. Desserts and refreshments will be served.

A program beginning at 4:45 p.m. will include brief remarks from a Moc LEAD Leading Teams Experience graduate and others to recognize the students and volunteers.

Email Daniel-Grzesik@utc.edu, the director of Leadership Development and Programs, if you have any questions about Moc LEAD or getting involved.

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The Gary W. Rollins College of Business will hold virtual information sessions about UTC’s Master of Business Administration, MS Data Analytics, MS Management, Master of Accountancy and Business Analytics Certificate graduate programs. The Rollins College of Business graduate degree programs provide flexible course options and exclusive career advancement resources to elevate your education and advance your career.

MSM Information Sessions

MSDA Information Sessions

Business Analytics Certificate Information Session

MBA Information Sessions

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On Wednesday (April 17), the Mosaic Program will host the Autistic Voices Panel, a student-led panel discussing autism spectrum disorder strengths and challenges faced in academia and career. The discussion will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the University Center Tennessee Room.

April is Autism Acceptance Month, and the event’s focus is to promote autism acceptance through lived experiences. The demographic of attendees should be leadership, faculty and staff who would like a better understanding of the autistic community; how to work with autistic individuals; and gaining an understanding of the Mosaic Program and the support we offer students and the UTC community. There will be a Q&A session and networking opportunities to ask transparent and difficult questions.

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Get ready to experience a fusion of rhythm, melody and student creativity when UTC hosts Mocaroo on Wednesday (April 17) at Chamberlain Pavilion, starting at 4 p.m. With a lineup featuring 10 student-based performances, Mocaroo offers a dynamic platform for showcasing the diverse musical talents within the UTC Department of Music. From soulful ballads to energetic ensembles, attendees are in for a treat as they witness the innovation and passion of their fellow Mocs.

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The Clarence E. Harris Chair of Excellence in Entrepreneurship is hosting AI Conversations: An Innovation Exchange between Campus and Community, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday (April 17) at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Mapp Building. Lunch is included; click here to register.

AI Conversations is part of a new series hosted by the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Designed to be an inspiring and collaborative forum for exchanging knowledge, ideas and innovations, we aim to foster collaboration, networking and knowledge exchange between academia and industry professionals.

By bringing together academia, industry leaders, government representatives and research enthusiasts, this event will serve as a platform for showcasing the groundbreaking discoveries and innovations emerging from UTC and learning more about the interests and needs of Chattanooga’s regional industry. For more information, contact jennifer-skjellum@utc.edu.

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Dr. Joe Lukens

Dr. Joe Lukens

What is quantum entanglement and what is the future of quantum applications?

The answers to these and other questions around quantum science will be answered by one of the nation’s pre-eminent quantum experts, Arizona State University’s Senior Director of Quantum Networking Dr. Joe Lukens, in a free public program at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday (April 17). The event takes place in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s James R. Mapp Building location and it can be watched online via livestream here.

In his talk, Lukens will introduce principles of quantum mechanics, including entanglement, network demonstrations and future applications. It is the first of a series of programming offered in conjunction with and following World Quantum Day on April 15. Lukens has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and physics from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Purdue University. He served as a Wigner Fellow and Research Scientist in Quantum Information Science at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) from 2015 to 2022.

Click here for more information on the UTC Quantum Initiative.

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The Department of Political Science and Public Service invites the UTC community to our spring Sweet Research series, where we share our research along with dessert. All events are on Wednesdays from noon-12:50 p.m. in 540 McCallie Building Room 462D (PSPS suite).

  • Wednesday (April 17): Dr. Christopher Horne, “Christian Public Administrators’ Integration of Faith and Work”

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The UTC University Club welcomes all faculty, staff and their families for an open house from 5-7 p.m. on Friday (April 19) at UTC’s Patten House, located at the corner of Oak and Palmetto (look for the cannons). Snacks will be provided. Members of the UTC Faculty Club and invited guests may bring their own drinks, with and without alcohol, to the gathering. We will have light fare, good conversation and a chance to meet one another in a social setting.

What is the University Club?  The University Club is a social club open to all UTC faculty, staff and retirees (and their families) and has existed in some form or fashion at UTC since the 1940s. Clubbers meet informally to share goodwill and society two Fridays a month. We hope you can join us! Email patrick-sweetman@utc.edu, the University Club president, if you have any questions.

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The Department of Art, in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Art, is hosting the 2024 Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Thesis Exhibition through Saturday (April 20).

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The UTC Symphony Orchestra is led by conductor Sandy Morris

The UTC Symphony Orchestra is led by conductor Sandy Morris

The UTC Symphony Orchestra will present its annual spring concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday (April 21) in the Fine Arts Center’s Roland Hayes Concert Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

One of the highlights of the concert program is the premiere of a three-movement work, “The Empress of Ireland,” composed by UTC music composition/instrumental music education major Tyler West. West, a junior and graduate of Ridgeland High School in Rossville, Georgia, also plays trumpet in the orchestra.

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The Clarence T. Jones Observatory is located at 10 N. Tuxedo Ave. in Chattanooga.

The Clarence T. Jones Observatory is located at 10 N. Tuxedo Ave. in Chattanooga.

The public is invited to the Clarence T. Jones Observatory, owned and operated by UTC, for a free Star Party on Sunday (April 21)—the final Sunday night event of the season.

The evening’s topic will be “The Barnard Astronomical Society” and the featured constellation is The Big Dipper. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., with a lecture and Planetarium show beginning at 7 p.m. and telescope viewing until 9 p.m. Seating is limited, so arrive early.

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Please join us for the 1st Annual UTC Earth Day Environment and Sustainability Showcase, sponsored by the UTC Environmental Studies Program, taking place from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Monday (April 22) in the University Center Chattanooga Rooms.

Campus and community organizations focused on the environment and sustainability will be sharing information about their organization’s mission and work, and UTC Outdoors will raffle off a free semester-long bike rental. There will be fun giveaways, snacks and lots to learn. You won’t want to miss it. Click here to learn more about the Environmental Studies MocSync group.

Organizations attending include the Chattanooga Zoo, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, the City of Chattanooga Office of Sustainability, Lookout Mountain Conservancy, Chattanooga Audubon Society, UTC Outdoors, Outdoor Chattanooga, Sunrise Chattanooga, Southeast Conservation Corps, the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, Chattanooga Food Forest Coalition, City of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation, the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones, UTC Student Sustainability Society, and faculty representatives from UTC’s Environmental Studies, BGES and SORT programs.

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UTC Professor of Trumpet Erika L. Schafer and guest artist Brian Reichenbach will headline a trumpet duet recital on Monday (April 22) beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Cadek Recital Hall. The free performance also features faculty members Emma Anderson (piano) and Ethan McDaniel (congas).

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The American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) launched on April 1 and was distributed to all student email addresses. This well-being survey is integral to Student Affairs and Health and Wellness programming throughout the year and provides us with many valuable insights. The survey is online and confidential and asks questions about topics such as mental health, nutrition, sexual health, exercise, sleep, substance use and more.

We hope to get our best response rate ever this year so we have substantive data to guide development of responsive programs and services. Students who complete the survey will be entered to win prizes, including an iPad, ENO hammocks, GrubHub gift cards and weighted blankets.

The survey will remain open until Monday (April 22). If you have any questions, please reach out to megan-mcknight@utc.edu or jami-hargrove@utc.edu. We appreciate all your help!

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The UTC Library has used past survey feedback to increase hours, improve study room availability and purchase new materials. Now’s your chance to help make the library even better by clicking here and sharing your suggestions and feedback.

Bonus: you’ll be entered to win one of two $50 Starbucks cards when you complete the survey before Monday (April 22).

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Looking for a fun activity to do on Reading Day?

The COMM Showcase, featuring the best Department of Communication student work from the spring semester, will take place from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, on the second floor of Lupton Hall.

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Registration for the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning’s 2024 Instructional Excellence Conference is now open. The event, which will be held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, is free for all UTC faculty. Click here to register.

The keynote speaker is Dr. James Lang, professor of practice at the Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Notre Dame and an emeritus professor of English at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. A sought-after speaker and author of six books, he has given talks and workshops on teaching for faculty at more than 300 colleges, universities and schools in the U.S. and abroad. His talks focus on topics such as the science of learning, distraction in the classroom and academic integrity.

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Please join UTC’s Interdisciplinary Geospatial Technology Lab (IGTLab) for a free GIS workshop from 10 a.m.-noon on Thursday, May 30, in the Multidisciplinary Research Building. During the workshop, attendees will learn how to access free GIS resources available to campus; how to implement GIS in the classroom, research or work activities; and connect and learn about other available services offered by the IGTLab.

This workshop, led by UTC GIS Director Charlie Mix and Assistant GIS Director Nyssa Hunt, is open to all user skill levels.

Space is limited, so make sure to click here and register.

Notice of Final Defense: Upcoming Research Presentations

The UTC Graduate School announced that the following student will be presenting final works of research as an advanced degree candidate. Everyone is invited to attend.

Campus Updates

Attention departments with gas-powered University-owned vehicles or those that get fuel for mowers, carts, boats, etc.

UTC’s current white WEX fuel credit cards expire on Tuesday, April 30. New cards will be available starting Wednesday, April 24.

The cards can be picked up in the Administrative Building at 400 Palmetto, 2nd floor, Room 228J, Debby Corey’s office. Office hours for card pickup are 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Departments, please make sure that the person who comes over is allowed to pick up the new credit card, as they will have to sign a document before we release the card. Please make sure the person brings the old card to help us identify which card is needed.

Please call 423-425-5298 or 423-425-4521 with questions.

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A successful enterprise resource planning (ERP) rollout is more than just technical preparation; it’s a collective leap forward in how we operate, ensuring everyone using the system is ready and able to embrace our new technology to its full potential. While we are on a path of being “technically” ready for the DASH transition on July 1, we have thoughtfully determined that an extension is necessary to ensure we are “organizationally” ready to adopt the change. We will be beginning the DASH transition in January 2025.

There are two times a year that naturally fit beginning an ERP transition: fiscal year-end or calendar year-end. The former provides a clean cutover for beginning a new fiscal year but causes challenges for closing out the prior fiscal year and payroll processing. Beginning the DASH transition in January 2025 allows us to finish payroll processing, including creation of W2 forms, in IRIS. It also will allow us to close the prior fiscal year, prepare financial statements and complete the state audit in IRIS.

Extending the timeline for an ERP system is prudent and strategic when an organization recognizes gaps in change readiness and training. This extension will allow time for:

  • Comprehensive user education and hands-on training sessions,
  • Building a solid foundation of support within the organization, and
  • Developing tailored communication strategies to manage significant change effectively.

The DASH executive team has purposely decided the extra time will yield dividends with the long-term success of our transition.

We cannot adequately express our gratitude to the hundreds of people across the system who are giving time, energy and expertise above expectations to make DASH successful. In honoring their contributions, we are committed to ensuring that everyone is prepared, confident and ready for this change.

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Campus Recreation is hiring lifeguards for this summer, and interested college and high school students can apply now. Certification scholarships are available for UTC students willing to work full-time during the summer. Email Chelsey-Voigt@utc.edu or call 423-425-4222 for information about certification training and employment.

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The Office of Multicultural Affairs is hiring student mentors for the GUIDE Mentorship Program.

The GUIDE Program encourages first-year student involvement on campus and in the greater community through personal goal-setting, leadership training, professional development, and mental and physical awareness. The guides (mentors and multicultural ambassadors) create opportunities for participants (mentees) to improve their self-confidence, communication skills and leadership abilities while serving as part of a close-knit and dynamic group. Click here to apply.

Looking ahead

Neva Clark and Corina Vale (photo credit: Ray Soldano/GoMocs.com)

Neva Clark and Corina Vale (photo credit: Ray Soldano/GoMocs.com)

This week’s Mocs home athletics calendar:

  • Wednesday (April 17): Beach volleyball vs. Eastern Kentucky, UTC Sports Complex, 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday (April 17): Beach volleyball vs. North Alabama, UTC Sports Complex, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday (April 18): Men’s tennis at the SoCon Championship, Champions Club, all day
  • Thursday (April 18): Women’s tennis at the SoCon Championship, Champions Club, all day
  • Friday (April 19): Men’s tennis at the SoCon Championship, Champions Club, all day
  • Friday (April 19): Women’s tennis at the SoCon Championship, Champions Club, all day
  • Saturday (April 20): Men’s tennis at the SoCon Championship, Champions Club, all day
  • Saturday (April 20): Women’s tennis at the SoCon Championship, Champions Club, all day
  • Saturday (April 20): Softball vs. Mercer, Frost Stadium, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Sunday (April 21): Softball vs. Mercer, Frost Stadium, 2 p.m.

Looking back

Photo courtesy of Dr. Takeo Suzuki

Photo courtesy of Dr. Takeo Suzuki

Dr. Takeo Suzuki is on a mission to spread the UTC name worldwide. He is also on a mission to bring the world to UTC. Suzuki, executive director of the UTC Center of Global Education, recently spent two weeks in India after being selected as a 2024-2025 Fulbright U.S. Scholar as part of the Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Program.

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The annual Scholarship Luncheon connected students with donors and honored the generosity of scholarship benefactors.

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Dr. Jose Barbosa

Professor Jose Barbosa was recognized at the College of Arts and Sciences’ Spotlight on Faculty Excellence series.

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Here are some other recent UTC stories featured in the Newsroom:

WUTC Spotlight: Scenic Roots

Student storytellers at UTC create more than one kind of media.

The Roost is a filmmaking club for UTC students and, at 7 p.m. on Monday (April 22) in the University Center Auditorium, will host “The Roosties: A Film Festival by Students for Students.”

A WUTC-FM Scenic Roots feature about the event included interviews with Roost President Lio Mercedes, Lili Ford and Marietta Song.

Be Well Tip: Movement

Movement of any kind is beneficial for both physical and mental well-being. From a physical health perspective, movement can strengthen the body and improve its immune response. From a mental health perspective, movement releases endorphins to reduce stress and is associated with an overall improved mood.

While it can feel hard to make the time to move, it’s important to remember that incorporating movement each day doesn’t have to be difficult. This could include a brief five minutes of exercise, a short break to take a walk, or even a small dance break while you jam out to music. However it looks, opportunities to move exist everywhere.

If you’d like to experience creative movement and the impact it can have on healing and mental health, drop by the Center for Wellbeing on Wednesday (April 17) for our Trauma-Informed Movement Workshop.


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