Updates and news for the week of April 2-8, 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.

UTC News  UTC Events Calendar  |  Campus Updates

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It’s I Love UTC Week!

Welcome to I Love UTC Week, a spring tradition that gives everyone the opportunity to show off their blue and gold Mocs spirit. Click here for the complete calendar of events and details.

Throughout the week, iconic downtown Chattanooga lights will shine blue and gold to show I Love UTC spirit. The UTC Library will have keepsake buttons available all week and a “Scrappy Through the Ages” display. And all UTC employees are invited to make a gift to UTC to support their unit or cause of choice.

On-campus events include:

  • Wednesday (April 3): UTC Family Feud, University Center Auditorium, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Thursday (April 4): Spring Fling, Chamberlain Field, 4-6 p.m.
  • Saturday (April 6): Spring Family Day, all day

WUTC Spotlight: Pledge Drive Week

WUTC’s Spring Pledge Drive begins Thursday (April 4) and runs through Friday, April 12. A public service of the University, WUTC is home to National Public Radio programming in our area; local hosts Richard Winham, Ray Bassett and Haley Solomon; and learning opportunities for students on the UTC campus.

More than half of WUTC’s funding comes from the community here in Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley. Please support WUTC by visiting the wutc.org website and clicking the red “Donate” button.

UTC to Maintain Normal Schedule on Monday, April 8

On Monday (April 8), Chattanooga—and most locations across the U.S.—will experience a partial solar eclipse. The event is expected to take place between 1:30-4:30 p.m.

We want to make sure everyone in our UTC community is ready for this special occasion as that date draws near. Our University remains committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment despite the extraordinary occurrences. After careful consideration and consultation with relevant subject experts, the University has decided to remain open during the partial solar eclipse.

We want to assure you that our top priority is the safety and well-being of our UTC campus community. In light of this, we urge everyone to adhere to safety guidelines and exercise caution during the eclipse.

We cannot stress this strongly enough: Do not look directly at the sun without proper eyewear. In addition, NASA outlines do’s and don’ts of viewing the eclipse:

  • Do not use homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark sunglasses.
  • Use special solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers which have been obtained from a reputable distributor, to view the eclipse. Read and follow filter instructions and supervise children. Inspect your solar filter before use; if it is scratched or damaged, discard it.
  • In any stage of eclipse, do not look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device—and never use solar filters with these devices, as concentrated solar rays will damage them and can cause serious eye injury.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we prepare for the partial social eclipse. Together, we will make this a safe experience for all.

Call for Commencement Marshals

We are looking for a lot of 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.

Coming soon: UTC Spring Research and Arts Conference

More than 700 presenters participated in the 2023 UTC Spring Research and Arts Conference.

More than 700 presenters participated in the 2023 UTC Spring Research and Arts Conference.

The largest academic conference held on the UTC campus is only a couple of weeks away. The 2024 UTC Spring Research and Arts Conference will be held on Wednesday, April 10, in the University Center. Sponsored by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor (URaCE), the event allows UTC students, faculty and staff to share their research or showcase their creative work with their peers.

This year’s highlights include:

  • Dr. Talia Welsh (philosophy) will host the annual Philosophy and Religious Studies panel, with students giving talks on a variety of topics.
  • Students in Dr. Kira Robison’s Medieval Magic and Medicine class have created museum-style exhibits related to the topic, “Tools of the Trade.”
  • Studio Art Professor Shane Ward and his students will present the arts research project titled “Convergence: Technological Singularity, Societal Collapse, and the Loss of Human Agency.”

AI for Real: Artificial Intelligence panel discussion in conjunction with UTC Spring Research and Arts Conference

How is AI being applied in the classroom, the workplace and in research? Find out from UTC faculty and student researchers taking part in this first-ever panel discussion in conjunction with the annual Spring Research and Arts Conference from noon-1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, in the University Center Raccoon Mountain Room. Feel free to bring your brown bag lunch—beverages will be provided.

Faculty and student panelists with AI-involved projects in the Research and Arts Conference will talk about their work and its outcomes, joined by community members discussing their use of AI for the benefit of their organizations or those they serve. The panel will be moderated by UTC Chief Information Officer Vicki Farnsworth. Farnsworth also heads up coordination of the UTC AI Initiative and will provide a status update on the program.

Plan to attend and take advantage of the on-site opportunity to have an AI-enhanced profile portrait photo made for your use in career or social media purposes. For more information, email UTC-AI@utc.edu.

The outstanding people of UTC

Dr. Allen Pratt, left, and Dr. Kim Wingate

Dr. Allen Pratt, left, and Dr. Kim Wingate

Dr. Kim Wingate, a longtime member of the UTC faculty, has been named director of the School of Education. Wingate joined the UTC faculty as an assistant professor in the School of Education in 2007.

In a related move, Dr. Allen Pratt has been named the School of Education’s director of strategic partnerships. Pratt, who also serves as executive director of the National Rural Education Association (NREA), has served alongside Wingate as the interim co-director of the School of Education since 2022.

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Robert Dorsett, left, and Sylvana Matthews

Robert Dorsett, left, and Sylvana Matthews

UTC has been designated a military-friendly and military spouse-friendly school by Military Friendly®, a national veterans organization. UTC received gold-level 2024-2025 Military Friendly designation for the University’s efforts in creating sustainable and meaningful education paths for the military community.

The UTC Office of Veteran and Military Affairs is led by Director Sylvana Matthews and Associate Director Robert Dorsett.

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The UTC SMILE Fund team, from left: Ryan Rinker, Ava Kelton, Blade Kisler and Trent “TJ” Lowe (photo by Dr. Hunter Holzhauer).

The UTC SMILE Fund team, from left: Ryan Rinker, Ava Kelton, Blade Kisler and Trent “TJ” Lowe (photo by Dr. Hunter Holzhauer).

The UTC SMILE Fund team, comprised of Gary W. Rollins College of Business seniors Blade Kisler and Ava Kelton and sophomores Trent “TJ” Lowe and Ryan Rinker, was selected late last week as the sub-regional champion in the CFA Institute Research Challenge for the second consecutive year and the third time in four years.

The regional semifinals will be held via Zoom at 2 p.m. today (April 2).

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Five UTC students recently presented at the Southeastern Writing Center Association’s annual conference in Decatur, Georgia. The trip was funded by the UTC Library, the Department of English and the Office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor (URaCE).

Dr. Beth Leahy, director of the UTC Writing and Communication Center, served as advisor for their research projects. At the conference, the students gave presentations inspired by their work as consultants or graduate assistants in the Writing and Communication Center. The students, including their majors and presentation topics:

  • Max Hill, English, “Putting Pride in Your Writing Center.”
  • Sara Lo Piccolo, English (grad school), “Emotional Landscapes in the Writing Center: How Feminist Slow Revision Vitalizes Peer Tutor Training.”
  • Marcella Rea, English/Brock Scholar, “The Prompt Parts Process: A Method for Breaking Down Assignment Sheets.”
  • MK Sheppard, English (grad school), “Let’s Get Moving! How Large and Small Kinesthetic Movements Can Impact Writing Consultations.”
  • Mia Speller, English/criminal justice/Brock Scholar, “Saying it and Making it: Engaging Student Expertise to Encourage Writing Confidence.”

Mark your calendar

Quarterback Chase Artopoeus (photo courtesy of Derek Daniel/GoMocs.com)

Quarterback Chase Artopoeus (photo courtesy of Derek Daniel/GoMocs.com)

Save the date! Athletics has announced that the Mocs’ homecoming football game will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26, against VMI.

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UTC’s bi-annual Bloodanooga Blood Drive, in collaboration with Blood Assurance, continues from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today (April 2) in the University Center Tennessee Room. A single blood donation will save three lives in our community.

Blood donors will receive free food and a special event Super Mario-themed T-shirt. As an extra incentive, all donors will be entered into a drawing to win a Nintendo Switch. Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to another successful event.

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Being empathetic, collaborative, trustworthy, a good listener and a coach are all words generally associated with leadership, but how does a leader do it? Why is it even important?

The Tasty Tidbit Leadership Lunch Series continues from noon-1 p.m. today (April 2) with a session titled “Cultivating Connection With Others” led by Carisa Powell, a licensed counselor who works at Chattanooga State Community College. Participants will walk away with knowledge of empathy, practical strategies to make people feel valued, techniques to effectively navigate emotions, and informative practices of effective listeners and relationship builders. Human leadership is transformative.

Our last lunchtime session of the semester will take place in the West Campus Multipurpose Room and is open to all UTC students, faculty and staff.

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Dr. Doris L. Bergen, the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto, is the featured speaker at the 2024 UTC Holocaust Lecture, taking place at 5 p.m. today (April 2) in Derthick Hall Room 201. Bergen’s talk is titled “A Priest in a Nazi Collar”: German Military Chaplains and the Holocaust.

Bergen’s research focuses on issues of religion, gender and ethnicity in the Holocaust and World War II and comparatively in other cases of extreme violence. Her visit is sponsored by the Department of History with support from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Chair of Excellence in Judaic Studies.

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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.

MAcc Information Sessions

MBA Information Sessions

MSDA Information Sessions

MSM Information Sessions

Business Analytics Certificate Information Session

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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 3): Dr. Sarah Heise, “The Left-Right Spectrum: Another Look at Ideology and Partisan Sorting in the United States”
  • Wednesday, April 10: Dr. Christopher Horne, “Christian Public Administrators’ Integration of Faith and Work”

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Join Dr. Hemant Jain, the W. Max Finley Chair and professor of data analytics in the Gary W. Rollins College of Business, on Thursday (April 4) to learn more about the effects of Artificial Intelligence during the W. Max Finley Chair Symposium on the Social and Business Impact of AI.

This half-day event is free and features some of the leading researchers in AI as well as some of the Chattanooga region’s business leaders. The learn more and register link will take you to a detailed landing page with more information about presenters and panelists.

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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 April 20. Show 1 is taking place through Saturday (April 6) and Show 2 will take place April 10-April 20.

  • Show 1 artists: Megan Bailey, Gabriella Gloster, Kate Greenwell, Ryn Hambrick, Jaden Hestla, Hailee Kennedy, Magan Marks, Brooke Morgan, Maddie Nunnery, Conner Seavey, Ally Spruill, Porter Tomaszewski, Dylan Wood, Mohammad Omar Yasin.
  • Show 2 artist talks and opening reception: Friday, April 12, 5-6:30 p.m., Benwood Auditorium, Zoom option; reception follows until 8 p.m. in the ICA Galleries and Fine Arts Center lobby. Show 2 artists: Yamman Dean Azzouz, Maddie Benefield, Bryce Cullum, Lily Dixon, Joseph Goodman, Tred Hill, Eli Ladner, Manny Martin, Zoe Rye, Emma Soefker, Andy Tate, Angie Vasquez, Nico Wilcher, Emma Womble.

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Faculty and staff, do you have students retaking the ACT this spring?

The UTC Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is hosting a free ACT review workshop from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday (April 6). To find out more and register, please go to utc.edu/cecs-act.

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Alpha Delta Pi sorority is hosting a Pi-K (5k) race on Saturday (April 6). This professionally timed race event supports the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga. All UTC students and members of the Chattanooga community are welcome to participate. Click here to register for the race.

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An absurdist tale of survival and democratic decision-making is coming to the Fine Arts Center’s Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre stage. The UTC Theatre Co. continues its 2023-2024 season with its production of Slawomir Mrozek’s “Out at Sea.” Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on April 9-13, with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday, April 13.

Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here and through the UTC Box Office—in person or by phone (423-425-4369). Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students (with proof of student ID) and seniors.

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Sponsored by the George C. Connor Professorship of American Literature and the UTC Department of English, the Take Five 2024 lineup explores what it means to be educated in the modern world. Take Five sessions occur Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. in the University Center Chattanooga Room. Each session will offer a light dinner, and no RSVP is necessary. Upcoming spring dates:

  • Tuesday, April 9:  Dr. Bryan Hampton presents Julie Schumacher’s “Dear Committee Members”

All books are available through online retailers and at the UTC Bookstore (423-425-4107). Contact Aaron-Shaheen@utc.edu with questions.

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Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and sociologist Matthew Desmond

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and sociologist Matthew Desmond

On Thursday, April 11, the College of Arts and Sciences will be co-hosting Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and sociologist Matthew Desmond in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. Desmond’s latest book, “Poverty, By America,” reached #1 on the New York Times best sellers list shortly after its release; his book “Evicted” won a Pulitzer Prize.

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UTC is one of the major sponsors of this year’s Bessie Smith Big 9 Music Fest, taking place the weekend of April 13-April 14. The event is free and open to the public.

Our UTC community is welcome to participate. Please click here to learn more.

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The 2024 Technology Symposium, hosted by the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science, will be held on Monday, April 15, in the University Center Tennessee Room.

The Technology Symposium showcases innovative research projects conducted across multiple disciplines, including engineering, engineering technology management and computer science. Students at all education levels, educators, business and industry representatives, entrepreneurs and the general public are welcome. There is no cost to attend. Click here to learn more about this year’s event.

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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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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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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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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.

Campus Updates

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is hiring student mentors for 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.

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Search committee orientation is a critical component of UTC’s hiring process. What was previously conducted via Zoom as search committee training has transitioned to a new and refreshed self-paced asynchronous online training module that can easily be accessed in K@TE through this link: Faculty and Exempt Staff Search Committee Orientation.

This shift ensures a more streamlined process, consistency in content, accessibility and convenience for all participants. It emerged as a collaboration between the Office of Equity and Inclusion and Human Resources and underscores our institutional commitment to continuous improvement in fostering an inclusive and equitable hiring environment at UTC.

Faculty and exempt staff members serving on search committees must undergo search committee orientation every two years if they plan to participate in the hiring process for positions at UTC. It is not required for non-exempt staff searches but is highly recommended. For more information, click here. Email oei@utc.edu with questions, comments or concerns.

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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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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 UTC Volleyball program is offering a 10% discount to all faculty, staff and students for the following volleyball summer camps:

Click here to register online. For more information, contact julie-torbettthomas@utc.edu.

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It’s never too early to think about summer camp! Mocs basketball is hosting a kids camp for girls and boys ages 7-14 on June 24-27. Camp sessions will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily.

The cost is $260, including T-shirt and meals, and discounts are available for early bird signups, siblings and UTC employees. To register, visit chattanoogawomensbasketballcamps.com.

For questions, email tyler-r-clark@utc.edu.

Looking ahead

Mocs hurler Taylor Long was recently named Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week (photo credit: Chattanooga Athletics/Ray Soldano).

Mocs sophomore Taylor Long was recently named Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week (photo credit: Chattanooga Athletics/Ray Soldano).

This week’s Mocs home athletics calendar:

  • Wednesday (April 3): Softball vs. Austin Peay, Frost Stadium, 5 p.m.
  • Friday (April 5): Beach volleyball vs. UT Martin, UTC Sports Complex, 10 a.m.
  • Friday (April 5): Beach volleyball vs. Austin Peay, UTC Sports Complex, 4 p.m.
  • Saturday (April 6): Beach volleyball vs. Tusculum, UTC Sports Complex, 8 a.m.
  • Saturday (April 6): Softball vs. Wofford (doubleheader), Frost Stadium, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Saturday (April 6): Beach volleyball vs. Austin Peay, UTC Sports Complex, 2 p.m.
  • Saturday (April 6): Beach volleyball vs. Carson-Newman, UTC Sports Complex, 4 p.m.
  • Sunday (April 7): Women’s golf at Chattanooga Classic, Black Creek Golf Club, all day
  • Sunday (April 7): Women’s tennis vs. Western Carolina, UTC Tennis Center, 10 a.m.
  • Sunday (April 7): Softball vs. Wofford, Frost Stadium, 2 p.m.

Looking back

Junior electrical engineering major Nicholas Margavio demonstrates the augmented reality sandbox

UTC electrical engineering major Nicholas Margavio demonstrates the augmented reality sandbox

Thanks to a partnership with the UTC Department of Electrical Engineering, students at Chattanooga’s Westview Elementary School were introduced to an augmented reality (AR) sandbox.

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


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