Updates and news for the week of April 9-15, 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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The Day Has Arrived: UTC Spring Research and Arts Conference takes place on Wednesday

This year's Spring Research and Arts Conference will include four presentation sessions from 9 a.m.-5:15 p.m. throughout each room in the University Center and creative presentations in the UC Auditorium.

This year’s Spring Research and Arts Conference will include four presentation sessions from 9 a.m.-5:15 p.m. throughout each room in the University Center and creative presentations in the UC Auditorium.

The largest academic conference held on the UTC campus is here. 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:

  • More than 290 unique presentations from 650-plus presenters, including 11 students from Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences.
  • Approximately 200 students participating in the Class Visit program, including the first cohort of University High students.
  • The Spring Research and Arts Conference’s first AI panel discussion.

WUTC Spring Pledge Drive Continues This Week

WUTC’s Spring Pledge Drive 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.

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 three UTC faculty and three student researchers taking part in AI for Real, the first-ever panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence at UTC, taking place from noon-1:45 p.m. on Wednesday (April 10). Feel free to bring your brown bag lunch—beverages and snacks will be provided.

The event will take place in the UC Raccoon Mountain Room and is in conjunction with the annual Spring Research and Arts Conference. Faculty and student panelists with AI-involved projects in the Research and Arts Conference will talk about their work and its outcomes.

UTC Chief Information Officer Vicki Farnsworth will be panel moderator. Farnsworth also heads up coordination of the UTC AI Initiative and will provide a status update on the program. Plan to attend and also 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.

Bessie Smith Big 9 Music Fest

UTC is one of the major sponsors of this year’s Bessie Smith Big 9 Music Fest, taking place this weekend (April 13-14). 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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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.

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. Hamdy Ibrahim

Dr. Hamdy Ibrahim

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) provided its third-quarter report for the 2024 fiscal year, including a downloadable PDF: Q3 FY24 Report.

Among those receiving awards during the first quarter was Dr. Hamdy Ibrahim, assistant professor in mechanical engineering, who secured a National Science Foundation CAREER award for the project titled “Hybrid Surface Coating Toward Corrosion-Controlled Magnesium-Based Implants.” The project will be funded through the NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development Program.

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Deandra Schirmer (photo courtesy of GoMocs.com)

Deandra Schirmer (photo courtesy of GoMocs.com)

Deandra Schirmer has been named the Mocs’ new head women’s basketball coach. She joins UTC following a five-year stint as head coach at Valdosta State University. Schirmer amassed an impressive 114-31 record (.786 winning percentage), including an 86-19 mark (.819) in the Gulf South Conference. Her Lady Blazers earned NCAA Tournament berths the last four campaigns, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2022.

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The recent Social Work Day on the Hill was particularly memorable for a trio of UTC Bachelor of Social Work students. Kelli Webber won the statewide BSW Student of the Year award and the duo of Hannah Kean Davis and Emma Shavers won the state policy presentation competition.

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Junior biology major Elizabeth Chatard represented UTC in the College Club Swimming National Meet in Indianapolis April 5-7, qualifying for four events:

  • 50-yard breaststroke (11 seed)
  • 100-yard breaststroke (13 seed)
  • 200-yard breaststroke (7 seed)
  • 200-yard IM (9 seed)

Chatard, who transferred to UTC this academic year, serves as the UTC Water Mocs treasurer.

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Check out these Mocs making a difference:

  • On Sunday, Olympic hopeful and UTC sociology major Olivia Reeves won a trio of gold medals at a qualifying event in Thailand, establishing a trio of personal records in winning the 2024 IWF World Cup.
  • Dr. Michael Williams has been named director of the UTC Africana Studies program.
  • The newly elected Student Government Association executives for the 2024-2025 academic year are President Jordan Fall, Vice President Rachel Schreur and Treasurer Curel Jones.
  • Vice Chancellor of Research Reinhold Mann was featured in a Government Technology story about how universities are preparing for quantum computing.

Mark your calendar

This is your spring reminder to drop off any unused or expired medication and let us dispose of it for you. The Center for Wellbeing will have two locations from noon-2 p.m. today (April 9)—in Chamberlain Plaza, providing free Deterra medication disposal packs for home disposal, Narcan, fentanyl test strips and prescription lockboxes; and in Heritage Plaza, with resources from the Hamilton County Coalition and free Deterra medication disposal packs.

Why should you participate?

  • Flushing and throwing away medication pollutes our water system.
  • Leaving unused medications around provides an opportunity for misuse by others.
  • Sharing prescribed medication is illegal and dangerous.
  • It keeps you organized and frees space in your cabinets.

The collection process:

  • Please bring prescriptions in the original containers with your personal information crossed out.
  • Bring prescription, over-the-counter and even pet medication.
  • DO NOT bring needles, IV bags or radioactive medications. Contact your health care provider for information regarding the disposal of these items.

This initiative aims to provide our community with a safe way to dispose of expired or unused medication. UTC also has a permanent disposal box at the UTC Police Department year-round.

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Karlee Ming Jamieson, left, as "Inbetween One," and Maegan Whitlock as "Big One," star in Slawomir Mrozek’s "Out at Sea."

Karlee Ming Jamieson, left, as “Inbetween One,” and Maegan Whitlock as “Big One,” star in Slawomir Mrozek’s “Out at Sea.”

An absurdist tale of survival and democratic decision-making is taking place on the Fine Arts Center’s Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre stage this week. 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. Tuesday-Saturday (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:

  • Today (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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The Center for Wellbeing has spots available for two remaining suicide prevention trainings for faculty and staff this spring. The training provides education on regional and campus mental health data, identification of warning signs for suicide, utilization of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) for identifying risk, and appropriate protocol and referrals for on-campus support. Register for an upcoming session here.

  • Wednesday (April 10): Virtual date; Zoom link will be sent to attendees, 11 a.m.
  • Thursday, April 18: University Center Room 350, noon

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Pulitzer Prize-winning author and sociologist Matthew Desmond

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and sociologist Matthew Desmond

The College of Arts and Sciences and the Division of Access and Engagement invite everyone to a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and sociologist Matthew Desmond at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday (April 11) in the University Center Auditorium.

The free public event will also include a Q&A, reception and book signing.

The UTC Bookstore will have copies of Desmond’s books available for purchase. 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. For more information about Desmond, click here.

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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.

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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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 14).

The evening’s topic will be “The Moon is Going Through a Phase” and the featured constellation is Cygnus. 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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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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The College of Engineering and Computer Science is hosting two virtual graduate program informational sessions next 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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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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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 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.

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

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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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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 Lupton Hall first-floor common area.

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 Audubon Society, UTC Outdoors, Outdoor Chattanooga, Sunrise Chattanooga, Southeast Conservation Corps, the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, Chattanooga Food Forest Coalition, 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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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.

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

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 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.

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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.

Looking ahead

John Houk (photo credit: GoMocs.com)

John Houk (photo credit: GoMocs.com)

This week’s Mocs home athletics calendar:

  • Today (April 9): Women’s golf at Chattanooga Classic, Council Fire Golf Course, all day
  • Saturday (April 13): Men’s tennis vs. UNCG, UTC Tennis Center, noon
  • Saturday (April 13): Women’s tennis vs. Mercer, UTC Tennis Center, 3:30 p.m.

Looking back

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Justin Robertson and Chancellor Angle shake hands following the signing of an MOU to extend the sponsorship of UTC’s Future Ready Institute in Teaching and Learning at Tyner Academy.

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Justin Robertson and Chancellor Angle shake hands following the signing of an MOU to extend the sponsorship of UTC’s Future Ready Institute in Teaching and Learning at Tyner Academy.

UTC and Hamilton County Schools signed a Memorandum of Understanding to extend the sponsorship of UTC’s Future Ready Institute in Teaching and Learning at Tyner. The ceremony took place last Wednesday in Hunter Hall’s John Ebb Stewart and Mary Ann Stewart Instructional Technology Laboratory.

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Matthew Rivera proposes to Carly Jessup in the Peeps Sweet Suite. Photo by Mark Stehle Photography for Peeps®

Matthew Rivera proposes to Carly Jessup in the Peeps Sweet Suite. Photo by Mark Stehle Photography for Peeps®

Peeps—the chick-shaped, commonly yellow marshmallow treats are an Easter staple. The candy carries a more personal meaning for UTC alums Matthew Rivera and Carly Jessup. On March 25, Rivera proposed to Jessup in a Peeps-themed suite near Peeps headquarters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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From Monday through Sunday April 1-7, UTC students, faculty, staff and alumni celebrated what sets our campus apart from the rest during the annual I Love UTC Week festivities.

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


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