Updates and news for the week of December 12-18, 2023

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

Click here to view this week’s newsletter in your browser

Celebrating the Class of 2023

Fall commencement at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will be celebrated with three separate ceremonies over two days starting Friday. Nearly 700 undergraduates and 130 graduate students will receive their degrees. In addition, many of the 217 undergraduates and 96 graduate students who completed their degrees in August will return to campus for the festivities.

This will be the 262nd overall commencement for the University, founded in 1886 as the then-private Chattanooga University.

All ceremonies will take place inside McKenzie Arena, beginning with Graduate School commencement at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.  |  Livestream link

Two ceremonies take place on Saturday:

  • 9 a.m. for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering and Computer Science.  |  Livestream link
  • 1 p.m. for graduates of the Gary W. Rollins College of Business and College of Health, Education and Professional Studies.  |  Livestream link

Among the students being celebrated this week:

  • With UTC’s 100% online MBA program, students can complete their studies from anywhere in the world. Gentry Whittaker’s experience, though, was unlike most others, as she traveled the country “as a nomad” and gave birth to her daughter, Echo.
  • During Friday’s Graduate School commencement exercise, 72-year-old Tony Galloway will take part in a doctoral hooding ceremony—the recipient of a doctorate in Education: Learning and Leadership (Ed.D.). Galloway was Dr. Beth Crawford’s high school history teacher; Crawford will be on stage as part of the ceremony.
  • Fatimah Musa, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics, was born with cone-rod dystrophy—a type of inherited retinal degeneration affecting the retina’s photoreceptor cells. The condition is characterized by progressive loss of function and death of the eyes’ cone and rod photoreceptor cells, leading to vision loss.
  • Isaiah Mark Owens took acting classes in high school and, when all was said and done, the thrill of acting stuck.
  • Biochemistry major Mackenzie Smith wants to become the seventh doctor in her immediate family. But first, the two-time all-Southern Conference soccer player has her eye on playing professionally overseas.
  • Being a well-balanced student is not an easy feat, and as a student-athlete with a 4.0 GPA, Emmy Davis knows this all too well. The cross country and track and field runner will graduate summa cum laude with a degree in finance.
  • Bachelor of Applied Science: Applied Leadership degree (BAS-AL) recipient Lorina Upshaw’s journey toward a bachelor’s degree started 53 years ago on the UTC campus.
  • Keely Phillips and Kyndall Blum are the first students to attend UTC as music therapy majors for all four years they were enrolled and are graduating as part of December commencement ceremonies. Joseph Taylor, who transferred from Belmont University in Nashville to UTC as a junior, also is graduating with a music therapy degree—the first transfer student to earn the degree.

Last Chance to Participate in Scrappy’s Cupboard Cap and Gown Loan Program

Graduates, Scrappy’s Cupboard is happy to offer cap and gown (academic regalia) loans to any undergraduate or graduate student who has been approved to participate in a UTC graduation ceremony and cannot afford to purchase the regalia required to participate. Academic Regalia is available for loan up to five days prior to the graduation ceremony and must be returned no later than five days after the ceremony.

To request a cap and gown loan for fall 2023 graduation ceremonies, please complete this request form no later than 5 p.m. today (Dec. 12).

If you have questions, contact the Office of Student Outreach and Support at 423-425-2299 or e-mail scrappyscupboard@utc.edu.

Alumni Affairs Gold Graduation Cords

To all our 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.

The outstanding people of UTC

Children's Center Lead Coordinator Cindy Hornsby

Children’s Center Lead Coordinator Cindy Hornsby

Congratulations to UTC faculty and staff who received awards or submitted proposals for sponsored programs in November. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs announced that faculty and staff attracted $345,102 in external grant and contract awards during the month and submitted proposals for the potential to generate over $5,248,168 in external funding, if awarded.

Among those receiving awards in November was Children’s Center Lead Coordinator Cindy Hornsbywho received two awards from the Tennessee Department of Human Services totaling $243,302.

*   *   *   *   *

Check out these Mocs making a difference:

  • The Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame announced its newest class and award winners, including three from UTC. Executive Associate Athletics Director for Compliance and Administration and Senior Woman Administrator Laura Herron is the recipient of the Betty Probasco Female Lifetime Achievement Award. Former men’s basketball head coach Ron Shumate and former men’s basketball student-athlete Johnny Taylor will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
  • For just the second time in the history of the Mocs volleyball program, teammates were recognized with Southern Conference Player of the Month honors in the same month. Morgan Romano was named the SoCon Offensive Player of the Month for November while Elaine Redman was selected as Setter of the Month.
  • Assistant Professor of Psychology Tomorrow Arnold was interviewed for a Times Free Press story about mental-health obstacles that may come up during the holiday season.
  • Scott Willis, an adjunct applied voice instructor in the Music Department, was featured in the Times Free Press for his work with the American Caroling Co.

MOCS Innovate! Mini-Grant Opportunity

Announcing the Harris Chair Innovation Mini-Grant Program, a new opportunity for all faculty and staff at UTC to support innovative ideas and solutions. Applicants must have the intention to pursue commercialization of their work through licensing or entrepreneurship. Proposals for funding up to $5,000 will be considered.

Who is eligible?: UTC faculty and staff from all colleges whose innovative ideas have the potential for commercialization or entrepreneurial endeavors. Early-stage innovations are eligible.

Application process: Interested researchers must apply by Jan. 31 for up to $5,000 in internal grant funding. Please note that direct compensation to the awardee is unallowable. Awardees can use these funds for supplies, travel or other reasonable and allowable expenses under UT policy to accelerate the success of their ideas, innovations and commercialization objectives. Awardees will be announced by Feb. 20. Click here to apply.

Contact Thomas-Lyons@utc.edu or Jennifer-Skjellum@utc.edu with questions.

Coming Soon: DASH, our New ERP System

The UT System and the Budget and Finance Office here at UTC are launching DASH, a new ERP system, on July 1, 2024. As we get closer to that date, Budget and Finance will notify campus about DASH information and training.

The UT System is hosting a town hall event from 1-4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 10. Click here to register for the event.

  • To learn about DASH, resources, the timeline and other information, visit UTC-DASH and sign up to become a Friend of DASH to receive email updates.
  • If you have questions or would like to know more about DASH, contact Loman-Martin@utc.edu.

Mark your calendar

The Office of Student and Family Engagement is excited to announce the dates for our Spring Welcome Week: Jan. 8-12, 2024.

During the week, we offer a wide variety of events for our students. If you are hosting an event or program during the first week of classes, please consider submitting your event to the official calendar found on the Winter Welcome website.

  • To submit an event, please complete this form.
  • The priority deadline for the Winter Welcome calendar is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2. The final deadline to submit events is 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5.

Email kidron-bullock@utc.edu with questions.

*   *   *   *   *

The Manage My Housing portal will be open Dec. 6-Jan. 1 for students to change their spring 2024 residential meal plans. Meal plan eligibility is based on earned credit hours. If your fall 2023 credits will change your student classification, please wait until final grades are submitted before you attempt to make a change.

The University classifies undergraduate students as freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors according to the number of credit hours completed:

  • Freshman: 0-29 semester hours
  • Sophomore: 30-59 semester hours
  • Junior: 60-89 semester hours
  • Senior: 90 or more semester hours

The meal plans are listed by student classification. Please click here for more information.

*   *   *   *   *

Information sessions are taking place for two spring 2024 study abroad courses, which are open to all UTC students. The courses have no prerequisites and include two-week international study trips to Germany and to the Balkan countries of Albania, Greece and North Macedonia. Both are led by UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business faculty members.

This week’s sessions:

  • Today (Dec. 12): Germany/Balkans combined session, Zoom, 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday (Dec. 13): Germany, Zoom, 4 p.m.
  • Thursday (Dec. 14): Balkans, Zoom, 4 p.m.
  • Friday (Dec. 15): Germany/Balkans combined session, Zoom, noon

Students earn three credit hours on the undergraduate level (MGT 4950) or graduate level (MGT 5950). For more information, contact COBInternational@utc.edu or visit COB International Programs.

*   *   *   *   *

The Office of Planning, Evaluation and Institutional Research (OPEIR) is hosting a series of workshops for faculty to learn about and be guided through the policy for proposing a new academic degree program at UTC. These workshops will cover the various stages of the process and feature guest speakers from departments on campus as well as the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). RSVP is not required but will help with planning and communication of events. Information about the next session:

  • Thursday (Dec. 14): General information and assistance workshop, UTC Library Room 118A, 2:30 p.m. | Calendar

For further information, email kelli-baker@utc.edu, program coordinator for OPEIR, or call 423- 425-2216.

*   *   *   *   *

A message from the Office of the Bursar:

Spring 2024 is around the corner. If you are an eligible employee who is registered or plan to register for the spring semester and have not completed your employee fee waiver form, please submit your form to Human Resources for processing. The fee payment deadline for spring 2024 is Thursday (Dec. 14).

  • Cancellation is an automatic process, and you must submit the required documents each semester to take advantage of your fee waiver benefit.
  • If your eligible dependent or spouse is registered for classes and has a balance after processing their discount, the remaining balance must be paid to the Bursar’s Office by Thursday (Dec. 14).
  • The Tuition Installment Payment Plan is also available.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact the Bursar’s Office directly at 423-425-4781.

*   *   *   *   *

The Vice Chancellor for Research and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs invite you to participate in an upcoming site visit to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The purpose of the trip is to increase awareness of ORNL’s facilities, equipment and resources to enhance collaboration between UTC faculty and researchers at ORNL.

The trip is scheduled for a full day (including travel time) on Feb. 23, 2024, and transportation will be provided. Any UTC faculty member or researcher is eligible to participate; however, because ORNL is a Department of Energy-funded laboratory, additional information will be required from non-U.S. citizens to complete the badging process.

Please direct questions about InfoReady Review to ashley-ledford@utc.edu. Quick guides on how to set up a profile and how to apply are available on ORSP’s webpage.

*   *   *   *   *

Math Kangaroo, an international mathematics competition, is returning to UTC. Math Kangaroo 2024, open to students in grades 1-12, will be held at UTC at 5:30 p.m. on March 21, 2024. Information about the competition and registration can be found on the Math Kangaroo website.

The deadline for registration is Friday (Dec. 15). The registration fee is $21 per student, and financial assistance is available.

Please share this message, the event PDF and the registration information PDF with anyone who might be interested in participating. For more information, click here. If you are new to this program, please read Math Kangaroo History.

*   *   *   *   *

The Prism Center will be conducting a Safe Zone Aspiring Ally training session from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday (Dec. 18). Space is limited, so please click here to register.

A Safe Zone is a space in which anyone in the LGBTQ+ community will be supported and affirmed. Safe Zone training will help participants learn to create a supportive environment for LGBTQ+ members of campus by providing education, resources and advocacy. The training includes small group activities, an information session and large group discussions. Participants will then be able to display a UTC Safe Zone Aspiring Ally sticker in their office to demonstrate their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.

Campus Updates

The New Student and Family Programs Office is excited to offer several orientation sessions next summer for new students starting in fall 2024. In addition to multiple in-person orientations, we will offer two online sessions that will be open to transfer students, adult students (23 years of age or older) and freshmen by exception. Registration for fall 2024 orientation will begin Saturday, Jan. 20, and can be found here.

If you are talking with students and/or parents and they have questions about orientation and enrollment, please direct them to call 423-425-5220 or email Orientation@utc.edu.

Freshman sessions:                         

  • Wednesday, May 22 … Thursday, June 6 … Friday, June 7 … Monday, June 17 …
    Tuesday, June 18 … Monday, July 15 … Tuesday, July 16 … Thursday, July 25 …
    Friday, July 26

Transfer sessions:

  • Tuesday, April 23 (Reading Day) … Tuesday, June 4 … Friday, June 21 …
    Thursday, June 27—online … Thursday, July 18 … Tuesday, July 23—online …
    Thursday, August 1

*   *   *   *   *

The Undergraduate Admissions Office will be hosting the annual Blue and Gold Preview Day- Spring Edition for prospective students and their families on Saturday, March 23. Blue and Gold Preview Day-Spring Edition includes a tour of campus, an academic department fair, a student organization showcase and a residence hall open house.

Looking ahead

Mocs wrestler Kamdyn Munro (photo courtesy of Laura O’Dell/GoMocs.com)

Mocs wrestler Kamdyn Munro (photo courtesy of Laura O’Dell/GoMocs.com)

This week’s Mocs home athletics calendar:

  • Saturday (Dec. 16): Wrestling vs. Little Rock, Maclellan Gym, 4 p.m.
  • Saturday (Dec. 16): Wrestling vs. Queens, Maclellan Gym, 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday (Dec. 17): Women’s basketball vs. Eastern Kentucky, McKenzie Arena, 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday (Dec. 19): Men’s basketball vs. Gardner-Webb, McKenzie Arena, 7 p.m.

Looking back

Assistant Professor of Physics Tian Li, left, works in the UTC Quantum Physics lab; photo of Quantum facility in the EPB Building.

Left: Assistant Professor of Physics Tian Li, works in the UTC Quantum Physics lab. Right: photo of Quantum facility in the EPB Building.

UTC has become the first academic institution to be connected to EPB Quantum Network℠ powered by Qubitekk. In late 2022, EPB and Qubitekk jointly launched the nation’s first industry-led, commercially available quantum network for running equipment and applications in an established fiber optic environment. UTC is connected to the network via a node within a quantum technology laboratory on campus.

*   *   *   *   *

Kurtis Stechyn wears Hanes the crow on his hand and Madison Roberts holds a Bess Beetle, two elements in their animal physiology research project.

Kurtis Stechyn wears Hanes the crow on his hand and Madison Roberts holds a Bess Beetle, two elements in their animal physiology research project.

Sixteen projects were on display as part of a collaboration between the animal physiology course taught by Professor Loren Hayes, the meiofaunal biodiversity course taught by Assistant Professor Francesca Leasi and the ant ecology course taught by UC Foundation Associate Professor DeAnna Beasley. The trio began the collaboration, called the Integrative Biology Research Symposium, in fall 2022.

*   *   *   *   *

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

WUTC Spotlight

As 2023 winds to a close, WUTC-FM hosts Richard Winham, Haley Solomon, Nessa Parrish and Brent Stott wanted to remind listeners about some of the great music released this year. Listen here to the WUTC staff’s top picks of 2023.

About Next Week

UTC Campus Weekly newsletter will be a special double-issue next Tuesday (Dec. 19) before taking a break for the holidays. Yes, even newsletters get a break!

The first Campus Weekly of 2024 will be distributed Tuesday, Jan. 2.


Content curated by the Division of Communications and Marketing.
© 2023 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga