Updates and news for the week of July 5 – July 11, 2022

Ruona Uwusiaba, a 2022 UTC civil engineering graduate, and her son, Doro. Photo by Angela Foster.

Ruona Uwusiaba, a 2022 UTC civil engineering graduate, and her son, Doro.

Community of success: UTC provided Ruona Uwusiaba a village of support

Ruona Uwusiaba was running a bit late. At the time a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga civil engineering senior, Uwusiaba was on overload. Carrying a GPA of nearly 3.8, she was balancing a course load of 19 credit hours (15 is a full load), including two evening classes, plus working 18 hours each week in an engineering internship at TVA.


Before injuries prematurely derailed her basketball career, Uwusiaba also would have been dealing with the rigorous time demands of athletics. But it wasn’t classwork or the internship or basketball that had her scrambling. She was late because she needed to pick up Doro, her 3-year-old son.


Such is the life of a multi-tasking single mom/college student.

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University Center hosts election candidate forum

Gubernatorial candidates Dr. Jason Martin, left, and Memphis City Councilman JB Smiley Jr. participated in the June 30 candidate forum at the UTC University Center.

Gubernatorial candidates Dr. Jason Martin, left, and Memphis City Councilman JB Smiley Jr. participated in the June 30 candidate forum at the UTC University Center.

UTC was the venue for the fifth of six forums around the state for candidates running for governor and U.S. Congress last Thursday, June 30.

Sponsored by the USA TODAY Network Tennessee in partnership with the University of Tennessee system and Lipscomb University, the forum was moderated by David Plazas, Opinion and Engagement Director for the USA TODAY Network newsrooms in Tennessee.

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The people of UTC

Belinda Lee, director of UTC’s Upward Bound program

Belinda Lee (Center for Community Career Education) requested and received $359,824 from the U.S. Department of Education for the project entitled, “University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Upward Bound Program.”

Congratulations to UTC faculty and staff who received awards or submitted proposals for sponsored programs in May. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs announced that faculty and staff attracted $598,320 in external grant and contract awards during the month and submitted proposals for the potential to generate over $7,146,358 in external funding, if awarded. Among those receiving awards in May was Belinda Lee and the UTC Upward Bound program.

  • Courtney Crittenden, UC Foundation associate professor of criminal justice, was a recipient of the 2022 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award sponsored by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
  • Lee Harris, professor of music education and the director of the UTC Kodály Institute, was named Outstanding Administrator at the 2022 national conference of the Organization of American Kodály Educators. The work of the Kodály Institute was recently featured on the UTC website.
  • A national search for a new vice chancellor for finance and administration is underway, led by search committee chair Vicki Farnsworth—who is currently serving a dual role as vice chancellor and chief information officer and interim vice chancellor for finance and administration.

If you have people news you would like shared in the Campus Weekly Newsletter, please reach out to Chuck Wasserstrom in the UTC Division of Communications and Marketing.

Campus Updates

Campus Updates is your home for campus-related information—a place where you can easily find an updated collection of campus news and notes previously distributed via UTCINFO and UTCNEWS listserv emails. Be sure to bookmark Campus Updates and visit it regularly.

Recent additions include:

Looking ahead

Freshmen orientation and org fair, Tuesday, June 13, 2022

Upcoming freshman orientation sessions take place July 11-12, July 18-19 and July 25-26. At a recent session in June, UTC student orientation leaders taught the incoming first-year Mocs the fight song. The video team was there to record the high-energy and excitement for social media platforms.

  • MOC Academy, a new program aimed at preparing first-year undergraduate men of color for a successful transition to college, begins this week. Created by Student Success Programs, the academy connects incoming students to a diverse group of peers, faculty, staff and community partners both on campus and in the Chattanooga area.

We encourage you to use the University events calendar to share information. The Division of Communications and Marketing will work with campus calendar users to ensure events are properly posted so that they can be featured in UTC Campus Weekly.

Looking Back

“Call of Duty” standout Ryan “Slim Johnson is a national ranked esports player and UTC finance major.

Ryan “Slim” Johnson (above), a rising UTC senior majoring in finance, is one of the country’s top “Call of Duty” esports players.

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

  • Starting this fall, a new concentration—Theatre Entrepreneurship—will give theatre students the concepts and tools to see themselves as a product to be sold. The concentration is a collaboration between the Performing Arts department and the Gary W. Rollins College of Business.
  • The annual UTC Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers recently took place on the UTC campus. The program aims to enhance students’ perspectives on the exciting challenges and opportunities of teaching while introducing dual-enrolled rising 11th- and 12th-grade students from across the state to UTC.

UTC Housing Needs Volunteers

Operation Move In 2022 logo

Housing is seeking volunteers to assist with Operation Move In, which takes place Aug. 17-18 for incoming freshmen and transfers and Aug. 19-20 for upperclassmen.

  • Help with unloading, parking or moving belongings
  • Be the first to greet students and their parents/guardians and help them get settled
  • Receive a free t-shirt and meal voucher

Sign-up by visiting OMI Volunteer Sign Up.


Content curated by the Division of Communications and Marketing.
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