Updates and news for the week of June 18-24, 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 peyton-l-schultz@utc.edu or 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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Want to learn about certificate opportunities?

UTC staff are invited to learn about opportunities to earn a certificate in Higher Education Leadership and Decision-Making, a Master of Public Administration degree, or both at the same time—with all certificate courses counting toward the MPA degree.

An information session about how either or both programs can help prepare you for career advancement will take place from 11 a.m.-noon on Thursday, June 27, in Hunter Hall Room 405.

Please RSVP to higher ed certificate coordinator Beth Crawford (Beth-Crawford@utc.edu) if you will attend. If you are interested but can’t attend the session, email Crawford or MPA Program Director Chris Horne (Christopher-Horne@utc.edu) to schedule a time to talk.

From the UTC Podlab: Tennessee Valley Crossroads

Communication major Megan Batson, left, and creative writing major David Elliott

Communication major Megan Batson, left, and creative writing major David Elliott

“Tennessee Valley Crossroads” is a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student-produced podcast that brings classmates together to have candid, unscripted conversations, fostering empathy and breaking down barriers between students from different cultures and backgrounds. Under the direction of Will Davis, students came to the UTC PodLab and opened their lives with stories about their families, their politics and their hopes for the future.

This episode features a conversation between creative writing major David Elliott and communication major Megan Batson talking about faith.

  • “Tennessee Valley Crossroads” is inspired by StoryCorps’ One Small Step initiative, which brings together strangers to find the humanity in each other.
  • You can listen to “Tennessee Valley Crossroads” on WUTC 88.1 FM every Monday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and subscribe to the “Tennessee Valley Crossroads” podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

The outstanding people of UTC

Dr. Anovia Slaughter

Dr. Anovia Slaughter

Dr. Anovia Slaughter has been appointed University ombuds, effective June 28. Slaughter’s background includes serving as a State of Tennessee Rule 31 independent family/domestic and civil law mediator; overseeing all operations of victim support services for Partnership for Families, Children and Adults; and spending 12 years as a marriage and relationship educator for First Things First.

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Azad Hossain sits Wednesday, May 8, 2024 in his Grote Hall office.

Dr. Azad Hossain

Environmental Geoscientist Azad Hossain, the principal investigator on award funding of $299,998 from NASA for the project titled “Remote Sensing of Water Quality in the Tennessee River,” was a guest on WDEF-TV’s Let’s Chatt to talk about the project.

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The 2024 UTC Rocket Mocs team won the NASA Student Launch Initiative 3D Printing Award in a competition involving 49 other university teams nationwide.

The team, mentored by Dr. Trevor Elliott, was comprised of payload lead Connor Mackey, team lead Everett Stockman, and sub leads/members Adrianne Glover, Canyon Blaylock, Isaiah Schmelzer, Jared Fiveash, Joshua Tang and Sam Mossbeck. According to the program’s website, the award went to “the student team with the best consideration, design and implementation in regard to 3D printing of rocket and payload.”

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Check out these Mocs making news:

  • A paper co-authored by GIS Director Charlie Mix, Assistant GIS Director Nyssa Hunt, GIS Technician Will Stuart, Dr. Azad Hossain and UT Knoxville Professor Wade Bishop—“A Spatial Analysis of Urban Tree Canopy Using High-Resolution Land Cover Data for Chattanooga, Tennessee”—was recently published in the MDPI Journal of Applied Sciences in a special issue titled  “Geospatial Technology: Modern Applications and Their Impact.”
  • A story authored by Dr. Jamie Harvey, “Faculty Mentoring: People, Place and Purpose,” was featured on the Faculty Focus website.
  • Mocs softball standout Kaili Phillips, who received a Master of Public Health degree in May, is now a member of the Chattanooga Steam pro fastpitch team.
  • One-time Mocs soccer teammates Mackenzie Smith (bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, December 2023) and Birna Jóhannsdóttir (psychology, May 2024) recently faced each other on the pitch in Iceland.
  • Mackenzie Kelly, a 2019 alum with a master’s in public administration, has been named the new executive director of the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition.

Mark your calendar

Human Resources provided a series of June staff development opportunities—including an Optum-hosted online event, “Communication: Beyond the Basics,” taking place from 2-3 p.m. today (June 18)Click here for the complete list.

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The public is invited to the Summer Solstice Science Seminar at the historic observatory—designed in art deco style by local architect Clarence T. Jones—from 10 a.m.-noon on Thursday (June 20). The event is free and open to the public.

The Clarence T. Jones Observatory is located at 10 N. Tuxedo Ave. in Chattanooga. Parking is available behind the adjacent Brainerd United Methodist Church.

View Chattanooga’s 20.5″ telescope, built in 1938. Learn the science of the solstice. View the sun through a solar telescope. Learn about dark skies. Try a demonstration of less-polluting light fixtures. Meet members of the UTC Chemistry and Physics department and the Barnard Astronomical Society.

For further details, large groups or special accommodations, contact keenan-dungey@utc.edu.

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New Student and Family Programs will be hosting orientation sessions throughout the summer for all new students entering UTC in the fall, including the following dates:

  • Freshman sessions: June 18 … July 15, 16, 25, 26
  • Transfer sessions: June 21, 27 (online) … July 18, 23 (online) … Aug. 1

On average, the University sees over 6,000 new students and their guests throughout the summer program.

  • Click here for the “Save the Date” flier.
  • Click here for the schedule of events for freshman and parent/guest orientation.

All in-person orientations will have an information desk located in the University Center’s first floor gallery. Please direct anyone with orientation-related questions to the information desk.

Please contact carrie-sherbesman@utc.edu if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for making our orientation program a success.

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The Center for Wellbeing will be hosting a series of trainings for staff and faculty this summer. If interested, please sign up here. The Center’s staff is happy to schedule trainings for specific teams or departments at other times throughout the year. Reach out to megan-mcknight@utc.edu with questions or to request a training.

  • Friday (June 21): Promoting Student Wellbeing: The Dimensions of Wellness (virtual), 10-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, June 26: Promoting Student Wellbeing: The Dimensions of Wellness (University Center 350), 11 a.m.-noon
  • Thursday, July 11: Promoting Healthy Sleep Among Students (University Center 350), 1-2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 17: QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer (University Center 350), 10-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, July 17: Suicide Prevention Using C-SSRS (University Center 350), 11 a.m.-noon
  • Thursday, July 18: Promoting Healthy Sleep Among Students (virtual), 10-11 a.m.
  • Monday, July 22: Opioid Overdose Prevention & Narcan (University Center 350), 1-2 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 25: Mental Health First Aid (University Center 350), 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 31: Recovery Allyship: How to Support Students Who Are Struggling or Have Struggled with Substance Use (virtual), noon-2 p.m.
  • Monday, August 5: QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer (virtual), 2-3 p.m.
  • Monday, August 5: Suicide Prevention Using C-SSRS (virtual), 3-4 p.m.

Notice of Final Defense: Upcoming Research Presentations

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

Campus Updates

Photo credit: UT System

Photo credit: UT System

Join the UT System Institutional Effectiveness (IE) team for the 2024 IE Summit from July 9–11, where data practitioners across all UT campuses and institutes will explore the future of data-driven excellence. At a one-hour virtual session each day, participants will engage with colleagues through insightful sessions on AI technologies, data stewardship and the evaluation of our data dashboards.

Don’t miss this opportunity to shape the next chapter in supporting the UT mission through data. Register now to be part of the conversation.

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Save the date! UTC is excited to participate in the United Way of Greater Chattanooga’s city-wide “Day of Caring” volunteer service initiative on Friday, Sept. 20. Your serving hands are needed to represent, bring together and impact the residents and partners in Chattanooga.

Indoor or outdoor projects may include painting, moving debris or gardening. Interested students, faculty and staff will be able to indicate a preferred volunteer site, and transportation will be available. Additional details, including registration information, is forthcoming.

Email Daniel-Grzesik@utc.edu, the director of Leadership Development and Programs, if you have any questions about getting involved with this volunteer service initiative.

Looking back

Last Friday, the UTC Juneteenth Celebration, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Black Faculty and Staff Association, brought together faculty, staff and students from across campus—plus alumni, family members and summer camp visitors—to learn about the culture, heritage and origins of Juneteenth.

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UC Foundation Associate Professor Morgan Smith

Dr. Morgan Smith

UC Foundation Associate Professor Morgan Smith is one of five principal investigators on an international research team recently awarded $1,497,512 from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the project titled “Reevaluating BOEM’s Guidelines for Identifying Submerged Pre-Contact Archaeological Sites in the Gulf of Mexico: an Extensive Geoarchaeological Approach.”

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Graduate School commencement took place May 3 at McKenzie Arena

Graduate School commencement took place May 3 at McKenzie Arena

Ready to fast-track your education and career? UTC offers more than a dozen graduate programs you can still apply to this summer and start by the fall. The UTC Graduate School offers flexible degree programs and personalized attention to help you advance your career while balancing your busy life.

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Lobsang Samten, left, and Dr. Les Kertay (photo credit: Jason Simard)

Lobsang Samten, left, and Dr. Les Kertay (photo credit: Jason Simard)

Adjunct Psychology Professor Les Kertay, with the blessing of Lobsang Samten—a Tibetan-born monk who runs Buddhist teaching centers in Canada—recently launched the Paramita Center Southeast in Chattanooga.

WUTC Spotlight: Open Book

Jason Tinney (photo credit: Cast Iron Storytelling)

Jason Tinney (photo credit: Cast Iron Storytelling)

WUTC-FM’s Richard Winham recently talked to actor, writer and producer Jason Tinney about his latest project, “Cast Iron Storytelling.”

The series of curated stories from ordinary people was launched in April at Barking Legs Theater in Chattanooga—and returns there on Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23.


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