Updates and news for the week of May 2 – 8, 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.

Campus Updates  University Events Master Calendar  |  UTC News

Introducing the UTC Research Institute

The new UTC Research Institute was officially introduced Monday afternoon during a ceremony at the Multidisciplinary Research Building—where the Research Institute will be headquartered.

The UTC Research Institute is a strategic initiative launched to pursue increased research funding, interdisciplinary collaboration across campus, and support for community and local industry priorities. The Research Institute will be led by Dr. Mina Sartipi, founding director of the UTC Center for Urban Informatics and Progress and Guerry Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. 

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As part of the introduction of the UTC Research Institute, a brown bag lunch is taking place from noon-1:30 p.m. today (May 2) in the UTC Library Southern Writers Room.

The brown bag lunch is designed to engage faculty and staff across campus in identifying challenges to address and opportunities for collaboration.

Celebration: UTC commencement livestream links

Spring commencement at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will be celebrated with five separate ceremonies over two days starting Friday.

This will be the 261st overall commencement for the University, founded in 1886 as the then-private Chattanooga University.

Two ceremonies take place on Friday:

  • 11 a.m. for recipients of advanced degrees from the Graduate School | Livestream link
  • 3 p.m. for graduates of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies | Livestream link

Three ceremonies take place on Saturday:

  • 9 a.m. for graduates of the Gary W. Rollins College of Business and the College of Engineering and Computer Science | Livestream link
  • 1 p.m. for College of Arts and Sciences graduates in History; Interdisciplinary Studies; Mathematics; Political Science and Public Service; Psychology; Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies | Livestream link
  • 4 p.m. for Arts and Sciences graduates in Art; Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science; Chemistry and Physics; Communication; English; Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Performing Arts; Philosophy and Religion | Livestream link

Welcome to University High

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place last Thursday night to officially launch University High, a new two-year program designed to help Hamilton County High School students get a head start on a college degree. University High will be headquartered on the UTC campus.

The first cohort of University High students—coming from 10 different Hamilton County schools—had the chance to meet their future classmates, teachers and advisors.

The outstanding people of UTC

The Department of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science will celebrate 30 years of excellence in teaching by Dr. Jon Mies (pictured) at a retirement party in his honor from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday (May 4) in the University Center Chickamauga Room. All are invited to attend.

Check out these Mocs making a difference:

  • Senior Mocs women’s golfer Dorota Zalewska earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the second time during her collegiate career. Zalewska also was an All-Southern Conference selection for the second year in a row, while Kera Healey was named to the SoCon All-Freshman team.
  • Following a stellar year at the No. 1 position, the Mocs beach volleyball sophomore duo of Neva Clark and Joy Courtright were named the Ohio Valley Conference Pair of the Year. In addition to the pairing honor, Clark was selected as the OVC Player of the Year.
  • Learning technology specialist Heather Boyd was featured in a Local 3 News segment about Snapchat’s new AI chatbot.
  • Special Collections Director Carolyn Runyon recently sat down for an extended Chattanoogan.com interview to talk about Dr. Tommie Brown’s recent donation of her personal papers to the University.
  • Dr. Dawn Ford was recently featured on NewsChannel 9’s This n That show to talk about the UTC MPH program’s public health survey collaboration with the Hamilton County Health Department.
  • Jared Steiman, a 2020 graduate and current GEAR UP program coordinator in the UTC Center for Community Career Education, was featured on Good Morning Chattanooga after being awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Mexico.

Announcing the Harris Chair Commercialization Acceleration Mini-Grant Program

The Harris Chair Commercialization Acceleration Mini-Grant Program, a new opportunity for researchers at UTC to accelerate their commercialization efforts, has been established for UTC faculty and graduate students from all colleges who are working on research with the potential for commercialization.

Interested researchers must submit an application before May 15 for up to $10,000 in internal grant funding. Although direct compensation to the awardee is not allowed, awardees will be able to use these funds for supplies, travel, student support, or other expenses that are reasonable and allowable under UT policy to accelerate the success of their ideas, innovations, and commercialization objectives. For additional information, contact Jennifer-Skjellum@utc.edu.

Coming Soon

The Walker Center for Teaching and Learning will host the 2023 Instructional Excellence Conference from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9, in the University Center Tennessee Room. Come eat breakfast, hear a powerful address from our featured speaker and engage in a workshop that will give us some compelling ideas to consider as we decompress from the 2022-23 academic year and gear up for fall 2023. For more information and to register, click here.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Kevin Gannon, director of the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence and professor of history at Queens University of Charlotte (North Carolina). He is the author of “Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto,” part of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education series from West Virginia University Press, and is a regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education. To get a sense of Dr. Gannon’s passion for impactful teaching, check out his conversations on the Tea for Teaching and Teaching in Higher Ed podcasts.

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UTC is a co-sponsor and host of the upcoming CO.MOBILITY Summit, which will take place May 9-11 in the University Center.

The summit, powered by CO.LAB—the Chattanooga-based nonprofit accelerating early-stage startups in the sustainable mobility space—will cover the latest advancements in electric and autonomous vehicles, Smart City innovations, freight technology and quantum tech. Our own Chancellor Steve Angle and Dr. Mina Sartipi, founding director of the Center for Urban Informatics and Progress and executive director of the UTC Research Institute, are speakers at the event, which is free to the UTC campus community. Register now and secure your free admission by clicking here, then click on “Get My Ticket” and enter promo code MOCS at checkout.

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The International Symposium on Digital Forensics and Security—ISDFS 2023—will be held both online and in person at UTC on May 11-12. This symposium has been supported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers since 2016. All papers approved by the referees and presented at the symposium will be sent for publication in the IEEE Xplore library. For information or questions, email Asaf-Varol@utc.edu.

Sign Your Campers up for UTC Volleyball Camp

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

  • Scrappy’s Boys and Girls Camp: June 14, June 15
  • Father/Daughter Clinic: June 18
  • Middle School Day Camp: June 14-15, July 19-20
  • High School Advanced Camp: June 14, July 19
  • Positional Camp: June 28, June 29

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

Campus Updates

The Tony Award-winning best musical “Dear Evan Hansen” is coming to the Tivoli Theatre May 23-28, and UTC employees, students, their families and friends are being offered a 25% discount code for select performances.

Interested? Click here to go through the purchase process, and you’ll receive the 25% discount.

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Want to give your input on health concerns and health issues as a Hamilton County, Tennessee resident? UTC is collaborating with the Hamilton County Health Department on a Public Health Survey. This is an anonymous survey to help us know what programs are needed in Hamilton County. To take the survey online, click here.

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In order to provide new transfer students and their guests with the most information in a limited time frame, New Student and Family Programs is holding a UTC Student Services Fair from 8-9 a.m. in the University Center Tennessee Room during check-in for all in-person transfer orientation sessions on June 8, July 13 and Aug. 1.

If your office or area provides a service or program that would be beneficial to an incoming transfer student, please consider attending the Student Services Fair. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today by emailing your name and program and/or department to: Carrie-Sherbesman@utc.edu.

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Any University email that contains the following protected or sensitive information must be encrypted:

  • Protected health information (i.e., patient record information)
  • Personally identifiable information (i.e., Social Security number)
  • Credit card information
  • Any information protected by governmental or institutional regulations

Did you know you can send encrypted emails to other employees in Outlook by putting the word “encrypt” in the subject line of your email? For more information and step-by-step instructions, visit the IT Knowledge Base.

The UT Vault is another method for securing sensitive emails. This tool is especially useful if you are sending a sensitive email to a student, someone with another email service provider, or if someone outside of UT needs to send you sensitive information. The UT Vault is also useful if you need to send an email with a large attachment. Visit UT Knoxville’s OIT webpage for more information.

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Mocs Card Services is issuing new cards to all faculty, staff and students. Please get your new card before the end of the semester.

What is the difference in the current Mocs Card and the NEW Mocs Card? The new Mocs Card is embedded with an RFID chip (tap technology) that will coincide with the installation of new card readers across campus.

  • Bring your current Mocs Card to the ID Office in University Center Room 262 to exchange for the new card.
  • The ID Office is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • If you do not bring your current ID, there is a $30 replacement fee. Replacement fees are processed in the Bursar Office (University Center Room 274).
  • Contact Mocs Card Services (423-425-5819) or the ID Office (423-425-2218) with questions.

Looking ahead

This week’s Mocs Athletics calendar:

  • Saturday (May 6): Softball vs. Samford (Frost Stadium), 1 p.m.
  • Saturday (May 6): Softball vs. Samford (Frost Stadium), 3 p.m.
  • Sunday (May 7): Softball vs. Samford (Frost Stadium), 2 p.m.
  • Monday (May 8): Women’s Golf at NCAA Regionals (Raleigh, N.C.), all day
  • Monday (May 8): Cross Country/Track and Field at Southern Conference Championships (Cullowhee, N.C.), all day

Looking back

UTC mechatronics student Fatimah Musa (pictured) was born with cone-rod dystrophy—a type of inherited retinal degeneration affecting the retina’s photoreceptor cells. Musa said “visually impaired” is usually the correct term for her case, “but I generalize myself as blind because blind does include the visually impaired.”

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

  • For nearly 20 years, Dr. Bradley Reynolds has been a member of the Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science faculty. It is virtually impossible to talk to him without asking about the nickname he bestowed upon himself: The “King of Environmental Science.”
  • At the spring 2023 UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science Technology Symposium, students designed and built a table with musical instruments attached and just the right height for Benny, a 4-year-old preschooler at Soddy Elementary School with cerebral palsy.
  • During professional development time he took fall semester 2021, Dr. Philip Roundy dived into the idea of a city revitalizing itself. When a city’s economy and overall image is at rock bottom, or at least near enough to brace for the splat, how do you fix it?
  • Senior Sami Belcher’s idea caught the attention of judges who selected her poster-making business—Halfway Down Design Co.—as the winner of the recent Student Fly! Pitch Contest, held in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • The smell of hickory smoke and slow-cooked hog hung over campus as students, faculty and family gathered for the first UTC Porkorama, organized by the Department of History and the Honors College as a celebration of the history of Appalachian culture and cuisine.
  • Successfully creating interior design projects and equipping future professionals to improve the quality of life within the built environment are both learning outcomes for a new class that was offered this semester at UTC.

WUTC Spotlight: Special Collections

Late last year, UTC Library Special Collections secured a grant to digitize documents and photographs detailing the history of labor and industry in Chattanooga. The $3,630 grant awarded by the Tennessee Historic Records Advisory Board with funds provided by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission provided for Special Collections to hire a student assistant during the spring 2023 semester to scan and write metadata for materials in the library’s possession.

A recent episode of WUTC’s Scenic Roots provided an update, featuring a conversation with Carolyn Runyon, director of Special Collections; Erin Ryan, a processing archivist; and Jane Dodge, the student assistant on the project.

Be Well Tip of the Week: May is Mental Health Month

As the academic year comes to a close, this is a great time to re-center and ground yourself. Consider engaging in some of the following activities to bolster your mental health this summer.

  • Engage with nature. Immersing ourselves in nature has been shown to have positive mental health impacts like lowering stress and improving focus. Even the presence of houseplants is helpful.
  • Take a break. You have earned it. Try carving intentional time into your schedule to do something you enjoy and do not always have time for.
  • Create a comfortable home space. Our home environments also impact our mental health. Having a space in our homes that provides comfort and a sense of calm is important. Stock your space with warm blankets, candles, your favorite music, pictures of loved ones and activities you enjoy (puzzles, art supplies, LEGO sets, herb garden, etc.).


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